Mountaineers hand Hokies first loss, 28-7
By Matthew Spiers
October 22, 2003

Post Game Notes #3 Virginia Tech Hokies
at West Virginia Mountaineers
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003
Mountaineer Field - Morgantown, W.Va.
  • The 21-point loss marked the largest point difference in a loss for the Hokies since losing 38-7 to Pittsburgh in 2001.

  • Tech has now scored in 103 consecutive games, but the 28-7 loss marked only the third time during the streak Tech has failed to score 13 points or more. The other two times were a 42-3 loss to North Carolina in the 1998 Gator Bowl and a 38-7 loss at Pittsburgh in 2001.

  • Tech's only score was via its defense. The last time Tech failed to score offensive points in a game was in 2001 at Pittsburgh when Ronyell Whitaker returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

  • Virginia Tech gave up a combined 10 first-quarter points during its first six games before giving up 14 points to the Mountaineers in the first quarter Wednesday night.

  • Tech failed to score in the first quarter, breaking a string of 21-consecutive quarters in which the Hokies had scored.

  • With Vegas Robinson's fumble recovery in the second quarter, it marked the 26th consecutive game in which the Hokies have forced a turnover.

  • Vincent Fuller's touchdown marked the first of his career. He becomes the 61st different player under head coach Frank Beamer to score a touchdown on defense or special teams.

  • The defensive touchdown marks Tech's eighth non-offensive touchdown of the year, tying the Hokies with Miami for the national lead. It marks the 36th non-offensive touchdown by the Hokies since 1999, second only to Miami's 41.

  • Kevin Jones passed Eddie Hunter (2,523 yds.; 1983-86) and moved into seventh place all-time at Tech in career rushing yards with 2,567 yards.

  • Ernest Wilford now has 99 career receptions. With one more catch, he will become just the sixth player in school history to record 100 or more career receptions. He sits in seventh place all-time at Tech in career receptions, trailing Myron Richardson (100 rec.; 1986-89).

  • West Virginia's Quincy Wilson ran for 179 yards against the Hokies Wednesday night. Last year, he ran for 125 yards against Tech. The last player to run for 100 or more yards in consecutive years against Tech was Jacki Crooks of Rutgers. Crooks ran for 108 yards against the Hokies in 1997 and then ran for 118 yards against Tech a year later.

  • The 264 yards rushing by West Virginia were the most allowed by a Tech defense since Pittsburgh ran for 275 yards against the Hokies last year.

  • Tech (6-1, 2-1 BIG EAST) is idle this weekend before hosting Miami (7-0, 3-0 BIG EAST) on Nov. 1. Miami beat Tech last year, 56-45, in Florida. The Hurricanes lead the overall series, 15-5. The game will kick off at 7:45 p.m., and will be televised nationally by ESPN.

  • Morgantown, W.Va. - In its last game against Syracuse, the No. 3-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies scored early and often and hit on all cylinders in throttling Syracuse. Against West Virginia on Oct. 22nd, the Hokies shot themselves in the foot early and often and got the throttle stuck in neutral, dropping a 28-7 decision to the Mountaineers in front of 56,319 fans at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, W.Va.

    Tech suffered its first loss of the season and now sits at 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the BIG EAST. West Virginia improved to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

    The Hokies turned the ball over four times and committed a season-high 13 penalties for 116 yards, many of those coming at critical times. The damage could've been even worse had quarterback Bryan Randall not recovered his own fumbled snap three times.

    The Mountaineers scored 14 points in the third quarter to build a three-touchdown lead and all but put the game out of reach. After trading three-and-outs on the first two possessions of the second half, the Hokies appeared to have the Mountaineers where they wanted them. Tech punted and WVU return man Adam Jones fumbled the punt, kicking it all the way back to the 6 before recovering. But on the second play of the drive, quarterback Rasheed Marshall hooked up with Travis Garvin for a 93-yard touchdown strike, the longest in Mountaineer Field history. Brad Cooper's extra point made the score 21-7.

    Tech could do nothing on its next possession and punted, but a 28-yard return by Lance Frazier put WVU in business at the Tech 34. Seven plays later, Marshall took the ball in from 4 yards out and Cooper's extra point gave the Mountaineers a comfortable 28-7 lead.

    The fourth quarter came and went without incident as the Hokies could not solve WVU's defense and the Mountaineers were content to run out the clock.

    "I don't think this was our best effort by any means," Randall said. "It's always tough when you lose a ballgame, but you can't win them all.

    "It was one of those things where you don't get off on the right foot, and when things go bad, they really go bad. I just tip my hat to West Virginia because they came out ready to play."

    The Hokies were fortunate to find themselves down only 14-7 at halftime. Tech took the opening kickoff and drove to the WVU 25 before Randall was intercepted by Brian King at the 10. West Virginia then drove 90 yards, aided by 35 yards of Hokie penalties, and scored on a 7-yard run by Kay-Jay Harris. Cooper's extra point gave WVU a 7-0 lead.

    On Tech's next possession, the Hokies ran off 29 yards in three plays before Randall pitched an option behind running back Kevin Jones. West Virginia recovered at the Tech 36, and three plays later, Quincy Wilson took the ball off right tackle and scored from 5 yards out. Another Cooper extra point made it 14-0.

    The teams traded possessions and on Tech's next drive, kicker Carter Warley missed a 39-yard field goal wide left. The Mountaineers took the ball to the Tech 30 where they appeared to be stopped when Cooper missed a 47-yard attempt. But Tech's Vincent Fuller was called for running into the kicker, giving WVU a first down.

    However, on WVU's next play, Wilson botched the exchange on a handoff and Tech's Vegas Robinson scooped up the ball. Robinson returned it to the Tech 45 before WVU's Rayshawn Bolden tracked him down and forced Robinson to fumble. But Fuller was there to pick it up and go the remaining 50 yards for a touchdown. Warley's extra point cut the lead to 14-7. But that was as close as Tech would come for the rest of the game.

    Randall completed 14-of-22 for 146 yards, with three interceptions for the Hokies, who amassed just 211 yards of total offense. Jones failed in his bid to become the first Tech back in history to rush for at least 100 yards in five straight games, finishing with 57 yards on 11 carries.

    The Hokies now must try to rebound against the No. 2 Miami Hurricanes on November 1 in Blacksburg. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.