Ryan Willis Does it All
After struggling last week against a vaunted Notre Dame defense, Virginia Tech quarterback Ryan Willis bounced back against the now 1-4 North Carolina Tar Heels. In fact, the Tech quarterback finished as the Hokie’s leading rusher (88 yards on 15 carries). His performance included a 33-yard touchdown on a fake handoff to Steven Peoples.
Willis struggled early on in the game, going into halftime totaling fewer passing yards than North Carolina receiver Dazz Newsome who threw a 43-yard touchdown on a designed trick play. The Hokie signal caller shrugged off this slow start to orchestrate an 18-play, 98-yard game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. The drive included Willis running for a first down on fourth and nine to keep the Hokies comeback dream alive with under two minutes remaining.
Hokies Defense has Up and Down Game
The Hokies defense came into the game reeling after surrendering 45 points and almost 200 yards on the ground. The defense started well, forcing a fumble on North Carolina’s first play from scrimmage.
The Tech defense soon started to falter as the Tar Heels kept running the ball down the Hokie’s throats, gaining over 200 yards on the ground. This produced flashbacks of last week’s game as Michael Carter ran for 165 yards on only 18 carries.
The Hokie defense came together to force another fumble – this time on the goal line. The turnover prevented a Tar Heel score with six minutes left in the game. Bud Foster hopes to continue to fix Virginia Tech’s recent defensive struggles. The areas of concern are run defense and coverage issues that have plagued the defense this season.
Virginia Tech will be off this week as they prepare for Georgia Tech to come to Blacksburg on October 25. North Carolina, meanwhile, continues their disappointing season by traveling to New York to face off against Syracuse.