Hall's career day helps Hokies to 51-7 romp over Syracuse
By Matthew Spiers
October 11, 2003

Post Game Notes Syracuse Orangemen
at #4 Virginia Tech Hokies
Saturday, Oct. 11, 2003
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field - Blacksburg, Va.
  • The 75-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bryan Randall marked a career long for the junior. His previous long was a 47-yard scoring run against James Madison this season.

  • DeAngelo Hall's 60-yard touchdown return was his fourth career punt return for a touchdown and his second of the game. It marks the first time on record a Tech player has returned two punts for touchdowns in one game. Hall now has four career touchdowns on punt returns, tying the school record. Frank Loria (1965-67) and André Davis (1998-01) also had four career touchdowns on punt returns. It also marks the first time in BIG EAST Conference history that one player has returned two punts for scores in one game. Seventy-eight other times a player has returned one punt for a TD in a game, but Hall is the first to return two punts for scores in one game.

  • Vincent Fuller's field goal block in the first quarter marked the 100th total block under head coach Frank Beamer in 194 games. The breakdown is: 52 punts, 27 FGs and 21 PATs. It marks Fuller's first career block.

  • Vinnie Burns' 62-yard punt in the first quarter marked his longest of the season and the second-longest of his career. He had a 63-yarder as a freshman.

  • Ernest Wilford now has 95 career receptions. He also has 1,483 career receiving yards, moving him past Bryan Still (1,458 yds.; 1992-95) and into fifth place all-time at Tech in career receiving yards. Up next is Myron Richardson (1,541 yds.; 1986-89) in fourth place.

  • Kevin Jones recorded his fourth-consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 131 yards. It marked his 10th career 100-yard game. He becomes just the fourth player to rush for 100 or more yards in four consecutive games since 1977. Mickey Fitzgerald (1977), Shyrone Stith (1999) and Lee Suggs (2000) also accomplished the feat. Tech has not had a player rush for 100 or more yards in five consecutive games in the modern era.

  • With his 131 rushing yards today, Kevin Jones now has 2,510 career rushing yards. That moves him past Phil Rogers (2,461 yds.; 1973-75) and into eighth place all-time at Tech in career rushing yards. Up next in seventh place is Eddie Hunter (2,523 yds.; 1983-86).

  • With Jimmy Williams' fumble recovery in the third quarter, Tech has now forced a turnover in 25 consecutive games. Tech did not record an interception, snapping its streak of consecutive games with a pick at 14 games.

  • Carter Warley's sixth PAT today marked his 168th career PAT, setting a new school record. He passes Shayne Graham (167 PATs; 1996-99).

  • Vinnie Burns' average of 46.8 yards on four punts marks his highest average in a game with multiple punts. He had a 49-yard average on one punt against Marshall last year. He now is averaging 42.3 yards per punt on 20 kicks with seven downed inside the 20-yard line, two fair catches and four touchbacks.

  • Tech is now 53-19-4 all-time in Homecoming games and 30-7-2 in Homecoming games played at Lane Stadium. Tech now has a 13-4 record in Homecoming games under Beamer.

  • The Homecoming queen was announced as Kelly Alexander, a Herndon, Va., native majoring in finance and marketing. The Homecoming king was announced as Jonny Gentry, a Raleigh, N.C., native majoring in industrial & systems engineering.

  • Tech (6-0, 2-0 BIG EAST) is idle next weekend before travelling to West Virginia (2-4, 1-1 BIG EAST) for a Wednesday night game being nationally televised by ESPN in a battle for the Black Diamond Trophy. West Virginia beat Tech last year, 21-18, in Blacksburg. The Mountaineers lead the overall series, 27-20-1. Tech has won four of the six games since the Black Diamond Trophy was initiated.
     
  • The No. 4-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies entered their Oct. 11 tilt with Syracuse having lost to the Orangemen the past two years, partially because of Syracuse's dominance on special teams. But in front of 65,115 fans at Lane Stadium, the Hokies returned the favor with a 51-7 romp over their BIG EAST foe, fueled mostly by big plays in the kicking and return game.

    The win moves Tech to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the BIG EAST, while the Orangemen fell to 3-2 and 0-1 in the conference.

    Junior DeAngelo Hall became the first player in Tech history to return two punts for touchdowns in the same game. His returns of 58 and 60 yards, both in the first quarter, gave the Hokies a big early lead and set the tone for the day.

    Tech got on the board first after Syracuse punted on its first possession. On third-and-2, quarterback Bryan Randall took the snap and ran the option to the right. Picking up a couple of nice blocks, Randall raced down the right sideline. A Syracuse defender had the angle on him, but Randall hit the brakes, letting the defender run by right in front of him. Randall then side-stepped a second defender and coasted into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown run. Warley's extra point gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead.

    After Tech's defense held the Orangemen to three-and-out, Hall fielded the punt and headed left. After getting through a hole, he had only the kicker to beat. Just as Randall did on his touchdown run, Hall sidestepped the kicker and a second defender to score.

    The Orangemen could still do nothing with Tech's defense on their next possession, losing 13 yards before punting. This time, Hall took the kick right and outraced everyone to the end zone. Warley's extra point gave Tech a 21-0 advantage with 4:30 still remaining in the first quarter.

    Warley added field goals of 34 and 23 yards in the second quarter to give the Hokies a 27-0 halftime lead.

    Syracuse got on the board quickly in the second half. Tech tailback Kevin Jones fumbled on the first play and SU's Walter Reyes scored on a 1-yard plunge three plays later. Collin Barber's extra point made it a three-possession game.

    But Jones and the Hokies answered right back, going 87 yards in six plays. Jones put the exclamation point on the drive with a 33-yard scoring run. Jones did more damage on the next drive, taking the ball in from 25 yards out. Syracuse appeared to have Jones stopped, but he shook free from a tackle and exploded down the right sideline for the score.

    Syracuse running back Damien Rhodes fumbled on the Orangemen's next possession and Tech safety Jimmy Williams recovered at the Syracuse 24. Hall capped his day on the next play by taking a reverse and going 24 yards for the score. Warley's sixth extra point of the day gave Tech a 48-7 lead and also gave Warley 168 extra points in his career, making him Tech's new career leader in that category. Warley added a 24-yard field goal in the fourth to provide the final margin of victory.

    Jones and Randall ended their days at the conclusion of the third quarter with the game well in hand. Jones rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries and scored the two touchdowns. Randall passed for just 88 yards on 6-of-14 passing and threw one interception. However, he rushed for 93 yards on five carries and scored on the long touchdown run early in the first.

    Hall finished his day with 155 punt return yards on five returns. He also rushed once for 24 yards, scoring three touchdowns in the offensive and special teams phases of the game. He also broke up two passes on defense.

    Tech is off next weekend before traveling to Morgantown for a Wednesday night showdown with the West Virginia Mountaineers on October 22. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.