Defense, special teams lead Tech to 31-7 win over No. 2 Miami
By Matthew Spiers
November 1, 2003

Post Game Notes #2 Miami Hurricanes
at #10 Virginia Tech Hokies
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2003
Lane Stadium/Worsham Field - Blacksburg, Va.
  • The highest ranked opponent Tech has ever beaten prior to Saturday night was ninth-ranked Texas in the 1995 Sugar Bowl and ninth-ranked West Virginia in 1989.

  • Sophomore linebacker Jordan Trott (Torrance, Calif.) made his first collegiate start Saturday night, filling in for the injured Mikal Baaqee (shoulder).

  • Virginia Tech broke out its all-maroon uniforms for the third time this year. The other two games were Texas A&M (35-19 win) and Syracuse (51-7 win).

  • Eric Green recorded his fourth career blocked kick in the first quarter when he blocked a Jon Peattie field goal. He has blocked three punts and one field goal. Tech has now blocked 101 total kicks in 196 games under head coach Frank Beamer (52 punts, 28 FGs, 21 PATs) and has blocked nine kicks against Miami since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 1991.

  • The last game Tech played in a game where the game was scoreless after one quarter was at Western Michigan last season. The Hokies went on to win that game 30-0.

  • Tech's fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first half marked the 27th straight game in which the Hokies have forced a turnover. Green later added a touchdown on an interception return in the third quarter. Those touchdowns mark the ninth and 10th non-offensive touchdowns, respectively, via return this year for Tech, which is tops in the nation. It also marked the 37th and 38th touchdowns, respectively, since 1999, second in the nation only to Miami's 41.

  • DeAngelo Hall's fumble recovery in the second quarter for a touchdown marked the fifth different way he has scored in his career. He has scored via punt return, interception return, fumble return, rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown. He has scored four different ways this season (2 punt returns, rushing TD, receiving TD and fumble recovery).

  • With 25 first-half return yards, junior DeAngelo Hall (724 yds.) moved past Angelo Harrison (697 yds.; 1995-98) and into fifth place all-time at Tech in career punt return yardage. Up next in fourth place is Billy Myers (750 yds.; 1984-87).

  • Green scored his second touchdown of his career, both coming this season on interception returns.

  • Michael Crawford recorded his first career interception in the third quarter.

  • Kevin Jones' touchdown in the third quarter marked the first offensive touchdown for Tech since the third quarter of the Syracuse game, a span of seven consecutive quarters.

  • Jones went over the century mark for the fifth time in the last six games, rushing for 124 yards. He now has 863 yards on the season and 2,691 for his career. The total passes Ken Oxendine (2,645 yds.; 1994-97) and moves him into sixth place all-time at Tech in career rushing yards. Up next in fifth place is Dwayne Thomas (2,696 yds.; 1992-95).

  • With his first catch tonight, Ernest Wilford became the sixth player in Tech history to catch 100 career passes. He had one reception in the game, moving him into a tie with Myron Richardson (100 rec.; 1986-89) in fifth place all-time at Tech for career catches. Up next is Mike Giacolone (103 rec.; 1979-82) and Andre Davis (103 rec.; 1998-01) in third place and Ricky Scales (113 rec.; 1972-74) in second place. Antonio Freeman (1991-94) holds the Tech record with 121 career catches.

  • With 46 yards receiving, Wilford moved past Myron Richardson (1,541 yds.; 1986-89) and into fourth place at Tech for career receiving yards. He now has 1,587 yards for his career. Up next is Andre Davis (1,986 yds.; 1998-01) in third place.

  • Wilford's touchdown gives him 10 for his career, tying him with Giacolone (10 TDs; 1979-82) for eighth place all-time at Tech in career touchdown receptions.

  • Virginia Tech outrushed Miami, 175-116, in Saturday night's game and won. That moves Tech's record to 111-23-2 under Beamer when Tech outrushes its opponent and 46-2 since 1999. Tech is now 45-0 in regular season games since the beginning of the 1999 season when outrushing its opponent.

  • The two completions by Tech are the fewest since the 2000 UCF game, where the Hokies completed just 2-of-8 passes, the same outcome as Saturday night. Prior to the 2000 UCF game, the fewest completions by a Tech team was one on the way to a 27-7 win over VMI in 1977.

  • Virginia Tech injury report: Chris Shreve (hamstring), Ernest Wilford (right foot; X-rays negative); Keith Willis (right ankle; X-rays negative), Darryl Tapp (left ankle). All will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

  • Virginia Tech (7-1, 3-1 BIG EAST) will travel to Pittsburgh (6-2, 3-0 BIG EAST) on Saturday for a 7:45 p.m., game at Heinz Field. The game will be nationally televised by either ESPN or ESPN2. Pittsburgh defeated Tech last season, 28-21, at Blacksburg. Tech leads the overall series, 7-3.

     
  • BLACKSBURG - There were numerous parties vying for attention in Blacksburg on November 1, with Governor Mark Warner, acting legend Robert Duvall, the 1973 NIT basketball team, and the No. 2-ranked Miami Hurricanes all in attendance. However, the Virginia Tech defense refused to be upstaged, and in fact, stole the show in a 31-7 dismantling of the Hurricanes in front of 65,115 fans at Lane Stadium.

    Tech's win snapped Miami's 39-game regular-season winning streak, 27-game BIG EAST winning streak,18-game road winning streak, and improved the record for the No. 10 Hokies to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the BIG EAST. Miami falls to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the BIG EAST. The win also marked the first time in the program's history that the Hokies have beaten a top five team.

    Tech's defense, much maligned after a loss to West Virginia the last time out, scored two touchdowns and set up a third in totally bottling up Miami's potent offensive attack. The 'Canes racked up some yards, but committed four turnovers, which led to 21 Tech points.

    The Hokies came out with a 10-0 lead in the second half, but appeared to be in a little bit of trouble when Marcus Vick fumbled an option pitch and Miami recovered at its 47. But on the very next play, Tech defensive end Cols Colas pressured Miami quarterback Brock Berlin. Berlin shook off the sack, but with the timing of the play thrown off, he tried to force a throw into Kevin Beard. Tech corner Eric Green stepped in front of the pass and then weaved his way 51 yards for the touchdown. Carter Warley's extra point made the score 17-0 and gave the Hokies some breathing room.

    Two possessions later, Berlin fumbled a snap but recovered just as two Tech defenders sandwiched him. Berlin tried to throw the ball away, but Michael Crawford easily picked the pass and returned it 45 yards to the Miami 10. Kevin Jones took the ball in two plays later, and the point after essentially put the game out of reach.

    Tech's last score came on a 46-yard strike from Vick to Ernest Wilford. The play came with 34 seconds left in the third quarter and was just the second completion for Tech in the game, the first for positive yardage.

    Miami avoided the shutout with a token touchdown in the fourth when backup quarterback Derrick Crudup found Jason Geathers for a 10-yard touchdown.

    "We knew that if we came out and played good on defense and good on special teams that we could beat them," Green said.

    The two teams played to a stalemate in the first quarter, with both missing out on legitimate scoring opportunities. Tech took its first drive to the Miami 25 before Bryan Randall threw an interception. Two drives later, Miami penetrated to the Tech 22, but Green blocked Jon Peattie's 39-yard field-goal attempt.

    The Hokies got on the board first just two minutes in to the second quarter. The Hurricanes ran a first down reverse from their 28. Roscoe Parrish came from the right side of the field and took the handoff heading left, but was stripped by DeAngelo Hall at the 28. The ball popped into the air and Hall corralled it, then went the distance to break the ice. Warley's extra point made the score 7-0.

    Both the Hurricanes and Hokies went three-and-out on their next possessions, but Miami then put together a nice drive that stalled at the Tech 28. The 'Canes lined up for a 45-yard field goal, but head coach Larry Coker made a great call and faked it. Holder Matt Carter took the ball, rolled left, and heaved it up to Kevin Everett, who didn't have a Hokie within 15 yards of him. The Lane Stadium crowd gasped, but then let out a giant cheer as the ball inexplicably slipped through Everett's hands.

    Warley connected on a 39-yard field goal with 7 seconds left in the half to make the score 10-0.

    Jones finished with 124 yards on 26 carries and scored the one touchdown. Vick and Randall attempted just eight combined passes, with Vick completing two for 44 yards and the touchdown to Wilford.

    The Hokies hit the road next week to play the Pittsburgh Panthers in another crucial BIG EAST showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2.