Tech hammers in-state rival UVa 52-14
By Jimmy Robertson
November 19, 2005

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Virginia Tech bounced back from its loss to Miami two weeks ago in grand fashion, obliterating UVa 52-14 in an ACC football game played in front of 63,344 fans at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.

Tech won for the sixth time in the past seven meetings between the two in-state rivals and recorded its biggest win over UVa since a 48-0 whipping of the Cavaliers at Scott Stadium in 1983. Tech, ranked No. 7 nationally, improved to 9-1 overall on the season, including a 6-1 mark in the ACC - and a perfect 8-0 road record in league play since joining the ACC. UVa fell to 6-4 overall, 3-4 in the conference.

With the win, the Hokies kept alive their hopes of landing an at-large spot in the Bowl Championship Series. If they win against UNC next weekend, they'll be in the mix for that at-large spot, more than likely to the Fiesta Bowl.

"I hope our friends from the Fiesta Bowl go home impressed," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said, noting that Fiesta Bowl representatives were in attendance. "I told our guys that if we won this game [against UVa], then next week's would be really big. I know we've got a huge week ahead of us."

Tech destroyed Virginia right from the start, opening up a 24-0 halftime lead. Tech quarterback Marcus Vick - who committed six turnovers in the loss to Miami -completed 13-of-16 in the first half alone for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

Vick got the Hokies on the board with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Josh Morgan on Tech's second possession of the game to give the Hokies a 7-0 lead. After a Brandon Pace field goal gave Tech a 10-0 lead, the Hokies made the big play on special teams that broke the game open.

Forced to punt in the second quarter, Hokies' punter Nic Schmitt launched one to UVa punt returner Michael Johnson. The ball glanced off Johnson's shoulder and Tech's Roland Minor recovered, giving the Hokies the ball at the UVa 1.

On the next play, Tech tailback Cedric Humes rumbled in for the touchdown, and Pace's extra point gave the Hokies a 17-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first half.

"Our offense was able to get it in, and then they started to pile the points on them," Minor said. "That's exactly what we needed at the time."

Tech capped its scintillating first half by rolling 62 yards in six plays on its final possession. That drive ended when Vick hit Eddie Royal on an out pattern and Royal broke one tackle before tip-toeing down the sideline into the end zone for the touchdown. Pace's extra point gave the Hokies a 24-0 lead at the break and Tech never looked back.

Vick ended up completing 15-of-21 for 170 yards for the game, with two touchdowns and one interception. That marked a stark contrast to the Miami game when he completed just eight passes for 90 yards.

"That's the way the game goes sometimes," Vick said when asked about the Miami loss. "Sometimes you get the big win and sometimes you don't. You've just got to bounce back from it."

The second half of the game featured Humes and back-up Branden Ore. Humes scored two touchdowns in the third quarter, giving him three for the game, and finished with 113 yards rushing on 17 carries. Ore scored twice in the third quarter as well, and finished with 115 yards on 15 carries. They became the first Tech tandem since Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs in 2002 to rush for more than 100 in a game.

Tech as a team finished with 333 yards rushing and 503 yards of total offense - the most by the Hokies against anyone this season. The rushing yards were the most allowed by UVa in a game this season.

"Everyone asked me all week 'What's the state of your football team? Are they going to have a collapse?'" Beamer said. "I thought this football team showed some great stuff today. We've got a lot of good, solid, tough people and it came through today. I'm proud of them."

Tech plays its final regular-season game next Saturday when North Carolina comes to Blacksburg. The kickoff time and television information have not been set yet.