October 3, 2015
Hokies fall 17-13 to Panthers to open ACC play
A Cam Phillips TD catch and two Joey Slye field goals the highlights for Tech
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Pitt (3-1) 1007017
Virginia Tech (2-3) 073313
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 49,120
  • Passing: Brenden Motley 91 yds
  • Rushing: Travon McMillian 14 yds
  • Receiving: Bucky Hodges 42 yds
VT-Pittsburgh Notes and Quotes

Postgame notes from VT-Pittsburgh

Frank Beamer quotes

Virginia Tech coordinator quotes

BLACKSBURG – Pittsburgh rushed for 166 yards and its defense held the Hokies in check for much of the game, enabling the Panthers to knock off Virginia Tech 17-13 in the ACC opener for both schools.

The win marked just Pittsburgh’s second in Blacksburg – the other one came in 2002 – and sent the Hokies to their second straight loss. Pittsburgh is now 3-1 overall, 1-0 in the ACC. Tech is 2-3, 0-1.

Tech cut a 17-10 lead to 17-13 on a 48-yard field goal by Joey Slye with 13:20, but the Hokies couldn’t get any closer. Their next three drives ended in an interception, a punt and an interception.

Tech finished with only 100 yards of total offense, including just nine rushing. Brenden Motley was sacked seven times, and he completed 9 of 20 for 91 yards, with a touchdown and three interceptions.

“We’re not going to stay where we are,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “We’re going to look at personnel and look carefully at how we do some coaching. We’re not going to stay where we are. We’re not executing, and we’re not playing the way we need to play.”

Pittsburgh finished with 276 yards of offense. Tailback Qadree Ollison rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. Peterman completed 9 of 15 for 110 yards, with the touchdown and no interceptions. Pittsburgh only turned the ball over once.

Tech trailed the entire game, spotting the Panthers a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, with Pittsburgh getting a 45-yard field goal from Chris Blewitt and a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Peterman to tight end J.P. Holtz.

Off to a slow start, the Hokies finally put together a good drive spanning the first and second quarters. A 12-play, 83-yard drive that took more than six minutes ended when Motley hit Cam Phillips for an 11-yard touchdown play. The big play on the drive, though came two plays earlier when, on third-and-17 from the Pittsburgh 40, Motley completed a 28-yard pass to tight end Bucky Hodges for a first down. Slye’s extra point following the touchdown cut the Pittsburgh lead to 10-7 with 11:38 left in the half.

Pittsburgh wasted little time in getting going in the second half. Ollison rumbled 43 yards on the Panthers’ first play from scrimmage, giving Pittsburgh a first down at the Tech 25. On the next play, he scored, and Blewitt’s extra point gave the Panthers a 17-7 lead.

“The start of the second half … we practiced [against] those plays,” Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “We’re just too young right there [in the secondary], too inexperienced. If we do what we do, you hold those guys. You don’t give them chunk plays that they got in the running game. It’s extremely disappointing. We have to be better. That’s just dealing with young people. We didn’t execute very well.”

Tech sliced into that lead midway through the third quarter. Andrew Motuapuaka forced Ollison to fumble, and the Hokies’ Terrell Edmunds recovered and returned it to the Pittsburgh 23. The drive stalled, but the Hokies got a 43-yard field goal from Joey Slye to cut the lead to 17-10 with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

That turned out to be their last score. On the final eight plays from scrimmage, Tech’s offense turned the ball over twice and gave up three sacks.

“We knew they had an outstanding front,” Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. “We prepared for it all summer – it’s the same defense Ohio State runs. If you protect, you may have an opportunity for not big plays, but touchdowns. In looking at it from upstairs [in the coaches’ booth], we had ample opportunities.

“We didn’t run the ball and we got our quarterback hit, and when your quarterback gets hit, he’s usually not making great decisions. They just beat us.”

Tech will try to right the ship next Friday night when it takes on NC State. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.

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