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December 31, 2013

Instant Analysis: VT's Bowl Not Sunny

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EL PASO, TX -- For three quarters, Virginia Tech hung in there despite its mistakes and despite its starting quarterback being knocked out of the game after a vicious hit. But everything unraveled in a flurry thereafter.

By the time the fourth quarter beating was over, UCLA had taken a 14-10 lead after the third quarter and turned it into a 42-12 win over the Hokies in the Sun Bowl. It goes down as the second-worst bowl defeat in Virginia Tech's history, behind only a 42-3 beatdown at the hands of North Carolina in the 1998 Gator Bowl.

All season, there's been a number of Hokies fans clamoring for junior quarterback Mark Leal to play. They got their wish when senior quarterback Logan Thomas took a big, high hit after a dump pass and was knocked out of the game with a stinger.

Leal played well at first, throwing a 27-yard pass to Joshua Stanford. In the fourth quarter, though, Leal threw a pair of interceptions, one returned for a touchdown and the other leading to a touchdown. Still, Leal was pointed to by coach Frank Beamer[/db] after the game as the Hokies' quarterback going forward.

It's a disappointing end to an 8-5 season for Virginia Tech. And though Beamer says Leal is the 'guy' he might be far from it going forward.





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