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No. 11 Virginia Tech avoids Cincy scare, stays unbeaten

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Given a scare by Cincinnati in the first
half, No. 11 Virginia Tech turned to its hallmarks Saturday -- power
running and Beamerball.

Branden Ore ran for 152 of his 170 yards in the second half and
scored a touchdown and the Hokies overcame a sluggish start to beat
Cincinnati 29-13.

The Hokies also got two more of the plays that have made coach
Frank Beamer's name famous -- a blocked punt for a safety and a
72-yard interception return for a sealing TD by Victor "Macho"
Harris, capping a 17-point rally in the fourth quarter.

The Hokies (4-0), who won their first three games by a combined
109-10, didn't take the lead for good until Brandon Pace's 21-yard
field goal with 14:51 remaining made it 15-13.

Ore carried six times on the drive to Pace's go-ahead kick,
including a 24-yard burst. He added consecutive runs of 11, 46 and
8 yards, followed by two 1-yard runs and then a touchdown from a
yard out as Virginia Tech went ahead 22-13 with 8:30 left.

"Coach always stressed to never let the first guy tackle, and
that's pretty much what I tried to do," the sophomore tailback
said. He carried 25 times in the game.

The Hokies trailed 10-5 and had minus-8 yards rushing at
halftime, and Beamer was delighted to see his offensive line
finally start doing its job.

"They opened up a few holes that allowed Brandon Ore to make a
couple of terrific runs," he said.

Cincinnati coach Mark Dantonio said his defense got tired in the
fourth quarter, just as it had last week when No. 1 Ohio State
pulled away to beat the Bearcats 37-7.

"In the fourth quarter we missed tackles and you have to give
them credit, give Ore credit -- he made some nice runs," Dantonio
said.

The Hokies also used Beamerball to account for their first and
last scores. Besides Harris' interception return, Josh Morgan
blocked a punt out of the end zone for a safety.

Harris had two interceptions, and his touchdown was the 67th
scored by a defensive player under Beamer, who is in his 20th
season at his alma mater. Morgan's punt block was the 112th by the
Hokies under Beamer, and the fourth kick blocked this season.

Harris said he'd been well-coached to make the interception.

"I baited it and I got it," he said.

Beamer said the Hokies were trying to just hold onto their lead
after Mike Mickens recovered a fumble to give the Bearcats the ball
on the Tech 43 with 3:13 left.

"But then Macho settled the whole thing in one play," Beamer
said.

Beamer cautioned his team against complacency this week, noting
that the Bearcats played the Buckeyes close for 2½ quarters last
week, and Cincinnati proved him right by scoring the last 10 points
of the first half.

The lead didn't last long as Justin Harper caught a 47-yard
touchdown pass from Sean Glennon just 1:36 into the third.

Cincinnati didn't flinch, though, launching a 15-play drive that
lasted 8:45. Kevin Lovell finished it with a 46-yard field goal to
put Cincinnati back ahead, 13-12.

But then smash-mouth took over, and Ore and Harris assured the
victory.

The Hokies struggled with their passing game. Glennon was
11-for-23 for 188 yards with one interception. He was sacked three
times and had minus 21 yards rushing.

Tech finished with 145 rushing yards. The Bearcats had 121 yards
on the ground and 280 in all.

Butler Benton had a 40-yard run late in the second quarter to
set up the Bearcats' first score. Two plays later, Greg Moore's
1-yard run gave Cincinnati a 7-5 lead.

Cincinnati kept up its momentum, intercepting a Glennon pass at
Tech's 24-yard line. That led to Lovell's 34-yard field goal with
58 seconds left in the half.

Pace kicked at 37-yard field goal for Tech late in the first
quarter.