No. 21 Virginia Tech survived two late throws to the end zone by No. 22 West Virginia to win 31-24.
The Hokies had a chance to put the game away with less than 2 minutes to go, but kicker Joey Slye missed a 32-yard field goal that would have given Tech a 10-point lead.
West Virginia then marched down the field and got to the VT 15, but quarterback Will Grier’s throws to the end zone on the final two plays of the game fell incomplete. The second pass, had it been caught, wouldn’t have counted anyway. The Mountaineers were called for multiple offensive penalties on the play.
The game was Virginia Tech redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Jackson’s first start and it was evident why he won the competition in fall camp to be the Hokies’ starter. Jackson was 15-26 for 235 yards passing and a touchdown and had 11 carries for 101 yards and a score on the ground. As the game opened up in the second half, Jackson gashed the Mountaineer defense with both his legs and his arm.
After West Virginia tied the game with 12:37 left on a 60-yard pass from Grier to receiver Gary Jennings, Virginia Tech took the lead for good when running back Travon McMillian scored on a three-yard run with 6:30 left.
It was the first start in quite some time for Grier too. Grier was suspended after the first seven games of the 2015 season and sat out the 2016 season after transferring from Florida. He finished 31-53 passing for 371 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. West Virginia racked up nearly 600 yards of total offense.
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