By Marty Gordon
Saturday’s trip to Morgantown and its result were not what Virginia Tech’s football team had expected. The game was within their grasp with less than two minutes to go with a first down inside West Virginia’s five-yard line, but the Mountaineers’ defense put up a goal line stand for the record books.
It was just one of several VT trips inside the 10-yard line that did not result in any points.
Following the 27-21 setback, no one in burgundy and orange was making excuses. They were disappointed but weren’t pointing to specific areas of the game.
Offensive lineman Brock Hoffman said the team just needs to execute with the chances it gets.
“It’s very disappointing when we can’t finish and execute in the red zone, especially inside the 10 (yard line),” he said.
Head Coach Justin Fuente expressed some of that frustration after the game during his post-game press conference. He said it all centers around running the ball.
“We were up-and-down running the football today,” the head Hokie said. “When we were behind, there was a time in there when we didn’t have the luxury of being able to run it. To me, it centers around that and being able to run the ball. We missed a couple of plays to get touchdowns.”
But there were positives, according to the coach, as the Hokies were able to recover from a two-touchdown deficit. Fuente called it deflating that his team was not able to score in the red zone especially at the end of the first half.
“Yeah, I mean, we had a chance to be either down 10 points if you score a touchdown, which I thought would’ve been a miracle, to be honest with you, with only being down that much,” Fuente said. “Then, having to settle for a field goal, and still, if you punch that through, you don’t let it get away as much. So, to not have that, it even speaks higher of our players. To have that disappointment, suck it up and go back out there and compete. It speaks a lot to our kids and the investment into what we’re doing.”
The Mountaineers (2-1) built a 27-7-point lead midway through the third quarter but saw that mostly evaporate as the Hokies rallied late in the contest. WVU’s defensive stalemate in the red zone was the key as the Mountaineers slammed the door not once but three times, and the Hokies came away with no points.
There was some controversy on a catch by Tech’s Tayvion Robinson that initially looked like he caught the ball for a score. The ruling on the field was no catch.
Robinson thought otherwise. “Yes, I did think I caught it. My hands were on the ground (when I corralled it). Me, my teammates and everyone else I talked to thought it was a touchdown. But it got overturned.”
Now the team has to regroup for Richmond back in Lane Stadium this coming Saturday, and the idea of home sweet home.