So, the nerves entering Bobby Dodd Stadium evaporated after the Hokies got their 2nd 3 and out stop of the Yellow Jacket offense, in the 1st quarter. The Hokies took the ball, and drove it down the field for an emphatic balanced drive down to the goal line zone inside the 5 (the 3 actually), where Hendon Hooker scored the first of his running touchdowns.
The first half just kept going that way for both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. The Hokies scored from the 2 with Keshawn King doing the honors from the 2 yard line. It was 14-0 with 2:49 seconds left in the 1st quarter and there was already a mood shift in the game pattern.
Folks, Bud Foster’s leaky 2018 defense is a thing of the distant pass. The same players are experienced, young, healthy, and absolutely dominant. Bud was dialing up blitzes and pressures, weird coverages, and even doing a little soft zone... the Jacket’s could do exactly nothing against it.
The Hokies opened the 2nd quarter with another impressive drive and a clean Hendon Hooker 3 yard scoring run off the right side. (Those are Freshman, people... freshman!) With the score 21-0 it looked like Virginia Tech was going to go to a more conservative approach on offense (sigh.. stop that..) and their drive stalled out. Oscar Bradburn laid a perfect punt inside the five yard line and pinned GT back. Well, their troubles went from bad to awful on an accelerated curve because Caleb Farley jumped an out route, picked the ball, and then ran it into the opposite corner of the GT end zone for a pick 6. Frankly, that Iced the game, because at 28-0 Georgia Tech wasn’t finding any answers against the #LPD.
Our Tech, then added a 3 on before the half, though from the on field interview with the reporter he was a bit disappointed that we didn’t hang a full seven on them.
The second half sort of started like the first. Though we got the ball first this time but the drive really stalled out as GT put on every red dog it could think of. Oscar Bradburn Punted again.. pinning the Jackets back... and after a couple of hopeful plays, Dax Hollifield pulled in another interception in the opponent’s red zone on a great pressure by Emmanuel Belmar. Deshawn McClease punched the ball across the line to gain for a first and goal after 12 yards of hard running. That set up a beautiful touchdown toss up the right seam by Hendon Hooker to James Mitchell, and that was all that can be said for the starting offense.
The next series of plays, and for the remainder of the game, Quincy Patterson II did the QB work for Tech. Quincy would score a bruising 2 yard touchdown run with 2:16 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. In that series Patterson tossed a beautiful wheel route to Keshawn King (reminded me of David Wilson) for 64 yards.
With the score at 45-0, Fuente and the 2/3rd string offense went into grind mode. Even then, the Hokies made it to the GT 4 yard line but then just did power runs up the middle. The effect was to not score because we didn’t need to, and forcing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to drive the entire length of the field to kill the skunk in just a few minutes was just fine with everyone. The GT Offense was aided by a few weird referee calls, but in the end it all sort of evened out.
Fun Facts about the Game
Virginia Tech is Bowl Eligible for the Record 27th consecutive season.
#LPD is going to earn Bud a spot in the HOF...
That’s 33 Shutouts for Bud Fosters defenses.
Virginia Tech held Georgia Tech to 53 yards on 31 attempts total rushing for the entire game... The jackets also only got 81 yards in the air, with two interceptions. Dax Hollified snagging another quacking duck off the hard rush of a defensive end (this time it was Emmanuel Belmar).
The Hokie side of me.... YESS!!!!! YEEEESSSSS!!!!! GO HOKIES!!!!!
The analyst side of me, okay we were expected to win, maybe not by that much, but this was supposed to be a win. Good. Pitt is way tougher, and gives us fits in our own house. Pitt week starts now.
This was a dominant game. You can’t do much more dominating than hanging 45 on a scoreless opponent. The defense looks like it’s finally deep, dominant, and the #DBU is real. Rayshard Ashby, Dax Hollifield, and Alan Tisdale are going to be amazing for several years to come. The starting offensive line has gone from struggling to near domination. There are still a few issues here and there, but they are finally moving defenders off the line of scrimmage. They finally have a ‘will’ and are starting to impose it on opponents.
Pitt and UVA are playing at levels far above Georgia Tech so we need to be standing on the accelerator, not getting all satisfied with this win.