Va. Tech coach says Hokies 'lucky' to win
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The head man of one of the nation's most successful football programs over the past few decades said he felt his team was "lucky" to get a win at home Saturday against the Marshall Thundering Herd.
The Virginia Tech Hokies needed three overtimes to defeat Marshall, 29-21, in a a torrential downpour at Lane Stadium.
"There haven't been many teams that have come into our stadium lately that pitch and catch like that team does," Hokies head coach Frank Beamer said. "Their quarterback (Rakeem Cato) made some great plays and I think he's fantastic. They've got a bright future with their program. They've got some tough running backs and a good defense, so I give them a lot of credit."
Though the Hokies jumped out to a seven-point lead two minutes into the first quarter with a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown, Marshall managed to match Virginia Tech step-for-step, eventually shutting down Tech's offense and taking a 21-14 lead into the half.
"I think they got off 90 plays or something like that," said Hokies defensive end J.R. Collins. "It was tough because they don't huddle, and you're trying to get your breath."
Virginia Tech had only allowed three offensive touchdowns all season, including a 35-10 loss to No. 1 Alabama, before the Herd put up three in the first half against the Hokies.
Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas said he "didn't expect" to be in a three-overtime game and Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, who bocked the punt, said facing the Herd offense was a challenge because of its ability to use a vertical and horizontal passing attack.
"They definitely had us on our toes," Fuller said. "But fortunately we were able to make some plays and come out with a win."
Beamer offered similar thoughts.
"They put so much pressure on you, they've got so many good wide receivers and (Cato) knows just where to put the ball and he gets it there quick," Beamer said. "Then you have to watch because they'll pop one out wide on you and all of a sudden they're handing the ball off, and we missed some assignments and a four yard gain became a 12-yard gain."
The Hokies did adjust. Marshall held onto its lead until late in the fourth quarter, but didn't score in the second half or in overtime.
"I thought we came back and adjusted well," Beamer said.
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