Notre Dame 14, Virginia Tech 14: First Half Notes and Tidbits

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Jafar Armstrong is now fully back; and healthy. It looked like the story of the first half was the feature back’s redemption/comeback story…until his lost fumble. It’s the first time Armstrong has lost the ball since November 15, 2015.

Unfortunately, the lost fumble resulted in a 98 yard touchdown return by Virginia Tech’s Divine Deablo, which tied the game, just before halftime. Despite a 243-85 advantage in yards gained, ND is knotted up with VT at 14 at the break.

hokies cheerleaders

On the plus side, it’s great to see Armstrong making plays again this season, just like he has throughout his career. He set up the second touchdown (Tommy Tremble 4 yards from Ian Book) with a 26 yard reception off of a screen. On the last drive before the half, he made a great play off a simple safety valve in the flat, converting a key red zone third down…unfortunately, you know how the drive ended.

Va Tech’s receivers, with the exception of Damon Hazelton, have had some issues in this game. However, Hazelton, who torched the Irish last year with 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown last year, has looked clinical at times.

He has the Hokies only offensive touchdown thus far, and he also produced the second nicest looking play of the game. He made a a great adjustment back to the ball as his team was driving late in the second quarter. However, it was all for naught, as his own ineligible man downfield penalty made his coming back to the ball null and void.

That was the second nicest looking play, the first was Notre Dame cornerback Donte Vaughn’s phenomenal end zone pass breakup…but that went to waste too, as the very next play was Hazelton’s touchdown.

Well, on to the second half.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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