Posted: 4:46 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
By Casey Richey
I'm not sure what I just watched and I'm not sure if I'll ever want to watch it again. But some how, some way Virginia Tech is now 3-1.
Marshall moved the ball well on its first drive, but a false start pushed the Thundering Herd to 3rd-and-12 that ended in a loss of 12 yards after a botched snap. On the ensuing punt, Kyle Fuller came off the edge and cleanly blocked the punt, allowing Derek DiNardo to pick the ball up and run it into the end zone for an early Tech lead.
Marshall got seven back on a drive extended by a 22-yard run from Rakeem Cato on 3rd-and-8. Cato then found Devon Smith in the back of the endzone to tie the game at 7-7. The Hokies responded on their next possession as the ground game started to click with Thomas rushing the ball four times for 19 yards and a drive-capping 2-yard touchdown.
A pair of personal fouls for grabbing the facemask added up to a sizeable chunk of yardage for the Herd on the drive and an 18-yard pass to Tommy Shuler put the ball on the Virginia Tech six-yard line. Two plays later, Cato scrambled to his right and pumped to the end zone to free up the last few yards to be able to dive in for the tying score.
After a poor throw from Logan Thomas was intercepted by Monterius Lovett, Essray Taliaferro rushed four times for 47 yards to help put the Herd in scoring position. A heated exchange involving Gator Hoskins and both Kendall and Kyle Fuller resulted in personal fouls negated second down and on the replay of the down, Hoskins shed Kyshoen Jarrett's coverage and caught a 13-yard pass for a touchdown.
Virginia Tech's drive beginning with 8:55 left in the game was capped by a 2-yard completion to Willie Byrn that went off the hands of a Marshall defender before Byrn corralled it. Ethan Keyserling, starting in place of Cody Journell, converted the PAT to tie the game at 21 with 3:04 remaining. On the scoring drive, Thomas hit Josh Stanford for a 11-yard completion on 4th-and-9 to extend the drive.
Marshall was driving at the end of the game, but Cato threw a ball up that Jarrett intercepted to end the threat. The Hokies couldn't make much of their next possession and the game went into overtime.
Both teams had a field goal blocked in the first overtime and the game almost ended in the best way imaginable. J.R. Collins came off the corner to force a fumble by Cato that was picked up by Derrick Hopkins. Hopkins was rumbling towards a game-winning touchdown before getting caught from behind. Tech played for the field goal on the next possession, but Keyserling missed the field goal wide right (Eh, @TomahawksNation?).
Aided by a pass interference call on 3rd-and-3 that gave the Hokies the ball on the 2-yard line, Thomas plowed his way into the end zone for the lead. The two-point conversion was a similar play and was converted to put Tech up 29-21.
Marshall moved the chains once, but a rush by Taliaferro netted one yard and two straight incompletions set up a "must have" 4th-and-9. Cato placed the ball perfectly to Devonte Allen, but Allen dropped the ball going to the ground to end the game. Thankfully.
Angry woman in the stands screams, "Somebody call a play that works." #Hokies— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) September 21, 2013