Hosley's hands make a difference again
North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson holds the NCAA record for most consecutive passes thrown without an interception, and had just one pass picked off through four games this season. But in Saturday's 41-30 loss to Virginia Tech, the normally accurate signal caller couldn't seem to avoid Hokies cornerback Jayron Hosley.
Hosley finished with three interceptions on the day, including one in the end zone with the Wolfpack driving for a touchdown late in the first half and another that ultimately clinched the biggest comeback of Coach Frank Beamer's career at Virginia Tech. Hosley's breakout performance came just two weeks after he was suspended for the Hokies Sep. 18 game against East Carolina after violating team policy. He also had an interception in the end zone last week during Virginia Tech's shutout of Boston College.
Though it was a tough day overall for the defense, which followed up a blanking of the Eagles by giving up 507 yards and 30 points to the Wolfpack, Hosley persevered and came up with big plays when the game hung in the balance.
"It means a lot to me," said Hosley of his career day, which also included six tackles and four pass break-ups. "But it's not all me, it was my defense. Our guys stayed focused."
Some more notes
*I'm sure you're wondering, if Saturday was the biggest comeback during Coach Frank Beamer's tenure at Virginia, what was the second-biggest comeback? Well, it was all the way back in 1995, when Virginia Tech came back from 15 points down against archrival Virginia.
*The Hokies had three questionable pass interference calls go against them in the second half, one of which set up North Carolina State for a field goal that gave the Wolfpack their final lead of the game at 30-28. Personally, I thought the first call against safety Antone Exum and the one called on Rashad Carmichael were iffy at best considering the amount of contact officials had allowed up to that point. The last one called on Exum was a legitimate flag to me. Beamer didn't get into it too much, saying only that they were all "tough calls" when asked.
*Wide receiver D.J. Coles, best known for roughing the kicker and committing personal foul penalty on one play during the Boise State loss, saw his first action of the season on offense and showed he could help out there the rest of the season. He finished with two catches for 16 yards and had a couple very nice blocks on the outside to help spring Darren Evans for long runs.
*Second week in a row tight end Andre Smith gets some props from me. He had just two catches, but both went for touchdowns. His first, a diving 10-yard grab after a Taylor scramble, was NFL quality.
*Caught up with Jarrett Boykin briefly (since I was fighting a nasty deadline thanks to this game taking 3 hours 45 minutes to finish) and I figured I would share his thoughts on that game-winning touchdown in which he broke three tackles en route to the end zone. Don't forget, though, the heroics were set up by a clutch 12-yard scramble by quarterback Tyrod Taylor on third-and-three two plays earlier.
"On that last one, I was just hungry for it," he said. "[Taylor] put a nice ball in there. I saw one defender, I knew I was gonna have to break that tackle. It was like a blur, so the other two I just side stepped, but I didn't even see them. I was just trying to get in the end zone."
All in all, it wasn't the most crisp day for the Hokies, but I got the sense Virginia Tech learned a lot about itself in this one. The Hokies displayed the kind of resolve and moxie championship teams must have, especially Taylor and the offense. Whether that ultimately leads to anything down the line remains to be seen.
There's still some explaining to do considering the 17-0 hole Virginia Tech found itself in. But in front of a riled up opposing crowd, facing a daunting deficit, the Hokies seemed to finally re-capture the swagger they had before starting the season 0-2.
Posted by: erikjoe3 | October 3, 2010 3:42 AM | Report abuse