Tech moves to 4-0 after win over UCF
By Jimmy Robertson
September 29, 2001

Virginia Tech shook off a sluggish start by using special teams and defense to whip Central Florida 46-14 in front of 53,662 fans at Lane Stadium. The win enabled the Hokies to improve to 4-0 on the season, while UCF fell to 1-3. The Golden Knights are now 0-10 versus ranked opponents.

"There was a lot of good plays, big plays, excellent plays," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "It's a good win over a good football team. I worried about them [UCF] going into this game. They're athletic and they're good.

"We've just got to keep on working. Offensively, we sometimes don't take advantage of some opportunities. But overall, we're getting great effort and we need to keep on plugging and see if we can't get better."

Tech actually trailed 7-0 in this one - the first time all season - after UCF went 82 yards in six plays early in the first quarter. The big play for the Golden Knights came on their second play when quarterback Ryan Schneider hit receiver Doug Gabriel for a 71-yard play to the Tech 11. Four plays later - on third-and-goal from the 9 - Schneider found tight end Michael Gaines in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point gave the Golden Knights a 7-0 with 1:04 left in the first quarter.

But the Hokies responded by scoring the next 19 points. Keith Burnell's 13-yard touchdown run tied the game and the Hokies took the lead for good on Carter Warley's 31-yard field goal with 2:36 left in the first half.

A 7-yard touchdown run by Kevin Jones - courtesy of a botched kickoff return by UCF - gave the Hokies a 17-7 lead with 1:11 left in the half. The Hokies then added a safety as time expired in the half when Brandon Manning blocked a punt that rolled out of the end zone.

In the second half, UCF cut the lead to 19-14 after Tech quarterback Grant Noel fumbled on the Hokies' first drive of the half. Tailback Alex Haynes scored on a 2-yard run to cut the lead to five.

But the Hokies poured it on after that. Burnell added another touchdown run and Warley added a couple of more field goals. Kevin McCadam returned an interception for a touchdown and André Davis returned a punt for a touchdown as the Hokies never looked back.

Burnell and Jones paced Tech's 232-yard rushing day. Burnell finished with 82 yards on 21 carries, while Jones added 90 yards on 11 carries. Noel completed 15-of-25 for 170 yards as the Hokies finished with 435 yards of total offense.

Tech's defense forced five turnovers and held UCF to 251 total yards. The Golden Knights finished with just 24 yards rushing.

Tech now gets ready for another BIG EAST conference road contest. The Hokies travel to Morgantown, W.Va. for a noon kickoff with the Mountaineers next Saturday. West Virginia is 2-2 on the season.