BLACKSBURG, Va. — Somehow, some way, despite being outgained 2-to-1 and repeatedly shooting itself in the foot, Virginia Tech hung in there against West Virginia on Thursday night, down only 16-10 as the third quarter neared its conclusion and appearing to get off the field on a critical fourth-down stop.
Instead, linebacker Dax Hollifield got flagged for roughing the passer after a high hit, extending the drive. A personal foul on Norell Pollard a few plays later wiped away another third-down stop, setting up a West Virginia touchdown run to break things open.
At last, the Hokies finally collapsed under the weight of penalties, sloppiness and a listless rushing track, and a tight game turning into a 23-point rout.
“We’ve got to be a team that plays with fundamentals and techniques. I’m a big believer in that,” head coach Brent Pry said. “And I feel like right now in tight situations, we have a tendency to press and not play with fundamentals and techniques. And we play outside the framework and we kind of get out of sorts. And we’ve got to fix that. And it’s fixable.”
Fixable, yes. Just how long of a reclamation project that is remains to be seen.