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July 18, 2013

Top Plays of the Modern Era 1-5

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It's July and football season is slowly approaching. Key word: slowly. There isn't a slower month in the college football off-season than July. If anything happens, chances are its negative.

For college football fans, you want your team's official twitter feed to be inactive in July. But at the same time, practice is a mere month away. What do you do to hold you over? You go to YouTube and relive some of the best plays in recent memory, of course! Today, we rank those plays.

The Criteria

It is important to note that this isn't a list of the best plays, the most meaningful plays, or the most impactful plays. This is a list of the plays that you go to when you need them most. You pull these up when you're sitting on the couch after cutting the grass in 110-degree heat and the only thing on is the Marlins versus the Mets. Then, you proceed to spend an hour diving deep into YouTube's utter greatness as your heart begins to race with excitement for the upcoming season.

It is also important to note that this is my list, and you are certainly entitled to your own opinion.

The List, 1-5

1. Dyrell Roberts 98-yard kick return against Alabama (2009)

"Thirty-five, forty, forty-five, lookout. Foot raaaaaaace." Brent Musberger's call adds to this, but there isn't a single play that gets me as instantly pumped. I was sitting in the stands of the end zone that Roberts runs toward in this one and the return plus post-return atmosphere was ear-splitting loud. It was pure euphoria.

The atmosphere for three-and-a-half quarters there was unbelievable, but this return sort of sent the message that the Hokies were going to be in this one. When talking about some of the most incredible and exciting plays I've seen over the last few years, this one and Landon Donovan's goal against Algeria in the World Cup always come up first.

2. Michael Vick 82-yard touchdown run versus Boston College (2000)

One of the best parts about watching these plays - aside from the actual play - is listening to the calls from the announcer's booth. This one has it all. Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson are on the call in this one.

The call gets really good with Lundquist exclaiming, "Look at him run! Oh my gosh!" Then, before No. 7 fools the last defender, you hear some sort of astonishment from somewhere; I believe it to be Danielson. As for the play itself, it's incredible. I count four jukes from Vick while the pocket is collapsing, then he's off to the races.

3. DeAngelo Hall strip-and-score against Miami (2003)

VT's own Bill Roth nails this one. His "give it to me Roscoe, give it to me" call is pure gold. The strip-and-score by the uber-talented Hall began a straight beat down by the Hokies that night. I was 11 at the time of this game, but I remember watching it at a neighbor's house.

The game started and it was an avalanche against the 'Canes that they couldn't stop. Hall's strip-and-score ignited the best crowd in Lane Stadium history as well. Simply put - that was a perfect night in Blacksburg.

4. Tyrod Taylor to Danny Coale versus Nebraska (2009)

For 58 minutes, this was among the most boring offensive performances in Virginia Tech history. The Hokies had absolutely nothing going for them and needed to go 80 yards in about two minutes when they hadn't been able to do anything all day. Then Taylor's pump fake froze Coale's defender and busted the coverage, and Taylor hung in and threw a beautiful deep ball down the sideline.

In the stands, I thought he was in for a touchdown for sure, but both Roth and ESPN's Sean McDonough nailed him going out of bounds at the three. The most underrated part of watching this play? The entire Virginia Tech sideline going absolutely bananas and basically following Coale as they saw him spring open on the sideline.

5. Logan Thomas 19-yard touchdown against Miami (2011)

This entire game was absolutely wild. It was back-and-forth, back-and-forth as the Hokies and 'Canes traded punches in a classic. Lamar Miller's touchdown run to give Miami the lead at 35-31 was a bone crushing run that left everyone worried that this one was going to end poorly.

Then, Thomas completed a couple of passes and the Hokies went to the ground for the final five plays of the game as the clock wound down. The execution on this play was perfect, the atmosphere throughout the day was perfect, and even the leaping cheat bump that Thomas and Taylor completed after the play on the sideline was perfect.

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