Josh Jackson said it was like "being a kid again" tonight in Blacksburg. After 60 minutes of football, Virginia Tech players and fans had lots of child-like joy in the midst of a torrential downpour.
Virginia Tech beat Duke 24-3 on a night that went being perfect to a heavy downpour. The Hokies improved to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the ACC while Duke fell to 4-5 overall and 1-5 in the ACC. With the win, the Hokies set up a huge showdown next weekend at Miami in a game that should decide the Coastal.
Duke tested VT some in the first half, but there was never a doubt that the Hokies were the much better team in this game. Virginia Tech's defense held Duke to 183 yards of offense while the Hokies had more than double that total with 387 yards of offense. The Hokies won the turnover margin again with an interception plus one fumble recovery from three Duke fumbles.
Josh Jackson's stat line wasn't great, but the Hokies' signal caller had a good night overall going 13-for-27 for 200 passing yards and a touchdown plus 7 carries for 20 yards and a TD. Jackson made plenty of right decisions and though he missed on a couple passes, he was fairly accurate and gave his receivers the opportunity to make plays.
Deshawn McClease returned and shined tonight with 15 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. McClease provided a change-of-pace to the running game similar to what he did against West Virginia, and the Hokies kept giving him the ball for much of the game.
Travon McMillian didn't have his best game with 29 yards on 10 carries and a 27-yard reception. Jalen Holston was also quiet with only 18 yards on 7 carries while Coleman Fox had 11 yards on 2 carries and Steven Peoples had 7 yards on 2 carries.
Cam Phillips led the way for Virginia Tech's receivers with 4 catches for 35 yards while Chris Cunningham had a strong game with 3 catches for 48 yards. Sean Savoy had the best game of any Hokie receiver with 2 catches for 28 yards and a touchdown plus 3 carries for 30 yards. Dalton Keene, Eric Kumah, Travon McMillian, and Steven Peoples all had a reception as well.
Mook Reynolds was all over the field for the Hokies tonight with 6 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass breakup. Reynolds was a forced to be reckoned with all over the field and shined on the wet night in Blacksburg.
Tremaine Edmunds also had a strong game leading the Hokies with 10 tackles along with 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass breakup, and 1 QB hurry. Terrell Edmunds also played well with 8 tackles, 1 QB hurry, and his second interception of the season. Trevon Hill has looked quite good in the past two games and made a difference tonight with 5 tackles, 0.5 sacks (Hill deserves full credit for this sack), 1 QB hurry, and a fumble recovery.
Virginia Tech did exactly what they needed to tonight with a comfortable win over Duke. The Hokies did not come away unscathed though as Yosuah Nijman suffered an injury and did not return. However, Nijman's injury didn't appear to be serious at the time and with the poor weather, it made sense for the Hokies to keep Nijman on the sidelines for the rest of the game.
Virginia Tech has made it through their three-game stretch where they were clearly the better team and needed to simply take care of business. Now, a top 13 matchup awaits them next Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium against an undefeated Miami team that has looked vulnerable, especially after struggling to beat North Carolina today.
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