Hokies Finally Kickoff the 2000 Season
Virginia Tech Wins 52-23 Over Akron
September 2, 2000
By Jimmy Robertson Editor - hokiesports.com the newspaper

Virginia Tech, ranked 10th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and 11th in the Associated Press poll, rode the arm of quarterback Michael Vick and the legs of Lee Suggs and that helped Tech's defense overcome a shaky start as the Hokies whipped Akron 52-23 at Lane Stadium in the season opener for both teams.

With the win, Tech improved to 5-0 all-time versus the Zips. Tech has now won nine of its past 10 openers and improved to 10-4 in season openers under head coach Frank Beamer.

"I'm proud of our team," Beamer said. "I thought they [Akron] showed the youth on our defense, but I feel very confident that we will be better. Offensively, we had some good plays and long plays and I thought the kicking game did well.

"Now it's time for us to be focused. We need to take what we can from this game and learn from it. But effort was never a problem out there."

Vick completed 7-of-11 for 186 yards and two touchdowns and he also ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. In all, Vick accounted for 288 of Tech's 549 yards of total offense as the redshirt sophomore kicked off his campaign for the Heisman Trophy along with other honors.

Suggs, a redshirt sophomore making his first collegiate start, rushed for 90 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns. Tech rushed for 335 yards as a team on the day.

Tech's defense play shaky at the beginning, allowing more than 300 yards of total offense in the first half alone. The Hokies led 28-17 in the second quarter, but momentum seemed to be swinging in the Zips favor after Akron quarterback Butchie Washington found Lavel Bailey for a 37-yard scoring strike to cut the lead to 11.

But Vick quelled the momentum by connecting with receiver Emmett Johnson on a 59-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute to go in the first half to give Tech a 35-17 lead.

Tech's defense adjusted at halftime and played better in the second half. The Hokies did not allow a point and the Zips amassed just 110 total yards in the second half.

The win by Tech sets up a much-anticipated Thursday night showdown with East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. The Pirates played Duke on Saturday.