September 26, 2009
Hurricanes washed out by Hokies
No. 11 Tech tops ninth-ranked Miami
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(9) Miami (2-1) 00707
(11) Virginia Tech (3-1) 1473731
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 66,233
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 98 yds
  • Rushing: Ryan Williams 150 yds
  • Receiving: Jarrett Boykin 48 yds

BLACKSBURG, Va. Playing beneath a game-long downpour on Saturday at Lane Stadium, the Virginia Tech defense held the ninth-ranked Miami Hurricanes to just 209 yards of offense, forced two crucial turnovers that led to touchdowns and returned a blocked punt for another, helping the No. 11 Hokies to a 31-7 victory in front of a rain-soaked sellout crowd.

“I am really proud of our football team,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “The way we won together as a team with all areas contributing – I liked that a lot.

“I was proud of our crowd, too. It was a rainy night all night, but I don’t think anybody left. Nebraska says they have the greatest fans, but I think we have the greatest fans. It was a great all-around win for Virginia Tech.”

Miami (2-1, 2-1 ACC) entered the game averaging 465 yards per contest, including 137 yards rushing, but the Tech defense accumulated nine tackles for loss, totaling 44 negative yards, to hold the Hurricanes to 59 yards on the ground.

Miami’s a good team,” Tech linebacker Cody Grimm, who made a team-high 11 tackles. “They looked really good on film and all. But at the same time, we knew that we were the defending ACC champs and that they were coming into our house. We feel like we have a pretty good defense. We know we can be as good as last year, and today, we finally put it together.”

It was just the 20th matchup between two top-25 teams in Lane Stadium history, and with the victory, Tech (3-1, 1-0 ACC) moved to 14-6 in those games.

Offensively, the Hokies totaled 370 yards of offense, with a commanding 272 of those coming on the ground. Tailback Ryan Williams had another monster game, toting the ball 34 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor added 75 yards rushing on 10 carries.

“I feel like the team has been relying on the backfield for the last couple of weeks, and I’m glad that the pressure is on my back because I’m ready to help the team succeed,” Williams said of his heavy workload. “If I have to carry the ball 50 times a game, that’s what I’m going to do. I knew that was going to be the game plan. For a quarterback to throw the ball in those types of weather conditions, it can be iffy. I knew the team was going to have to rely on the running game. Everyone did a great job and I just had to follow the blocks and use my eyes.”

Tech rover Dorian Porch set the Hokies up for the game’s first score early in the opening quarter. On second-and-11 from the Miami 31, Porch came unblocked around the left end to Hurricane quarterback Jacory Harris’ blindside. Porch drilled Harris for a sack and a 16-yard loss, jarring the ball loose in the process. After a scramble for the ball, Porch eventually picked it up and returned it four yards to the Miami 11.

“We felt like we had a good pressure package going into the game, but we just had to get ourselves into those situations,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said of the early momentum that the defense provided. “We were able to mix in some blitz pressure, and our ends were able to get some pressure on the quarterback. Causing a fumble and getting ahead early was a big factor in the game. It got us jumpstarted on both sides of the ball.”

Three plays later from the Miami 2-yard line, Williams rushed left before leaping over the goal line for his seventh touchdown of the season. Kicker Matt Waldron’s extra point at the 9:46 mark gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead.

The Hokies went back to Williams on the first six plays of their next drive, but it was sophomore Jarrett Boykin who stepped up on the seventh play. On third-and-7 from the Miami 48, Taylor found an open Boykin streaking across the middle of the field after Miami cornerback Chavez Grant stumbled trying to keep up with the wideout. Boykin caught it in stride before cruising in for a 48-yard touchdown, which marked his third career score and the longest touchdown pass of the season for Taylor. Waldron’s PAT with 4:46 left on the first-quarter clock lifted Tech to a 14-0 advantage.

The Hokies’ special teams got into the mix in the second quarter to help Tech to a comfortable 21-0 lead before halftime. After the Tech defense forced Miami into a three-and-out situation, the Hurricanes’ Matt Bosher came on to punt from his own 25-yard line.

Tech’s Jacob Sykes broke through the line, however, and recorded the first block of the Hokies’ season. The ball bounded toward the end zone, but Matt Reidy picked it up at the 1 before stepping over the goal line for the score. It was the first blocked kick of any kind to be returned for a touchdown for the Hokies since 2005, and the first blocked punt to be returned for a score since 2003. Waldron converted the extra-point attempt at the 4:39 mark to give the Hokies a 21-point lead.

The Hokie defense was dominating in the first half, limiting the potent Hurricane offense to just 54 total yards, including just 16 rushing yards on 16 attempts. Tech became the first team to shut out the Hurricanes in the first half since Boston College did so in November of 2007.

Miami began the third quarter in much different fashion, however, cutting the Tech’s lead to 21-7 in just one minute and 43 seconds. The Hurricanes’ Graig Cooper took a short kickoff back 39 yards to the Tech 46, and five plays later, tailback Javarris James punched it in from a yard out to get the visitors on the board, with Bosher converting the extra point.

Waldron made up for a missed field goal in the second quarter when he drilled a 22-yarder with 3:49 remaining in the third, capping a 10-play, 70-yard drive that was started with a 44-yard run by Williams.

Tech carried a 24-7 lead into the fourth quarter, where the defense set up another score – one that put the game out of reach for the Hurricanes. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael came up with his second huge interception in as many weeks, picking off Harris’ pass from the Miami 37 and returning it 28 yards to the 25. Carmichael also made the game-sealing pick last week against Nebraska.

It only took the Hokies’ offense five plays to turn the turnover into seven points, with Williams scoring from a yard out before Waldron’s PAT at 12:16 made it 31-7.

The Hokies are scheduled to return to action next Saturday, Oct. 4, when they hit the road to take on Duke. The kickoff is slated for noon.

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

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