Justin Fuente began his Virginia Tech football career on an absolutely perfect day in Blacksburg. The Hokies were hosting the Liberty University Flames, and most pundits thought this would be a beat down. The Hokies defense looked sharp at the beginning of the game, forcing a 3 and out, then a turnover caused by a blitzing Vinny Mihota. Offensively, the tempo was in full display.After an early long field goal miss by Joey Slye, the Hokies scored their first touchdown of the 2016 season. It was Jerod Evans to a streaking Cam Phillips, 7-0 Hokies.
This crowd was jacked, and was giving Liberty fits. The crowd noise was an issue early for the Flames, as they had five false starts in the early going. Liberty did catch a break, when a punt deflected off a Hokies' player, and they recovered deep in Virginia Tech territory. The defense stiffened, and held the Flames on a failed fourth down attempt. After the teams traded punts, Jerod Evans fumbled the ball deep in Liberty territory. The Flames had it first and goal with 3:33 left in the first quarter. Liberty RB Todd Macon found pay dirt, scoring on a 2 yard TD plunge. The extra point was missed, and the Hokies led 7-6 with 2:47 left in the first. Joey Slye hit a 34 yard FG early in the second, and it was 10-6 Hokies at this point. Greg Stroman had a nifty pick and the Hokies had their second turnover of the game.
The Hokies were trying to get the ground game going, and on a reverse to Cam Phillips, the WR fumbled. Liberty's Alpha Jalloh scampered 71 yards to the house, and Liberty had the lead 13-10. The crowd was a bit stunned, and the coaches were trying to rile the players up after such a huge momentum changer. The Hokies quickly went 3 and out, but on the next Flames' possession, Terrell Edmunds intercepted Stephon Masha. After some more "punt tradin'", the Hokies found the end zone with 3:31 left in the half.
Isaiah Ford had a tightrope grab on the edge of the endzone. It was Evans' second TD throw on the day. The Hokies weren't done with the first half fireworks. Evans found Bucky Hodges on an 18 yard fade route, and the half ended with Hokies leading 24-13.
Got @Bucky757 ❓— VT Football (@VT_Football) September 3, 2016
18-yard TD catch - 14th career for Hodges.
Tech up 24-13
The second half started slowly. The Hokies received the second half kickoff, and after one first down, eventually had to punt. On the punt, the Liberty's Damian King ran backwards into the endzone, and Tech scored the safety. This put the score 26-13, with the Hokies to get the ball back. The Hokies had scored 16 unanswered points, and were slowly taking over the game. The Hokies wasted little time on the ensuing possession. Jerod Evans hooked up with Bucky Hodges on a 20 yard wheel route for the TD. With 10:10 left in the third, the Hokies had a commanding 33-13 lead. After several punting exchanges, the third quarter came to end. The Hokies removed Jerod Evans, and Brenden Motley was now under center.
After moving the ball early in the fourth quarter, Joey Slye hit a 34 yard FG to stretch the lead to 36-13 with 8:46 left in the game. The Hokies were able to empty the benches, especially defensively. The Hokies had over 500 yards of total offense with 5 minutes left in the fourth. The Hokies closed the game out, and
HOKIES WIN 36-13!!!!