Virginia Tech's three-fold, fourth-quarter collapse gift-wraps game for Ga. Tech

Also in the fourth quarter, Virginia Tech missed a chance to pin Georgia Tech (4-0, 1-0) inside the 10 when Broderick Snoddy muffed a kickoff, retreated into the end zone but still managed to reach the 35. The Hokies forced a punt, and Greg Stroman broke a good return that was wiped out by Bucky Hodges' illegal block, a flag that had Beamer screaming at his tight end.

Already the ACC's most penalized team, the Hokies committed 12 infractions Saturday, four for breaking the offensive huddle with too many players. This after illegally substituting three times on defense versus East Carolina.

"It's going to be dealt with this week," Byrn said of the repeated missteps.

A senior who in preseason spoke openly of returning the program to national prominence, Byrn was the most animated and irritated of the players who endured interviews.

"We've got something to prove now," he said, "and I think that was kind of the mentality we had against Ohio State."

Only now the aspiration is different. Now the aim is to show that Ohio State was not a fluke.

"If I have to be a guy that everyone gets annoyed with, then I guess I'll be that guy," Byrn said. "I'm not much of a rah-rah guy, but I think we all have to start taking ownership."

Beamer was spot-on in saying the ACC's Coastal Division is wide open, which is precisely why Saturday was so critical. A league record of 6-2, or even 5-3, could win the division, and each of the seven teams has shown flashes early in the season.

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In short, Coastal wins will be precious, and the Hokies squandered one Saturday.

"If this doesn't make everyone mad," Byrn said, "then it's going to continue."

David Teel can be reached at 757-247-4636 or by email at For more from Teel, read his blog at and follow him at

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