Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech athletics
Head coach Justin Fuente prepares to enter his fifth season at the helm of Virginia Tech.
In his first four seasons, there’s been multiple games he’s won at Lane Stadium to talk about for the ages. With that, we decided to list Fuente’s top five home wins as head coach of the Hokies.
In what will be a 5-part series, we’ll be looking back on those memorable victories. Coming in at No. 4 om the list is Fuente’s first Thursday night contest at Lane Stadium — a 37-16 victory over Miami in a key ACC Coastal contest on Oct. 20, 2016.
A Warm Beginning
Fuente’s first Thursday night home game sure didn’t disappoint. The Miami Hurricanes came into Blacksburg on an unseasonably warm late October night in 2016. They left absolutely blown away by the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The atmosphere at Lane Stadium that night was electric. Of course, that is always the case when Miami comes to town. The fact that it was Thursday night at Lane Stadium was the cherry on top.
The Hokies gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about. This classic Coastal clash started out with Joey Slye hitting a 47-yard field goal on the Hokies’ opening drive. The Canes countered to tie it 3-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Back and Forth
Up 6-3 in the middle of the second quarter, Hokie quarterback Jerod Evans hit Sam Rodgers for a 52-yard reception to move inside the 10-yard-line. Evans then connected with tight end Bucky Hodges for a 7-yard touchdown to put Tech on top, 13-3.
After a Miami touchdown with 19 seconds left in the half made it 16-9, the Hokies responded with a 70-yard touchdown drive. Hodges’ second touchdown capped the drive and put the Hokies up 23-9.
Miami wasn’t done. The Hurricanes drew back to within a touchdown on a 35-yard scoring strike from Brad Kaaya to Christopher Herndon IV. That’s when the Hokies took control and never looked back.
Momentum shifted completely toward the Hokies after Fuente rolled the dice. Evans handed it off to Rogers, who then connected with Steven Peoples wide open in the end zone to put Tech up 30-16. The capper of the night then came in the final three minutes when Evans went 34 yards on a designed keeper that ended with him in the end zone.
Travon McMillan was all over the place that night for Virginia Tech, rushing for 136 yards. Evans finished with 357 yards of offense and three total scores.
Fuente picked up his first signature home win as head coach of Virginia Tech. The win also put the Hokies in prime position to eventually win the ACC Coastal and face Clemson in the ACC title game.