Virginia Tech fades in second half of lopsided loss to West Virginia

BLACKSBURG, Va. — The coed part at Lane Stadium started filling up roughly an hour earlier than Virginia Tech’s recreation in opposition to West Virginia. Then steadily elbow room elsewhere grew scarce for the eagerly awaited showdown between heated border rivals.

By the point the Hokies sprinted onto the sphere with the acquainted “Enter Sandman” blaring over the sound system, followers clad in vibrant faculty colours, with one half of the stadium carrying orange and the opposite donning maroon, had packed the place and have been leaping in raucous unison.

The throwback ambiance to the rebuilding program’s most affluent period, nonetheless, didn’t insulate Virginia Tech from a 33-10 mistake-filled loss. The Hokies dedicated 15 penalties, the bulk defensive, for 132 yards and moved the ball sporadically at finest in failing to reclaim the Black Diamond Trophy.

The Hokies (2-2) gave up 422 yards of whole offense, probably the most by an opponent this season, and wilted down the stretch in dropping a second straight recreation to West Virginia (2-2), which restricted Virginia Tech to 25 dashing yards in entrance of a sellout crowd that started a mass exodus early within the fourth quarter. The Hokies’ dashing whole was their fewest since amassing simply 9 yards in 2015 in opposition to Pittsburgh.

“Obviously disappointed,” Hokies Coach Brent Pry said. “We didn’t play complementary football. We’ve got to own it, and we’ve got to be better in a bunch of areas, and we can be. We play a cleaner, smarter game, we got a chance.”

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5 straight scoring drives propelled the Mountaineers. The final of these delivered West Virginia a 23-10 lead with 14:13 remaining courtesy of tailback Justin Johnson Jr.’s six-yard burst via the guts of a protection that entered ranked first within the ACC in whole yards and scoring.

Two snaps earlier, Virginia Tech bailed out the Mountaineers on third and 14 when quarterback JT Daniels threw an incomplete cross however officers charged defensive sort out Norell Pollard with arms to the face, transferring the ball half the gap to the objective line to the Hokies 14.

Any glimmer of a comeback was extinguished when Virginia Tech quarterback Grant Wells’s cross over the center wound up within the grasp of cornerback Jacolby Spells. The freshman turned the nook across the left aspect and took the interception 27 yards to the top zone for a 33-10 benefit.

The margin of defeat was probably the most lopsided for the Hokies within the collection in 61 years — relationship again to a 28-0 loss in 1961.

Wells, a switch from Marshall, accomplished 16 of 35 passes for 193 yards and a landing, tossing one interception. The redshirt junior gained the beginning job in a coaching camp competitors with redshirt tremendous senior Jason Brown, additionally a switch (South Carolina).

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A protection that had been largely stout within the first half permitted the Mountaineers to make use of 6:31 throughout their first possession of the third quarter that put them forward, 16-7, on Casey Legg’s 25-yard subject objective with 7:04 to play. The collection included cornerback Chamarri Connor’s cross interference penalty.

Virginia Tech countered with Will Ross’s 44-yard subject objective throughout a drive that additionally obtained a lift from cross interference, this one referred to as in opposition to Mountaineers cornerback Rashad Ajayi when he grabbed broad receiver Stephen Gosnell on deep ball down the left aspect.

The primary half ended with Virginia Tech trailing, 13-7, following a landing drive from the Mountaineers that took simply 50 seconds, culminating in Daniels’s 24-yard scoring strike to broad receiver Sam James in the midst of the top zone, the place linebacker Dax Hollifield was a number of steps behind in protection.

The Hokies had been resulting in that time, 7-6, due to Wells’s 28-yard landing cross to Kaleb Smith on the primary snap of the second quarter. Smith beat cornerback Wesley McCormick on fade to the correct portion of the top zone and gathered the cross for his second landing catch of the 12 months.

A cross interference penalty assessed to West Virginia’s Davis Mallinger on third and 13 aided the possession, transferring the ball to the Mountaineers 28. Virginia Tech additionally benefited from a lucky sequence when Wells’s cross caromed off Da’Wain Lofton and into the arms of Smith for a 17-yard achieve on third and two.

Penalties plagued Virginia Tech all through the half, together with on the Mountaineers’ first scoring drive ending in Legg’s 23-yard subject objective for a 3-0 lead with 3:19 left within the first quarter. Essentially the most egregious was Jalen Stroman referred to as for a face masks, however the Hokies additionally have been responsible of an unlawful substitution and a impartial zone infraction throughout the collection.

“I go back to this, I think we press and we kind of get out of sorts, and we feel we need to do things above and beyond,” Pry said. “Sometimes I look out there, and it’s kind of a panic. We’re not playing as one, and we’ve got to coach them through that.”

Circumstances worsened for Stroman within the closing minutes of fourth quarter when he was referred to as for concentrating on, rendering the sophomore ineligible for the primary half within the subsequent recreation in opposition to North Carolina on the street Oct. 1.

“I feel we just made a lot of mistakes,” Connor said. “The guys were trying to go hard and leave it all out there. Sometimes it just works out like that. We’ve got to be better.”

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