Eleven minutes into the game it all looked over for the Hokies. The 2012 season, which started with a promising OT win over rival Georgia Tech, had started to tumble out of control with losses to Pitt, Cincy, and just last week a beat down at the hands of UNC. With Duke coming into Blacksburg, the Hokies and their fans knew how important the game was. VT needed a win, not just to get over .500 on the season but to gain confidence and momentum as they prepare for the tough stretch in their schedule. So, when the Blue Devils jumped on top 20-0 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter things looked bleak.
Then something happened…the Hokies would go on to score 41 straight points and win: 41-20
The Hokie offense woke up from it’s five week long slumber. Logan Thomas led the Hokies down the field twice before the end of the first half (throwing down field to Marcus Davis to set up a short run for the first TD, then connecting with Davis on a 42-yard strike for the other), a Cody Journell field goal would make the score 20-17 Duke at the half, but you could feel the momentum shift; the Hokies were ready to roll.
What ensued after halftime was something out of last season’s script for Virginia Tech: explosive plays on offense, stiffling defense and special teams, and finally VT showed the ability to run the football with great success.
Thomas finished the game 14/23 for 256 yards and 2 TD’s, RB J.C. Coleman showed his amazing speed on two long runs (45 & 86), finishing the game with 183 yards and 2 TD’s, and WR Marcus Davis had his best game of the season, grabbing five catches for 144 yards and 2 TD’s.
After weeks of inconsistent offense and porous defense the Hokies finally put together the type of performance we know they’re capable of, albeit against Duke. The game itself, once VT go into a rhythm and took Duke out of their own rhythm, was a bit of a laugh-er, another first this season.
“I think our bubble burst. It hurts today. It hurts a lot.” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said after the game. He had Duke off to their best start since the ’94 season, but now with the ACC schedule well underway it’ll be an uphill battle for the Blue Devils to improve on their 5-1 start.
For Tech they need to keep improving, which could be a problem as the news that starting center Andrew Miller will be out for the remainder of the season with tears and breaks in his ankle. Miller was the only returning starter on the O-line for VT, and with all of the problems the offense and O-line have had through the early part of the season an injury is the last thing this offense needed.
Still, the team improved to 4-3 (2-1 in ACC play) and as they prepare to travel to Clemson this coming Saturday they have to feel better about themselves. Clemson beat this team twice last season, VT may not be in the running for a BCS bowl bid but they can definitely do damage in the ACC for the remainder of the season. Let’s see which Virginia Tech team shows up at Clemson: the team that fought GT for every yard in week one, the team that had no identity weeks two through five, or the team that actually moved the ball with urgency against Duke.
Time will tell if this is a turning point for the season, but it’s nice to feel good once in a while.
UP NEXT: @ #19 Clemson (5-1, 2-1 ACC) 12:00 PM, Saturday Oct. 20th
About the Author
Written by Frank Sullivan
Frank is a graduate of Old Dominion University, sports fan, author, and founder of TheBloosh.com. He's been working with prosportsblogging.com since April 2011, and has covered the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Ravens, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, and the Washington Wizards. Frank can be reached @franksullivan on twitter.