Live Blog: Virginia Tech vs. N.C. State

Despite some inclement weather in Blacksburg, tonight’s game will kick off without major delay. It’s an important game for both the Wolfpack and Hokies. Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer was not cleared to play so it will once again be Brenden Motley calling the shots with the possibility of some Dwayne Lawson runs mixed in.

Check back throughout the game as we follow along with the soggy action in Lane Stadium.

Updated: 11:31 p.m.

Naturally, my computer died in the final moments and I let the game breathe a bit to reach its final 28-13 Hokie victory. Jacoby Brissett could never get back on track when the Wolfpack switched back to passing in the comeback attempt. Brissett unfortunately tossed his first interception in 242 attempts which was the longest such streak in the nation. Naysayers will point out (they are) how quickly NC State has come back to Earth following a cakewalk of a non-conference schedule but the Wolfpack has had chances to win both ACC games. Still, the offensive struggles against two good defenses are notable.

Updated: 10:58 p.m.

Well that long touchdown down the sideline should firmly entrench Travon McMillian as the Hokies’ starting running back and give Tech a firm hold on this game with a 28-13 lead and just under seven minutes remaining.

Updated: 10:46 p.m.

NC State has had some nice success running the ball, especially with Matt Dayes who now has 64 yards on 13 carries. He needs to keep getting the ball, but the Wolfpack could stand to mix in a pass or two. That playcalling by the Hokies was curious. They ran a very fast-paced three and out then promptly shanked a punt to give NC State the ball at midfield. Neither team has grabbed the game and made it theirs yet. Insert cliche about “wanting to win”. Hokies lead 21-13 with 10:36 left.

Updated: 10:32 p.m.

Just tying a bow on the mishandling of the game delay. Looks like this one is entirely on the event staff folks. Probably not their best night.

Brenden Motley hasn’t been fully healthy in weeks, and neither would you with an offensive line like that. I’m not sure why Scot Loeffler seems obsessed with running read option with Motley, but there has been no running attack to speak of otherwise so I guess that’s the risk you take. Not sure how much of the playbook Dwayne Lawson has under his belt if that’s a major injury for Brenden. That has really held Lawson back so far.

Updated: 10:26 p.m.

Boy, things have really ground to a halt in this third quarter. I’m sober as a judge but the only reason I can remember that the Wolfpack had the ball to start the half is the disastrous punt return that followed their initial efforts. State has now been penalized seven times for 70 yards to just three flags for 17 yards for Tech. The Hokies have been one of the most penalized teams in the nation, so that’s a pretty dramatic reversal of fortunes.

The Wolfpack botched the end of that drive a bit, but it was a crucial effort overall to control the football and give the defense some rest. Not to mention the field goal makes it a one score game at 21-13.

Updated: 9:55 p.m.

First Quarter Total Yards: NC State 145 Virginia Tech 30
Second Quarter Total Yards: NC State 2 Virginia Tech 156

I can’t think of too many consecutive quarters that were so completely different. Brenden Motley now has 124 yards and three touchdowns to lead the resurgent Hokies while the Tech o-line has only given up one sack. Jacoby Brissett was quite good too for the Wolfpack with 81 yards and a touchdown, but he’s been sacked twice and the pressure is building.

21-10 Hokies at the half.

Updated: 9:36 p.m.

NC State has committed six penalties for 65 yards which has certainly helped the Hokies, especially on the late hit out of bounds penalty. Brenden Motley has now thrown three touchdown passes, all to Isaiah Ford. Ford and Motley have made things happen on the last two plays that were well-covered initially. The Hokies lead 21-10 and halftime is the best thing to happen to the Wolfpack in about an hour.

Updated: 9:16 p.m.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where things turned, but the Tech offense has done a complete 180 and turned into a balanced and competent group. Motley looks like an entirely different human being, rocketing his second touchdown to Isaiah Ford to give the Hokies a 14-10 lead. You can criticize Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler for his gameplanning all you like, but the man sure can develop his QBs. Motley’s growth from coming in against Ohio State to present is nothing short of remarkable.

Updated: 9:00 p.m.

Jumichael Ramos absolutely owned Chuck Clark with that impressive touchdown grab. Brissett is 6 of 10 for 81 yards and a touchdown so far, plus 40 yards on the ground. The 10-0 State lead doesn’t paint the full picture. After gaining just 29 yards on its first 12 plays, the Hokie offense finally started moving with a couple of big plays. The Hokies flew 75 yards in just over two minutes. Travon McMillian had a nice catch on play-action early in the drive and Brenden Motley threw a beautiful ball into the corner of the endzone for a 27-yard touchdown to Isaiah Ford. 10-7 NC State on top with 11:41 until halftime.

Updated: 8:41 p.m.

The Wolfpack is trying to establish Jacoby Brissett a runner — possibly because it seems any quarterback with a pulse runs for 100 yards on the Hokies these days. He’s had some success early on speed option’s outside, while read option plays have been mostly snuffed out to this point. Brissett already has more rushing yards against the Hokies than he did in his first five games. State is really dominating this game, but it doesn’t exactly feel like it. Honestly, it feels like we all should be taking a nap or something.

Updated: 8:28 p.m.

Two drives down for the Hokies and they have three carries for two yards and five yards passing. There’s nothing to lead anyone to believe that significant changes happened aside from some minor personnel tweaks. Jaylen Samuels has become a very dangerous weapon for the Wolfpack. He creates major match up issues when he sneaks out of the backfield in his hybrid tight end/fullback/H-back role. Two catches for 29 yards so far tonight.

Updated: 8:18 p.m.

There are going to be a lot of strongly worded communique’s to the Tech athletic department from all the people who will miss the bulk of the first quarter. I have a feeling ESPN was behind rushing the start of the game after the delay. Not well-run either way.

Jacoby Brissett just executed possibly the slowest option run since the late sixties to perfection and he gained 24 yards on a quick-tempo opening drive that stalled but resulted in a 33-yard field goal and an early lead. That’s only Kyle Bambard’s second made field goal of the season (1 of 4 previously).

Updated: 8:10 p.m.

And just like that they cue up Enter Sandman to a largely empty stadium and a confused broadcast crew who has no idea what’s happening amid the smoke and heavy metal music. We saw Travon McMillian get a carry straight ahead for the Hokies on the opening series. He’s had the most success of any Tech tailback, but almost entirely on jet sweeps and reverses. Keep an eye on how he does running like a traditional back.

Updated: 8:02 p.m.

The Hokies are certainly used to playing in the rain as this will be the third consecutive outing for Tech in those conditions. One plus for NC State already from the weather delay is the lack of Tech’s famous entrance.

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