MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Marcus Vick threw for two touchdowns
and ran for another and No. 3 Virginia Tech converted two West
Virginia turnovers into scores to beat the Mountaineers 34-17 on
Saturday in the finale of a 33-year series between the former Big
Vick, facing the Mountaineers for the first time, ran for a
season-high 74 yards and was 15-of-17 passing for 177 yards.
The Hokies avoided the many turnovers and penalties they had in
2003 when they also were ranked third and were beaten 28-7, the
highest-ranked opponent West Virginia had ever defeated. The
celebration of the win was marred when more than 100 fires were set
after that midweek game in Morgantown.
The schools have met every year since 1973 but Tech's move to
the Atlantic Coast Conference last year and the subsequent addition
of other teams to the Big East made it more difficult for the two
schools to schedule each other.
This time, Virginia Tech (5-0) gave the sellout crowd little
reason to celebrate. The Hokies never trailed and kept the
Mountaineers offense off the field for most of the second half.
Vick efficiently guided long scoring drives on Virginia Tech's
first two possessions after halftime. His 23-yard scramble set up
Cedric Humes' 4-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter for the
West Virginia (4-1) failed to score a second-half touchdown for
the second straight game and the third time this season.
West Virginia managed just seven yards on its first three
offensive series. Vick, who went 9-of-10 for 115 yards in the first
half, ran for a 10-yard score after Pernell Williams fumbled deep
in Mountaineer territory on West Virginia's second possession.
West Virginia quarterback Adam Bednarik was knocked out of the
game in the second quarter when he was hit going out of bounds and
hurt his left shoulder.
The Mountaineers came back behind backup Pat White. Virginia
Tech's defense had allowed just two touchdowns all season, but West
Virginia matched that in the second quarter.
Two Mountaineer receivers made their first career catches -- both
touchdowns -- to temporarily keep the score close. Michael
Villagrana caught a 2-yard TD pass and Dorrell Jalloh split two
defenders and went 46 yards to cut the deficit to 17-14.
But West Virginia's Antonio Lewis let a punt go off his chest
and D.J. Parker recovered for the Hokies at the Mountaineers' 30.
Vick needed just four plays to make West Virginia pay, hitting
Eddie Royal with a 16-yard TD reception for a 24-14 halftime lead.
Freshman Steve Slaton, part of a five-back rotation, provided
much of West Virginia's second-half offense on one play -- a 44-yard
run in which he broke three tackles. But the Mountaineers managed
only a short field goal on the series, their only points of the
Slaton led all rushers with 90 yards on 11 carries. Humes led
Virginia Tech with 79 yards on 22 carries.