Virginia Tech got past Pitt 39-36 in a big win for the ACC Coastal race. What does it all mean?
Virginia Tech 39, Pitt 36: What Does It All Mean?
– And now it’s Virginia Tech’s Coastal division. With the win over North Carolina a few weeks ago, and the lone loss coming to Syracuse from the Atlantic, now the Hokies need one more UNC loss, and have to just win two of their last three conference games against Duke, Georgia Tech and Virginia to take on – most likely – Clemson for the ACC title.
– Pitt got beaten up defensively – the corners were abused by the Hokie passing game – but the team kept on fighting, staying in it until the very end with a plucky game from QB Nathan Peterman and a huge day from James Conner. The problem was the workload – Conner didn’t get enough of it, carrying the ball just 19 times for his 141 yards and three scores.
– Virginia Tech QB Jerod Evans was brilliant, but he suffered an ankle injury he tried to play through, but ultimately had to succumb to. Before leaving, he could still wing it around, throwing for 406 yards and two scores as the O line did its job to give him plenty of time to operate, especially after getting hurt.
However, as good as he was, and as strong as the Hokies were, they should’ve put this away earlier. They kept stalling inside the 20, relying on the ground game instead of using Evans and the hot passing attack, settling for six Joey Slye field goals.
– Three words, Pitt DBs: Back shoulder fade. The Hokie receivers crushed the Panthers again and again. Three Virginia Tech wideouts hit the 100-yard mark, with Bucky Hodges leading the way with 145 yards on six catches, Cam Phillips with 109 yards on six grabs, and Isaiah Ford catching ten balls for 143 yards and a touchdown, setting the school-record with his 23rd career touchdown grab.
– Pitt might be out of the ACC title chase – unless a miracle happens – and it’s not going to get any easier over the next few weeks with road games at Miami and Clemson before hosting Duke and Syracuse. The 5-2 Panthers will get bowl eligible, but it might take a few weeks to get there.