Hokies cruise in opener
By Jimmy Robertson
August 25, 2002

Post Game Notes Arkansas State vs. Virginia Tech
Sunday, August 25, 2002
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field - Blacksburg, Va.
With today's 63-7 victory, Tech now holds a 3-0 advantage in the all-time series. The Hokies have outscored the Indians 147-14 in the three meetings.

Eight of the nine Tech touchdowns were scored by either a freshman or sophomore. The lone touchdown by an upperclassman came on a 32-yard carry by senior Lee Suggs in the first quarter.

Five players scored their first career touchdown in today's victory. DeAngelo Hall, Mike Imoh, Jeff King, Jason Lallis and Bryan Randall all contributed with their first career touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Bryan Randall finished the game completing six-of-eight passes for 66 yards. Randall factored in on three of the Hokies' scores by rushing for two touchdowns and passing for another.

Tech led 35-0 after the first quarter, tying a modern day school-record (since 1950) and a BIG EAST Conference record for points in a quarter.

The Hokies' 63 points were the most points scored in a season-opener since Sept. 30, 1905, when Tech defeated Roanoke College, 86-0. Also, the 63 were the most points scored in a game since Oct. 14, 1995, when the Hokies defeated Akron, 77-27.

In his first action since the 2001 season opener against Connecticut, senior running back Lee Suggs finished the game with 87 yards on seven carries with one touchdown. Suggs has now scored in 14 consecutive games in which he has played.

With his 87 yards, Suggs now has 1,529 career yards. Today he moved past Mickey Fitzgerald (1976-79) for 18th place on the all-time career rushing list. Next up on the list is Tommy Francisco (1964-66) who rushed for 1,555 yards.

Tech's tight ends continue to produce. With receptions by Jeff King and Keith Willis in today's game, 43 of the last 47 receptions by the Tech tight ends have gone for a first down.

Tech scored its first three touchdowns of the season on special teams, offense and defense, respectively, and the Hokies never looked back en route to a 63-7 season-opening victory over Arkansas State in the Hispanic College Fund Classic held Sunday afternoon in front of 54,016 fans at Lane Stadium.

Tech, ranked 16th in both national polls, notched its seventh consecutive opening game win and its 11th in the past 12 openers. The win also marked the 150th of head coach Frank Beamer's coaching career.

"I think it was a good start for us," Beamer said. "I think our defense is playing fast. We knew we had some fast guys. We just wanted to see them play fast. Just watching the blurs go by out there, I thought we were playing fast.

"Offensively, I thought we did some good things. Grant did some nice things while he was in there. The running backs did some good things. I thought Bryan made some nice throws and made a couple he'd like to have back. When you're playing someone and you're keeping score, you certainly can evaluate the video and learn from it."

DeAngelo Hall scored two of Tech's first three touchdowns, taking a punt 69 yards for a score early in the first quarter and then returning an interception 49 yards for a touchdown as Tech scored three touchdowns in a seven-minute span. The other score came courtesy of Lee Suggs, who sprinted in from 32 yards out with 9:47 left in the first quarter.

Suggs, coming back from a torn ACL suffered in last season's opener, finished with 87 yards on just seven carries. His teammate, Kevin Jones, rushed for 31 yards on just four carries, including a 19-yard touchdown run. But the Hokies as a team rushed for 288 yards on the day.

"It felt good to be back," Suggs said. "I feel like I can do a lot more if I can get into little bit more of a rhythm. But it felt good getting out there and getting the carries I did get."

Tech's defense made things miserable for Arkansas State the entire game. In the first half alone, Tech forced four fumbles and one interception - which led to 28 Tech points - and held Arkansas State to just 86 yards of total offense. The Indians got inside of Tech territory just twice in the first half, with one of those possessions coming courtesy of a Bryan Randall fumble.

For the game, the Hokies held ASU to just 24 yards rushing and 227 yards of total offense.

Tech now gets ready for 13th-ranked LSU. The Tigers come to Blacksburg next Sunday in a showdown of two top 25 teams. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 and ABC will televise the game.

"We've got a serious football team coming in here next week," Beamer said.