Sunday, September 21, 2008
Hokies Outlast Heels
It was ugly and at times downright embarassing, but the Hokies found enough offense in the second half to sneak past ACC foe North Carolina 20-17 in Chapel Hill Saturday.
Tyrod Taylor struggled in his second outing after being named the sole starter. Taylor finished 11 of 21 for 125 yards and 2 interceptions while rushing 12 times for 35 yards before leaving the game with an ankle injury late in the fourth quarter.
Despite that, Taylor is now 7-0 in his young career as the starter in Blacksburg.
Tech's offense was anemic in the first half, but found some rhythm on some good drives in the second half. Darren Evans ran the ball well, especially late, toting the rock 14 times for 61 yards and an all-important touchdown.
Despite a wildly inconsistent offense, the Hokies managed one of the best comebacks in the Frank Beamer era scoring 17 unanswered points and climbing out of a 14-point hole.
“We never claim to be pretty,” Beamer said. “But I give our players and coaches credit for hanging in there and finding a way to win. And that’s the bottom line – to be able to win. And win together as a football team. I thought our team did a great job of that.”
Next up for the Hokies they step out of conference and head to the "Sea of Red" to take on Nebraska in an 7pm primetime match up on ABC.
At the risk of beating a dead horse, the most villified man in Blacksburg (not Sean Glennon) offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring did little to help his case in this game. The Hokies managed less than 100 total yards in the first half, but managed to finish the game with 268 to UNC's 307. UNC also lost starting quarterback T.J. Yates to a sprained ankle in the third quarter. That seemed to be the turning point for both teams though UNC backup freshman Mike Paulus (brother of Duke hooper Greg Paulus seen here doing what he does best) played well before learning what his family knows so well, that feeling of getting owned by the Hokies. Tech desperately needs to find some offensive consistency before the journey to the midwest. I'd like to think that Tech will start moving the pocket more with Taylor and give him chances to throw down field. More likely, get ready for a whole lot of running next week in Linclon.
-Virginia Tech is now 16-1 all-time in ACC road games and won its 18th straight conference road opener. Tech is also 5-0 against North Carolina since joining the ACC.
-Dustin Keys kicked what turned out to be the game-winning field goal on a career long attempt of 45 yards.