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WVU quashes Va. Tech's national title hopes

10/23/2003

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Quincy Wilson rushed for a season-high
178 yards to lead West Virginia to a 28-7 victory over No. 3
Virginia Tech on Wednesday night, casting a huge cloud over the
Hokies' national title hopes.

Virginia Tech fell down 14 points early and never crossed
midfield in the second half in suffering its worst defeat since a
38-7 setback to Pittsburgh on Nov. 3, 2001.

The Hokies (6-1, 2-1 Big East) now must regroup for a showdown
Nov. 1 at home against No. 2 Miami. Virginia Tech entered the game
third behind Oklahoma and Miami in the first Bowl Championship
Series standings.

Virginia Tech wanted revenge for a 21-18 setback to the
Mountaineers last year in Blacksburg, Va. Instead, West Virginia
fans stormed the field in celebration of the school's first
back-to-back wins over the Hokies in a decade and its first victory
over a team ranked as high as the Hokies.

Police used pepper spray on fans who tried to tear down the goal
posts. Many in the crowd of 56,319 stormed the field, but State
Police and dozens of yellow-shirted security personnel surrounded
the goal posts and kept fans at bay.

It wasn't immediately known whether anyone was arrested or hurt.

Wilson and Kay-Jay Harris had touchdown runs. Rasheed Marshall
ran for one score and completed the second-longest pass play in
school history for another TD as the Mountaineers (3-4, 2-1 Big
East) pulled off the shocker.

West Virginia minimized Tech's biggest weapons, turned two
first-half turnovers into scores and roughed up the Big East's top
defense for 426 yards.

Bryan Randall was intercepted three times and had four fumbles,
one which was recovered by West Virginia.

Running back Kevin Jones was held below 100 yards rushing for
the first time in five games.

DeAngelo Hall, who scored twice on punt returns two weeks ago
against Syracuse, rarely got an opportunity.

Randall fumbled the game's first snap, and not much else went
right for the Hokies.

Even their three-game streak of blocked punts came to an end.

West Virginia never trailed in ending an 0-7 streak against
teams ranked No. 3. They nearly beat No. 2 Miami on Oct. 2, but
lost 22-20 on a field goal with 11 seconds left. The previous bests
by West Virginia were a trio of wins over No. 4 teams -- Penn State
and Boston College in 1984, and Miami in 1993.

On West Virginia's first drive of the second half, Marshall
found Travis Garvin alone at the Mountaineer 45 and he scored on a
93-yard pass play for a 21-7 lead.

Lance Frazier's 28-yard punt return later in the quarter set up
Marshall's 4-yard TD run to finish the scoring.

West Virginia pounded the ball on the ground, outrushing Tech
264-65. Wilson surpassed his season high of 177 yards set in his
last game against Rutgers.

Jones, the nation's 10th-leading rusher, was held to 57 yards on
only 11 carries.

Brian King, whose interception of Randall in the end zone sealed
last year's win at Virginia Tech, had two picks Wednesday, one at
the West Virginia 10 on the opening series.

Josh Bailey's 10-yard catch -- the first by a Mountaineer tight
end this season -- and Wilson's 16-yard run set up Harris' 7-yard
run to open the scoring.

Randall then pitched the ball over Jones' right shoulder on the
option and West Virginia's Mike Lorello recovered at the Tech 36.

The Mountaineers scored in three plays. Tight end Tory Johnson
made a leaping catch for 19 yards and Wilson scored from 5 yards
out for a 14-0 lead.

Virginia Tech squandered another first-half scoring threat when
Carter Worley missed a 39-yard field goal midway through the second
quarter.

It appeared West Virginia would capitalize on a penalty after
the Hokies ran into Brad Cooper on a missed field goal attempt.

Instead, Virginia Tech got its only score on the next play.

Tech's Vegas Robinson returned a fumble by Wilson 17 yards
before he appeared to be tackled. But the ball squirted loose, and
Vincent Fuller grabbed it at midfield and went untouched for a
score two minutes before halftime.

Virginia Tech allows only 88 rushing yards per game but gave up
82 to Wilson in the first half alone.

Tech, the league's least penalized team was flagged 13 times for
116 yards.