Tech ground game too much for BC
By Jimmy Robertson
October 10, 2002

Post Game Notes #4 Virginia Tech Hokies
at Boston College Eagles
Thursday, October 10, 2002
Alumni Stadium - Chestnut Hill, Mass. The 44-yard touchdown pass from Bryan Randall to Ernest Wilford in the first quarter marks career-long touchdown plays for both. The two connected on a 52-yard pitch and catch at Texas A&M, but Wilford was tackled at the 1-yard line.

The touchdown by Lee Suggs in the second quarter marked the 19th consecutive game in which he has started that the senior has scored a touchdown. It also marked his 39th career rushing touchdown, a new BIG EAST Conference record. Suggs was tied with West Virginia's Amos Zereoue before breaking the record.

Suggs finished with 154 yards, putting him over the 2,000-yard mark for his career. He now has 2,026 career rushing yards, making him just the 13th Tech player ever to cross to the 2,000-yard plateau. He needs 27 more yards to move past James Barber into 12th place.

Kevin Jones' 67-yard run in the second quarter was a season long for both Jones and the Hokies.

Willie Pile's interception in the second quarter was his second of the season and the 12th of his career. The pick tied him for fifth place in school history with John Granby and Mike Widger. It also ties him for fifth place in BIG EAST history with Syracuse's Donovin Darius.

The last punt return allowed for a touchdown by a Hokie opponent before Jamal Burke did it in the second quarter was Syracuse's Jamel Riddle (51 yards) last year. It is also the longest punt return against the Hokies in a BIG EAST game.

That touchdown was the first touchdown allowed by Tech in the first half this season. Tech allowed a field goal in the first quarter at Texas A&M.

Both Suggs (154 yards) and Jones (144 yards) went over the 100-yard rushing mark Thursday, marking the second time this year the duo has done that. They did it at home against Marshall. It marks the second visit in a row to Alumni Stadium a Tech duo has accomplished the feat. Michael Vick (210) and Suggs (145) did it in 2000.

The 15 penalties against the Hokies were the most under a Frank Beamer-coached team. The previous high was 14, set in 1988 against South Carolina and equaled in a 1993 game against Miami.

With three interceptions and a fumble recovery, the Hokies now have 20 takeaways on the year and are +15 on the year. Tech went into the game ranked second nationally in turnover margin.

Thursday night's game was televised by ESPN. With the win, Tech has now won the last 17 games it has played on ESPN and ESPN2.

The Hokies are now 11-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers.

Thursday night (334 yards) marked the second time this year the Hokies have surpassed the 300-yard mark in rushing. Tech had 395 yards rushing against Marshall.

The Eagles' 83 yards rushing were the most against the Hokie defense this season. With the effort, Tech has held 14 of their 17 last regular-season to under 100 yards rushing.

Since the start of BIG EAST Conference round-robin play in 1993, Tech is now 62-3 when it rushes for 200 yards or more.

Tech has allowed just two rushing first downs in its last two games. Western Michigan had one, as did Boston College.

True freshman Nic Schmitt was 4-for-4 on extra point attempts, but missed his lone field goal try, a 41-yard attempt. He also kicked off twice for the Hokies.

Tech is now 14-2 in night games against BIG EAST opponents. Tech has now won 22 of its last 24 regular season night games.

Tech's four touchdown drives spanned 81, 75, 80 and 74 yards, respectively. With those four drives, 11 of Tech's last 14 scoring drives have covered more than 70 yards.

Tech (6-0, 1-0) is back in action on Oct. 19, hosting Rutgers in a conference game. It will be Virginia Tech's Homecoming and will kick off at 1 p.m. Tech is 9-3 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, winning the last nine games in the series. The game will not be televised.
 
Virginia Tech used 154 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Lee Suggs and 144 yards rushing and a score from Kevin Jones to beat Boston College 28-23 in front of 42,826 fans at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The game marked the BIG EAST opener for the Hokies.

With the win, Tech - ranked fourth in the nation in both major polls - remained perfect on the season at 6-0, 1-0 in the BIG EAST. BC, which has lost to the Hokies seven straight times, fell to 3-2, 0-2 in the league.

"We feel fortunate to get out of here with a win," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "To commit as many penalties as we did and to give up as much return yardage as we did and yet still find a way to win says something.

"Our defense made some great stands and we were able to pound them offensively. I'm proud of these kids because we did find a way. We're leaving here with a W' and we'll take it."

Tech survived a late touchdown and ensuing onsides kick by BC to stay unbeaten. BC scored with 49 seconds left on a 1-yard run by quarterback Brian St. Pierre. The Eagles went for two and failed when Tech rover Michael Crawford picked off the conversion pass. BC then went for the onsides kick, which Tech's DeAngelo Hall recovered to seal the game for the Hokies.

Tech jumped out to a 14-0 lead in this one, scoring on its first possession on a 44-yard pass play from quarterback Bryan Randall to receiver Ernest Wilford. Wilford caught a pass that was deflected by BC defensive back Ralph Parent and went into the end zone.

Tech's second score came on its second possession. Suggs rushed for 66 yards on a 75-yard drive and finished it with a 1-yard run - his BIG EAST record-setting 39th career rushing touchdown. The extra point gave Tech a 14-0 lead with 12:12 left in the first half.

But the Eagles rallied, getting on the board near the end of the first half. Stopping Tech at midfield and forcing the Hokies to punt, BC returner Jamal Burke fielded a Vinnie Burns punt and went 83 yards for a score. The extra point by Sandro Sciortino cut Tech's lead to 14-7 with 1:03 left in the half.

The Eagles then tied the game on their second possession of the second half on a 5-yard run by Derrick Knight. The extra point tied the game at 14 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.

But the Hokies immediately answered. Thanks to two huge third-down conversions by Randall - an 8-yard pass to Shawn Witten on third-and-8 and an 11-yard run on third-and-9 - the Hokies went 74 yards in 14 plays. Jones finished the drive this time, scoring on a 4-yard run, and the extra point gave the Hokies a 21-14 lead with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.

"For us to take it down and score, I thought that made a statement," Beamer said.

"You could see it in everyone's eyes before that drive," center Jake Grove said. "We knew it was time to get down to business. We kept working hard and got after and those two guys behind us ran great, just like they always do."

A 49-yard field goal Sciortino early in the fourth quarter cut the lead to 21-17, but Tech answered by going 75 yards - all on the ground. Suggs finished it with a 27-yard run with a little more than five minutes left in the game.

The Hokies rushed for 334 yards and finished with 420 yards of total offense. Tech also held the ball for nearly 38 minutes. In contrast, BC finished with 315 yards of total and turned the ball over four times.

Tech returns to Lane Stadium for the first time in a month for its next game. The Hokies take on Rutgers for Homecoming, a game that kicks off at 1 p.m.