A Rivalry Renewed: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia

A Rivalry Renewed: Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia

Opening the season with a nice rivalry game for the Black Diamond Trophy, West Virginia and Virginia Tech met up in Landover, Md., on Sunday night.

Tech's new quarterback popped up and - two plays and a penalty later - McMillian ran in for the game-winner. Grier also rushed for 43-yards.

Grier played a game of anything you can do, I can do better, finding Gary Jennings for a 43-yard strike on the first play of the ensuing possession, and WVU drove down deep into Hokie territory.

That's the distance a wide-open Cam Phillips traversed to score his go-ahead, 32-yard touchdown reception on a no-chances touch pass from Jackson.

Virginia Tech will kick off the 2017 season on a grand stage in primetime as the No. 21 Hokies take on No. 22 West Virginia at FedExField in Landover, Maryland at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Justin Crawford arrived just before fall camp at West Virginia a year ago without the benefit of the program's offseason conditioning.

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Virginia Tech still has a "run the quarterback" offense. However, the Mountaineers defense will step up big early in the game and not let the game get out of hand early.

With his starting status in Gainesville uncertain, Grier elected to transfer to West Virginia, where he had to sit out last season per NCAA rules. Defensively, the Mountaineers return a few key players like senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton and senior safety Kyzir White. And the score would stick at 10-7 with Virginia Tech ahead at the halftime break.

"Yards were hard to come by early in the game, and then it seemed like there was a spell there in the second half where both teams were moving the ball pretty well and there was a lot of back and forth", said head coach Justin Fuente.

Still, Grier had plenty of plays left in him - a 60-yard touchdown pass to Gary Jennings early in the fourth quarter tied the game again. A lengthy drive that overlapped the end of the first, and beginning of the second, quarters ended in an interception on a gamble on fourth down.

Virginia Tech has won seven of the last 10 meetings between the schools, including 34-17 road win in 2005.

Oh, and the Hokies' new quarterback looks like a keeper, too. The Mountaineers would convert one third down on the drive as Grier would connect on 4-5 passes for 69-yards.

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The Hokies also hope to extend their streak of appearing in 24 straight postseason games. The offense would move the ball to mid-field, but would be forced to punt giving the Hokies the ball back at their own 18-yard line.

But with the spotlight pointing directly at Jackson, the young QB pulled off arguably the biggest play of the game, as he scrambled for 46 yards down the field to put the team within striking distance.

Virginia Tech wasted little time regaining the lead.

UCLA's offense awoke from its slumber, briefly, piecing together a 67-yard touchdown drive keyed by a 54-yard completion to Jordan Lasley, but A&M effectively erased that touchdown when Williams went 61 yards down the left sideline on the very next snap from scrimmage. Molson 29-yard field goal to put the Bruins on top.

Simms will still likely be suspended for the season opener against Virginia Tech, as his Morgantown DUI is still not dismissed. He finished off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

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