Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Josh Jackson threw two touchdown passes, one early and another late, and No. 20 Virginia Tech handled 19th-ranked Florida State 24-3 in the rain Monday night to spoil coach Willie Taggart’s debut with the Seminoles.
Florida State looked dysfunctional and disorganized most of the night, including on both of Jackson’s TD passes.
Jackson connected with Eric Kumah over the middle with less than 6 minutes to play. Kumah bounded through three arm tackles and raced 49 yards for the game-sealing score. Jackson also opened the game with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Damon Hazelton in the corner of the end zone. Jackson lofted a pass that cornerback Levonta Taylor looked lost trying to defend.
Jackson completed 16 of 26 passes for 207 yards. Kumah finished with four catches for 86 yards.
The Hokies also scored on special teams, the team’s 75th blocked punt since 1987. In a fitting coincidence, former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, known for his “Beamerball” brand of special teams, was on hand for the game as honorary captain.
The outcome probably shouldn’t have been too surprising since the Hokies finished 9-4 in Justin Fuente’s second season and returned a number of key players, including Jackson. The Seminoles are coming off a 7-6 season and are still getting acclimated to a new coaching staff and new schemes on both sides of the ball.
Virginia Tech had a chance to seemingly put the game away with a field goal late in the third quarter, but Fuente went for it on fourth down at the 1. Steven Peoples was stopped short of the goal line, keeping it a two-score game.