Hokies coach Beamer not ready for nostalgic journey with as many as 2 games left

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BLACKSBURG, Virginia — Frank Beamer wasn't in any great rush to reflect on a celebration of his 29 years as the Hokies' football coach, or anything else but next weekend's game.

Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4) lost 30-27 to No. 12 North Carolina in overtime on Saturday, and will need to beat Virginia on Saturday to stretch its NCAA-best streak of seasons ending with a bowl appearance to 23.

"We've got one more shot here next weekend," Beamer said.

The day also set up for a classic Beamer victory. With Bud Foster at the controls, the Hokies limited one of the nation's most potent offenses for three quarters, then seemingly gave the game away with three consecutives drives ending in turnovers. Then, as people began eyeing the exits, they forced two turnovers to get right back in.

Touchdowns with 2:54 to play, and 1:07 to play, had Lane Stadium as loud as it has been in years.

"I just wish we could have pulled it out today," Foster, the Hokies' longtime defensive coordinator, said. "That would have been the icing on the cake."

The annual rivalry game will make the third time in four years the Hokies need to win to go to a bowl game. That streak was preceded by one in which Virginia Tech won at least 10 games for eight consecutive seasons.

"We've done some really special things here," said Foster, who played for Beamer at Murray State and has coached with him ever since. "It's unfortunate the last couple of years have not gone like the previous 18 or 19."

Beamer, who had to wipe a tear or two away after making the walk with the team down a street lined with screaming fans to the pregame locker room, was neither oblivious to the emotions, or focusing on them.

"I'm thankful I had such appreciation from the fans today rather than them wanting to run you out of town," he said.

The Tar Heels (10-1, 7-0 ACC, No. 17 CFP) won their 10th in a row and clinched the Coastal Division title, and did so despite blowing a 14-point lead in the final three minutes of regulation.

Virginia Tech tied the game on Michael Brewer's 4-yard, fourth-down pass to Isaiah Ford with 1:07 remaining, and Joey Slye's extra point, but the Hokies had to settle for a 41-yard field goal by Slye to begin the overtime.

Marquise Williams then hit Ryan Switzer for 18 yards on the Tar Heels' first play, and after two runs and a false start penalty put them at the 5, Williams hit Quinshad Davis in the right corner of the end zone.

North Carolina will play No. 1 Clemson in the ACC championship game on Dec. 5.

Elijah Hood turned two Virginia Tech turnovers into fourth quarter touchdowns as the Tar Heels opened a 24-10 lead, sending some fans heading for the exits when Brewer was intercepted a second time.

The Hokies, though, used a takeaway of their own to pull within 24-17 with 2:54 left on Brewer's 8-yard scoring pass to Bucky Hodges, and then got Williams to fumble again on a sack by Luther Maddy.

Brewer then hit Isaiah Ford for 36 yards to the Tar Heels' 12, and after two runs and an incomplete pass gave them a fourth-and-2 at the North Carolina 4, Brewer hit a sliding Ford for the tying touchdown.

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