Virginia Tech kicker Cody Journell shows off his champions shirt after the Hokies beat Rutgers in overtime, 13-10 on a field goal by Journell.
- More Images
(GALLERY) VIRGINIA TECH 13, RUTGERS 10: Junior kicker Cody Journell’s 22-yard field goal in overtime put Tech up 13-10. Rutgers kicker Nick Borgese pushed a 42-yard field goal wide right on the Scarlet Knights’ overtime possession, giving Tech (7-6) the win in the lowest-scoring Russell Athletic Bowl in the game’s history.
- Grading the three keys
1 Keep defensive momentum: The Hokies were already down 7-0 before the defense even stepped onto the field, thanks to a snap that got past Logan Thomas on the game’s second play and was recovered by Rutgers in the end zone for a touchdown. But the defense played well once it got into the game. It didn’t allow a touchdown and made the big stops late in the game. Grade: A-
2 Care: Rutgers definitely had more fans in Orlando during the week and in the stands Friday. And on the field, Tech didn’t come out on fire or play with much emotion, a lethargic state that only got worse after it fell behind 7-0 on the game’s second play. The Hokies didn’t really start showing much passion until they headed to the locker room at halftime. That’s when senior linebacker Bruce Taylor and junior cornerback Antone Exum had to be pulled away from the Rutgers’ sideline after shouting at Scarlet Knights players. Grade: C
3 Run the ball: Yet again, Tech didn’t narrow its running-back rotation. J.C. Coleman, Martin Scales, Tony Gregory and Michael Holmes all saw time at tailback early in the game. But the Hokies, yet again, couldn’t establish a running game. They rushed for -11 yards in the first half and never really challenged Rutgers’ defense on the ground. Grade: F
- Kick Quicks: Va. Tech 13, Rutgers 10
Final score: Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10
For starters: Rutgers jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the game’s second play when the shotgun snap by Caleb Farris got past Logan Thomas and squirted into the end zone. Rutgers senior linebacker Khaseem Greene recovered the ball to give the Scarlet Knights a touchdown before Tech’s defense ever took the field. Rutgers ended the first quarter up 10-0.
Turning point: After the Tech defense had dropped three earlier shots at interceptions, junior cornerback Antone Exum picked off Gary Nova’s pass and returned it 32 yards to the RU 21-yard line, setting up a tying touchdown for Tech. That turned the game from a non-competitive snoozer to a thriller.
Star of the game: Exum was selected as the game’s most valuable player, based in large part on his interception that set up the game-tying touchdown.
Big picture: Tech’s defense held Rutgers in check long enough for the Hokies’ offense to put up 13 points, but the lack of offense was the story of the season.
Go figure: 3. The number of overtime games Virginia Tech won this season.
Next: Virginia Tech fans eagerly await rumored changes to the team’s offensive coaching staff. During the game, a report circulated that wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman would be leaving Tech for a spot on the Purdue staff. The futures of offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, quarterbacks coach and play-caller Mike O’Cain and offensive line coach Curt Newsome are also in doubt.
Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:03 am
Updated: 9:38 pm, Thu Jan 17, 2013.
ORLANDO, Fla. Virginia Tech’s football season ended the way it began: with an overtime victory.
Junior kicker Cody Journell hit a 22-yard field goal in overtime to give the Hokies a 13-10 win over Rutgers on Friday night in the lowest-scoring Russell Athletic Bowl in the game’s history.
Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:03 am.
Updated: 9:38 pm.