Hokies' road success continues with win at UNC
By Jimmy Robertson
September 9, 2006 CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Virginia Tech used dominating defense, got a huge play from its special teams near the end of the first half, and scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away from North Carolina 35-10 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C., in the ACC opener for both teams. With the win, the Hokies - ranked 16th in the Associated Press poll - improved to 2-0 on the season. The win also marked Tech's ninth road win in ACC play as the Hokies remained undefeated on the road since joining the league. "One thing I don't question with this team is effort," said Tech head coach Frank Beamer, whose team struggled offensively for much of the day. "As long as we get effort, we are what we are. And I was proud of what we were today." Tech turned out to be outstanding on defense and opportunistic on special teams. Tech's defense set up the Hokies' first touchdown of the game and the special teams set up the second as the Hokies rallied from an early 3-0 deficit and never looked back. Xavier Adibi's interception and Josh Morgan's blocked punt made up for a Tech offense that struggled in the first half against the Tar Heels, amassing just three first downs and 68 yards. Adibi's interception and 40-yard return to the UNC 1 helped the Hokies get on the board. Adibi's fourth career interception led to a 1-yard run by tailback Branden Ore that gave Tech the lead, 7-3, with 31 seconds left in the first quarter. The special teams then got into the act near the end of the first half when Morgan blocked the punt of UNC punter David Wooldridge, and Tech's Jason Adjepong recovered it, returning it all the way to the UNC 1. Ore finished things off again, scoring on a 4-yard run, and Brandon Pace's extra point gave Tech a 14-3 lead with 2:06 left in the first half. Ore, a redshirt sophomore from Chesapeake, Va., enjoyed a huge day for the Hokies. His 3-yard run with five minutes left in the third quarter broke the game open, and he finished the game with 111 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 37 yards, accounting for 148 of Tech's 224 yards of total offense. "If that's what I've got to do to lead this team to a victory, then I'm all for it," Ore said. "I'm not going anywhere, and if that's what I've got to do, then that's what I'm going to do." Tech's defense, great all day, put any end to hopes of a UNC comeback midway through the fourth quarter when Brenden Hill returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown. The Hokies' defense picked off four passes on the day and held the Tar Heels to just 268 yards of total offense. Tech's other fourth-quarter score came when back-up quarterback Ike Whitaker threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Boone. Tech's starting quarterback, Sean Glennon, completed 10-of-17 for a meager 66 yards in the win. The Hokies stay in the conference next weekend when Duke, now 0-2 after a heart-breaking loss to Wake Forest on Saturday, comes to Blacksburg. Kickoff for the game is slated for noon.