The day started great with the Virginia Tech Hokies honoring legendary former head coach Frank Beamer with a monument just outside Lane Stadium. Unfortunately, the night ended much differently, as the No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish came to Blacksburg and took down the Hokies 45-23 in a game in which they never trailed.
After a slow start, the Hokies began to move the ball down the field, but couldn’t find the end zone. Their best chance came in the second quarter when running back Steven Peoples rumbled 41 yards down to the Notre Dame 1-yard line before coming up just short. The Hokies ran three straight plays and failed to get into the end zone. That summed up the night for Virginia Tech.
Another missed opportunity came early in the game when wide receiver Hezekiah Grimsley found Sean Savoy for an easy touchdown on a trick play. However, offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw was too far down the field and it was called back. The Hokies settled for a field goal.
Tech showed signs of life late in the second quarter, though, as quarterback Ryan Willis led an impressive 75-yard drive that he finished off with a short touchdown pass to Damon Hazelton. That made the score 17-16 at the half. It also happened to be Hazelton’s fifth consecutive game with a touchdown reception. Hazelton finished the game with 12 receptions for 131 yards and the one TD.
The Hokies received the second-half kick and began with two big first downs to move the ball down the field. Once again, they struggled once they crossed midfield. Momentum seemed to stay on VT’s side, though, as Oscar Bradburn downed a punt inside Notre Dame’s 10-yard line. After a big stop on first down, Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams goes through a Virginia Tech defender and scampers 97 yards for an easy touchdown.
Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book wasn’t perfect, missing several open receivers downfield or the score could have been worse. However, he was good enough to beat the Hokies on a night full of missed opportunities.
Virginia Tech falls to 3-2 on the season, fortunately the Hokies are still 2-0 in the ACC and head back on the road next week to face North Carolina in a pivotal ACC Coastal Division matchup.