Coming off a bye week the Virginia Tech Hokies are hosting the North Carolina Tar Heels for homecoming! UNC is looking for revenge against the embarrassing home loss they suffered during last season’s “Hurricane Bowl.” The Heels have been struggling this year, and need to beat VT simply to keep their post-season hopes alive. Meanwhile, another conference loss could spell the end of the Hokies’ drive for back to back ACC Championship appearances.
North Carolina won the coin toss and elected to defer. Josh Jackson and the Hokie offense took to the field first draped in burnt orange jerseys, white pants, and white helmets.
The first quarter started out much as many have this season for VT: slowly. Joey Slye missed a 47 yard field goal on the Hokies’ opening drive. The offense generated singular strong plays, but struggled to put together a solid offensive drive. Cam Phillips continued his program record of consecutive games with a reception (34 games as of today). The VPI defense simply suffocated Chazz Surratt and the Heels’ offense. VT defenders seemed to spend more time on the UNC side of the line than their own. The constant pressure from Hokie defenders and the North Carolina’s inability to slow VT resulted in a strip-sack-scoop-and-score with five minutes left in the first quarter. The constant hits and sacks took their toll, and Brandon Harris entered for the injured Surratt. The VPI special teams was feeling left out so Greg Stroman ripped off a 91-yard punt return TD. At the end of the first quarter North Carolina only managed 31 yards. VT’s defense and special teams: 14, VT’s offense and UNC: 0.
BEAMERBALL IS BACK IN BLACKSBURG!!!!@IAM_GSIII TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE!!! TOUCHDOWN HOKIES!!! pic.twitter.com/WmFH8tcjjL— HokiesFB (@HokiesFB) October 21, 2017
The start of the second quarter began similarly to the first. Jackson threw three incomplete passes and then Bradburn, wearing No. 25, pinned the Tar Heels on their 0.5 yard line. Harris’ mobility allowed the UNC offense to move the ball, but the Fighting Gobblers’ defense still largely confounded the Heels. It took almost 25 minutes, but the Hokie offense finally scored on a 60 yard drive that largely featured Travon McMillian on the ground, and was ultimately punctuated with a four-yard TD pass to Travon. North Carolina put together their best offensive drive off the day, converting a fourth down to keep it alive, before the Hokies intercepted a deflection and took it 69 yards for the second defensive TD of the day.
INT OFF THE DEFLECTION - @21Live_ TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE FOR THE PICK SIX!!!!— HokiesFB (@HokiesFB) October 21, 2017
VT » 2⃣8⃣
UNC» 0⃣ pic.twitter.com/mcxyjhKcVu
The effect of the VPI defense on UNC can best be described by the following:
The Hokies’ offense wasn’t finished though. With only 1:20 left in the half they drove the field and Jackson hit Eric Kumah for his first TD as a Hokie with 0:05 secs remaining.
At the half the Virginia Tech Hokies are dominating the North Carolina Tar Heels, 35-0.
Oh yeah, Cam Phillips is now the all time Virginia Tech Hokies reception leader! Good work Mr. Phillips!
RECORD BROKEN @camphil5 is now Virginia Tech's all-time leader in career receptions pic.twitter.com/wIXl2yxmGY— HokiesFB (@HokiesFB) October 21, 2017
LET’S GO HOKIES!!!