For the first time in 12 years the Virginia Tech Hokies and West Virginia Mountaineers meet on the football field. When last they met, way back in 2005, VPI left Morgantown with a 34-17 victory. This time VT and WVU face off at FedExField in Landover, MD. Let’s take a look at how things progressed during the first half of the game.
Joey Slye started the game off with a touch back and Florida transfer QB Will Grier and the Mountaineer offense took the field. The first play was ruled a 32 yard reception, but after a quick review it was overturned. The Hokies defense held West Virginia to a three and out, but the Mountaineers returned the favor and the Hokies punted with just under 13 minutes left in the first quarter. WVU was able to convert a first down, but was then overwhelmed by the VT defense. A tremendous sack by big Tim Settle and a fantastic pass breakup brought up fourth. Starting from their 34 the Hokies went to work. The Hokies made it across mid-field and found themselves facing 4th and 1 at the West Virginia 36. VT went for it and Jackson converted on a QB keeper. Jackson then hit Phillips for a 28 yard reception and the Hokies were 1st and Goal. A false start penalty pushed the Hokies back to the seven. After two incomplete passes the field goal unit trotted out to make it 3-0 Hokies!
It wasn’t long until the Hokies offense was back on the field as the Mountaineer’s struggled to find footing. After the punt Jackson again hit Phillips for a big gain... a narrative I feel we will hear a lot this season. Unfortunately the series stalled and the Hokies were forced to punt. WVU took over on their 20. West Virginia’s offense found some life and strung together a few first downs and found themselves on VT’s side of the field.
The first quarter came to an end with WVU on the VT 22 facing 4th and 2. The Mountaineers also decided to go for it on fourth down. It didn’t work out for them when Trevon Hill intercepted Grier’s pass. VPI wasn’t able to do anything with the turnover and punted it away. West Virginia started on their 10. The Mountaineers again were forced to punt and the Hokies took over on their 36. VT was unable to get anything going on offense, but again pinned WVU behind their 20 with a solid punt from Oscar Bradburn.
West Virginia’s offense found life with a 42 yard run from Justin Crawford, invading the Hokie’s side of the field for the second time. The Mountaineers again went for it on 4th and 2, but this time were able to convert. Grier hit WR David Sills for the TD.
At this point the Hokie defense looked smoked. The offense needed to put together a sustained scoring drive to give those young men a breather. That is not what happened. Instead the Hokies failed to convert yet another third down and left the field after three and out. Bradburn continued to make his case for game MVP when his punt pinned WVU at their two. The Mountaineers punted from their end zone and the Hokies started their drive with 3:22 to go from the WVU 47. VT found themselves facing another third and long, but Cam Phillips caught a 28 yard pass that I am pretty sure defied physics. Another third and ten was converted when Jackson hit Carroll for a fantastic ten yard gain. VT found themselves first and goal for the second time. On second down Josh Jackson kept the ball and ran it in for the TD. Virginia Tech will receive the ball to start the second half!
At the half Hokies lead, 10-7!
WVU vs VT Halftime Stats
|Stats||West Virginia||Virginia Tech|
|Stats||West Virginia||Virginia Tech|
|3rd Down Efficiency||3-10||2-9|
|4th Down Efficiency||1-2||1-1|
|Completed / Attempts||15-24||7-14|
|Avg Yards Per Pass||4.4||6.9|
|Avg Yard Per Rush||5.8||3.2|
Will the Hokies defeat the Mountaineers?
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