Much like the high winds in Pittsburg, this game had its up and downs. For the first time since 1999, Virginia Tech was victorious on Heinz Field. The Hokies barely pulled out the win tallying the score 39-36. By the end of the game, Virginia Tech accumulated 29 first downs, went 6-6 for field goals, and had two rushing touchdowns.
It was over when… Junior quarterback Jérod Evans threw a 41-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Isaiah Ford. In just three plays, 57 yards and 31 seconds, Ford caught an over the shoulder catch and fell backwards into the end zone before going out of bounds. Ford’s catch tallied the game 39-29, Hokies.
The biggest surprise was… Virginia Tech defense could not keep up. With one of the most prestigious defensive lines in the nation, the Hokies have yet to see an offensive line that coul match them physically. Panthers offense was able to rack up four touchdowns, 267 passing yards and 278 receiving yards. Junior linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka had a forced fumble, but it didn’t seem to make much difference with such a small scoring gap. Virginia Tech’s offense was the one that gets the credit today.
Evans’ Comfort with Cunningham… This season, Evans has seen some major plays with Ford and junior tight end Bucky Hodges. However, freshman tight end Chris Cunningham is the one to watch moving forward. It was refreshing to see that Evans’ and Cunningham’s comfort in the end zone is paying off. At the end of the second quarter, Evans play actioned with the ball hitting Chris Cunningham who was wide open in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass. They tallied the score 16-7. Hopefully this cohesiveness will continue to grow.
The offensive ball goes to…This game was obvious for me. Even though there were many offensive highlights, the offensive ball goes to junior quarterback Jérod Evans. Even though Ford set a new school record for receiving 23 touchdowns, no one can match Evan’s commitment to the game. Evans threw for 406 yards, two touchdowns and had 43 gained yards.
His commitment to the game was apparent when he went down due to an ankle injury in the beginning of the third quarter. He was escorted off the field, got taped up, and went back to play by the end of the third quarter. Not only do the statistics speak for itself, Evan’s determination cannot be unmatched in this game.
The defensive ball goes to… Virginia Tech’s defense struggled this game. That, however, came with no surprise as the Hokies played against one of their hardest offensive lines of the season. With standouts such as Motuapuaka and sophomore rover Terrell Edmunds, I have to base this one on statistics, and give it to sophomore safety Mook Reynolds. It sealed the deal for me when Reynolds made the only interception of the night at the Pittsburg 30-yard line with 6:49 left in the first quarter. He also credited with four solo tackles and two assisted tackles. Just based on statistics, Reynolds is the winner for me.