N.C. State Escapes with 17-16 Win Over Hokies
By Matthew Spiers
September 25, 2004

Post Game Notes N.C. State Wolfpack
at Virginia Tech Hokies
Saturday, Sep. 25, 2004
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field - Blacksburg, Va.
  • Bryan Randall (Sr., Williamsburg, Va.) started his 29th consecutive game at quarterback Saturday, setting a new school record for the most consecutive starts by a quarterback in the modern era (since 1950). The previous record was held by Steve Casey, who started 28 straight games from 1979-81. 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 N.C. State, from 2000-2003.

  • Free safety Vincent Fuller (r-Sr., Baltimore, Md.) intercepted his seventh career pass, and the second in as many games, in the first quarter.

  • Fullback John Kinzer (r-Fr., Fairfax, Va.) caught his second collegiate touchdown pass in the second quarter, a 4-yard score. His other TD was a 3-yard touchdown reception, coming against Western Michigan. With the scoring pass, Randall has now thrown for a touchdown in each of the last six games.

  • True freshman Eddie Royal (Herndon, Va.) recorded a career-long 58-yard punt return in the second quarter. He finished the day with 107 return yards on three returns, averaging 35.7 yards per return.

  • N.C. State's T.A. McLendon's 6-yard touchdown run was just the second rushing touchdown the Tech defense has allowed all season (Duke). Quarterback Marcus Stone later scored on a 1-yard plunge.

  • Virginia Tech's 192 yards of total offense was the lowest output since Tech netted just 185 yards against North Carolina in the 1998 Gator Bowl, following the 1997 season. The 36 yards of net rushing are the fewest since Tech netted just 15 against Pittsburgh in 2001, a 38-7 loss.

  • Since sacks became part of the NCAA box score in 1989, the 10 sacks allowed by Tech are the most on record. The previous high was nine, set by Florida State in 1989, totaling a loss of 49 yards. Saturday's sack mark totaled a loss of 78 yards.

  • With his 2-yard run on the second-to-last offensive play of the game (spiked ball on last), Randall broke the school record for total offense in a career, previously held by Maurice DeShazo (6,105 yards; 1991-94). Randall now has 6,106 yards thanks to 128 net yards against the NCSU.

  • In each of the past two games, Tech's defense has allowed just six completions and 167 yards. NCSU had just 78 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.

  • The loss is Tech's first in the month of September since a 52-21 loss to Syracuse on Sept. 28, 1996 - a string of 28 games.

  • Virginia Tech (2-2) returns to action next Saturday, hosting West Virginia in a non-conference contest beginning at noon to wrap up a four-game home stand. The game will be televised by ESPN. WVU leads the all-time series, 28-20-1 after beating Tech 28-7 last season at Morgantown. The game will be a battle for the Black Diamond Trophy.

    Box Score BLACKSBURG, Va. - A series of special teams let downs, capped by Brandon Pace's missed 43-yard field goal as time expired, left the Virginia Tech football team on the wrong end of a 17-16 game against N.C. State on Sept. 25. Pace's 43-yard attempt sailed just right of the goalpost as 65,115 watched the Hokies renew acquaintances with their old rival, the Wolfpack, this time as co-members of the ACC.

    The loss left the Hokies at 2-2 on the season and 1-1 in the conference. N.C. State improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference.

    The Hokies began their last drive at their own 5 with no timeouts and 2:44 left on the clock. Tech was able to move 69 yards in 10 plays, converting a crucial 4th-and-3 along the way, to put Pace in range to win the game. With three seconds left on the clock after quarterback Bryan Randall spiked the ball, the field goal unit took the field. The snap and hold were both fine, the kick just floated about 18 inches to the right of the upright.

    "He said he just left it out there," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "It looked like a good kick. When he hit it, I thought he made it. But it just drifted on him."

    The Wolfpack got on the board first with a career-long 53-yard field goal from John Deraney. Deraney came on to hit the field goal when State's eight-play, 35-yard drive stalled with 12:32 remaining in the first quarter, making the score 3-0.

    Tech's defense came up with a big play on State's next possession. Quarterback Jay Davis dropped back to pass and aired one out, but Tech safety Vincent Fuller intercepted the pass. Fuller was brought down around the 20, but lateraled the ball to Eric Green first and Green returned it to the Wolfpack 39.

    The Hokies moved the ball as far as the Wolfpack 9-yard line before settling for a 33-yard field goal attempt. However, this turned out to be Tech's first special teams snafu of the day as Pace pushed the kick wide left.

    The two defenses continued to dominate early and Tech eventually came through with a big play as State quarterback Marcus Stone fumbled. Tech's Jim Davis fell on the ball at the Wolfpack 36 and Tech took over. Nine plays later, Tech quarterback Bryan Randall rolled right and found fullback John Kinzer wide open in the end zone for the 4-yard touchdown pass. Pace's extra point gave Tech a 7-3 lead.

    The Hokies then received a big special teams contribution from freshman Eddie Royal, who fielded a punt at his 27 and returned it 58 yards to the Wolfpack 15 yard line. The Hokies ended up settling for a 23-yard Pace field goal to stretch their lead to 10-3.

    N.C. State knotted the score just before halftime on a 6-yard touchdown run by tailback T.A. McLendon. The Wolfpack took over on Tech's 34 after their defense forced Tech to retreat 19 yards on its previous possession and punt from its own 1. N.C. State ran the ball right up the gut on all six of its plays, and McLendon capped the drive with his 6-yard burst. Deraney's extra point tied the score at 10.

    The defenses really stepped up in the third quarter as the teams combined for just one first down, and that belonged to N.C. State. Tech's special teams buckled again, though, as punter Vinnie Burns dropped a snap and N.C. State recovered at the Tech 6-yard line. Three plays later, Stone plunged into the end zone from a yard out. The extra point made the score 17-10.

    Two possessions later, the Hokies finally broke a big play against the Wolfpack defense, which dominated Tech's line for most of the afternoon. Tailback Mike Imoh, returning from a three-game suspension, broke a 41-yard run and set up a 32-yard field goal by Pace. Tech's score came with 12:15 left in the game and cut the score to 17-13.

    After forcing a Wolfpack punt, Tech took over and Randall connected with Royal twice for 47 yards. Those represented the first Tech completions to a wide receiver and set up a 37-yard field goal from Pace, cutting State's lead to 17-16 and providing the final score.

    N.C. State came into the game as the nation's top-rated defense and showed it against the Hokies. The Wolfpack registered 10 sacks, taking 78 yards away from Tech in the process. The Hokies could not get anything going in the running game, either, rushing 43 times for just 36 yards.

    Randall finished the game 11-for-25 for 156 yards and one touchdown. Imoh rushed for 74 yards on 14 carries in his 2004 debut. McLendon racked up 93 yards rushing on 24 carries for the Wolfpack and scored the one touchdown.

    Tech's next game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 2 when the Hokies serve as the host for the West Virginia Mountaineers. The game will begin at noon.