It’s senior day in Blacksburg, and the Virginia Tech Hokies received the ball on a blustery chilly afternoon after honoring their seniors!
Braxton Burmeister and Tre Turner, both of whom were absent during last week’s loss to the Boston College Eagles, were back on the field. Burmeister wasted no time, attempting a deep shot to Turner but the pass fell incomplete. After a short gain by Malachi Thomas, Braxton returned to Tre who made a fantastic catch to put VT into Duke Blue Devils territory. Unfortunately, the first drive stalled, and the Hokies punted, pinning Duke on their five-yard line. Duke Freshmen QB, Riley Leonard, starting his first game for Duke, quickly got the Blue Devils into scoring position after a 33-yard completion to Jack Marwede. Kicker Charlie Ham attempted a 39-yard field goal but missed.
The Hokies returned to the field and a nice 27-yard completion to Tavyion Robinson set up an exquisite 20-yard Raheem Blackshear touchdown, putting the Hokies up 7-0 halfway through the first quarter. The VT defense quickly halted Duke and Blackshear immediately went back to work with consecutive runs of 40-yards and 20-yards, but VT stalled at Duke’s 28-yard line. John Parker Romo trotted out with the field goal unit and missed a 47-yard attempt. Blackshear has been running with inspiration, earning 83-yards and a TD off five carries during the 1Q. The first quarter closed with the Hokies leading 7-0.
Keyshawn King earned his first touchdown of the season when Burmeister found him for a 47-yard strike. Early in the second quarter the Hokies were up 14-0. The Virginia Tech defense, stepping up since allowing Duke 74-yards on their opening drive, stonewalled the Blue Devils for the third time. The defense was quickly called upon after a Braxton Burmeister interception gave Duke their best field position of the day, on VT’s 12-yard line, setting up a successful 27-yard field goal. On VT’s next drive disaster struck when Burmeister took a hit throwing the ball away and was left on the ground writhing in pain.
Knox Kadum entered the game and hit Kaleb Smith for 34-yards, getting the Hokies to the Duke 21-yard line. He went deep again, this time to a wide-open Tre Turner in the end-zone, but the ball sailed. Romo was back on the and nailed a 51-yard field goal, increasing the Hokie lead to 17-3. With less than two minutes left in the half, Burmeister returned to the game. A late-hit out-of-bounds on a 19-yard Burmesiter run took the Hokies back into Duke territory. On fourth and three with six seconds remaining on the clock Burmeister threw a hail mary that was caught by Robinson at the three-yard line, but no time remained. At the half, Virginia Tech leads the Duke Blue Devils, 17-3.