No. 21 Virginia Tech defeats No. 22 WVU
Will Grier passes for 371 yards and three touchdowns but No. 22 WVU falls to No. 21 Virginia Tech in back-and-forth thriller.
LANDOVER, MD.–Despite a 371-yard passing performance from Will Grier, No.21 Virginia Tech defeated No.22 West Virginia 31-24 in a down-to-the-wire thriller to keep the Black Diamond Trophy in Blacksburg.
Will Grier completed 31-of-53 passes. He had three touchdowns and one interception. Gary Jennings had 189 yards and one touchdown. David Sills had 94 yards and two touchdowns.
Justin Crawford rushed for 106 yards for the Mountaineers.
Josh Jackson threw for 235 yards and one touchdown on 15-of-26 passing. He ran for 101 yards. Cam Phillips had 138 yards and scored one touchdown.
Travon McMillan’s 3-yard touchdown run with 6:30 left in the fourth quarter put the Hokies ahead 31-24.
WVU had one more chance at tying the game. Grier scrambled to get the Mountaineers down to the Tech 15, using all but nine seconds and using all of their timeouts.
Through pressure, Grier found Sills in the end zone but the wide out was unable to secure the ball as he fell to the ground. With two seconds remaining Grier’s pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
“We ran out of time,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. “In fact, we had two minutes and two timeouts with plenty of time to get it down there and we did. You pop a run on them or two, you get the first down, the clock stops, you get them lined up and keep playing.”
The Hokies got on the scoreboard first. Jackson’s 28-yard pass is caught at the one-yard line but a stop by Al-Rasheed Benton, a five-yard penalty and an incomplete pass forced Virginia Tech to settle for a 25-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first quarter.
Justin Crawford later sparked the Mountaineer offense with a 42-yard run to the VT 41. On fourth and two at the 33, Grier connected with Ka’Raun White on an eight-yard slant pass to the Hokies 25. Then Jennings picked up 12 to the 13 and Grier ran for two to the 11.
Two plays later, Grier then found David Sills in the end zone for the touchdown and giving WVU a 7-3 lead with 5:37 remaining.
The Hokies regained the lead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Jackson.
At the half Virginia Tech led 10-7.
The Hokies would pull in front again before Grier sailed a 33-yard pass to Ka’Raun White to the VT 11 and followed with a 5-yard carry. However, the Mountaineers were unable to find the end zone and settled with a 34-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-all.
The Hokies regained the lead on the next series when Deshawn McClease rushed over the right tackle for 12 yards and into the end zone.
Grier finds Sills on a 10-yard slant to tie the game 17-17 with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter.
But the Hokies instantly responded after a 44-yard kickoff return set the wheels in motion for Jackson’s deep pass to Cam Phillip to push Virginia Tecch ahead 24-17.
It only took two plays for the Mountaineers to even the score. Grier connected with Sills for 13 yards and then found Jennings for a 60-yard touchdown.
WVU looks to rebound against East Carolina (0-1) in the 2017 home opener at Milan Puskar Stadium on Sept. 9, at noon
Cover Photo Credit: USA Today Sports