West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: 3 keys for the Hokies

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: 3 keys for the Hokies

West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech: 3 keys for the Hokies

After 11 years, the Hokies get to bring the Black Diamond Trophy back to Blacksburg. Grier has not lost a college game when he was the starter.

9 - West Virginia has NINE players on offense returning with at least one game's worth of starting experience, led by senior right guard Kyle Bosch's 26 career starts.

But the Hokies moved the ball when they needed to.

The Hokies also hope to extend their streak of appearing in 24 straight postseason games. After a 22-yard catch by Sean Savoy, Jackson burst free up the middle for a 46-yard run, upended awkwardly by a pair of West Virginia defenders just shy of the goal line.

Virginia Tech won the opening coin toss, but elected to defer until the second half putting the Mountaineers on the offensive side of the ball to open the game.

Given the way Jackson grew up over four quarters, Virginia Tech should clearly be a contender to repeat as Coastal Division champs. Grier converted a third down later on with a 7-yard scramble to the 15 before WVU spiked the ball with seven seconds left.

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That miss would prove costly as West Virginia would engineer it's second touchdown drive of the night traveling 79-yards in eight plays for the second touchdown pass of the night to Sills. However, the Hokies would fail to convert on a 38-yard field goal to keep the score at 17-10 with 5:07 remaining in the third.

A tiresome first half that finished with the Hokies holding a 10-7 lead on a Jackson touchdown run in the final minutes ramped up quickly in the second half.

WVU made the Hokies pay, answering the bell with a eight-play, 79-yard drive that saw Grier find his favorite target, Sills, from 10-yards out on a flawless touchdown strike that tied the game at 17-all.

On the second drive, Grier and company would generate a first down but that would be it as the Mountaineers would be forced to punt the football away for the second time in as many possessions.

Simms will still likely be suspended for the season opener against Virginia Tech, as his Morgantown DUI is still not dismissed.

The Mountaineer defense would make two more stops then the offense would drive down the field 86 yards, capped off by an 11 yard touchdown reception by wide receiver David Stills and West Virginia would take a 7-3 lead with 5:37 left in the first half. West Virginia was getting set to graduate Skyler Howard after a breakout season and the Mountaineers would have to replace him with someone just as effective to even approach 10 wins again. But a holding penalty followed by an unsportsmanlike flag on Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgorsen ended the drive and knocked WVU out of field goal range. Grier marched the Mountaineers down the field, but two pass attempts into the end zone fell incomplete.

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