Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Hokies blow lead, make history in a bad way
Any last gasp of Virginia Tech avoiding a dubious distinction evaporated when the Hokies blew a 27-16 lead and lost to Georgia Tech, 28-27, on Saturday.
Now at 2-7, the Hokies won’t be able to get to six wins and automatic bowl-eligibility, which would mark the first time Virginia Tech is not in a bowl game — excluding the COVID-shortened 2020 season — since a 2-8-1 season in 1992.
Transitioning to a new regime is never easy, and no doubt first-year head coach Brent Pry needs some time to lay the foundation for the program he wants.
But given the success LSU is having under first-year head coach Brian Kelly and TCU is having under first-year man Sonny Dykes, not making a bowl game still might qualify as a disappointment for the Hokies.
Liberty amazes again
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Virginia Tech, Liberty continues to climb into national prominence.
The Flames cracked the national rankings at No. 23 without playing last week, and then made school history on Saturday by beating an SEC opponent for the first time, winning 21-19 at Arkansas.
Now at 8-1 on the season, Liberty’s only loss was a one-point defeat at Wake Forest earlier in the year.
When the College Football Playoff rankings are unveiled on Tuesday, it might not be a shock to see Liberty in that list of 25 teams.
Not bad for a squad in just its fifth year of existence as an FBS program.
Cavaliers have no more margin of error for bowl eligibility
Virginia might have played its best game of the season on Saturday against No. 17 North Carolina, but close wasn’t quite good enough in a 31-28 loss to the Tar Heels.
The Cavaliers (3-6) are now in a position where they have to win their last three games in order to qualify for a bowl game.
Virginia will host Pittsburgh and Coastal Carolina before ending at Virginia Tech.