Virginia Tech 29, Marshall 21 (3 OT)

Nathan Warters, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech narrowly avoided an upset Saturday in a thrilling 29-21 triple-overtime win over Marshall at Lane Stadium.
The Hokies scored the tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter and then won on a 2-yard touchdown run by Logan Thomas, who tacked on a 2-point conversion run for good measure.
The Hokies (3-1), who recorded the 700th win in program history, tied the game with 3:09 left in regulation on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to junior wide receiver Willie Byrn.
Tech kicker Ethan Keyserling, who was kicking in place of starter Cody Journell, missed kicks of 50 and 32 yards in overtime, but the Hokies were able to get over the goal line in the third extra period. The score was set up by a fourth-down pass-interference call against Marshall's Corey Tindal.
The Thundering Herd's three overtime possessions ended with a missed 39-yard field goal by Justin Haig, a turnover and a failed fourth-down throw in the end zone.
Virginia Tech's defense had trouble at first adjusting to the blistering speed of Marshall's offense, allowing three touchdowns and 205 yards in the first half.
The Thundering Herd led 21-14 at the half thanks to a strong performance by quarterback Rakeem Cato. Cato, who led the country last year in completions and passing yards per game, completed 19-of-41 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 49 yards and a score.
The Hokies' offense, meanwhile, continued its inconsistent play. It moved the ball at will at times, but also made some costly mistakes.
Thomas, who passed for 183 yards and accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing) completed 6-of-9 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown to start the game, but he threw eight straight incompletions with two interceptions to close out the half.
The Hokies took a 7-0 lead on a blocked punt return by Derek DiNardo. Kyle Fuller went untouched around the edge and blocked Tyler Williams' punt, and DiNardo scooped up the ball and ran 11 yards into the end zone.
Marshall answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Cato to wide receiver Devon Smith midway through the first quarter.
Virginia Tech took its second lead with an 89-yard drive that Thomas capped with a 1-yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter.
The Thundering Herd scored two unanswered touchdowns to end the half -- on Cato's 4-yard run and a 13-yard touchdown pass from Cato to tight end Gator Hoskins.
The Hokies drove 73 yards at the end of the second quarter, but the drive ended with no points, as Keyserling missed a 36-yard field goal off the left upright.
NOTES: Journell did not dress. No reason was given for his absence. ... Virginia Tech's offense has failed to score more than two touchdowns in regulation in nine straight games. ... Byrn made his first career start. ... The Hokies have allowed two rushing touchdowns all season. ... Tech allowed more first-half yards (205) than it allowed in the entire game last week against East Carolina. ... Hokies defensive backs Kyshoen Jarrett and Kendall Fuller both recorded their first career interceptions in the second half.

What to Read Next