CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Its hopes for a shot at the national
championship dashed in a humbling loss to Miami two weeks ago, No.
7 Virginia Tech made sure on Saturday that its November fades of
recent seasons would not be repeated.
Doing it against Virginia, and by a 52-14 score, made it that
"We got our swag back," Hokies cornerback Jimmy Williams said.
"Everybody was watching. It was more of a statement game to show
that we're not the Tech of old. ... There's won't be any more of
those November losses and teams tanking around here."
Cedric Humes ran for 113 yards and three touchdowns, Branden Ore
ran for 115 and two TDs and Marcus Vick bounced back from a
six-turnover nightmare against the Hurricanes with two touchdown
passes and the steady play the Hokies count on.
The defense did its part, too, getting two interceptions by
Aaron Rouse that turned into 14 points, and a big special teams
play that yielded another easy touchdown.
The Hokies dominated almost from the opening kickoff, when some
of their coaches worried if the team was far enough past its
disappointment of the 27-7 loss to Miami to get back to playing
"To be able to come out there and make a statement about our
team after our loss to Miami is tremendous," senior defensive
tackle Jonathan Lewis said, adding that he'd assured the coaches
the team was prepared. "It shows a lot about our character."
Virginia Tech (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) piled up 503
yards and allowed only 254 to a team that had been playing well
behind quarterback Marques Hagans.
But on a day when Hagans and at least 12 other Cavaliers played
their last home games, they also played one of their least
effective, never getting anything going.
"What can you do but feel embarrassed?" Hagans said.
The Hokies also effectively cut down Hagans' scrambling, which
he'd used to such advantage when Virginia beat Florida State, by
trying to keep him in the pocket.
"That was the main thing we were focused on," linebacker Vince
Hall said. "He broke out plenty of times and did his thing, but we
had to try and keep that to a minimum."
Now, the Hokies are looking for help as the season winds down.
They finish at home against North Carolina on Saturday, and would
need Miami to lose to reach the ACC title game. The conference
champion gets an automatic spot in the BCS, though Virginia Tech
would be strongly considered for an at-large spot if it finishes
with just one loss.
Virginia visits No. 3 Miami in its regular-season finale next
Even the Hokies were surprised at how easy this one turned out.
The running game accounted for 333 yards and five touchdowns and
kept the pressure off Vick.
"We came in here for a dogfight thinking we were going to take
it down to the last second," Vick said after going 15-for-21 for
170 yards with one interception.
The Cavaliers (6-4, 3-4), who had won two straight at home and
21 of their last 23, gave the crowd of 63,344 reason to hope at the
start the second half, driving 71 yards in nine plays to Wali
Lundy's 9-yard touchdown run, pulling to 24-7.
But the Hokies answered with an 80-yard march of their own,
Humes taking it in from 9 yards out, and Rouse ended Virginia's
next two drives with interceptions that the Hokies also turned into
touchdowns. Ore got the first on a 7-yard run, and Humes got the
next one from 3 yards. Ore later added a 31-yard run to make it
"I never thought in a million years the game would turn out
like this," Hagans said. He finished 17-for-30 for 140 yards and
was also sacked three times.
The turning point came early.
Trailing 10-0, the Cavaliers forced the Hokies to punt. Michael
Johnson muffed it at his own 6, the ball bouncing off his shoulder
pads, and Roland Minor recovered for Virginia Tech. Humes took it
in on the next play from the 1, making it 17-0.
"That's a big turning point in the ballgame," Hokies coach
Frank Beamer said.
When Vick hit Eddie Royal for a 24-yard TD 1:24 before halftime,
it was 24-0 and Virginia never recovered.
"I always say, 'You are what you are," Virginia coach Al Groh
said. "And it was what it was today. You can't turn it into
Lundy did add a second touchdown run in the fourth quarter,
joining North Carolina State's Ted Brown and North Carolina's Leon
Johnson as the only players in league history with 50 career
touchdowns. He finished with 67 yards on 15 carries.
Welcome to the Thanksgiving edition of the Pac-12 mailbag, which includes playoff talk and analysis of Rich Rodriguez's future.
After months of cheering for your team to win, its time to extend that goodwill to others. Heather Dinich breaks down who you need to cheer for if you want your team to make it in to the College Football Playoff.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin joins David Greene on SEC Film Room to analyze the Aggies' win against Vanderbilt.
ESPN College Football reporter Chris Low discusses why Kirby Smart is emerging as a top candidate for the South Carolina head coaching position.
What we're thankful for in the Pac-12 this season, including an influx of young talent, surprises both good and bad, and the College Football Playoff.
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart are among the 34 nominees for this year's Broyles Award.