The Virginia Tech Hokies came off a bye week and faced the No.14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish in an ecstatic primetime game. The Hokies kept in the game and led at times, but the Fighting Irish rallied back, as seen in previous games this season, and closed out the Hokies on a game winning field goal in the last 30 seconds.
Virginia Tech started off the game well in the first quarter, holding Notre Dame to zero points. The defense kept pressure on Notre Dame’s quarterback Jack Coan, sacking him two times in the first quarter. However, when the second quarter came around, Notre Dame benched Coan for quarterback Tyler Buchner. Virginia Tech’s defense slipped up a bit allowing the Notre Dame offense to score 14 and take the lead by halftime.
The Virginia Tech offense started to become stagnant in the second quarter. The team was unable to punch it at the beginning of the second quarter and did not see a possible opportunity until the end of the second quarter after junior quarterback Braxton Burmeister completed two big passes to sophomore wide receiver Tayvion Robinson, which only led to a field goal.
The Hokies’ offense tried to bring the momentum into the second half, nearly scoring a touchdown on a 13-yard pass from Burmeister to Robinson, however it was called back due to ineligible downfield penalty. The Hokies had to settle for three, going up 16–14 with 8:53 left in the third quarter. Virginia Tech’s momentum slightly shifted after Burmeister got intercepted by Notre Dame defensive back TaRiq Bracy, putting the Fighting Irish on the Hokies’ 29-yard line. The Fighting Irish capitalized on the good field position with a touchdown putting them up 21–16. On the next drive Burmeister got shaken up and junior quarterback Connor Blumrick came in for him.
It looked like the Fighting Irish were trying to pull away nearing the end of the third quarter but junior defensive back Jermaine Waller had other plans. Waller intercepted Buchner and ran it back 26 yards for a score. The Hokies were unable to convert on the two-point conversion.
The luck of the Irish seemed to fade after another interception and another Hokies touchdown scored by a returning Burmeister after Blumrick got injured. But after Buchner went down, Coan came back in to lead the Fighting Irish to touchdown tying and ultimately a game winning drive. The late ejection of junior linebacker and team captain Dax Hollifield also hurt the Hokies. Hollifield’s absence in the late fourth quarter showed to be detrimental to the Virginia Tech defense as Notre Dame cruised downfield for its last 11 points.
Prior to Notre Dame’s game winning drive, the Hokies had the chance to win the game themselves but just were unable to chain anything together. The most glaring play of their unsuccessful drive was a dropped pass by Tré Turner that could have flipped the field and possibly put them in field goal range.
After this loss, the Hokies look to bounce back in their homecoming game against the Pittsburgh Panthers (4–1, 1–0 in the ACC) in Blacksburg, Virginia, at 3:30 p.m.