Three hours prior, the visiting Mountaineers took the field in their white on white jerseys, a combo that has produced two victories this year. The Hokies appeared from the tunnel in white pants and retro jerseys, maroon with two white strips on each shoulder. The Mountaineers are attempting to do something that haven't done since 1993, defeat a BSC team with a winning record on their home field. The Hokies, meanwhile, are trying to earn back some of the respect they lost after two consecutive defeats at the hands of Pitt and Syracuse.
To begin the game, the Mountaineers kicked off to the Hokies and watched starting running back Lee Suggs return the ball to the 37 yard line. After three unsuccessful plays, the Virginia Tech punter, Vinnie Burns took the field. Burns proceeded to boot a 52 yard punt to pin the Mountaineers on their own 2 yard-line. After three quick plays, West Virginia punter, Mark Fazzalori lined up to punt the ball from his own endzone. He was able to get off the punt but a penalty flag hit the ground, late hit on the punter, first down West Virginia. After a 25 yard run on 3rd and 19 from Rasheed Marshall, the drive stalled after a bad toss from Marshall to Avon Cobourne.
After a 28-yard Fazzalori punt, the Hokies started their first scoring drive with 7:35 to go in the 1st quarter. After a 21-yard reception by Ernest Wilford, quarterback Bryan Randall rushed for 11 yards down to the West Virginia 28 yard line. Lee Suggs finished off the scoring drive with a 28-yard jaunt down the sideline for a touchdown. 7-0 Virginia Tech.
On the ensuing Mountaineer possession, the offense struck quickly. After a 15 yard run on a reverse from Travis Garvin, Rasheed Marshall hit Derrick Smith for a 56 yard pass play down to the Hokie 9 yard line. West Virginia's superback Avon Cobourne took care of business on the next play, rumbling 9 yards for the touchdown. 7-7.
On the next Hokie possession the Mountaineer defense rose to the occasion, holding Virginia Tech to and 3 and out. As the WVU defense left the field, a fired up Quincy Wilson entered the game and soon took control. Wilson took the first handoff of the drive and promptly gained a first down. Quincy then darted 27 yards on his second carry and after a Hokie personal foul, the Mountaineers had the ball at the 9 yard line. This ended the first quarter of play with the scored tied at 7-7.
The second quarter started out with a bang for the visiting Mountaineers as Rasheed Marshall quickly dashed into the endzone from 11 yards out for the 11th time this season. WVU 14-7.
Virginia Tech's next possession ended after seven plays with a Kevin Jones fumble. The ball was stripped from Jones' arms by James Davis and recovered by Grant Wiley. WVU's advantage soon dissipated as the Mountaineers lost yards on the drive, mainly due to penalties, and on 4th down Fazzalori's punt was blocked by Wilford and recovered at the Mountaineer 15 yard line. Rich Rodriguez again called on the defense to hold the Hokies and hold they did. The Hokies lost 2 yards on the possession and settled for 34 yard field goal by Carter Warley. WVU 14 – Virginia Tech 10.
The Mountaineers next possession began with promise as Cobourne gained 13 yards and a first down followed by a Rasheed Marshall 11 yard gain for another WVU first down. Mountaineer fans spirits were raised even further when Derrick Smith caught a 17 yard pass for yet another first down only to have a personal foul called on Cobourne for pushing a Tech player in the back. The drive then stalled as Danny Embick, came in for the quick kick on fourth down. The punt was WVU's best of the night at 42 yards, and was downed at Virginia Tech's 1 yard.
Tech was unable to mount a drive, and the half ended with WVU on top 14-10.
To start the second half, the Mountaineers received the kickoff and returned it to the 27 yard line. The WVU offense looked much like the offense in the first half that methodically moved the ball down the field. Cobourne started the drive with a 10 yard run followed by a Mike Page 5 yard reception then another 10 yards run by Cobourne. After another Hokie personal foul the Mountaineers were deep in Tech territory. Unfortunately the drive ended as Rasheed Marshall rolled to his right and tried to complete a pass in the endzone only to have the ball tipped and intercepted by Blake Warren.
Virginia Tech quickly took advantage of the Mountaineer turnover and proceeded to move the ball into WVU territory. The Hokies moved the ball down the field on the legs of Bryan Randall. Randall had runs of 7, 16 and 12 yards to put the Hokies in scoring range. Lee Suggs then showed why the NFL scouts are drooling as he scampered 28 yards for a Tech touchdown, only to have it called back on a holding penalty. After another holding penalty and an Angel Estrada sack backed the Hokies out of field goal range, Tech was forced to punt.
The Mountaineers took over deep in their own territory and marched down the field, helped by a pass interference call and a couple of bursts by Cobourne which gave the Mountaineers a first down at the Hokie's 47 yard line. Wilson gained 5 yards on his first carry of the drive then put the Mountaineers up by a score of 21-10 with his next carry of 42 yards for a touchdown. WVU 21-10.
Good teams have a tendency strike back after being punched in the mouth and that is exactly what the Hokies did. Again led by the running skills of Bryan Randall, who gained 34 yards on his initial carry of the drive then added two more runs of 3 and 13 yards, the Hokies moved to the WVU 3 yard line. The Hokies scored as Randall hit Keith Willis on a 3 yard pass. The Hokies attempt at a two-point conversion failed as Grant Wiley intercepted the pass. WVU 21 – 16.
As momentum began to turn, you could hear the Hokie faithful getting behind their team and hoping for a comeback. WVU took possession of the ball and were unable to move the ball down the field and was forced to punt the ball back to the Hokies. A solid return and personal foul, late hit, on West Virginia, the Hokies started the drive at the WVU 38 yard line. At this point the Hokies had all of the momentum and seemed to be in control of the game, even thought they trailed. That is until the Mountaineer defense hit the field. After a crushing hit on Keith Willis by James Davis on an incomplete pass, Bryan Randall threw three more incomplete passes to give WVU the ball on downs.
Unfortunately the Mountaineer offense was not up to the challenge and punted the ball back to the Hokies after running the plays. The 32 yard punt was by Todd James, who took over the punting duties during the game.
The determined Hokie offensive unit then took the field with the intentions of driving the ball down the Mountaineers throat and it seemed as so that was just what was going to happen. The Hokies drove the ball down to the Mountaineer one yard line with three downs to punch it in, but on one of the most spectacular goal line stands in Mountaineer history, the Blue and Gold stopped the "Untouchable" and Bryan Randall.
The Mountaineer offense then trotted on the field only needing to pick a couple of first downs but the vaunted Hokie defense was up to the challenge and stuffed WVU on three plays. Coach Rich Rodriguez then made the decision to take a safety to put the Hokies within 3 points at 21-18.
On the ensuing free kick, the Mountaineers kicking problems reared their ugly head as Todd James kicked the ball out of bounds, which gave Virginia Tech the ball at midfield. Bryan Randall move the ball inside the 10 yard line when only seconds remaining. But Randall's last pass on second down was his prettiest of the evening, right into the arms of Brain King and the game was over.
Stick a fork in these birds...they are done! WVU 21 - Virginia Tech 18.