September 12, 2009
Tech-Marshall notes and quotes
Tech offense has a big day
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

It took Tech’s offense just two possessions before it got things headed in the right direction in the Hokies’ 52-10 non-conference victory over Marshall on Saturday afternoon.

Following a punt and an interception on their first two drives of the game, the Hokies scored touchdowns on four of their next five possessions to close out the first half, accumulating 346 yards of total offense in the first 20 minutes and jumping out to a 35-7 halftime lead.

Sparked by a tremendous first half, Tech’s offense amassed 605 yards of total offense. Of that total, 444 came on the ground, as both Ryan Williams and true freshman David Wilson rushed for 165 and 164 yards, respectively. They became the first two Tech running backs to rush for more than 160 yards in the same game in the modern era (post-1950).

The total yards marked the most by the Hokies since 2001 when they rolled up 606 yards in a win over UConn and the rushing total was the most since 1995 when they rushed for 453 yards in a win over Akron. The total offense was the fifth most in Frank Beamer’s tenure at Tech and the rushing total was the third most.

“Last week was the first game and we were shaky at times,” Williams said, referring to the offense’s 155-yard output against Alabama. “I don’t think a lot of guys played as fast as we needed to. This week, we had to prove to ourselves that we were that team and that we could put up points. It was important for us to go out and do that in today’s game.”

“It was really important for us to have a good game,” said Tech receiver Dyrell Roberts, who caught a touchdown pass. “The offense put up 155 yards and we needed to up way more than that just to help the defense out. We knew this week we needed to fix the little things and put up some yards and help our defense – and get this thing rolling on the right track. There are still some things we need to fix, but I think, as a whole, we did pretty well.”

Williams and some stellar blocking up front set the tone in this one. The redshirt freshman rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, as the Hokies piled up 234 of those 346 total first-half yards on the ground. Williams ripped off touchdown runs of 57, 28 and 4 yards.

Wilson, the true freshman from Danville, Va., took care of things in the second half. He scored on a 36-yard run in the fourth quarter and also ripped off runs of 14, 51, 14, 16 and 31 yards in addition to his touchdown run.

“This offense is totally different than the one that played against Alabama,” Wilson said. “We went 100 percent on every play, not that we didn’t before, but we were more focused on the field and we executed our assignments. If you do that and you’ve got great talent on the field, everything else will take care of itself.”

Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor also enjoyed an impressive day, particularly in the first half. He completed 6-of-12 for 112 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He played just one series in the second half, guiding Tech on a touchdown drive on its first possession of the half. He finished 9-of-16 for 161 yards, with two scores and the interception.

For the game, the Hokies finished with 22 plays of 10 yards or more – 12 of them in the first half. Taylor accounted for seven of them for the game (five passing and two rushing). He completed passes of 43, 21 and 20 yards in the first half, with the 21-yarder going to Roberts for a touchdown, and a 36-yarder in the second half.

Hosley’s return: It took true freshman Jayron Hosley all of two games to reach the end zone. The Delray Beach, Fla., native, who assumed the punt returner role midway through the game with Alabama, returned his third career punt 64 yards for a touchdown. He became the 76th different player under head coach Frank Beamer to score on special teams and his return marked the 17th punt return for a touchdown under Beamer.

“When I caught it, I saw a lot of field. I saw a lot of my guys on their guys. They made those good blocks for me and it turned out well,” Hosley said. “It’s just a matter of having an awareness and knowing who’s around you and what’s coming around you. As a team, we talk about which way we’re going to go with it. My teammates do the blocking, and I try to set up the blocks and go with it.”

“It doesn’t take long to see if a guy is very natural at punt returns,” Beamer said. “He did it naturally against Alabama. It’s one of those things where it is natural for you or it’s not, and it is natural for him.”

Roberts and Boyce notch firsts: A year ago, Tech’s receivers caught two touchdown passes – both by Jarrett Boykin. But two games into this season, the Hokies have equaled that total.

Roberts and Xavier Boyce both caught the first touchdown passes of their careers in the win over Marshall. Roberts caught a 21-yard pass from Taylor before halftime, while Boyce, who received a medical hardship waiver a year ago, caught an 8-yard pass from Taylor on the first drive of the second half.

Roberts caught two passes for 31 yards, while Boyce caught two passes for 13.

Taylor himself only threw two touchdown passes a year ago.

Taylor five yards short of third: Taylor rushed for 58 yards on seven carries against Marshall, and needs just five more yards to move past Michael Vick into third place in career rushing yards by a Tech quarterback. Taylor has 1,199 yards rushing in his career and needs 328 yards to move into second place (1,526, Bryan Randall). Bob Schweikert leads all Tech quarterbacks in rushing, having amassed 1,723 yards from 1962-64.

Early-season dominance: Tech has dominated the early months of the season and home openers for quite some time. With the win over Marshall, Tech won its 14th straight home opener, and the Hokies moved to 44-4 in the month of September over the past 12 seasons.

Two more left in Tech-Marshall series: Tech and Marshall will meet again on Sept. 24, 2011 when the Hokies travel to Huntington, W.Va. Then the Hokies and Herd will meet in 2013 to conclude the series. The Hokies beat Marshall 47-21 in 2002, 41-14 in 2005, and in the recent meeting on Saturday. Tech now holds an 8-2 lead in the series.

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