The Virginia Tech Hokies struggled mightily in a Saturday night upset loss to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, ending in a final score of 16-23. The Hokies' offense put up more yards (433-346) and even had more first downs than Wake Forest (28-18), but stats only tell half the story. The Virginia Tech offense struggled to really get the ball into the end zone as it committed three costly turnovers. Wake Forest also shut down running back Khalil Herbert, holding him to only 64 rushing yards, far under his average of 131.2 yards per game.
The Hokies did not look sharp in the first quarter as the team went scoreless and allowed the Demon Deacons to score 10. The Hokies did manage to pick up some momentum in the second quarter with kicker Brian Johnson hitting a 28-yard field goal and a 39-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Hendon Hooker to tight end James Mitchell, which tied the game at 10 apiece with 8:40 left in the second quarter.
The Hokies looked to score at the end of the half with only 1:26 left on the clock, but Hooker was intercepted by defensive back Nick Andersen.
Andersen was the recipient of all three of Hooker’s interceptions.
Defensive lineman Jarrod Hewitt got ejected early in the third quarter as he was penalized for a targeting foul against Wake Forest’s quarterback Sam Hartman. He also was charged with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after his ejection which may potentially lead to further consequences.
The Virginia Tech defense could not hold its own against the run as the unit gave up 236 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns, which ultimately led to the loss.
Hooker put up 223 passing yards on 17/33 completions, with one passing touchdown and 98 rushing yards, making him the leading rusher for the Hokies this game. However, Hooker threw three interceptions and took three sacks which stunted the Hokies’ offensive momentum. Hooker typically does not throw many interceptions as he only threw two all of last season, but today was a completely different story.
Virginia Tech will look to get back on track as it will play the 2-4 Louisville Cardinals next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. The Cardinals are coming off a 48-16 blowout win against the Florida State Seminoles. These two teams have not matched up since 2006 when the Hokies beat the Cardinals 35-24.