Quick takeaways from Virginia Tech win

Taylor Byrd
September 4, 2017

For VT, redshirt freshman QB Josh Jackson will make his debut for the Hokies, marking the second straight year that Tech has opened the season with a signal-caller starting his first major college football game.

Senior kicker Joey Slye missed a pair of second-half field goals wide right to keep the Mountaineers' hopes alive until their final drive.

James Clark broke off a long return on the subsequent kickoff, and Virginia Tech scored one play later on a 32-yard catch by star Cam Phillips.

The first quarter was a battle of defenses, with the Hokies taking a 3-0 lead into the second quarter.

"It wasn't Morgantown, but it felt that way kind of when we rolled in there", said defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

West Virginia's new quarterback was just as impressive. Jackson rushed for 101 yards-none more important than the 46 he picked up on a scamper that set up McMillian's winning plunge. There, Grier would toss an interception to Trevon Hill killing the opportunity for points.

This time, Virginia Tech responded before its offense could even take the field. ABC (Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Todd McShay) will televise the game nationally, while the Mountaineer Sports Network from IMG's radio coverage (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace and Jed Drenning) can be accessed on stations throughout West Virginia, online through WVUsports.com and via the mobile app WVU Gameday, available for download through the Apple and Google Play stores. And the score would stick at 10-7 with Virginia Tech ahead at the halftime break.

West Virginia is coming off a 10-3 season and welcomes Will Grier, who last played at Florida. and dynamic rushing back Justin Crawford.

The No. 21 Virginia Tech Hokies opened their 2017 season with a 31-24 marquee nonconference win over the No. 22 West Virginia Mountaineers on Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. He added 11 rushes for 52 yards, but couldn't get the Mountaineers into the end zone in the waning moments of the game to tie the score at 31.

At the end of the third quarter, Virginia Tech leads WVU 24-17.

That's when Jackson led a promising clutch drive, accounting for 58 of the Hokies' 68 yards on the march with his legs.

On third-and-8 at the 11, Grier found David Sills for an 11-yard touchdown to put WVU up 10-7 with 5:37 left in the half. The offense would move the ball to mid-field, but would be forced to punt giving the Hokies the ball back at their own 18-yard line. The redshirt freshman was a flawless 3 for 3 passing and punctuated the drive with a 5-yard plunge up the middle. Expect either a tie or slight Virginia Tech lead heading into the locker room.

UCLA's offense awoke from its slumber, briefly, piecing together a 67-yard touchdown drive keyed by a 54-yard completion to Jordan Lasley, but A&M effectively erased that touchdown when Williams went 61 yards down the left sideline on the very next snap from scrimmage. The Hokies had to settle for the senior's 64th career field goal, second most in school history, after having first and goal at the 1-yard line following Phillips's leaping grab over the middle.

The second period didn't start well for the Mountaineers, as Grier threw a pick on an attempted fourth-down conversion, but the WVU defense held and gave Grier and company the ball once again.

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