It took an “extra” game that Mother Nature initially took away, but the nation’s longest active postseason streak remains alive.
Hurricane Florence forced Virginia Tech’s Week 3 game against East Carolina to be canceled as ECU opted not to travel to Blacksburg for the game. In the middle of last month, Tech announced that it had scheduled a 12th game against Marshall, provided the Hokies needed a sixth win to secure bowl eligibility.
Exiting Week 13 at 5-6, the Tech-Marshall game went off in Week 14 as had been tentatively scheduled and proved to be a postseason boon for the Hokies as they jumped out to an early lead en route to a 41-20 win over the visiting Thundering Herd. The Herd didn’t help their cause at all early on as they turned the ball over on its first two offensive possessions, including a backbreaking red-zone interception; the Hokies turned those gaffes into 10 points that gave the ACC squad a lead they would never relinquish.
In pushing the Hokies to a 31-6 halftime lead, Ryan Willis accounted for four touchdown passes — a total that already set a career-high for the quarterback with two quarters left to play. For the game, and as the Hokies were looking to bleed the clock with a lead that reached four touchdowns at one point, the redshirt junior finished with the same four scoring tosses as well as 312 yards through the air. It was Willis third 300-yard passing game of the season and fifth of the former Kansas quarterback’s career.
In a losing effort, freshman Brenden Knox ran for a game- and career-high 204 yards on 27 carries.
The win extends the Hokies’ bowl streak to 26 in a row, a number that now stands as the longest active streak at the FBS level thanks to 5-7 Florida State’s 36 straight officially coming to an end this season late last month. FSU’s streak, though, is still the longest of all-time time in the FBS.
Georgia, at 22 straight including this season, now owns the nation’s second-longest longest bowl streak. Oklahoma is next, incidentally, at 20 seasons in a row, followed by LSU (19), Boise State (17) and Wisconsin (17). All of those numbers already include this season.
As for Marshall, the Conference USA school, which also lost its Week 3 game against South Carolina due to the hurricane, finishes the 2018 regular season at 8-4. The Herd, though, will head back to Huntington with an extra $300,000 in their athletic department coffers thanks to the game.