As a TKP reader, and therefore Virginia Tech Hokies fanatic, EVERY play of every game has you captivated and your emotional state hangs on every pass, every tackle, every penalty, every little detail of every game. But of course not all plays are as big as others and as your memory of the mundane fades you're left with last memories of the truly game-changing plays of every season. Here we use analytics to count down the biggest, most game-changing plays in the past 10 years of Virginia Tech football...
In each installment of this series I'll bring you two plays: one play devastating to the Hokies' chance to win, and one dominating play in Virginia Tech's favor. They will count down in order of how much each play affected the odds of Tech's victory.
For details on the method, see Virginia Tech's Top 10 Plays of the Last Ten Years: No. 10.
10. Boise State 9/6/2010 - Kellen Moore pass complete to Austin Pettis for 13 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
9. Miami 11/4/2006 - Tyrone Moss rush for 50 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
8. Boston College 11/2/2013 - Logan Thomas pass intercepted by Kevin Pierre-Louis at the VTech 33, returned for 33 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
7. Lamar Miller rush over right guard for 30 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
6. Boston College 10/25/2007 - Matt Ryan pass complete to Andre Callender for 24 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
5. Georgia Tech 9/20/2014 - Paul Davis 41 Yd Interception Return for a TOUCHDOWN
4. Florida State 11/8/2012 - EJ Manuel pass complete to Rashad Greene for 39 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
10. Boston College 12/1/2007 - Sean Glennon pass complete to Eddie Royal for 24 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
9. North Carolina 10/29/2009 - T.J. Yates pass intercepted by Rashad Carmichael at the North Carolina 10, returned for 5 yards to the North Carolina 5
8. Georgia Tech 9/3/2012 - Logan Thomas pass complete to Demitri Knowles for 42 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
7. Rutgers 12/29/2012 - Logan Thomas pass complete to Corey Fuller for 21 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
6. Marshall 9/21/2013 - Logan Thomas pass complete to Willie Byrn for 2 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
5. East Carolina 8/30/2008 - Patrick Pinkney rush, fumbled, recovered by VTech Stephan Virgil at the ECaro 28, Stephan Virgil for 28 yards, to the ECaro 0 for a TOUCHDOWN
4. Miami 10/8/2011 - Logan Thomas rush quarterback draw for 19 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
The 3rd-most Devastating Play: Cincinnati 9/29/2012 - Munchie Legaux pass complete to Damon Julian for 39 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
FedExField is the ex that walked all over you. The one you swore you'd never talk to again. Then one day you bump into them at the grocery store. They look great, charm you with smalltalk and before you know it you wake up next to them wrapped in nothing except tears, guilt, and self-pity.
Whit Babcock shouldn't schedule any games at FedExField, and if he does you shouldn't go. Even if she sounds like she's changed and it's nothing long-term, just this once has disastrous appeal. This story has been told before and guess who gets left at the altar and who rides off into the sunset? You're alone, and whoever Virginia Tech just played is carrying away your dignity.
The first half against Cincinnati in 2012 was an uninspired affair. Virginia Tech was short on both yards and points but did more than enough defensively to hold a 7-6 halftime lead. The Hokies contained two long Bearcats drives to field goals, and converted a Kris Harley interception at the Cincinnati 13-yard-line into a touchdown drive.
However, the second half was an action-packed back-and-forth battle that left the Hokies protecting a 4-point lead with less than two minutes left on the clock.
On 3rd-and-10 with 20 seconds to go, Munchie Legaux took the snap out of the shotgun and pressure immediately comes from both ends. It seemed less uncertain of whether he would be sacked and more a question of who would get there first. Somehow quickly fires a pass deep just before getting plowed, and finds Damon Julian, who slides to make the catch as he enters the end zone.
In any other stadium the play is a sack.
Despite a couple of plays to try to get in field goal range, FedExField would not allow the Hokies to leave with pride intact and they lost, 24-27.
The 3rd-most Dominating Play: Cincinnati 9/29/2012 - Logan Thomas pass complete to Corey Fuller for 56 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
You see, the crushing emotional drama delivered by FedExField wouldn't be so damaging if it wasn't preceded by the highest of highs. Let's back up a few ticks from that devastation.
Just a minute before Legaux's pass put the game firmly in Cincinnati's hands, Virginia Tech was down by 3 points in what seemed like their last drive. At the very least, they needed to drain the clock and get into field goal range for a 50/50 overtime proposition. Given the lackluster performance by the offense to that point in the game, it would have been too much for Hokie fans to hope for a touchdown.
On 2nd-and-9 from Tech's own 44-yard-line, Logan Thomas threw a laser about 20 yards upfield. Corey Fuller catches the ball in stride at the Cincinnati 40-yard-line; while it may seem like Fuller is in traffic, he is quick to remind the viewer and the Bearcat defense that he was a track star before he was a football star. With an upfield blocker to provide coverage, Corey easily outran the defense and took it home untouched.
(Mohawk guy, you are a true Hokie hero.)
If only the game had ended there. Why, FedExField, why?