Friday, December 28, 2012
Instant analysis: Va. Tech 13, Rutgers 10 OT
By Andrea Adelson
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Virginia Tech overcame a 10-0 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Rutgers 13-10 in overtime in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Here is a quick look at how the Hokies won.
It was over when: Cody Journell made a 22-yard field goal in overtime, while Nick Borgese missed his own 42-yard attempt in the lowest-scoring game in Russell Athletic Bowl history. Both defenses came to play, but the same could not be said for the offenses, which put on a rather putrid display. Both teams finished with 196 yards of total offense. Virginia Tech had 3 total rushing yards and was shut out in the first half for the first time since 2009. Not a performance anybody will want to remember.
Game ball goes to: Virginia Tech punter A.J. Hughes. The story of the game was all the punting, so the game ball should go to the best punter on the field. That would be Hughes, who averaged 41.7 yards on his 11 punts, knocked five inside the 20 and kicked three that went 50 or more yards. Just about the most impressive player on the field.
Stat of the game: 21. Given how both teams were so offensively challenged, it should come as no surprise that a new Russell Athletic Bowl record for total punts was set. Hand clap to Hughes and Rutgers punter Justin Doerner (10 punts, 36.2-yard average, one inside the 20).
What it means: Virginia Tech avoids its first losing season since 1992 with the victory but has big questions to answer on offense. A major coaching restructuring could very well be in order given the way this team played offensively this year. Rutgers, meanwhile, ends the season with three consecutive losses and blew its second straight third-quarter lead, missing out on a chance for the third 10-win season in school history. We are now left to wonder whether Gary Nova really is the quarterback of the future for this team after another bad performance. The Big East and ACC end this season tied 5-5 in games against each other.