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Virginia Tech chokes again, falls to Georgia Tech, 28-27

The Hokies scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams but give away the game in the fourth quarter.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies held a 27-16 lead early in the fourth quarter when the defense stopped Georgia Tech on a fourth-down attempt. The Hokies offense took the field and were driving for another score when running back Keshawn King fumbles inside the 10-yard line and everything changed.

The Yellow Jackets would take over and quickly march down the field on a 56-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Zach Pyron to wide receiver Nate McCollum to trim the VT lead to five points. Unfortunately, Virginia Tech’s offense would turn the ball over three times in the fourth quarter, and the Yellow Jackets come from behind for a 28-27 win in Blacksburg.

The Hokies have now lost six games in a row, and we’ve reached a point in the season to wonder if they’ll win another game.

Quarterback Grant Wells completed 14 of 25 passes for 165 yards but was intercepted in the fourth quarter, leading to Georgia Tech’s final touchdown. When the Hokies got the ball back with just over one minute remaining, Wells carried the ball for a positive gain but fumbled, and the Jackets recovered, ending the game.

King rushed for 79 yards on 13 carries with one touchdown, but his fumble far outweighed everything else. Even if the Hokies had settled for a field goal there instead of turning the all over, this game could have ended differently.

The defense was aggressive in the first half, coming after Pyron relentlessly, but something changed in the second half. The pressure wasn’t as consistent, and Pyron got comfortable. It’s the second time in a row that the Hokies defense made a freshman quarterback look like a Heisman contender.

It was a record-setting day for true freshman wide receiver Tucker Holloway. Holloway ran a punt back 90 yards for a touchdown in his first game as the primary punt returner. On the day, he returned seven punts for 188 yards, setting a new Virginia Tech single-game record.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Keli Lawson also made the most of his increased opportunities. The 6-foot-5 former receiver deflected a Pyron pass, picking it off and returning it for a touchdown early in the third quarter. Lawson finished the day with four tackles, two passes defended and the interception returned for a touchdown.

The Hokies, now 2-7, are on the road at Duke next week.