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Reeling Hokies look to get back on track

A stumble against defending national champion Clemson notwithstanding, Virginia Tech cruised through the first two months of the season with its eyes focused squarely on defending its ACC Coastal Division title.

After consecutive losses to Miami and Georgia Tech to start November, the Hokies are now just hoping to prevent a major collapse.

Miami ended Virginia Tech's division title hopes with a 28-10 home victory Nov. 4, and Georgia Tech added to the Hokies' misery with a 28-22 win on Saturday.

The Hokies have lost consecutive games for the first time under second-year head coach Justin Fuente, and they fell out of both polls after their most recent setback.

Virginia Tech (7-3, 3-3) will try to get things turned around at home Saturday against Pittsburgh (4-6, 2-4).

"I have been really pleased with our response [after Saturday's loss]," Fuente said. "I think our guys understand it and are ready to move on for this week. ... I do believe there's a tremendous amount of ownership on this team, ownership and affection, I guess I should say, for our senior class and a genuine desire to make sure we do everything we can to send them out the right way. And we'll have a heck of a challenge doing that."

Fuente and his staff have faced some scrutiny for offensive playcalling late in the Georgia Tech loss. Needing 1 yard on third and fourth down during its final offensive possession, Virginia Tech eschewed the run and threw two incomplete passes to Eric Kumah near the sideline and to Cam Phillips in the end zone from the Yellow Jackets' 32-yard line.

"It's a short trip from the penthouse to the outhouse. And I get that," Fuente said. "The thing I would tell you is we have thoughts and reasons for those things, and when they don't work, then they were wrong. When they don't work, we can own that. I can handle that. I understand that."


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