Before kick-off former VT head coach, Frank Beamer, and William and Mary head coach, Jimmye Laycock, together took to Worsham Field in order to honor Coach Laycock’s efforts over the years. The two have been friends since coaching together at the Citadel. Since then they both have become pinnacles of college football coaching in the state of Virginia. Best of luck in your future endeavors Coach Laycock! I must say, Coach Beamer looks healthy and energetic. He wears retirement well, and we are blessed to still see him as a fixture in the program.
For the start of the game the weather held and the players took the field under the sun while dark clouds, swollen with rain, ominously waited. The first quarter was all Hokies all the time, occasionally punctuated with some VT miscues. In the first 15 mins of play VPI averaged 10.9 yards of gain per offensive play and were up 17-0. Grimsley and Hazelton were the high points in the receiving game both hauling in two passes. Grimsley gained 47 yards and Hazleton with 45 yards and a TD. McCLease only saw the field once but Steven Peoples and Terius Wheatley ran at will against the over matched WMU defense. Though the first quarter was largely positive the Hokies had some fumbling issues. McClease fumbled and lost the ball during the opening drive. C.J. Carroll muffed a punt but the Hokies covered it. Tre Turner also fumbled but the Hokies saved it again. VT’s troubles with snapping the ball continued and after three bad snaps Hoyt was sent to the bench to ponder a means to improve.
The second quarter started much the same as the first with the Hokies striking again on a Josh Jackson run that looked like a rugby scrum at the goal line. After a rapid review the play was upheld and the Tribe offense returned to the field. The Hokie secondary showed some of their youth when WMU QB, Shon Mitchell, connected with Nick Muse for a 71 yard gain. On the next play William and Mary easily punched it in from four yards to achieve something that FSU failed to earlier this week - score a TD against the Hokies. The Fighting Gobblers seemed unfazed by the setback and quickly retorted with yet another Peoples touchdown. With just under three minutes left in the half, Ryan Willis, a transfer from Kansas, found himself under center for Virginia Tech. Hazelton did Hazelton things and Willis hit him for 37 yards and the Hokies were again in the WMU red zone. Shortly thereafter McClease redeemed his opening drive fumble, scoring to put the Hokies up 38-7 at the half.
The Tribe received the second-half kickoff and put together their most time consuming drive of the game thus far, but the Hokies forced a fumble and recovered to put the VT offense back on the field. Josh Jackson was again under center and the Hokies quickly drove down the field for a Wheatley touchdown. The Tribe responded with a long 59 yard TD after some lazy responses from the Hokies’ defensive players. Willis again found the field, and with a 45-14 lead at the middle of the third quarter starters have started switching out to give the depth some game time experience. Later, there was a field goal, and then Willis rushed for his first VT TD with 2:38 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter arrived with the Hokies leading 55-14 and the VT depth chart seeing much of the playing time. It finally started raining and William and Mary was able to put together their best sustained drive of the game and come away with a field goal. During the ensuing VT offensive drive, Hendon Hooker, checked in as the third VT QB under center. Turns out Hooker is good at running the ball and ran for a 69 yard TD on his second play of the season. The Hokies walk away with a win, 62-17!
- That is now two games in a row that C.J. Carroll has struggled to secure punts.
- VT’s snapping woes continue. There was a disastrous snap last week against FSU and multiple troublesome snaps, from both Hoyt and Chung, that broke plays for the Hokies this week.
- VT’s inexplicable penchant for random fumbles also continued from last week.
- The Hokies defense is young and a bit raw in places, but they are fast, hungry, and very athletic.
- It’s early, but VT seems to have some talent and depth in both the RB and WR corps.
- Walker was again shaken up and left the game early with apparent lower leg pain.
- Willis looked calm and collected in the pocket. He provided a solid effort during his playing opportunity. Hooker is clearly a running threat. Things seem alright at backup QB for VT.
- Hazelton earned his first 100 yard game with the Hokies and second of his collegiate career. In case you didn’t know... he works out with OBJ.
- The Hokies scored the most points for the program since their 2011, 66-13, win over Appalachian State.
Nice work gentlemen! Go Hokies!!!