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#pounditSaturday, October 16, 2021

Virginia Tech loses in brutal fashion after trying to ice kicker

Virginia Tech timeout

The Virginia Tech Hokies lost a game in as painful fashion as possible on Saturday after a well-intentioned attempt to ice the kicker backfired.

The Hokies were tied with Liberty 35-35 with eight seconds remaining. With little time left and Liberty facing a 4th and 6, they elected to try a 59-yard field goal in a longshot bid to win in regulation.

That bid seemed to backfire spectacularly when Virginia Tech blocked the kick and returned it for what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown. There was just one problem: Hokies coach Justin Fuente had called timeout in a bid to ice the kicker.

It’s very important to note that the Liberty players appeared to let up after becoming aware of the timeout. That’s why they didn’t make any effort to pursue the block.

Still spooked by the blocked kick, Liberty ran another offensive play to pick up eight yards. They then converted a 51-yard field goal attempt for the win.

We’ve seen this sort of thing backfire before, like it did in this instance. Even with the caveat that the kick likely wouldn’t have been blocked without the timeout, Fuente really overthought this one. You have to just let the kicker try that from 59 yards out. The odds he makes it are small. Giving Liberty any extra time to think it over is just inviting the result that the Hokies ultimately got.

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