Tech goes to 5-0 with road win at Rutgers
By Jimmy Robertson
October 4, 2003

Post Game Notes #4 Virginia Tech Hokies
at Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Saturday, Oct. 4, 2003
Rutgers Stadium - Piscataway, N.J.
  • Rutgers' touchdown with 12:48 left in the first quarter, making it 7-0, marked the first time Tech has trailed this season.

  • Ernest Wilford now has 93 career receptions, moving him past Mike Burnop (90 rec.; 1970-72) and Donald Snell (92 rec.; 1983-86) and into sixth place all-time at Tech. Up next in fifth place is Myron Richardson (100 rec.; 1986-89). With his 66 yards receiving, Wilford now has 1,466 career receiving yards, moving him past Donald Snell (1,409 yds.; 1983-86) and Bryan Still (1,458 yds.; 1992-95) and into fifth place. Up next is Myron Richardson (1,541 yds.; 1986-89) in fourth place.

  • Chris Shreve made his first collegiate start against Rutgers and also hauled in his first collegiate touchdown pass, a 28-yarder. He later added a 45-yard touchdown. His four receptions today surpass the number he had in his first two seasons. He now has eight catches on the season.

  • Tech tight ends caught two passes in the game. With those two catches, 56 of the last 62 passes caught by Tech tight ends, and every one this year, have produced first downs.

  • With his 118 yards rushing, Kevin Jones now has 2,379 career rushing yards, passing Shyrone Stith (2,292 yds.; 1996-99) and Vaughn Hebron (2,327 yds.; 1989-92) and into ninth place all-time at Tech in career rushing yards. Up next in eighth place is Phil Rogers (2,461 yds.; 1973-75).

  • Kevin Jones has rushed for 1,047 yards in eight regular season starts at tailback, an average of 130.1 yards per game.

  • Jonathan Lewis recorded his first collegiate interception in the first quarter. Tech has now intercepted a pass in 14 consecutive games and has forced a turnover in 24 straight games. Under Beamer six different defensive tackles have recorded interceptions. They are: 2003 - Jason Lallis and Lewis; 2000 - Chad Beasley and David Pugh; 1995 - J.C. Price; 1990 - Jerome Preston. Beasley had two interceptions.

  • Vegas Robinson recorded his fourth collegiate interception in the second quarter. He had three picks a year ago. Blake Warren recorded his second career interception. He had one against West Virginia last season. The last time a Tech squad recorded four interceptions in a game was at Temple in 2001.

  • Bryan Randall threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns on 16-of-22 passing. It marks the third time in the junior's career he has thrown for 200 yards or more. He threw for 504 yards last year at Syracuse and threw for 278 yards against UCF in the season opener this year.

  • Jimmy Williams recorded his first collegiate touchdown late in the second quarter, coming on the second interception of his career. He made his other interception against Rutgers last year. Williams becomes the 60th different player on special teams or defense under head coach Frank Beamer to score a touchdown. Since the start of the 1993 season, Tech is 43-6 in games it scores at least one touchdown on defense or special teams.

  • Bryan Randall's four touchdown passes marked the third consecutive visit to Rutgers a Tech quarterback has thrown for four TDs. Michael Vick did it in 1999 and Grant Noel accomplished the feat in 2001.

  • Both Chris Shreve and Mike Imoh caught two touchdown passes. The last time Tech had two players catch two touchdown passes in the same game was in 1999 against Rutgers. They were André Davis and Ricky Hall.

  • Jeff King blocked his second career field goal Saturday. He blocked an attempt at Western Michigan last season. The block marks the 99th total block under head coach Frank Beamer in 193 games.

  • Backup tailback Cedric Humes has scored five touchdowns in the last four games. He had three against James Madison, one against UConn and one Saturday.

  • Tech has returned three interceptions for touchdowns in five games this season. The school record for interceptions for touchdowns in four, set in four different seasons.

  • With the win, Tech improves to 12-1 all-time in BIG EAST Conference openers.

  • The win marked the 11th straight season Tech has won its opening road game. The Hokies have won 36 of their last 47 road games and 21 of the last 29 BIG EAST road games.

  • Tech (5-0, 1-0 BIG EAST) hosts Syracuse next Saturday in a noon game being nationally televised by ESPN or ESPN2. Syracuse beat Tech last year, 50-42 in triple overtime.

  • Little known and seldom used receiver Chris Shreve enjoyed a career day and Tech's offense scored on the Hokies' first four possession as No. 4-ranked Tech withstood a couple of late Rutgers' scores in a 48-22 victory in the BIG EAST opener for both teams in front of 28,956 fans at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway, N.J.

    With the win, Tech remained perfect at 5-0 on the season (1-0 in the BIG EAST). Rutgers fell to 3-2, 0-1 in the league and lost its 23rd straight BIG EAST game.

    Tech seemed to be in control after taking a 41-7 lead on a touchdown pass from quarterback Bryan Randall to Mike Imoh on its first possession of the second half. But two quick Rutgers' scores - one on an interception return of Tech back-up quarterback Marcus Vick - resulted in head coach Frank Beamer putting his starters back in the fourth quarter.

    "The good part is we do things sometimes as good as we've ever done them at Virginia Tech," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "Then at other times, you're scratching your head a little bit. But if you can do it one time, you can do it every time. We need to learn from our mistakes and go out there and play all the time like we do some of the time."

    Rutgers actually took a 7-0 lead in this one, taking advantage of a DeAngelo Hall muffed punt that the Scarlet Knights recovered at the Tech 29 early in the game. Three plays later, Rutgers quarterback Ryan Hart completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Tucker and Justin Musiek's extra point gave Rutgers a seven-point lead less than four minutes into the game.

    That only seemed to wake the Hokies up as Tech scored on its next four possessions. On the ensuing possession after Rutgers scored, Randall found Shreve for a perfect 28-yard touchdown strike that enabled the Hokies to tie the game at 7.

    Randall found Shreve again on the Hokies' next possession. This time, Randall hit the 6-0, 180-pound redshirt senior from Mouth of Wilson, Va., on a quick slant that went for 45 yards and a touchdown as the Hokies took the lead.

    Shreve, making his first collegiate start because of injuries to Richard Johnson and Justin Hamilton (who played), finished with four catches for 93 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career.

    "I definitely think I caught them by surprise," Shreve said. "I'm sure they were thinking 'Who's this guy making his first start?' There probably wasn't a lot of film on me, and with Ernest on the other side, they probably thought it would be best to double-team him and play me one-on-one. Fortunately, everything worked out."

    Randall enjoyed a big day as well. In the first half alone, he threw three touchdown passes as the Hokies jumped to a 34-7 lead. Tech's other scores came on a 5-yard run by tailback Kevin Jones and a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown by safety Jimmy Williams.

    Randall ended up throwing four touchdown passes on the day, becoming the third Tech quarterback in as many trips to Rutgers to throw four scoring passes (Grant Noel and Michael Vick). He completed 16-of-22 for 250 yards, with one interception.

    "I think they were trying to heat us up [blitz] a little bit to keep us from running the ball on them," Randall said. "We were able to pound them with the passing game and it worked so there was no reason to quit doing it."

    Offensively, Tech finished with 473 total yards, including 186 on the ground. Jones rushed for 118 yards on 26 carries and Cedric Humes rushed for 43 on six carries, including a game-sealing 35-yard touchdown run late in the game. Vick suffered some growing pains in this one, completing just 2-of-6 for 37 yards, with two interceptions.

    Tech's defense allowed 311 yards of total offense. But the Hokies picked off four Hart passes and sacked him twice.

    The Hokies now prepare for Syracuse in a key BIG EAST game. Tech lost to Syracuse in triple overtime last year, and the Hokies lost to the Orangemen two years ago at Lane Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon and the game will be televised by ESPN or ESPN2.