If you saw my report card on my blog, you've noticed I split the coaching grade. Herd coaches deserve much credit for development and game-week prep. Say what you want about the Virginia Tech offense, but the Herd defense held it to two touchdowns in regulation.
And that second TD, the 2-yard pass to Willie Byrn that tied the game with 3:09 left, was almost flukish. Darryl Roberts, who is playing lights-out at cornerback, could well have knocked the ball into the stands. Instead, the ball slipped off his hand without changing direction.
As Byrn described it to Virginia writers: "Mainly luck."
The Hokies needed to tip the football gods on their way out of Lane Stadium, as that play illustrates.
My .02 on other topics:
Kyshoen Jarrett showed superhuman closing speed from his safety spot, got to the pass simultaneously and stole the ball in the resulting collision. It was the best defensive play I've seen in person in some time.
Accordingly, I rolled my eyeballs when Holliday called a timeout before Keyserling's 32-yard attempt in the second overtime. But as one of my pressbox colleagues noted, "He's not trying to ice him, he's trying to drown him."
Point taken. Keyserling missed.
One of my Twitter followers sent me a picture of Allen with his gloves attached to his hip and not on his hands, with the ball already slipped loose. I'd argue he should have caught that pass without gloves, but I'll leave that to your debate.
Coach Larry Coker's team held UTEP to 99 yards rushing and 218 total, while veteran quarterback Eric Soza hits 12 different receivers in an 18-of-24, 204-yard night.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.