Virginia Tech gets its seventh-straight win ... barely
At this point, after Virginia Tech somehow found a way to make enough plays to escape Thursday night with a 28-21 victory over Georgia Tech, there are few teams in the country who are rolling like the Hokies are these days.
In fact, only the five remaining undefeated teams in the country have more consecutive wins than the Hokies current seven-game streak. Whether you're a Virginia Tech fan or not, that's pretty impressive given the way this season began about two months ago.
The Hokies remain the lone unbeaten in ACC conference play and in control of their own destiny in the ACC's Coastal Division. In my opinion, it's going to take a monumental collapse for Virginia Tech not to go to Charlotte for the ACC championship game. Talk in the press box was that the Hokies could lose two of three and not make it, but with how up-and-down North Carolina and Miami have been this season, I'm thinking Virginia Tech would have to lose out to not make win the division at this point.
I didn't get a chance to catch much of the postgame interviews because of a tight deadline, but check out my game story and then come on back for some more notes from an exciting Thursday night.
*During my bye week review, I called sophomore David Wilson the Hokies best running back so far this year. Some on twitter didn't agree, instead arguing that Darren Evans has been much more consistent.
Even after Wilson's explosive night against the Yellow Jackets, I'm still not sure who's right. But if his two fourth-quarter touchdowns were any indication, get used to fireworks from the speedy playmaker. Not only was his kickoff return a complete blur, I thought he showed off some serious wheels on his 15-yard touchdown run that tied the score at 14.
According to the postgame notes, Wilson is now the first Virginia Tech player in the modern era to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in a single season.
And imagine if Wilson caught that long pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor that seemed to go right through his fingers. Wilson got behind the Georgia Tech secondary, and I think if Taylor throws that ball earlier, Wilson has his third touchdown of the game. I think offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring needs to figure out more ways to get Wilson on the field -- and not just lined up as a tailback.
*It's hard to overstate just how lucky Virginia Tech got when the Yellow Jackets lost quarterback Joshua Nesbitt late in the first half. The Hokies had yet to slow him down when Georgia Tech decided to run its option offense. Lucky for Virginia Tech, once Georgia Tech went up 14-0, Coach Paul Johnson tried to get too cute and began running some passing plays that caused the Yellow Jackets to lose some of their momentum.
I was a little disappointed, though, when the crowd at Lane Stadium cheered after the public address announcer said Nesbitt was injured. While trying to tackle safety Davon Morgan after an interception, Nesbitt ended up breaking his right forearm. Johnson said afterwards that Nesbitt wouldn't be able to return until the Yellow Jackets' bowl game at the earliest.
Nesbitt did, however, become the ACC' all-time leading rusher for quarterbacks before leaving the game. He passed former Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler.
*Speaking of records, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor passed Bryan Randall as the school's all-time leader in total offense. Taylor finished with 137 yards passing and another 57 rushing and now has 8,144 yards of total offense during his career. But it was an up-and-down night for him. He started the game 8-of-10, but then completed just 7 of his next 15 passes. His one interception on third and goal in the second quarter was particularly bad, and something Hokie fans are unaccustomed to of late.
But like he has all season, Taylor kept plenty of plays alive with his legs and seemed to come up with a completion at just the right moments. His lone touchdown of the night -- a two-yard strike to tight end Andre Smith midway through the fourth quarter -- gave the Hokies their first lead of the game.
*Smith's touchdown reception gives him five for the season. That's the most touchdown catches for a Virginia Tech tight end since Jeff King had six back in 2005.
*Though Virginia Tech's defense only gave up seven points after the first quarter, Georgia Tech actually gained more yards on the ground than it did a year ago when it beat the Hokies. For the game, the Yellow Jackets ran for 346 yards on the ground and averaged 6.8 yards per attempt.
But even though I imagine Bud Foster was less than happy with the yardage his unit gave up, especially early in the game, the defense was not without some standout performers. Linebacker Bruce Taylor, who was battling a high ankle sprain, had a career-high 14 tackles and two sacks. Defensive end Steven Friday, meanwhile, also set a career-high with 12 tackles and one sack.
That's all I've got for now. The blog will be quiet for the next few days as I'm going to Ann Arbor Friday so I can catch my Wolverines in action against Illinois on Saturday (it's also the worst kept secret that Rich Rod's job might be on the line, too). I will, however, have my preview story on the men's basketball team in Sunday's paper, so be on the look out for that.
Until then, thank your lucky stars Virginia Tech didn't have David Wilson redshirt this season. With each game, that's looking more and more like a season-altering decision.
| November 5, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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