Hokies collect first ACC win, 41-17 over Duke
By Matthew Spiers
September 18, 2004

Post Game Notes Duke Blue Devils
at Virginia Tech Hokies
Saturday, Sep. 18, 2004
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field - Blacksburg, Va.
  • Bryan Randall (Sr., Williamsburg, Va.) started his 28th consecutive game at quarterback Saturday, tying the school record set by Steve Casey (1979-81) for the most consecutive starts by a quarterback in the modern era (since 1950). Randall's first start was the 2002 Marshall game. The NCAA record for consecutive starts by a quarterback is 51, set by Philip Rivers of North Carolina State, from 2000-2003.

  • Fullback John Kinzer (r-Fr., Fairfax, Va.) made his first collegiate start. Tech started its first two games in a two-tight end set.

  • Flanker Richard Johnson (r-Sr., Baltimore, Md.) completed his first collegiate pass in the second quarter, connecting with Josh Hyman (r-Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) for a 34-yard touchdown. The pass is officially Johnson's second as he attempted a pass in the 2001 Gator Bowl against Florida State - an incompletion - before bowl stats counted, and had an incompletion against California last season in the Insight Bowl. The last completion by a non-quarterback before Johnson's was in 2001 when punter Vinnie Burns (r-Sr., New Orleans, La.) connected with Garnell Wilds on a 33-yard fake punt. The last touchdown pass from a non-quarterback came against Alabama-Birmingham in 1999, when tailback Andre Kedrick connected with Andre Davis for a 35-yard score.

  • With an 11-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, Johnson became the first player since Tony Paige to catch and throw a touchdown pass in the same game. Paige caught an 8-yard score and threw a 32-yard scoring pass in a 30-14 win over Wake Forest in 1981.

  • Free safety Vincent Fuller (r-Sr., Baltimore, Md.) intercepted his sixth career pass in the second quarter. He had four as a sophomore and one last season. Linebacker Blake Warren (r-Jr., Clifton, Va.) recorded his third collegiate interception in the fourth quarter.

  • With 231 yards of total offense in the game, Randall (5,978 yards) now sits just 128 yards away from breaking the school record for total offense in a career, held by Maurice DeShazo (6,105 yards; 1991-94). He passed Will Furrer (5,782 yards; 1988-91) and Don Strock (5,871 yards; 1970-72) in the first half and now sits second all-time at Tech in that category.

  • Duke had just 89 yards of passing in Saturday's game. The last time Tech's defense held a team to that total or less was in 2002, when the Hokies held Virginia to just 51 yards passing in a 21-9 win at Blacksburg.

  • This is the first time Tech has beaten Duke in a conference game. The Hokies were previously 0-6 against the Blue Devils in Southern Conference action.

  • Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0) returns to action next Saturday, hosting North Carolina State in a conference contest beginning at noon. The game will be televised by ESPN. Tech leads the all-time series, 23-17-4. The last time the two teams met was in 1993, a 13-13 tie at Blacksburg.

    Box Score BLACKSBURG, Va. - Despite the threat of rain and cold weather following in the wake of Hurricane Ivan, Virginia Tech's tilt with Duke on Sept. 18 had the feel of one big party. The cause for celebration was Tech's long-awaited football debut in the ACC, and the Hokies celebrated with 65,115 of their closest friends and some fireworks in a 41-17 rout of the Blue Devils.

    The Hokies improved to 2-1 with the win and 1-0 in the ACC. Duke dropped to 0-3 and 0-1 in the conference.

    The biggest crowd-pleaser of the day came in the second quarter with the Hokies holding a 10-7 lead and five minutes remaining in the half. Tech's defense had just held Duke to its third straight three-and-out and took over at the Blue Devil 34 after Duke's punt. On first down, quarterback Bryan Randall pitched the ball to receiver Richard Johnson on a reverse. Johnson, a former high school quarterback, looked downfield and lofted a perfect pass to freshman Josh Hyman in the end zone. Hyman got behind his man, leaped and made a great catch for the score.

    "We've run it a lot in practice, and we ran it in the Gator Bowl and at Western Michigan my sophomore year," Johnson said. "We were excited about the play and I had a gut feeling that it was going to happen today."

    But the Hokies weren't done in the first half. After Tech safety Vincent Fuller intercepted a pass by Duke's Chris Dapolito at the Tech 46, the Hokies drove 54 yards and gave the fans another party favor, this time courtesy of Randall. On first-and-10 from the Duke 30, Randall took the ball on a busted shuffle pass play, scrambled out of the pocket and broke or dodged six Duke attempts to bring him down, ultimately walking into the end zone. The point after gave the Hokies a 24-7 lead, which they took into the locker room.

    Tech's defense, which shut out Western Michigan last week, held Duke to just 61 yards of offense and 0-of-6 on third-down conversion attempts in the first half.

    Brandon Pace added a 28-yard field goal on Tech's first possession of the third quarter to extend Tech's lead to 27-7. Randall and Johnson kept the party going on Tech's next possession, hooking up for an 11-yard touchdown pass. Randall's laser to Johnson punctuated an eight-play, 54-yard drive and the extra point made the score 34-7.

    Duke kicker Matt Brooks tied a career-long with a 44-yard field goal at the 14:17 mark of the fourth quarter to cut into Tech's lead. However, Blake Warren intercepted a Curt Dukes pass at midfield and returned it to the Duke 10 with 7:45 remaining in the game. Four plays later, Cedric Humes took a pitch and scampered in from a yard out. Duke added a token touchdown late in the game when Dukes found Jomar Wright for a 35-yard score. The extra point provided the final score of 41-17.

    "We've waited for this day a long time," head coach Frank Beamer said of Tech's first ACC game. "People who have been around Virginia Tech know how super it is to be in the ACC and right now to be 1-0 in the ACC. We know where we are right now, but we know what we've got to do to prove that we belong in the top, too.

    Duke broke the ice in this game when Justin Kitchen intercepted a Randall pass and returned it to Tech's 41. Tech's defense held but the special teams buckled when Duke punter Trey McDonald faked the punt, rolled right and completed a nine-yard pass to Andy Roland for the first down. Two plays later, receiver Deon Adams ran a reverse in from 28 yards out to put the Blue Devils ahead.

    Tech answered back on the first play of the second quarter when Justin Hamilton fought his way in from a yard out, and the extra point knotted the score. After holding Duke to three-and-out on its next possession, the Hokies took the lead for good with a 21-yard Pace field goal with 10:21 remaining in the first half.

    Randall finished as Tech's leading rusher and passer on the day, running for 93 yards with one touchdown and passing for 138 yards and one touchdown. He moved ahead of Will Furrer (5,792 yards) and Don Strock (5,871 yards) and into second place on Tech's career total yardage list. Randall now has 5,978 yards and sits behind only Maurice DeShazo's 6,105 yards.

    Hyman continued his stellar play with four catches for 89 yards and the one touchdown and he rushed once for 16 yards. Fuller's interception was also the sixth of his career.

    The Hokies hope the festivities continue next week when the N.C. State Wolfpack come to Blacksburg looking to crash Tech's party. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for noon.