Saturday, December 26, 2015

Virginia Tech Hokies: 2015 Independence Bowl Champions

Virginia Tech played hard for their hall of fame coach Frank Beamer in his last game, beating Tulsa 55-52 in the Independence Bowl.

Although Tulsa lost, the team's fight and this season's turnaround are things that won't be forgotten.

The Golden Hurricane started the game hot with a 48-yard TD run by D’Angelo Brewer to give the Golden Hurricane a 7-0 lead.

Virginia Tech bounced back quick, answering with a 51-yard TD run from Travon McMillian to tie it up 7-all.

The game's lack of defense became very apparent when TU's Zack Langer broke off a long run, leading to a two-yard score to put the Golden Hurricane up 14-7, followed by another VT score to tie it again just minutes in. The tying score tallied 1,000 receiving yards for Isaiah Ford, making him the first 1,000-yard receiver in Virginia Tech history.

At this point, the game was looking like both teams would post 50+ points. Both teams were dominating with the ground game and neither team's defense was making tackles.

Total Yards (11:42, 1st Quarter)

Tulsa- 145

Virginia Tech- 138

The Hokies took their first lead with ten minutes left of one with a 27-yard field goal by Joey Slye, giving VT a 17-14 edge.

The 31 combined points by both teams set an Independence Bowl record for most points in a single quarter.

Sam Rogers increased Tech's lead 24-14 with a 14-yard run. But Tulsa stayed high tempo.

Josh Atkinson hauled in a 44-yard reception from Dane Evans to put TU right back in VT territory. Atkinson's catch helped him slate over 1,000 yards on the season and led to a 9-yard TD connection from Dane Evans to Bishop Louie, cutting Tulsa's deficit 24-21.

By the end of the first, Evans had thrown for 117 yards on 7-10 passing; three of those were to Atkinson for 70 yards.

In just one quarter, Tulsa and VT combined for 463 yards and 45 points.

The Hokies opened the second half hype with a score from Bucky Hodges to put Virginia Tech up 31-21. Tech's 31 points marked the most ever in the 1st half of a bowl game.

VT quickly advanced its lead 45-21 with back to back scores from McMillian and Greg Stroman.

A 29 yarder by Redford Jones and another score from Brewer cut the Hokies lead 45-31 just before the half.

Virginia Tech got the second half rolling with a score from Trey Edmunds that elevated them 52-31. The score recorded the most ever points in a bowl game. Ford also set an Indy Bowl record with 202 receiving yards mid third quarter.

Tulsa fought back, to put up more points. A nine-yard rush up the middle from Evans made it 52-37 as VT lead with 4:11 left of the third quarter.

Later in the final quarter, Evans connected with Atkinson for the TD play, followed by a two-point conversion from Evans to Keyarris Garrett to make it a 10-point game (55-45). At this point, both teams combined for 1,045 yards (7:35 to play). Tulsa continued to fight, posting another score from Garrett to make it 55-52.

In front of a crowd of 31,289 people, Virginia Tech went on to win the record-setting game, 55-52.b
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