BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Bryan Randall ran for two touchdowns and
passed for another Sunday as 16th-ranked Virginia Tech opened its
season with a 63-7 rout of Arkansas State in the Hispanic College
Fund Football Classic.
The Hokies lost 11 starters from last year's team, but they had
little trouble giving coach Frank Beamer his 150th career victory.
Seven different Virginia Tech players scored touchdowns in the
first half as the Hokies took a 56-0 lead -- the most points in
school history before halftime.
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall scored twice in the first quarter,
returning a punt and an interception for touchdowns.
Hokies running back Lee Suggs, the nation's leading scorer two
years ago, made a successful return after missing nearly all of
last year with a torn ligament in his left knee. He gained 87 yards
and scored one touchdown in his first game since Sept. 1, 2001,
when he was injured against Connecticut.
Arkansas State's Elliot Jacobs completed nine of 16 passes for
177 yards and a touchdown.
Tech's defense, which had to replace five of its front seven,
forced five turnovers and held Arkansas State to 227 total yards,
73 of which came on Jacobs' TD pass to Mike Cox in the third
Hokies starting quarterback Grant Noel, who has had problems
with his left knee, was 2-for-5 and threw a touchdown pass. He gave
way to the speedy Randall in the second quarter.
Arkansas State, which went 2-9 last year and hasn't had a
winning season since 1995, settled on Jacobs at quarterback in the
second half after Tommy Miller was ineffective and left the game
after reinjuring his right knee.
The Indians sorely missed two-time 1,000-yard rusher Jonathan
Adams, who's now playing with the New Orleans Saints. Adams'
successor, Danny Smith, had 36 yards rushing and was benched after
fumbling three times.
On his first drive in the second quarter, Randall ran for 37
yards and scored on a 12-yard keeper. Randall followed up with a
19-yard scoring pass to Mike Imoh. Randall added a 5-yard TD
scramble in the third quarter.
Tech took a 35-0 first-quarter lead, and the scoring rush
started when Hall caught a punt and zigzagged 69 yards for the
The previous Virginia Tech school record for points in a first
half was 49, against Rutgers in 1999.