Hokies hammer WVU in Morgantown
By Jimmy Robertson
October 6, 2001

Tech's dominant defense lived up to its billing and the Hokies got 102 yards rushing and two touchdowns from tailback Keith Burnell in slamming West Virginia 35-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 63, 271 fans in Morgantown.

The win marked the Hokies fourth straight in the series and their 10th in the past 13 meetings with the Mountaineers. The game served as the Mountaineers worst shutout loss at Mountaineer Field since a 35-0 loss to Oregon in1963 and West Virginia's second-worst loss ever to Tech. The Hokies now have recorded three shutouts in their five games.

"I think we're fast," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said of his defense. "I think we have fast kids who play fast and that's not always the case. I think we play fast and we're mature and we don't waste steps. We've got some good players on our defense."

"We've faced Clemson the past few years and a couple of the teams we've played like to spread it out," Tech backer Ben Taylor said. "So we knew what was coming. We've got a great senior group and that defensive line is able to make plays."

On its second drive of the game, Tech went 56 yards in seven plays, with Burnell gaining 27 of those yards. Burnell polished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and the extra point gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first quarter.

Tech added to it on its next possession. Thanks to a 53-yard punt return by André Davis, Tech took over at the West Virginia 10. On third-and-goal, fullback Jarrett Ferguson barreled in from three yards out and the extra point gave Tech a14-point lead with 4:23 left in the first quarter.

Tech's final touchdown of the half came courtesy of reserve tailback Kevin Jones, who went 44 yards untouched with 11:33 left in the half as the Hokies took a 21-0 halftime lead.

On defense, the Hokies physically pounded the Mountaineers. WVU tailback Avon Cobourne came into the game averaging 136 yards rushing per game, with three straight 100-yard performances coming into the game. He amassed just 31 yards rushing on 18 carries and the Mountaineers as a team finished with just 33 yards rushing against the nation's leading rushing defense.

The Mountaineers fared no better in the air. That proved just as futile as Tech sacked WVU quarterbacks five times and constantly forced them to throw under pressure. WVU quarterbacks Brad Lewis and Derek Jones combined to go 15-of-38 for 140 yards and three interceptions.

Tech's final two scores came on a 10-yard run by Burnell in the third quarter and a 27-yard interception return for a score by Jim Davis also in the third quarter.

Tech finished with 412 yards of total offense, including 224 yards on the ground. The Hokies shook off a shaky game by quarterback Grant Noel, a West Virginia native who completed just 12-of-20 for 171 yards and threw his first two interceptions of the season.