What was once the Citrus Bowl is now the Russell Athletic Bowl, and what was once Va. Tech coach Frank Beamer’s “happy place” is now a jumble of rain, inconsistent quarterback play and two overtime field goals after his team’s 13-10 overtime win.
One young man, sporting a matte maroon helmet with a ribbon commemorating the victims of Sandy Hook, made his kick.
Another, wearing the shockingly bright silver of the Scarlet Knights, missed a 42-yard attempt in overtime, giving Beamer’s Hokies the win in a game that proved sloppy at worst and a culmination of a season’s worth of hard work and dedication at best.
Virginia Tech trotted out onto the field looking fresh in their new helmets, but awful on the football field, falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter.
With the rain, however, came the slow, methodical trudge back into the ballgame.
As both teams traded interceptions and punts, quarterback Logan Thomas completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to one of his favorite targets on the evening, Corey Fuller, to tie a game that had previously looked far out of reach. Fuller finished the night with that grab and one more for 46 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.
The momentum from the touchdown grab carried into overtime. Cody Journell bagged a 22-yard field goal and the Hokies defense held tough, as it had through the game’s last three quarters. Rutgers had put up all of its 10 points in the game’s opening period. When the Scarlet Knights needed to score the most, however, Nick Borgese missed a 42-yard attempt, giving Virginia Tech the win.
It took a few minutes of free football, but Beamer and his Hokies avoided what could have been the team’s first losing season since 1992 in winning the Russell Athletic Bowl and running their record to 7-6 on the year.
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