Wilkins completed a Hail Mary to Kyle Williams on the final play of the first half, a play initially ruled short of the goal line by the officials.
Back when that was announced — back when it became clear they had let him play the last three games of 2016 with a developing rotator cuff tear — the question was asked: Do the Panthers even like Cam Newton? With the Panthers sending away Benjamin, flaws and all, someone explain why that question shouldn’t be asked.
The Panthers are one loss behind the Saints in the NFC South, and one win ahead of next week’s opponent, the defending NFC champion Falcons. How they got better in their quest to overcome both of them is terribly unclear.
“Terribly unclear” should be the team slogan. Newton recognized it Sunday. The Panthers reinforced it Tuesday by giving him a lesser team to be optimistic about.
“That turned our season around and ultimately, really, our program. We never looked back from that point for a long, long time. I really think that was one of the signature wins in the series without a doubt.
“After that, we have had a lot of battles with these guys.”
Over the past 17 meetings, the Hokies have won nine, the Hurricanes eight, but more significantly, the Hokies have won six Coastal Division and four ACC titles since the league split in 2005. The Hurricanes are still looking for their first division and conference crowns.
The victor will have a leg up in the division race, especially if it is Miami. A win over the Hokies would make the Hurricanes only undefeated team in the conference and would give them a two-game lead over the Hokies in the division race plus the advantage in any potential tiebreaker with the Hokies.