Georgia Tech Throttles Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium on Thursday Night

Written by Brian Pohl

Blacksburg, VA- On a Thursday night game in Blacksburg, Virginia, the Virginia Tech Hokies were unable to slow down the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who delivered their best performance of the season in a 49-28 route inside Lane Stadium.


The Yellow Jacket offense completely dismantled Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster’ led defense, controlling the clock once getting hold of the game and not allowing the Hokies time to regroup.


Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente on the loss, “When you’re in a game like that, the margin for error is very very small, and that was shared between all three position groups.” He continued, “We struggled defensively at stopping the run there. It’s obvious we know what they are going to do. They are going to show up and run the triple [option]. They hurt us with a quarterback sweep in the first half and then hurt us inside a little bit in the second half.”


Georgia Tech made a last-minute switch before the game, replacing starting quarterback TaQuon Marshall with redshirt freshman Tobias Oliver due to what was called an “upper body injury.” Oliver would have a breakout performance leading the Georgia Tech offense, rushing 40 times for 226-yards and three rushing touchdowns. The redshirt freshman only attempted one pass, which fell incomplete, but that was all that was needed after the Yellow Jackets took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back.


Another freshman giving the Jackets a spark was running back Jordan Mason, who rushed 12 times for 82-yards and three scores. The freshman has seemingly improved every week since taking over for injured KirVonte Benson who was lost for the season in week two against USF.


Although the game finished in a blowout, it started out as a shootout as neither team’s defenses were able to make a stop in the first five possessions. We would get the first stop of the game in the second quarter, as Virginia Tech reached an opportunity to take a two-possession lead before halftime after forcing the Yellow Jackets to punt. That moment would quickly fade with a muffed punt as Georgia Tech would regain control deep in Hokie territory before tying the game up a few plays later.


Fuente on the muffed punt that swung the game, “It certainly was a big play. No question. I don’t think it’s the only play [that led to the loss].” He continued, “If the offense is going to grow then they are going to have to keep us in games that are like this and we had every opportunity to but for whatever reason didn’t execute.”


From that point, the game shifted right into Georgia Tech’s hands, and they would run (literally, because they only threw one pass in the game) away with the game, sending the sold-out Lane Stadium crowd home early.


Along with not being able to slow down the offense of Georgia Tech, the Hokies were unable to hold on to the ball long enough for the defense to catch their breath and regroup. All in all, the Hokies finished with a time of possession of 17 minutes and 42 seconds compared to Georgia Tech’s possession time of 42 minutes and 18 seconds. The offensive execution wasn’t where it needed to be after a start to the game that looked so promising for the group.


Fuente on the offense, “Obviously we struggled offensively after the first three series. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team, talking about our team, execute at such a high level for three series and then shut the valve off execution-wise. It was a little disappointing.”


It was a disappointing loss as a whole for the Hokies, who suffered their first ACC loss of the season, moving to a 3-1 record thus far. Virginia Tech now moves to 4-3 on the season and will need to find a way to bounce back. Coach Fuente will have a few extra days to prepare his team, as they play Boston College next Saturday.


Virginia Tech and Boston College will kick off next Saturday at 3:45 from Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia.


(Photo Credit: Enka Lawson / The SkyBoat)

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