It’s a beautiful, clear day in Blacksburg. The breeze is light and the temps were hovering in the mid 50’s at kickoff. The town was very quiet, increasing alarm over promised and threatened COVID lockdowns are attracting more attention and the bulk stores than any Game Day parties. The normally busy supermarkets were relatively quiet, and the town looks like any Spring day with a few places serving and only a few customers out and about, masks required everywhere.
So Miami won the toss and kicked it out of the end zone. Hendon Hooker and the Hokie O took the field. Blackshear started in the back field and a lame run lost two. A nice RPO to Tayvion got to with in 3, and then a nice intermediate route package run on 3rd and short to grab a 1st and move the chains. But the refs called a timeout before the snap, negated the play and the first. The follow up play was a total bust and the Hokies ended up punting.
Miami came out roaring and moving fast. Their first three plays gained no less than 7 yards. Miami drove down to the Tech 31, and stopped Miami. That set up a field goal attempt, but Miami got too cute, and faked it instead of grabbing the nearly guaranteed points. The fake field goal failed and the ball went over to Tech on downs.
Tech started down the field with an few fouled plays, and a Z check down to Blackshear for a first down, and then promptly stalled after a short 1 yard dive, a short pass under the zone and then a sack. The punt was solid but Miami took over around their 20.
Miami grabbed a starting five yards, but some good pressure, especially on 3rd and 5 by Jerrod Hewitt caused a sailing Miami incompletion. Miami’s punt dumped an untouched ball inside the Tech 15, though. Blackshear was back to receive. He just let the ball hit the turf and bounce.
Khalil Herbert entered the game, and grabbed 7 yards up the middle, right off the bat. A nice rollout flip to Tayvion Robinson got the first down then a bit of help on a free play pass interference set up a fast jet fake by Hendon Hooker and a huge touchdown run. 7 – 0 Hokies
Miami started their drive on the 25 after a touchback. King started running more often on this drive, and converted a 3rd and short, and produced a 2nd and 1. The Hurricanes started going fast with quick developing plays. The Tech defense stiffened but allowed Miami to get to the 18 before a nice sack on King forced Miami to go for the -4. 7 – 3 Hokies
The Hokies took the ball at the 25 after a touch back. A nice outside run to Blackshear for 8 allowed a bit of innovation on 2nd and short. Hooker hit Tre Turner for a nice gainer up the middle to get the ball near Miami territory. The 1st quarter ended with Tech looking like they were developing a drive. Eventually the poor play calling erased the nice big gain, and three absolutely leaden run plays resulted in a field goal miss.
Miami took over on their own 37. An incomplete pass and a stuffed run resulted in a 3rd and long for Miami. And Jerrod Hewitt gabbed King for a 9 yard sack to completely snuff the Miami try at generating a drive for points. Hurricanes punted. The ball ended up on the 20.
Hokies take the ball at the 20, after a few fits and starts Hooker hit Kaleb Smith for a nearly perfect 30+ yard strike, and then followed it up with a nice run outside for Herbert who came up just short of the 1st down. Hendon reverse rolled on a quarterback keeper to get the ball securely into the Hurricane Red Zone. Jalen Holston made a consequential appearance by driving the ball down to the 8, and then ramming the ball into the endzone for an emphatic Hokie touchdown. 14 – 3 Hokies
Miami took the ball out to try a big return. And King started to work to move the ball downfield by a sheer feat of will, Miami managed to walk purposefully down the field with a healthy mix of passes and runs, the Tech D was flat footed for the first time today. King ran it in from the 10 on a backside non-coverage. 14 – 10 Hokies
Hokies took the ball on their 25 after a touchback. A pass interference call was reviewed for a tip at the line of scrimmage. But there was not enough to overturn the call. Tech looked to keep moving the ball but called a delayed HB ISO forcing a passing situation, and then Hooker was sacked. The punt was muffed but recovered by Miami to save their drive attempt.
Miami began their series much like the last scoring drive by chopping away at the Tech defense with enough schedule yardage to sustain the drive. Eventually the Tech defense managed to buckle down and stop the drive with a nice final sack by Amare Barno. But the ‘Canes managed a field goal. Hokies 14 – 13 Hokies
The half ended with the Hokies leading by a single point. Miami will be getting the ball back first, and the game remains close.