November 14, 2008
Hokies drop hard-fought battle with Hurricanes
By Jimmy Robertson
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Virginia Tech (6-4) 070714
Miami (7-3) 706316
  • Dolphin Stadium - 46,838
  • Passing: Sean Glennon 98 yds
  • Rushing: Darren Evans 43 yds
  • Receiving: Danny Coale 59 yds

MIAMIMiami scored field goals on its first three possessions of the second half and the 'Canes' defense handled the rest, as the Hokies dropped one to Miami 16-14 in an ACC game played Thursday night in front of 46,838 fans at Dolphin Stadium.

The loss marked Tech’s third in the past four games, as the Hokies fell to 6-4 overall on the season, 3-3 in the ACC. The Hokies will now need some help to win the Coastal Division again. The ’Canes won their fifth straight game to move to 7-3 overall, 4-2 in the ACC.

“We have to try and win out for the rest of the season,” Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. “We know each game is going to be hard, like every game has been. But we have to come together and game plan and go out and execute these last two games.”

The Hokies suffered a miserable third quarter and it proved to be their downfall in this one. Tech went three-and-out on its first three possessions of the second half (two in the third quarter), and gave Miami great field position – which it took advantage of. Miami kicker Matt Bosher hit field goals of 21 and 31 yards in the third quarter to give the ’Canes a 13-7 lead and then connected on a 23-yarder with 11:58 left in the game to give them a 16-7 lead.

Tech managed to cut into that lead late in the game. Taylor – back after missing a game with an ankle injury suffered in the Florida State game – led the Hokies on a 69-yard march that ended with him scoring on a 6-yard run with 3:28 left to play. Dustin Keys’ extra point made the score 16-14.

The Hokies’ defense held Miami to three and out on the ’Canes’ next possession and took over the ball at their own 32 with 2:57 left in the game. But Tech couldn’t get a first down, and saw its hopes for victory end when Miami’s Allen Bailey sacked Taylor on fourth down. Miami then ran out the clock for the win.

“We only had the ball six plays in the third quarter and it’s hard to beat a good football team when you only have six plays in a quarter,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “But I’m proud of our football team. I thought our defense kept battling and on offense, we never gave in. We drove down and got a score and got the ball back, with a chance to win it that last series.

“Now we’ve got to go home and take care of business and get to eight wins. There’s still a possibility [for a Coastal Division crown], but we’re going to need some help.”

One week after amassing 400 yards against Maryland, Tech’s offense came up with just 250. Darren Evans, who rushed for a school-record 253 yards against the Terps, finished with just 43 yards rushing against a talented ’Canes’ defense, and Tech, as a team, finished with 77 yards rushing.

“Give their defensive line credit,” Evans said. “They were a lot faster and a lot quicker. They did a lot of stunting and getting into the gaps. When they’re twisting around like that, it’s hard to stay on blocks. That’s just the way it was. Our offensive line was battling, but we just couldn’t get it going. They [Miami’s defense] were disciplined and we didn’t do a good job of executing, especially when we needed to.”

Sean Glennon got the starting nod at quarterback for the second consecutive week, but Taylor, the sophomore from Hampton, Va., got his first playing time since injuring his ankle in the Florida State game in late October. Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring rotated both quarterbacks throughout the game. Taylor completed 6-of-12 for 75 yards, while Glennon completed 6-of-8 for 98 yards. Miami sacked the two of them a combined six times.

Miami got on the board first, taking advantage of a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty on Tech defensive end Orion Martin. The Hokies had stopped Miami on third-and-5 from the Tech 49 after a Robert Marve pass fell incomplete. But the officials flew the flag on Martin, calling him for delivering a blow to Marve’s head. The penalty gave Miami a first down, and the ’Canes finished the drive when tailback Javarris James scored on a 3-yard run. Bosher’s extra point gave Miami a 7-0 lead with 2:36 left in the first quarter.

Tech, though, tied the game late in the first half. An eight-play, 53-yard drive ended when Taylor scored on a 14-yard run. Keys’ extra point tied it at 7 with 4:54 left in the first half.

Taylor finished with 43 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns. Those marked his third and fourth of the season and the ninth and 10th rushing touchdowns of his career.

Miami only amassed 247 yards of offense itself. Most of that came from Marve, who completed 7-of-16 for 121 yards and rushed for 44 yards.

Following the game, Beamer told his team in the locker room that defensive coordinator Bud Foster would be interviewing for the head coaching job at Clemson this weekend. Tommy Bowden resigned from the job several weeks ago.

“I wish him well,” Beamer said. “He’s done a great job for us and he deserves the opportunity.”

Tech returns home for its final two games, starting with a match-up with Duke next Saturday. Kickoff for the game is slated for 5:30 p.m., with the game being televised by ESPNU.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

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