- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
By Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange November 9, 2013 10:41 PM
The Hokies (7-3 overall, 4-2 ACC), long known for stellar special-teams play, took advantage of three crucial Hurricanes mistakes in that phase of the game. Miami (7-2, 3-2), favored by six points, lost its second straight game and now faces the prospect of falling out of the Top 25. The loss also dropped the Hurricanes in the ACC standings, where four teams now have two losses each. The Hurricanes opened the second-half scoring by getting a 49-yard field goal by Matt Goudis, cutting Virginia Tech's lead to 28-17. Virginia Tech got an odd touchdown when Demitri Knowles recovered a fumble by fellow wide receiver Willie Byrn in the end zone. The entire play went 50 yards. Two plays later, Miami had pulled to within 35-24 on an 84-yard completion from Stephen Morris to Allen Hurns. Cornerback Brandon Facyson took a bad angle on the play, cutting in front of Hurns and missing the ball. Edmonds' fourth touchdown, a 1-yard run, put the Hokies up 42-24. Miami coach Al Golden probably was elated and then frustrated by the way his freshmen played in the first quarter. Freshman Stacy Coley took a wide receiver screen and, using kick-out blocks by right tackle Seantrel Henderson and Hurns, raced 81 yards for the game's first touchdown. Coley appeared to be on his way to another big play when he fielded a punt, slipped, faked out a defender and ran straight up field for 21 yards. But he was stripped of the ball by punter A.J. Hughes and linebacker Tariq Edwards recovered the ball for Virginia Tech at the Hokies' 46-yard-line. The Hokies capitalized on the turnover and the short field, tying the score 7-7 on Edmonds' 10-yard scoring run. A few seconds later, another Miami freshman flashed his skill before leaving the ball behind. This time, it was a 43-yard kickoff return by Artie Burns, who was stripped of the ball by linebacker Derek DiNardo. The ball was recovered at the Hokies' 49 by DiNardo, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Edmonds. In the second quarter, it was a Miami senior who made a major mistake. Punter Pat O'Donnell went down on one knee to field a slightly low snap, giving Virginia Tech the ball at the Miami 17. This time, Edmonds scored from 4 yards to give the Hokies a 21-7 lead. The Hurricanes finally broke Virginia Tech's run by piecing together a 10-play, 77-yard drive, capped by Dallas Crawford's 2-yard touchdown run. Miami was helped on the drive by a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty against defensive end Dadi Nicolas. Had the penalty not been called, Miami would have faced a third-and-9 at the Tech 39. Virginia Tech made it 28-14 with 2:58 left in the first half, scoring on a third-and-17 pass from quarterback Logan Thomas to wide receiver Joshua Stanford, who broke several tackles to complete the 32-yard play. The missed tackles were by safety Deon Bush, linebacker Denzel Perryman and safety Rayshawn Jenkins. NOTES: WR D.J. Coles made a big play for the Hokies in the second quarter, recovering a fumble by Stanford at the Miami 2. That led to a Virginia Tech touchdown. ... Miami freshman RB Corn Elder ran a kickoff back 39 yards in the second quarter. It was the first kickoff return of his career. ... The Hurricanes unveiled new alternative uniforms featuring gray jerseys called "The Smoke." ... Next up for the Hurricanes is a road game at Duke next Saturday. ... Next for the Hokies is a game against Maryland next Saturday before wrapping up the regular season at rival Virginia.