Goal-line stand helps Tech stop Pittsburgh

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Pitt (4-7) 700714
Virginia Tech (8-3) 7301020
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 58,948
  • Passing: Josh Jackson 218 yds
  • Rushing: Deshawn McClease 70 yds
  • Receiving: Cam Phillips 117 yds

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech receiver Cam Phillips hauled in the game-winning touchdown and the defense had a goal-line stand in the final seconds to carry the Hokies to a 20-14 victory over Pittsburgh in an ACC game played Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.

With the win, Tech snapped a two-game losing streak, moving to 8-3 on the season and 4-3 in the ACC. The Hokies also beat the Panthers for the second straight year and for the third time in the past five meetings. Pittsburgh fell to 4-7 overall, 2-5 in the ACC.

Phillips broke the school record for career receiving yardage when he hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Jackson with 6:23 remaining. The Hokies went for two points and converted, but a penalty wiped it out, and the subsequent extra point gave them the 20-14 advantage.

On Pittsburgh’s final drive of the game, it converted on fourth-and-4 when quarterback Kenny Pickett hit Jester Weah, who broke a tackle and raced to the Tech 1 before Tech’s Reggie Floyd got him to the ground. That play set up a goal-line stand in which the Panthers couldn’t get the ball in the end zone on four attempts. On the final play of the game, Floyd and Khalil Ladler tackled Pittsburgh tailback Darrin Hall for a 3-yard loss, setting off a wild celebration.

Phillips paced the Hokies with eight catches for 117 yards and the score. Josh Jackson completed just 17 of 37 for 218 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The Hokies finished with 375 yards of offense.

Coming on in place of starter Ben DiNucci, Pickett completed 15 of 23 for 242 yards and one interception.

GAME NOTES

• Phillips’ 100-yard game marked his fifth of the season and the sixth of his career.

• Phillips’ 117 receiving yards enabled him to move past both past Jarrett Boykin (2,884 yards; 2008-11) and Isaiah Ford (2,967 yards, 2014-16) into first place on the all-time list for career receiving yards. He now has 2,981 yards.

• Phillips extended his streak of catching at least one pass in a game to 38 consecutive games.

Greg Stroman’s interception was his fourth of the season and the ninth of his career. His seven tackles were a career high. He leads the Hokies’ defense in interceptions, pass breakups (11) and passes defensed (15).

Brian Johnson’s 30-yard field goal in the second quarter marked the first of his career. Johnson played in place of Joey Slye, who has been bothered with a hamstring injury.

• Slye saw his scoring streak end at 42 consecutive games.

• Tailback Jalen Holston made the first start of his career.

Deshawn McClease’s 70 yards rushing marked the second time this season in which has eclipsed the 70-yard mark. He had 75 in the Hokies win over Duke.

UP NEXT

The Hokies finish their regular season Friday with a road game against in-state rival Virginia. Tech has won 13 straight against the Cavaliers. The game kicks at 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN.

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