Virginia Tech traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday looking to carry over the momentum from its big home win against Wake Forest last weekend into its matchup with a Georgia Tech team that had been showing signs of slight improvement in recent weeks. These signs included an overtime victory against Miami and games against Pittsburgh and Virginia in which Georgia Tech, despite losing, remained competitive. It appears after their home matchup against the Hokies, the Yellow Jackets took a few steps back in their progress, getting downed 45–0.
Georgia Tech had won the previous three matchups against the Hokies. This included an especially embarrassing game in Lane Stadium last year in which the Yellow Jackets took home a 49–28 victory. Needless to say, the Hokies got their revenge.
First, the offense maintained its efficiency from the previous week. The Hokies came away with points on over 50% of their drives and had little to no trouble making the game a lopsided affair early.
Virginia Tech starting quarterback Hendon Hooker once again flashed his dual-threat abilities by passing for one touchdown and rushing for two more. This game marks Tech’s fifth consecutive win in games that Hooker has started.
The defense also managed to top last week’s defensive showing by handing Georgia Tech its first shutout loss in 22 years. The Yellow Jackets were kept in double-digits in both the passing and rushing categories while only picking up eight first downs for the whole game.
Virginia Tech eventually decided to rest Hooker halfway through the third quarter and handed the reins to backup quarterback Quincy Patterson II. Even with the change, the Hokies' offense didn’t miss a step as Patterson managed 64 yards on two passes and rushed for a 2-yard touchdown. This play gave the Hokies a 45–0 lead and served as the final points of the game late in the third quarter.
The defense also managed to chip in on the scoreboard when defensive back Caleb Farley returned an interception, one of two interceptions for the Hokies' defense, 17 yards for a touchdown.
Holding Georgia Tech scoreless was not lost on defensive coordinator Bud Foster, who thought the strong play from the starters as well as the backups, who came in once the game was out of reach, acted as a great learning opportunity.
“That’s like icing on the cake when it’s all said and done, but to me, more important is the win, and believe it or not, it’s getting those guys experience because that’s the best teacher – playing the game,” coach Foster said.
This game proved to be more than just another win for the Hokies. Tech acquired the seventh win they needed in order to be eligible for a bowl game. This is now the 27th consecutive season that the Hokies have managed to secure their bowl eligibility. That is the longest active bowl streak in college football.
In addition to this, Tech’s win officially eliminates Miami from contending for the top spot in the ACC Coastal division. Virginia Tech is now one of only three teams that have a shot at clinching the division and playing in the ACC championship game.
The other two teams in contention, Virginia and Pittsburgh, just happen to be the Hokies’ final two opponents of the regular season. While the win against Georgia Tech may certainly serve as a good confidence-builder, Virginia Tech now must prepare for what will arguably be the two most important games of the season.