October 4, 2008
Hokies hill-top WKU by score of 27-13
Evans tallies two scores and 79 yards
Western Kentucky University (2-4) 033713
(20) Virginia Tech (5-1) 10107027
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 66,233
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 125 yds
  • Rushing: Darren Evans 79 yds
  • Receiving: Danny Coale 34 yds
Game Notes

Lewis done for the year: Tech tailback Kenny Lewis, Jr., ruptured his Achilles on a run early in the second half and will miss the remainder of this season. Lewis, a junior from Danville, Va., crumpled to the ground after making a cut on a run with 12:33 left in the third quarter. He finished with 38 yards on seven carries against WKU.

“That’s a tough loss for us,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “Last week, I thought Davon Morgan was a tough loss because of the kind of kid he is and how positive he is. Now we’ve lost a guy on offense who is pretty much the same way. I hate to see that. I hate to see any injury, but you hate to see those two guys go down.”

Lewis ranked third on the team in rushing coming into the game and second in rushing touchdowns with three. He became the eighth player on Tech’s squad to be lost for the season with an injury.

Taylor gets a first: Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw his first touchdown pass of the season when he connected on a 27-yard scoring strike to tight end Greg Boone in the first quarter to give the Hokies a 7-0 lead. The touchdown pass came on his 63rd pass attempt this season.

Taylor, a sophomore from Hampton, Va., improved to 9-0 as a starting quarterback. He completed 10-of-15 for 125 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions. Taylor, though, lost a fumble in the second quarter, which marked Tech’s first lost fumble on the season. Only three teams went into Saturday’s games without a lost fumble (Tech, Oklahoma, Colorado State).

“It was a weird play,” Taylor said. “My other hand hit the ball and knocked it out of my right hand. I think I was just in a running motion. I don’t know. It was a weird play. It was careless on my part.”

Boone gets in the end zone: Boone’s 27-yard touchdown catch from Taylor marked his first touchdown reception of this season and just the second of his career. The redshirt junior from Chesapeake, Va., caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Ike Whitaker in the North Carolina game back in 2006.

The TD reception came one game after Taylor missed a wide-open Boone for an easy touchdown against Nebraska and pointed out that he owed Boone one.

“He overthrew me last week, but he was alright,” Boone said. “He didn’t owe me anything.”

Harris with a dozen: Tech cornerback Macho Harris recorded his 12th career interception and picked off a pass for the third straight game when he intercepted the pass of Western Kentucky’s David Wolke and returned it 49 yards to the WKU 5 late in the first half. That interception – his third of the season – set up a 22-yard field goal by Dustin Keys with one second remaining in the half that gave Tech a 20-3 lead at the break.

The senior from Highland Springs, Va., now ranks tied for sixth all time in interceptions at Tech. Both Mike Widger (1967-69) and John Granby (1987-91) intercepted 12 in their careers. Gene Bunn holds the school record with 18 career interceptions.

Keys continues streak: Keys, a redshirt senior from Stafford, Va., booted two field goals in the Hokies’ win over Western Kentucky and ran his streak of field goals made to 11 straight. Keys last missed in the East Carolina game when he misfired from 44 yards out.

Porch gets the nod: Taking over for Davon Morgan, who tore his ACL against Nebraska and is done for the season, Dorian Porch made his first collegiate start. The redshirt junior from Calhoun, Ga., made three solo tackles and broke up a pass, according to the game scorebook.

Homecoming King: Matt Tuttle (Pi Kappa Alpha)
Homecoming Queen: Malissa Bradshaw (Sigma Kappa)

BLACKSBURG, Va. Redshirt freshman tailback Darren Evans and redshirt senior place-kicker Dustin Keys each extended their respective scoring streaks in leading the Virginia Tech football team to a 27-13 victory over Western Kentucky University on Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.

With the win, the Hokies moved to 5-1 overall on the season. WKU fell to 2-4 overall.

“If you gave me a choice of being 5-1 after our first six games, I would haven taken that in a heartbeat, just with how young we are,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said after the game, the Hokies’ final non-conference tilt of the season. “Being 5-1 sounds pretty good, but we still have our work cut out for us.”

Evans, who tallied 79 yards on 21 carries, rushed for a pair of touchdowns to increase his season total to eight, and he has now scored at least one touchdown in all six games this season for the Hokies. All of his scores have come from within the red zone.

“I find myself down there when we get in that area and that’s a good thing,” Evans said of all of his red-zone touches. “I think [running backs] Coach [Billy] Hite has become more confident in me. I haven’t fumbled in games and I think he’s confident in me and what we do down there.”

Meanwhile, Keys nailed both of his field-goal tries on the day and has now made 11 in a row dating back to a miss in the first game of the year.

Keys opened the game’s scoring at the 7:38 mark of the first quarter when he converted a 27-yarder, and Tech added its first touchdown on its next drive when sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor floated a 27-yard pass into the arms of redshirt junior tight end Greg Boone. It was Taylor’s first passing touchdown of the season, and the second score of Boone’s career. Keys’ PAT made it 10-3 with 2:11 on the first-quarter clock.

“I’ve been looking for it [his first passing TD], but as long as we’re winning, I’m fine with that,” Taylor said. “It’s nice to get one, though. I owed Greg Boone one after the Nebraska game [he missed Boone for an open TD in that one]. He made a great catch and the line protected well. It was an overall great play for our offense. Those are the types of plays we’ve been looking for.”

The Hilltoppers got on the board with a 48-yard field goal by Tanner Siewert on the subsequent drive, one that was fueled by a 46-yard pass from Jeremy Moore to Blake Boyd on a fake punt. But that was all that WKU could muster in a first half that was sullied by 16 total penalties. The Hokies extended their cushion to 20-3 by the end of the half, and those 10 points came in the waning moments of the second quarter thanks to a pair of big plays by Victor “Macho” Harris.

With the score still 10-3 with a shade over three minutes to play in the half, the senior cornerback hauled in a punt at his own 30-yard line and returned it 32 yards to the WKU 38. The Hilltoppers then got a heavy dose of Evans, who rushed seven times for 21 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard plunge that he took over the top for a touchdown with 25 seconds remaining.

After a PAT by Keys and the Hokies’ kickoff, WKU ran just one successful play before Harris struck again, this time picking off a David Wolke pass and taking it 49 yards to the WKU 5. After an incomplete pass, Keys drilled a 22-yard field goal with one tick remaining on the clock.

“He’s been around and he’s dangerous,” Beamer said of Harris. “When you throw to [the man he’s covering], it’s a dangerous situation.”

Those 10 points proved to be valuable, as the WKU offense woke up after the intermission by direct snapping to running back Dexter Taylor, who ran for 89 yards in the second half.

Though Tech scored on its first drive of the third quarter – a 2-yard run by Evans that capped a 10-play, 72-yard series – the Hokies’ offense fell stagnant after that.

“For whatever reason, our passing game wasn’t as good as we’d like it to be down the stretch,” Beamer said.

Taylor and redshirt senior Sean Glennon combined to go 13-of-18 for 142 passing yards on the day, and only 12 of those yards came in a fourth quarter that saw WKU collect four sacks. In fact, after out-gaining WKU 175-96 in the first half, the Hokies put up just 118 yards to the Hilltoppers’ 147 in the second.

Siewert added a 24-yard field goal and Tristan Jones caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wolke down the stretch, but Tech held on just enough to record its fifth straight win.

“I think [the games] are all going to come down to the fourth quarter,” Beamer said. “I am proud of the way we hung in there in the fourth quarter. I think their offense got a little quickness on our defense, but then we picked it up and got tough. With our football team, our goal is to try to get a little better each week. I think we did some things better, and then there were things where I think we would like to be better.”

Defensively, redshirt senior linebacker Purnell Sturdivant paced the Hokies with eight tackles. Fellow redshirt senior, end Orion Martin, added seven stops, including two for a loss and two pass breakups.

“I think a couple of guys probably overlooked Western Kentucky,” Sturdivant said. “A couple probably brought down their level of play, but we got a win. It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but at the end of the day, we got a ‘W.’ We just have to take care of our bodies during this off week and then get ready for Boston College.”

The Hokies have a bye week next Saturday and then visit Boston College on Oct. 18th. Game time for the match-up with the Eagles will likely be announced on Monday.

For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).

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