Coming into Friday Night’s game, most knew that this was a must-win for the Virginia Tech Hokies or else things could start unraveling in Blacksburg. Hope was not that high among Hokie Nation, but there was still a belief that this team could pull off a big turnaround.
After a rough first quarter and change, the Hokies turned it on, and looked like a completely different football game.
On a weird night in Blacksburg in which gates didn’t open till 20 minutes before kickoff due to lightning and the Hokies didn’t come out through the tunnel, Virginia Tech got the job done in front of a raucous crowd with the Hokies beating the N.C. State Wolfpack 28-13.
The crowd of over 61,000 fans all stuck around despite thunderstorms, but wasn’t able to fully get into their seats till well into the first quarter. During that first quarter and a couple minutes into the second quarter, the Hokies were dominated with the Wolfpack getting a 10-0 lead.
However, the Hokies showed some resilience and may have turned around the season in one exciting quarter.
After the Wolfpack’s touchdown drive, the Hokies went and scored touchdowns on three straight drives to get 21 unanswered points led by three touchdown passes from Brenden Motley to Isaiah Ford. Meanwhile, the defense stepped up with two three and outs in which N.C. State had a total of -7 yards of offense.
N.C. State went on a long drive during the middle of the third quarter, but the Hokies held the Wolfpack to a field goal, and N.C. State never showed many signs of life after that.
Two freshman put the icing on the cake late in the game with redshirt freshman running back Travon McMillian having a 59-yard touchdown run that made fans feel certain about the victory. After a late fake field goal was snuffed out easily, Adonis Alexander sealed the game with an impressive show of athleticism on a great interception near the sideline.
Frank Beamer and the Hokies came out with the type of energy that the Hokies need, and have Hokie Nation feeling good about this football team again, for now.
Brenden Motley was solid with a 14-for-28 game for 158 passing yards and three passing touchdowns though it could have been more with Motley missing a couple big plays due to a couple overthrows. Motley has been pretty good overall in Michael Brewer’s absence, but this will probably be the last start for Motley with Brewer likely to come back next week against Miami.
Isaiah Ford became the first Hokie to have three receiving touchdowns in a game since Ernest Wilford in 2002. Ford has been playing quite well so far this season and is a serious contender to be All-ACC First Team while Cam Phillips, Bucky Hodges, and Ryan Malleck also were productive in what is a strong group of pass catchers.
Defensively, the Hokies made some plays with Ken Ekanem having his best game of the season with 9 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks. Ekanem seemed to really get going once he got his first sack of the season after not having a single sack in the first five games.
Adonis Alexander once again made some big plays including his impressive late game interception as the freshman rover may make a push to be a Freshman All-Americn. Brandon Facyson proved that he is one of the top two healthy cornerbacks in the ACC and top 9 in the country with four pass breakups and a pass interference that shouldn’t have been called.
Virginia Tech picked up a much-needed win in what was a dominant performance after a slow start. The question is can this team keep it going with a trip to Miami next Saturday.