Virginia Tech thought they had a blocked kick for a touchdown until they didn’t.
Icing the kicker isn’t a new tactic. However, calling that timeout a second or two prior to the snap is risky, because it can give said kicker a warm-up try, or eliminate a missed field goal and give the opposing team a do-over. Yet, as Virginia Tech found out, it can get even worse.
Alex Barbir’s 51-yard kick was originally blocked and returned for a touchdown by Virginia Tech defensive back Jermaine Waller. While Frank Beamer is long gone, his patented “Beamer Ball” delivering the Hokies a special teams touchdown at the buzzer was a beautiful sight in Blacksburg.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
A Hokies win wasn’t meant to be
Rather than what would amount to a walk-off win in college football, Justin Fuente called a timeout to try and ice Barbir. Not only was the victory wiped off the scoreboard, but Hugh Freeze’s bunch received a second chance at glory.
Barbir knocked home the 50-plus yard kick with ease.
Freeze and Liberty are 7-0, making for a remarkable turnaround in just a short period of time. The former Ole Miss coach, who left the program in the wake of a recruiting scandal (and more), is in the midst of a redemption story Hollywood wouldn’t believe, and would surely be rated R if it ever made its way onto the big screen.
A win over a Power-5 team validates the Flames as a legitimate top-25 team. Freeze and Co. are in a position to move up even further in the next AP Top 25.