Right around the time the Virginia Tech Hokies and N.C. State Wolfpack kicked off on Saturday afternoon; the Louisville Cardinals defeated the Miami Hurricanes 38-31 to clinch an appearance in the ACC championship game against Florida State.
That meant any outside chance the Hokies had of playing the ACC title game ended.
It wouldn't have mattered as the Hokies (5-6, 4-3) were dominated by the Wolfpack 35-28 in a game where the defense had no answer for N.C. State quarterback — and former Virginia QB — Brennan Armstrong.
Armstrong became the latest opposing quarterback to have a successful day on the ground against the Virginia Tech defense, finishing with 21 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Armstrong's final numbers took him below 100 when he kneeled three consecutive times to end the game. The graduate transfer also completed 18 of 26 passes for 203 yards and two scores.
N.C. State, which entered the game ranked No. 106 nationally in total offense, piled up over 400 yards of total offense. Offensive coordinator Robert Anae called a creative game for the Wolfpack, featuring plenty of shifts and pre-snap movements that confused the Hokies throughout the game.
The Wolfpack were excellent on third downs, converting seven of 15, but were six of nine in the first half. Outside of Armstrong, freshman running back/wide receiver KC Concepcion was the story of the game. Concepcion carried the ball nine times for 44 yards, had seven receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown, and passed for a touchdown.
Tech's offense struggled in the first half, finishing with only 95 total yards. Of those 95 yards, 47 came on one play when freshman wide receiver Xayvion Turner-Bradshaw took the reverse to the house, giving Tech its first score. Of course, the Virginia Tech defense would N.C. State to drive the field and score another touchdown in the final seconds of the first half.
The 'Pack opened the third quarter with another impressive drive that, for all intents and purposes, ended the game. It was 28-7 at that point, and while Tech's offense showed signs of life, the defense couldn't stop the Wolfpack.
Quarterback Kyron Drones completed 17 of 30 passes for 225 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception. Head coach Brent Pry should have challenged the interception as the ball hit the ground.
Wide receiver Quan Felton had seven catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Drones led the Hokies with 51 yards rushing on nine attempts. For some reason, running back Bhayshul Tuten had just two rushing attempts on the day, which is unacceptable for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech had a chance to become bowl-eligible in front of the home fans at Lane Stadium, but not must do it in Charlottesville next week.