Virginia Tech rally comes up short at WVU

virginia tech logoVirginia Tech nearly came all the way back from a 27-7 deficit at West Virginia, but the Mountaineers held on a fourth-and-goal play in the final minute to preserve the 27-21 win on Saturday.

WVU (2-1) got on the board on its second play from scrimmage, on an 80-yard run by Leddie Brown, who had 161 yards on the ground on the day, then scored on the third play of its second drive, a 29-yard TD pass from Jarrett Doege to Bryce Ford-Wheaton.

The ‘Neers led 24-7 at the half, and a Casey Legg 44-yard field goal stretched the lead to 27-7 with 8:17 left in the third.

Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) got it back to a two-score game on a 20-yard Raheem Blackshear run, two plays after QB Braxton Burmeister had extended the drive with a 25-yard run on a third-and-24 play.

Another third-and-long play, a Burmeister pass to backup tailback Jalen Holston, turned into a 29-yard Hokie touchdown that made it 27-21 with 3:10 to go.

WVU had a third-and-five at its own 30 with a chance at a first down that would have effectively ended the game, but a false-start penalty pushed the offense back five yards, and on the third-and-10 play, a Doege screen pass was intercepted by Jermaine Waller, setting up the Tech offense at the West Virginia 17.

A Holston 8-yard run set up the Hokies with a first-and-goal at the WVU 3.

Holston was stuffed for a no gain on first down, then lost a yard on second-and-goal. Burmeister, on third down, dropped back to pass, was flushed to his left, and was incomplete through the back of the end zone, setting up fourth down.

Another pass, another incompletion, ballgame.

The early part of the day was rough for the ACC, with Tech, ranked 15th nationally coming in, losing at unranked West Virginia, then Pitt, a 15-point home favorite, losing 44-41 to Western Michigan.

And Miami, somehow still ranked, at 24, after a blowout loss to Miami and an escape at home against Appalachian State, was waxed at home by unranked Michigan State, 38-17.

Basketball season can’t come soon enough.

Story by Chris Graham

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