Virginia Tech’s lunch pail defense stood tall when they were needed the most on Saturday. A goal line stand that culminated with a fourth-and-goal stop propelled the Hokies to a 20-14 win over Pittsburgh. The win improves the Hokies to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and sends off their senior class with a win in their final game at Lane Stadium.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 18, 2017
The end result was far from Virginia Tech and its fans’ minds when Pitt QB Kenny Pickett found Jester Weah for a 74-yard pass on 4th-and-4 that set up first-and-goal at the 1-yard line with 1:02 remaining. Hokies’ safety Reggie Floyd tracked down Pickett to give Virginia Tech a chance. Following the game, Floyd talked about he couldn’t let the seniors end their home career in such a devastating way.
"I had to catch him…"
— HokiesFB 🦃 (@HokiesFB) November 18, 2017
If not for Floyd’s hustle, there would not have been a chance for the Hokies defense to make the improbable stand. The Hokies defense stood tall on four plays and never allowed Pitt to advance one yard on the next four plays. The Hokies stuffed Darrin Hall for no gain on both first and second downs. Hokies defensive back Greg Stroman broke up a third down pass to Weah to lead to the epic fourth down stop.
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente admitted he contemplated whether the best option was to allowed Pitt to score rather than stopping them.
#Hokies coach Justin Fuente said he considered letting Pitt score on 1st-and-goal inside the 2, to leave time for offense to answer. Didn't want to take the game out of his defense's hands.
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) November 18, 2017
Good thing Fuente trusted the vaunted lunch pail defense. His calculated decision proved to be the right one. The Hokies defense buckled down and built a figurative brick wall to hang on to victory.