Key Moment - Virginia Tech

West Virginia trailed by just three, 17-14, and was about to get the ball close to midfield in the second quarter with momentum until the key moment occurred -- and with it, the hopes of a Mountaineer upset crumbled.

After stopping Virginia Tech on a three plays and out sequence, WVU forced a punt that should have yielded excellent field position for the Mountaineers. However, disaster struck when Antonio Lewis came up to field Nic Schmitt's punt. The sophomore defensive back charged hard, then tried to catch the ball at nearly full speed. He overestimated the kick and allowed the ball to hit off his hands and front of his helmet. The ball bounced directly inot the hands of D.J. Parker, Tech's coverage man, and in the process West Virginia's hard-won momentum went with it.

The recovery put the Hokies (5-0) inside WVU territory and again pinned the Mountaineer defense. On a day when it could not stop the Virginia Tech passing attack, a short field became impossible to defend.

VPI quarterback Michael Vick found Eddie Royal for a 15-yard score off a slant that put Tech up 24-14 at the half.

West Virginia (4-1) had numerous other mistakes, including a delay of game on its first play and another on a kickoff and three first half fumbles – the first of which handed the Hokies their first score and a 7-0 lead.

But it was Lewis' muff and the resulting score, which shifted building momentum and twisted a potential game-changing drive into another Virginia Tech possession against a tiring West Virginia defense.

The Mountaineers could not afford any breakdowns – special teams or otherwise – and the two fumbles that led to 14 points proved the difference in an otherwise largely even game.

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