Virginia Tech came into Hard Rock Stadium ranked 13th in the nation facing a tenth ranked Miami team that by many was deemed “untested.”
The Hokies started off slow and Miami got out in front early with the Hurricanes scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter. Thanks to Joey Slye, Virginia Tech kicked a field goal with 2 minutes left in the half from 50 yards and got the Hokies on the board.
On the first five drives between the two teams, Tech punted three times and Miami punted once, turning the ball over on downs once from inside the red zone. Miami quarterback Malik Rosier threw three interceptions but the Hokies only converted one of those into points; Jackson threw two interceptions himself while the game slowly slipped away from the Hokies thanks to penalties and turnovers, as well as not converting third and fourth downs.
Malik Rosier threw two touchdowns on his way to leading Miami to victory over VT. Rosier’s first touchdown pass to Braxton Berrios from 8 yards out in the first quarter gave Miami the lead, and the Hurricanes never looked back. The Hokies were still in the game and were only down 14-3 at halftime. Virginia Tech scored their only touchdown of the game off of a Josh Jackson quarterback run from a yard out less than five minutes into the third quarter.
Rosier threw the second of his three interceptions on the next drive, but the Hokies fumbled five plays later. Rosier completed his second touchdown pass and Miami went up 21-10, but they would score later at the beginning of the fourth quarter on a touchdown run from Rosier. The Hokies forced three interceptions but only converted on one and the Hokies were sent back to Blacksburg with a loss.
Josh Jackson and the offense could not get much going throughout the game, with Jackson completing 20 of his 32 passes for 197 yards. The offense did not seem to work much of the time and it seemed like Miami knew how to stop whatever the Hokies were running.
A turning point occurred when the Hokies were driving and inside Miami territory with under a minute left in the first half and Sean Savoy fumbled a pass from Jackson which gave the Hurricanes the ball back and ended the first half. There were times where it seemed like whether Tech ran a jet sweep or threw a pass, Miami was there waiting for the play and knew it was coming.
Many fans were complaining about how Tech should try to win instead of playing “not to lose.” The offense was shaky and the defense was on the field for too long, which Miami clearly took advantage of. Offensive efficiency was not there and they failed to convert when needed until the second half when the offense seemed to have a spark.
There were times of brilliance, but even the defense looked shaky at times, giving up a few huge penalties and letting Miami have 429 yards of total offense while the Hokies had 299. The defense cannot stay on the field for that long, but the offensive line was getting beat up and allowed Jackson to get hit too many times. Especially in the end of the game, Jackson was taking shot after shot but he hung in there and kept playing, even though Tech was losing 28-10. There are plenty of negative takeaways from the game, but there are also positive ones.
It was a difficult game to watch as a Virginia Tech football fan, but the team knows they need to improve and I think they will come out fired up next week when they travel to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech at noon on the ACC Network. The Hokies are now 7-2, tied for second in the ACC Coastal Division with rival Virginia, and will host Pittsburgh at home after Georgia Tech before traveling to Charlottesville to play their Cavalier rivals.
It was a frustrating game, to say the least, but there are better things in the future for the Hokies. This is still a young football team that is growing and has much to learn. Miami will host #3 Notre Dame next weekend in Miami, and are poised to win their first ACC Coastal title.
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