This one was not one of Virginia Tech’s finer moments on defense. The Hokies (4-3, 3-1 ACC) were run over at home Thursday night by Georgia Tech (4-4, 2-3 ACC), 49-28, and the Yellow Jackets did all of their damage on the ground.
Every one of Georgia Tech’s 465 yards of offense came on the ground, with Tobias Oliver leading the attack with 215 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Mason (82 yards) also scored three touchdowns and Jerry Howard (76 yards) added one more. The 465 rushing yards is the most allowed in a game by Virginia Tech since 1973, and this was the first time the Hokies had given up more than 300 rushing yards in a game since giving up 309 rushing yards on November 12, 2016 against… you guessed it, Georgia Tech.
Adding to that dominant rushing performance, Oliver attempted just one pass in the entire game for Georgia Tech. It fell incomplete, giving the visiting team zero passing yards. Georgia Tech also became the first team to win in three consecutive trips to Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium since 1992.
It took a while for Georgia Tech to gain control of the game with its running game, as Virginia Tech held a 21-14 lead in the second quarter before things spiraled out of control for the Hokies. A muffed punt by Sean Savoy gave Georgia Tech a short 12-yard field to work with for a game-tying touchdown midway through the second quarter, and a three-and-out by Virginia Tech on the ensuing possession was followed by a go-ahead touchdown drive by Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech also ran a 10-play touchdown drive covering 75 yards to open the second half and take a 35-21 lead, and the Hokies offense was nowhere to be seen for much of the remainder of the night until it was too late.
The loss by Virginia Tech, their second in a row at home, drops the Hokies into a tie for first place in the ACC Coastal Division with in-state rival Virginia with identical 3-1 ACC records. Miami and Pittsburgh are each 2-1 in the conference and will have opportunities to move into a first-place tie this weekend. Miami is at Boston College and Pitt is home against Duke. Virginia is hosting North Carolina this weekend as well.
Virginia Tech can take solace in knowing they will get three of their final four games at home, but they have just suffered two straight home losses by a combined 43 points against Notre Dame and now Georgia Tech. The home-field advantage of playing in Lane Stadium has not helped them in big spots midway through the season. Virginia Tech will look to bounce back next week at home against Boston College. Georgia Tech can continue to play spoiler in the Coastal Division in a couple of weeks, but will remain on the road next week for a game at North Carolina.
The transfer portal taketh, the transfer portal giveth back.
After announcing late last month that he will place his name in the portal, Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker on Thursday revealed he had removed his name and will return to Blacksburg.
“I am taking my name out of the transfer portal and I truly believe it’s best to continue my career as a Hokie,” Hooker said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “I regret the time that I’ve missed with my teammates in preparation for spring ball. I apologize to them and my coaches if I appeared to have a lack of commitment in what we are trying to achieve here at Hokie Nation.”
A native of Greensboro, N.C., Hooker redshirted in 2017 and then saw action in six games last fall. He did not total many snaps while serving as a reserve quarterback, but he did open his collegiate career with a 69-yard touchdown scamper in a 62-17 win over William & Mary in September. Hooker finished the year with 57 rushing yards and did not throw a pass.
However, his path to the field has cleared greatly in recent days.
In a bit of news that is no doubt related to Hooker’s reversal of field, Josh Jackson announced his plans to transfer to Maryland earlier this week. With Jackson out of the picture, Hooker will compete with junior Ryan Willis (who threw 364 passes last season) and fellow sophomore Quincy Patterson II for playing time in 2019.
I’m thinking this isn’t the most optimal of first impressions.
In a tweet posted to his Twitter account in early December, running back J.D. King, who announced his decision to transfer from Oklahoma State two weeks prior, confirmed that he would be continuing his collegiate playing career at Georgia Southern. Very early Sunday morning, the Savannah Morning News has reported, King (pictured) and two of his new GSU teammates, quarterback Ivan Corbin and running back Logan Wright, were all arrested for disorderly conduct.
The details of what led to the misdemeanor charges have not been divulged.
“We are aware of the situation and it will be dealt with internally,” Eagles head coach Chad Lunsford said in a statement. “We are disappointed with the decisions that were made and hopefully we can use it as a learning experience for our entire team as we move forward.”
King, who will have to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, ran for 469 yards and four touchdowns on 99 carries as a true freshman for the Cowboys in 2017. This past season, King’s production dropped to 153 yards and no touchdowns on 43 carries in 10 games.
After sitting out the upcoming season, King will have two years of eligibility remaining.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Wright was fifth on the team 308 yards rushing and tied for fourth with three rushing touchdowns. Corbin, who has yet to attempt a pass at the collegiate level, will be fighting for a backup job as he enters his redshirt junior season.
The never-ending benevolence of the NCAA is on display yet again, with a playing member of the Arizona State football program the most recent beneficiary.
Citing multiple people directly familiar with the development, 247Sports.com has reported that Tyler Whiley has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by The Association. Recent rule changes proved to be the impetus for the decision that will allow the defensive back to play in 2019.
From the website’s report:
Whiley… is benefitting from a change made to bylaw 188.8.131.52 called “redshirt year provision.” It allows relief from the five-year eligibility rule if an institutional decision is made to redshirt a student-athlete in his freshman season and a subsequent season is missed due to injury or other qualifying hardship.
Previously, players needed to have two seasons of incapacitation due to injury, illness or other issue in order to apply for a sixth year with the NCAA. That’s no longer the case and the rule change is retroactive to anyone still within their five-year eligibility window. Whiley is part of the first class of players able to benefit from the change.
While took a non-injury redshirt as a true freshman in 2014, then missed the entire 2018 season due to a serious injury to his right leg. Those two factors triggered the affirmative decision for a sixth season of eligibility, which Whiley will be able to use in 2019.
Whiley played in 13 games in the season prior to his injury. He will likely enter summer camp as a favorite to claim a starting job at safety.
Wednesday, Auburn announced the hiring of Wesley McGriff as secondary coach. A day later, the man McGriff replaced was officially introduced by his new employer.
As expected, Purdue Thursday confirmed that Greg Brown has been added to Jeff Brohm‘s coaching staff as cornerbacks coach. Brown had spent the past two seasons as the secondary coach for the SEC Tigers.
“We’re excited to have Greg join us,” Brohm said in a statement. “He is a veteran coach with nearly 40 years of experience at both the collegiate and professional levels of football. Greg will be a great addition to our staff.”
The move to West Lafayette serves as a homecoming of sorts as Brown spent the 1989 and 1990 seasons with the Boilermakers as defensive backs coach.
Brown has spent the past decade and a half at Power Five programs, including stops at Missouri (2016), Louisville (2014-15), Alabama (2013), Colorado (2011-12; 2005-09) and Arizona (2010). Prior to that, he spent time with five different NFL teams over the course of a dozen seasons.