This year's contest was not as lopsided as last year's but the results were the same as Virginia Tech fell to rival Miami on Saturday 30-20.
Michael Brewer came on late in the game, returning from a broken clavicle he suffered in the team's first game of the season, but he was not able to lead Virginia Tech to the storybook victory. Here are 5 takeaways from the loss:
Ugly game for Motley: Just prior to the game it was learned that Brewer would be available, but would not start. That decision was not a huge surprise as Brenden Motley played well last week against NC State. He did not play well, however, against Miami.
On Virginia Tech's second offensive play of the game, the ball slipped out of Motley 's hand on a pass attempt. Miami recovered the fumble on the Hokies' 3-yard line and scored a touchdown on the very next play.
Virginia Tech drove down to Miami's 13 on the next drive and looked like they were in a position for a touchdown. On first down, Motley scrambled to his right, threw into traffic and should have been picked off. Luckily the pass fell incomplete, but it was a poor decision and a throw he never should have forced.
The straw that broke the camel's back came in the third quarter as Motley was picked off on a 3rd and 18 as he stared down his receiver and failed to see Juwon Young undercutting the route for the easy pick.
Brewer came in on the next drive.
Motley finished the game with two interceptions and one fumble.
Virginia Tech loses gamble at end of first half: With the score tied at 13 nearing the end of the half, Virginia Tech called a two timeout on defense as they hoped to get the ball back with the chance to score. The gamble appeared to work with Miami facing a 3rd and 20, but the move backfired as Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya connected with Herb Waters for a 45-yard gain and a first down.
Thanks to the timeouts, Miami had the extra time they needed to drive for a touchdown and take a 20-13 lead into halftime.
Brewer returns: After Motley's poor start, Brewer came into the game in the third quarter with the Hokies trailing by 10. The stage was set for a storybook comeback, but it was not to be.
Brewer was up and down as he connected with Isaiah Ford for a beautiful touchdown just inside the pylon, but also threw an interception on first down in Virginia Tech's last possession of the game. He completed three of four passes for 65 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The question now becomes who will start next week: Motley or Brewer?
McMillian finally the No. 1: After weeks of cycling through their running backs, it appears Travon McMillian has finally established himself as the No. 1 in the coaches' eyes. McMillian had 16 carries on the day and ran for 99 yards. He also added three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown.
The Hokies may not have won the game, but they did appear to establish a rushing identity which is a step in the right direction for the offense.
As good as advertised: Brad Kaaya is one of the ACC's top quarterbacks and he showed why with his performance on Saturday. Kaaya was lethal in this game with 296 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. This was the first big test Virginia Tech's secondary has faced since losing Kendall Fuller and the results were not good, but Kaaya is also the best passing quarterback the Hokies had left on the schedule. They will not play a quarterback this good again unless they reach a bowl.
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