Saturday, November 12, 2011

3 Key Plays - VT vs. Georgia Tech

This was the easiest 3 Key Plays I can ever remember doing. There were dozens of plays made all night long by both teams but the three most important in the outcome of the game were blatantly obvious.

1) After taking over at their own 12-yd line, the Hokies were in the midst of one of their most promising drives of the season. They were in the process of answering a Georgia Tech score that had cut VT's lead to 21-19 and were re-capturing the momentum with several huge third down conversions. And then, at the 7:31 mark of the 3rd quarter, after driving all the way down to the GT 19 yd-line, RB David Wilson took the ball on 1st and 10 and after scooting through a hole, Yellow Jacket LB Julian Burnett got his hand on the football and knocked it out. Georgia Tech recovered and the air came out of the Hokies' sails. Wilson has had a remarkable season but these fumbles can be game changing and he just has to carry that ball tighter to his body when he runs on the inside like that. This fumble led to another GT touchdown which gave them the lead and all the momentum back.

2) After recapturing the momentum, GT had the Hokies pinned deep on a 3rd and 19. Trailing 26-19, things were looking ugly for the Hokies. QB Logan Thomas dropped back at the 3:15 mark of the third quarter and not finding anyone open he took a hit for a sure sack. The game was slipping away. But Logan Thomas didn't give up. He didn't quit driving his legs and fighting the three Yellow Jackets trying to bring him down or take the ball away. Finally as the refs blew the whistle, Yellow Jacket LB Jeremiah Attaochu punched Thomas in the head out of frustration. The scene was eerily reminiscent of J.R. Collins losing his temper and throwing the ball at Jacory Harris in the Miami game, giving the Canes a free first down when they had been stopped. In this case, the personal foul gave the Hokies a first down and they proceeded to drive the field, converting it into points and a lead they would never relinquish. And Attaochu assured himself of a suspension for next week's game.

3) With 11:54 left in the game and VT clinging to a 1 point lead, they faced 4th and 1 from the Georgia Tech 22 yd-line. Yes, the Hokies had just stopped the Jackets on a 4th down play a few minutes earlier but it would be for nothing if they didn't convert here. Logan Thomas, on a QB sneak, DROVE the pile forward for 5 yards and a first down. VT would go on to score a critical touchdown on the drive. Coach Beamer showed a lot of guts, not kicking the 39 yd FG to make it a 4 point game. He really put the entire game on the offensive line and Thomas' shoulders. And those young men delivered.

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