Hokies handle Huskies in season opener
By Jimmy Robertson
September 1, 2001

Tech quarterback Grant Noel enjoyed an outstanding debut as the Hokies' starting quarterback, throwing for 267 yards and three touchdowns as Tech opened the 2001 season with a 52-10 over Connecticut in front of 53,662 fans at Lane Stadium.

Tech (1-0), which won its 13 straight at Lane Stadium, scored on its first five possessions to roll past the Huskies. The onslaught started on Tech' first drive when Noel threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to André Davis on his very first pass attempt. Noel threw an 8-yard touchdown to fullback Jarrett Ferguson on Tech's second possession and a 49-yard touchdown strike to Davis early in the second quarter. Noel completed 16-of-20 for 267 yards and three touchdowns.

"I thought the whole offensive operation was good for an opening game," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "I thought we had some players step up and Grant certainly handled himself well."

Tech tailback Lee Suggs rushed for 99 yards and scored two touchdowns, breaking two school records in the process. Suggs now holds the school mark for career touchdowns and career rushing touchdowns. But the redshirt junior left the UConn game with a knee injury and is scheduled for an MRI on his left knee Saturday evening at Montgomery Regional Hospital.

"There is some laxity there and we think that's from an old high school injury," Tech trainer Mike Goforth said. "There is no swelling, which is a good thing. We'll know more after the MRI, but the best case scenario is he'll be ready for next week."

Tech's offense amassed 606 yards of total offense. The Hokies' defense, after some first-quarter miscues, shut out UConn the final three quarters. UConn (0-1) finished with just 184 yards of total offense.

With the win, Beamer recorded his 100th victory as the head coach of the Hokies. Beamer, who became the school's winningest coach in 1997 now has a 100-61-2 record during his 14 seasons in Blacksburg.

The Hokies now prepare for Western Michigan, which comes to Lane Stadium next Saturday for a noon kickoff.