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November 24, 2012

Instant Analysis: Clutch Exum & Journell

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By the right leg of junior kicker Cody Journell, Virginia Tech's bowl streak is alive and the Hokies' string of victory of Virginia continues.

Journell kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give Virginia Tech a 17-14 win.

It was a rebound of sorts as Journell missed what would have been a go-ahead field goal from 42 yards with 3:38 to play. But Journell and the Hokies caught one of what was many strokes of luck.

Junior cornerback Antone Exum intercepted Virginia junior quarterback Michael Rocco on third down of the ensuing possession, with 3:21 to play. Virginia Tech then picked up 12 yards on seven plays, bleeding the clock down to four seconds. After a pair of timeouts, Journell drilled the winning field goal.

Virginia made a number of troubling decisions leading up to the final score. With a pair of timeouts, the Cavaliers elected to let the Hokies run the clock down and used them to try to ice Journell. Virginia could have gotten the ball back with time to spare or at least have forced Virginia Tech to kickoff.

Both teams bumbled through an ugly first quarter with a total of 99 yards combined. Even though both teams scored touchdowns in the second quarter, the Cavaliers grabbed the momentum with a fumble by junior quarterback Logan Thomas that was returned 16 yards for a touchdown.

Virginia looked to have the Hokies by the throat when Virginia Tech went three and out on the ensuing drive. The Cavaliers drove the ball to the Hokies' 20-yard line, but instead of kicking a field goal to stretch the lead to two possessions, faked the field goal and were stopped two yards short.

Though Virginia Tech's success over Virginia continues, it was anything but dominant today. But sometimes that's what it takes to get a win, to have a bit of luck. That's something the Hokies have had little of this season.

And how ironic that the player who puts Virginia Tech in a bowl game is one who was suspended for the Hokies' Sugar Bowl loss last season.



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