Nov 27, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) is sacked by Virginia Cavaliers inside linebacker West Weeks (33) during the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Va. Tech outlasts Virginia, 29-24

Virginia Tech kept host Virginia’s high-powered offense out of the end zone in the second half and the Hokies upended Virginia 29-24 on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va., to become bowl eligible.

Jordan Williams’ strip sack resulted in a crucial safety for the Hokies (6-6, 4-4 ACC).

Virginia (6-6, 4-4) lost its fourth consecutive game. Brennan Armstrong was 30-for-46 for 400 yards and one touchdown, with one interception and a costly fumble that resulted in the safety.

John Parker Romo’s 38-yard field goal with 9:31 left gave the Hokies a 27-24 lead.

Williams’ sack caused the ball to wind up in the end zone, where Virginia recovered. That gave the Hokies a 29-24 lead with 3:17 left.

But after the Hokies recovered an onsides kick, Virginia Tech backup quarterback Connor Blumrick fumbled and Olasunkonmi Agunloye recovered for Virginia. The Cavaliers drove to the Tech 14, but Armstrong’s fourth-down pass was tipped away by Tae Daley with 30 seconds left, preserving the victory.

The game settled into a defensive struggle in the second half after a first half that was dominated by the offenses. Armstrong ran for two touchdowns and threw for one in the first half, which ended with the Cavaliers ahead, 21-17.

Armstrong threw an 11-yard touchdown toss to Jelani Woods, who made a juggling catch in the left flat and then went in for a 7-0 advantage with 6:20 left in the first quarter.

Virginia Tech answered quickly, as Braxton Burmeister hit Tayvion Robinson on a 61-yard deep route off play-action for a score. The two later reversed roles with Robinson passing 3 yards to Burmeister for a score on a third-quarter trick play, tying the game at 24.

Virginia’s 11-play, 75-yard drive was finished by Armstrong’s 1-yard plunge over right tackle for a 14-7 lead with 54 seconds to go in the first quarter.

The Hokies were turned back on fourth-and-goal from the 1 when Burmeister threw incomplete. But Armstrong was intercepted by Daley, who returned the ball 14 yards to the Virginia Tech 47. That set up Raheem Blackshear’s 18-yard run, tying the score at 14 with 6:05 left before halftime.

Armstrong bulled his way in from 5 yards to put the Cavaliers ahead 21-14, but Romo’s 32-yard field goal as time expired cut the Hokies’ deficit to 21-17 at halftime.

Virginia linebacker Josh Ahern was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter for a hit on Tech wideout Kaleb Smith, who left the game with a leg injury.

–Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies head coach Justin Fuente speaks into his headset  against Richmond at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Braxton Burmeister’s 3 TD passes lead Virginia Tech past Duke

Virginia Tech’s Braxton Burmeister threw for three touchdowns as Virginia Tech snapped a three-game home losing streak by drilling Duke 48-17 on Saturday.

Teammate Raheem Blackshear rushed for 117 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown. He also made a TD catch.

Keshawn King added a rushing and receiving touchdown for the Hokies, who compiled 573 yards of total offense.

The Hokies (5-5, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) need just one win across their final two games to reach bowl eligibility.

Burmeister completed 9 of 15 passes for 215 yards, with one interception.

Duke (3-7, 0-6) lost its sixth game in a row. Third-string quarterback Jordan Moore threw for a touchdown and ran for one.

For the Blue Devils, it was the third game in a four-game span without a first-half touchdown.

Duke had more rushing yards (196) than passing yards (147).

Virginia Tech, playing in its home finale on Senior Day, led 17-3 at halftime. The Hokies ended up 4-3 in games this season at Lane Stadium, which at one point was considered one of the toughest venues for visiting teams in college football.

Duke was within 27-10 and had possession early in the fourth quarter, but the Hokies tacked on 21 more points. That began with Burmeister’s 13-yard pass play to Blackshear.

Duke turned to Riley Leonard as the starting quarterback because first-stringer Gunnar Holmberg was still ailing from an injury suffered a week earlier in a home loss to Pittsburgh. Leonard was 7-for-16 for 84 yards Saturday before Moore was summoned in the second half.

Moore ended up with 113 rushing yards on 17 carries. Standout running back Mataeo Durant was held to 33 yards on 10 carries.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2021; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies running back Chance Black (28) returns a ball against the Boston College Eagles during the first half at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech aims to get back on track vs. Duke

Two teams that are beyond desperate for success meet when Duke visits Virginia Tech on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.

A strong start to the season has been slipping away for Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Now coach Justin Fuente seems comfortable offering the Senior Day factor as a form of motivation.

“We’ve got a large group of really good kids that have been in this program — most of them have been in this program for a long time that deserve to get sent out the right way,” Fuente said.

Virginia Tech will play its home finale. The Hokies are 3-3 at Lane Stadium, with three straight losses on home turf.

Duke (3-6, 0-5) has lost five games in a row, and four of those haven’t been close. The Blue Devils went two consecutive games without scoring in the first half until last week’s 54-29 loss to visiting Pittsburgh.

“I know our spirit will remain good,” said Duke coach David Cutcliffe, whose team is the only ACC club without a league win. “We are going to continue to fight to try to find that consistency in those things that win football games in all three phases. I believe in my heart that we can do that.”

Virginia Tech is fresh off a 17-3 loss Friday night at Boston College, which had been winless in ACC play.

Both teams have health-related concerns at quarterback.

Virginia Tech’s Braxton Burmeister didn’t finish the Boston College game as he left with an injury. Knox Kadum filled in, completing just seven of 16 passes.

Duke has issues to sort out, especially after quarterback Gunnar Holmberg exited with an upper-body injury late in the first half against Pittsburgh. That moved Riley Leonard into the quarterback role.

“It was just a great experience for him,” Cutcliffe said of Leonard’s extended playing time.

Duke running back Mataeo Durant said, “For Riley, it’s just getting more and more experience every game and I feel like he has what it takes.”

Durant became the program’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Chris Douglas in 2003. Durant, who has 1,062 yards on the ground, is the fifth Blue Devil to post 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

This is Duke’s final road game of the season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins gestures on the field during the third quarter against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Tre Turner’s big receiving day powers Virginia Tech past Georgia Tech

Virginia Tech receiver Tre Turner’s career-high 187 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven receptions led the Hokies to a 26-17 victory over the host Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday in Atlanta.

Quarterback Braxton Burmeister went 15-for-25 passing for 254 yards and two scores and added 46 rushing yards as the Hokies (4-4, 2-2 ACC) ended a three-game losing streak. Virginia Tech’s Malachi Thomas added a team-high 103 rushing yards on 25 carries, with teammate Raheem Blackshear amassing 83 yards on 14 carries.

The Hokies outgained the Yellow Jackets 491-366.

Georgia Tech’s Jeff Sims went 15-for-26 passing for 183 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 113 yards on 11 carries for the Yellow Jackets (3-5, 2-4), who lost for the third time in four games.

Turner had four catches for 168 yards in the first half, which were more yards than the junior had amassed in any full game of his career as a Hokie.

After the Hokies led 20-7 at halftime, the teams exchanged field goals in the third quarter, with Georgia Tech’s Brent Cimaglia and Virginia Tech’s John Parker connecting from 37 and 43 yards, respectively.

Georgia Tech pulled to within 23-17 in the final seconds of the third quarter, when Sims threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Adonicas Sanders.

But Virginia Tech secured the win when John Parker Romo’s fourth field goal of the game, a 21-yarder, pushed the lead to 26-17 with 4:21 remaining.

The Hokies took a 7-0 lead when Burmeister found a wide-open Turner for a 69-yard touchdown pass with 9:51 left in the first quarter.

After the Yellow Jackets tied the game when Sims found Kyric McGowan for a 36-yard touchdown reception, the Hokies took the lead for good on their next possession. Tayvion Robinson capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive when he caught a four-yard pass from Burmeister for a 14-7 lead with 2:20 left in the opening quarter.

Virginia Tech extended its lead to 20-7 on pair of second-quarter field goals by Romo, who connected from 23 and 43 yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;  Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) throws a warmup pass before the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech try to keep their bowl hopes alive

Georgia Tech and visiting Virginia Tech will each look to take a much-needed step toward becoming bowl eligible after recent skids derailed their seasons when they meet on Saturday in Atlanta.

The Yellow Jackets (3-4, 2-3 ACC) and Virginia Tech (3-4, 1-2) are well off the pace set by Pittsburgh (6-1, 3-0) atop the ACC’s Coastal Division.

Georgia Tech has lost two of its past three games after a 48-40 setback at Virginia last week. Virginia Tech extended its losing streak to three games following a 41-36 defeat to visiting Syracuse.

Teams must win six games to be eligible to play in a bowl. After Saturday, the Yellow Jackets close at Miami (3-4, 1-2), home against Boston College (4-3, 0-3), at No. 11 Notre Dame (6-1) and home against top-ranked Georgia (7-0).

Virginia Tech has games left at Boston College, home against Duke (3-4, 0-3), at Miami and at Virginia (6-2, 4-2).

Georgia Tech hasn’t played in the postseason since a 34-10 loss to Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl in 2018.

Virginia Tech opted out of playing in a bowl game last season, ending the nation’s longest bowl streak at 27 straight years. The Hokies finished 5-6 and could have played in a bowl game but decided against it during the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, teams with fewer than six wins were eligible due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding COVID-19.

Last week, Georgia Tech jumped out to a 13-0 lead against the Cavaliers before quarterback Brennan Armstrong took over the game. He threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 99 yards and two scores on 12 carries, to rally Virginia to its fourth straight win.

The Yellow Jackets played their best game offensively of the season. Quarterback Jeff Sims threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and an interception, while Jahmyr Gibbs rushed for 132 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown run, on just 13 carries. Kyric McGowan had seven catches for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“We’ve got a lot of really talented players on offense that are continuing to grow and develop,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said.

Virginia Tech opened the season 3-1 and was primed to make a run at the Coastal Division title with its next three games at home. But losses to then-No. 14 Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have the Hokies in a freefall.

“You play three games that are so close and so tight that come down to the wire on both sides of the ball,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. “You certainly think about it, and that’s why I think it’s a testament to our young people and their resiliency, their toughness and dedication to each other.”

Against Syracuse, the Hokies led 36-27 following Malachi Thomas’ 47-yard touchdown run with 5:36 remaining. But after cutting the lead to 36-34 on its next possession, Syracuse capped the comeback when Garrett Shrader hit Damien Alford for a 45-yard touchdown with 19 seconds remaining for the win.

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister was just 10-for-20 passing for 177 yards and a touchdown, with Thomas pacing the rushing attack with 151 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. But the Hokies allowed 550 yards of total offense, including 314 on the ground.

“We probably played our worst game defensively; we did play our worst game defensively,” Fuente said.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Dino Babers looks on against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Garrett Shrader leads Syracuse past Virginia Tech

Garrett Shrader hit Damien Alford for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds remaining to give Syracuse a 41-36 win over Virginia Tech in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday at Blacksburg, Va.

Syracuse trailed 36-27 late in the game, but cut Virginia Tech’s lead to 36-34 on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Shrader to Courtney Jackson with 2:28 remaining.

After forcing a Virginia Tech punt, Syracuse (4-4, 1-3) got the ball back, converted a fourth-and-4 from its own 36-yard-line, and then won the game on Shrader’s pass to Alford.

Shrader accounted for five touchdowns in the game, going 16-of-34 passing for 236 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for 174 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.

Malachi Thomas rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in defeat for Virginia Tech (3-4, 1-2).

Syracuse took a 27-26 lead with 13:35 remaining on a 3-yard touchdown run by Shrader, but Virginia Tech regained the lead at 29-27 with 10:54 left on a 33-yard field goal by John Parker Romo.

The Hokies then extended their lead to 36-27 with 5:36 left on a 47-yard touchdown run by Thomas.

Trailing 19-13 in the third quarter, Syracuse took a 20-19 lead on a 21-yard touchdown run by Shrader with 11:13 remaining in the third.

The Hokies responded, taking a 26-20 lead with 6:52 left in the third on a 2-yard touchdown run by Thomas.

Virginia Tech went up 14-7 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Thomas with 14:02 to go in the second quarter.

Toward the end of the second, Syracuse closed within 14-13 on a 9-yard touchdown run by Shrader with 1:54 left in the second quarter, which capped off an 11-play, 98-yard drive.

But Virginia Tech’s Chamarri Conner blocked the extra point, which was returned all the way for two points by Dorian Strong to make it 16-13 Hokies.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;  Virginia Tech Hokies running back Raheem Blackshear (5) is tackled by Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Erick Hallett (31) and linebacker Wendell Davis (20) during the first quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Pickett helps Pittsburgh rout Virginia Tech

Kenny Pickett was 22-of-37 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns to lead Pittsburgh to a 28-7 win over Virginia Tech in an ACC game on Saturday at Blacksburg, Va.

Israel Abanikanda rushed for 140 yards on 21 carries for Pitt (5-1, 2-0 ACC), which outgained Virginia Tech in rushing yards, 208-90.

The Panthers have now won three straight games since a loss to Western Michigan in Week 3.

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister went 11-of-32 passing for 134 yards, one touchdown and one interception in defeat for the Hokies (3-3, 1-1).

Pitt opened the scoring with 7:35 left in the first quarter, marching 94 yards in 15 plays and taking a 7-0 lead on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to Gavin Bartholomew.

With 5:52 remaining in the second quarter, Pitt took a 14-0 lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Pickett, a score that was set up after an interception by Erick Hallett gave the Panthers the ball at the Virginia Tech 29-yard line.

Pitt then took a 21-0 lead with 1:36 to go in the second quarter on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to Jared Wayne.

The scoring play capped a 5-play, 81-yard drive that lasted only 1:36.

The Panthers continued to pour it on to start the second half, going up 28-0 with 9:16 remaining in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by Vincent Davis.

Virginia Tech finally got on board with 6:33 to on in the third quarter, cutting Pitt’s lead to 28-7 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Burmeister to Tayvion Robinson.

But Virginia Tech couldn’t get on the scoreboard the rest of the game in dropping its second straight.

Wayne caught six passes for 94 yards to flank Pickett and Abanikanda for Pitt, which held the ball for 38:16.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Jarret Doege (2) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia hangs on to upset No. 15 Virginia Tech

Jarret Doege threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns and Leddie Brown ran for 161 yards and a score to power West Virginia to a 27-21 upset of No. 15 Virginia Tech in a nonconference game Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va.

Doege completed 15 of 26 passes and Brown averaged 8.5 yards per carry, but it was the defense that secured the victory.

The Mountaineers capped a day in which they recorded six sacks by forcing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line in the final minute, preventing the Hokies from completing their comeback from 20 points down late in the third quarter.

The Mountaineers (2-1) of the Big 12 have won seven straight home games and are 19-0 against nonconference opponents in Morgantown since falling to then-No. 2 LSU in 2011. The Hokies (2-1) of the ACC were denied their first 3-0 start since 2017.

On WVU’s second offensive snap, Brown took a handoff and raced up the middle for an 80-yard touchdown to give the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead with 12:24 left that it wouldn’t relinquish.

After Doege extended the lead to 14-0 with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Ford-Wheaton with 9:11 left in the first quarter, Virginia Tech pulled to within 14-7 when Braxton Burmeister threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Tayvion Robinson six minutes later.

West Virginia dominated the second quarter. Doege threw a 16-yard scoring strike to Sam James midway through the period and Casey Legg connected on a 21-yard field goal for a 24-7 halftime lead.

The Mountaineers extended the lead to 27-7 to open the second half, as Legg’s 44-yard field capped a 12-play, 55-yard drive that lasted more than eight minutes.

Raheem Blackshear pulled Virginia Tech to within 27-14 when he scored on a 20-yard run with a second left in the third quarter.

The Hokies had a chance to pull closer after forcing a turnover, but Jared Bartlett stripped Burmeister on fourth-and-goal from the 6, with Lance Dixon recovering for the Mountaineers with less than six minutes to play.

Burmeister, who finished 19-of-31 passing for 227 yards and two touchdowns, capped the scoring with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Holston that pulled the Hokies to within 27-21 with 3:10 left.

The Hokies had a chance to win after intercepting Doege with 2:11 left and returning it the Mountaineers’ 17-yard line, but their offense couldn’t find the end zone.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2021; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA;  Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Braxton Burmeister (3) runs the huddle during the first quarter against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 Virginia Tech takes fast start to West Virginia

VVirginia Tech’s last 3-0 start came in 2017.

It has been much longer since West Virginia lost to a nonconference opponent at home.

Hitting the road for the first time in 2021, the No. 15 Hokies look to remain undefeated on Saturday against the Mountaineers at Morgantown, W.V.

Following a 17-10 upset of then-No. 10 North Carolina and 35-14 win over Middle Tennessee on Saturday, Virginia Tech (2-0) plays its initial road game with an eye toward that 2017 team, which opened the season 4-0. The Hokies are just 7-8 away from home since the start of the 2018 season.

West Virginia (1-1) has won six consecutive games at home and is 18-0 against nonconference opponents at Morgantown since a 47-21 loss to then-No. 2 LSU on Sept. 24, 2011. That was also the last time the Mountaineers hosted a ranked nonconference team.

“Incredible challenge for our football team,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said.

“We’re excited for it, we’re excited for the opportunity, the challenge to this team on the road in a hostile environment — and see how we can perform. This is part of why you play the game.”

The Hokies’ early success has been based on a solid defensive effort in which they’ve yielded 703 total yards, recorded nine sacks and four interceptions through two games.

Offensively, Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister has thrown for 311 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also leads the team with 94 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Virginia Tech did endure a blow after talented tight end James Mitchell (five receptions, 42 yards, one touchdown in 2021) went down with a season-ending knee injury.

The Hokies have won three in a row over West Virginia, but this is their first meeting since 2017.

The Mountaineers opened their season with a 30-24 loss at Maryland, where they rushed for just 48 yards and committed four turnovers. West Virginia, however, rebounded with an easy 66-0 rout of Long Island University last weekend.

“We sit here at 1-1, and now our chance at redemption, a chance to really make a mark is on Saturday,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said.

“It’s going to be one of the biggest home games we’ve had here in my tenure. … (I look) forward to the opportunity.”

Virginia Tech’s defense looks to continue its strong start while trying to contain multi-threat Mountaineers quarterback Jarret Doege and running back Leddie Brown.

In his fifth collegiate season, Doege has thrown for 536 of his 7,982 career yards in 2021. He threw three of his four touchdowns this season against LIU. Brown, with 1,927 rushing yards over 34 collegiate contests, saw limited work against LIU after running for 73 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries versus Maryland.

Brown’s five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) are tied for second in the country to enter the week.

–Field Level Media