The first full Saturday of college football delivered a lot of entertainment (lol, Texas), but it did lack in quality football games -- especially as the marquee matchup of Florida State and Alabama was, how do we put it, a little boring. The long-awaited resumption of the Black Diamond Classic on a Sunday at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md, however, did not disappoint as Virginia Tech came away with a 24-31 victory to keep the Black Diamond Trophy in Blacksburg. For Virginia Tech, it is their 23rd win in the series, which was last played in 2005 when the Hokies knocked off the then 3rd-ranked Mountaineers 17-34 in Morgantown.
After a tight first thirty-minutes that saw the Mountaineers trail by 3 at the half, both offenses got into a rhythm in the second half with Josh Jackson and Will Grier showing their pre-season hype was well deserved. Jackson, a highly touted recruit out of Michigan, impressed with 235 yards through the air, going 15 for 26 with a touchdown and no interceptions, but did the most damage with his legs, piling up 101 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. None of those runs was bigger though, than his 51-yard scamper in the fourth quarter to set up a go-ahead score by Travon McMillen with 3-yards to go.
Before the game started, there were a lot of questions about both teams -- and especially WVU’s defense, which lost eight starters from a year ago. And though the defense gave up a few big plays, they mostly held their own against what looks to be the best team in the ACC Coastal. On offense, one thing was clear as the Mountaineers look ahead to the rest of the season -- the best Florida Gator quarterback this weekend was wearing gold and blue. Grier piled up 371 yards on 31 of 55 passing with 3 touchdowns and one interception.
For the Hokies, their next game will be a home-date with FCS school Delaware on 9/9. The Mountaineers, meanwhile, will face off next Saturday with another former schedule regular, the Pirates of East Carolina traveling to Morgantown.