September 12, 2009
Hokies thunder past Herd, win 52-10
Tech runs wild, amasses 605 yards of total offense
Marshall (1-1) 070310
(14) Virginia Tech (1-1) 72810752
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 66,233
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 161 yds
  • Rushing: David Wilson 165 yds
  • Receiving: Danny Coale 43 yds

BLACKSBURG, Va. The Virginia Tech football team had its most prolific day on offense in quite some time, racking up 605 yards, including 444 on the ground, while rolling to a 52-10 victory over the visiting Marshall Thundering Herd on Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.

The No. 14/15 Hokies (1-1) eclipsed the 600-yard barrier for the first time since Sept. 1, 2001, when they totaled 606 yards of offense against Connecticut. In fact, the yardage total tied for the sixth most in a single game in program history. The 52 points were the most scored by Tech since it tallied 52 against Virginia in 2005.

“It was a good win over a good football team,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “They are building it back at Marshall and doing it the right way. We played real well, especially coming off last week [the loss to Alabama] with people asking if we could get back up, and mentally what it would do to us. I think the kids and the coaches responded today.”

Tailbacks Ryan Williams (16 rushes, 164 yards, three touchdowns) and true freshman David Wilson (12 rushes, 165 yards, one touchdown) combined for 329 yards on the ground for the Hokies, who also got a non-offensive touchdown from true freshman Jayron Hosley – Tech’s second in as many games – and two touchdown tosses from junior quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Williams and Wilson became the first pair of Hokies to each rush for over 100 yards in the same game since 2005 when Cedric Humes and Branden Ore did so against North Carolina, and their 329 combined rushing yards were the most by a Tech duo since 2002 when Lee Suggs (197 yards) and Kevin Jones (132) matched that figure against Rutgers. Williams became the first Hokie to rush for three touchdowns in a game since 2006 when Ore did it against North Carolina.

“It was excellent,” Williams said of the Hokies’ offensive output. “The offensive line blocked well, and that’s how we were able to get the yards that we got. I owe it all to the offensive line and the wide receivers who were blocking downfield. I always tell them that if they get me to the second or third level, they don’t have to worry about anything else.”

“It’s a comfort zone for me when I get the ball in my arms,” Wilson added. “I’ve been wanting to show everybody, including myself, what I can do. I’d always try to aim for 100 yards in high school, and now I just did it in college. There are no words to describe how happy I am.”

The Hokies scored early and often in dropping Marshall’s record to 1-1. Their first score of the contest was sparked by a three-and-out by the defense, when a short, 34-yard punt by the Herd left the Hokies with great field position at their own 43-yard line. Williams wasted no time taking advantage of the short field, as on Tech’s very first play of the possession, he exploded through the middle and romped 57 yards for a touchdown. It was Tech’s longest rushing touchdown since 2006 when Ore scored on a 70-yard rush against Southern Miss, and kicker Matt Waldron’s extra point at 4:18 made it 7-0 Tech.

“I feel like I’m playing a lot faster and the college level is becoming more natural for me,” said Williams, a redshirt freshman from Manassas, Va. “It’s a great feeling being out there. Up until now, I’ve been saying that there was a lot more that I could show and there were a few more steps that I needed to take to get to where I need to be to help this team offensively. I think I’m there and I’m just ready to keep rolling.”

The Hokies’ next scoring drive took up a bit more time, covering 64 yards over eight plays and 3:12, while spanning the break between the first and second quarters. After a 20-yard completion from Taylor to sophomore wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, Tech’s other two tailbacks got into the fold, with redshirt sophomore Josh Oglesby rushing for 16 yards to end the first quarter and Wilson rushing for 14 yards to open the second. It was Williams who once again ended the drive, though, scoring his second touchdown of the day on a 4-yard plunge at the 14:06 mark of the second quarter. Waldron’s PAT pushed Tech’s lead to 14-0.

Another three-and-out by Tech’s defense helped the Hokies to another quick score, although this one happened even more quickly than the first touchdown. Marshall’s Kase Whitehead sent a 37-yard punt to Hosley at the Tech 36, and the true freshman took it 64 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown. It was Virginia Tech’s first punt return for a touchdown since 2008 when Justin Harper scored on an 84-yarder in the Orange Bowl loss to Kansas. Waldron made the score 21-0 with his extra point at the 12:10 mark.

The Thundering Herd got on the board during its next possession, accumulating more than half of its 142 first-half yards with a four-play, 79-yard drive. Tailback Darius Marshall provided the final blow when he pin-balled through the line and ran 61 yards for a score at the 10:32 mark. Kicker Craig Rantanamorn’s PAT cut the Tech lead to 21-7.

The Hokies were far from done, however, as they wound up scoring twice more before the end of the half, one in which they racked up 346 yards. Tech’s fourth touchdown, a 28-yard rush by Williams that served as his third score of the game, came immediately following a 43-yard completion from Taylor to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Danny Coale. It was the longest reception of Coale’s young career, and Waldron’s PAT at 2:11 made the score 28-7.

The final score of the half came by way of sophomore Dyrell Roberts, who was at the receiving end of an improvisational scramble and toss by Taylor at the 1:36 mark. The 21-yard catch was the first receiving touchdown of Roberts’ career, and Waldron’s PAT sent the Hokies into the half up 35-7.

The Hokies’ first drive of the second half resulted in another first-career touchdown, this one by redshirt freshman Xavier Boyce. The wide receiver’s 8-yard scoring catch put a close to an 11-play, 80-yard drive that was keyed by a 36-yard screen pass to Williams. Waldron’s PAT with 10:49 remaining in the third quarter extended Tech’s lead to 42-7.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Ju-Ju Clayton made his debut during Tech’s next possession, one that ended with a 28-yard field goal by Waldron at the 2:43 mark of the third quarter. That drive was fueled by a 51-yard run by Wilson, who, after a Ratanamorn field goal for Marshall made it 45-10 on the third play of the fourth quarter, would extend Tech’s lead once again with a 36-yard rushing touchdown – the first of his career. Waldron’s extra point with 9:47 left in the contest set the final score at 52-10.

The Hokies return to action next Saturday with another non-conference contest against Nebraska. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m

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

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