October 30, 2009
Tech-North Carolina notes and quotes
Taylor tied for second for career rushing touchdowns by a QB
North Carolina (5-3) 077620
(14) Virginia Tech (5-3) 0071017
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 66,233
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 161 yds
  • Rushing: Ryan Williams 96 yds
  • Receiving: Dyrell Roberts 60 yds

Williams’ tough ending: Tech tailback Ryan Williams rushed for 96 yards on 23 carries, pushing his season total to 930 yards. But the redshirt freshman from Manassas, Va., unfortunately put himself in the spotlight for a different reason when he fumbled with just over two minutes left in the game.

North Carolina’s Tydreke Powell stripped Williams of the ball and Deunta Williams recovered before returning it to the Tech 24. The Tar Heels drained the clock and Casey Barth’s 21-yard field goal on the final play of the game gave them a 20-17 victory over Tech. The victory marked UNC’s first in conference play this season.

After the game, Williams showed a lot of character by stepping up to the podium and addressing the media.

“Right now, there probably isn’t any way to lift me up because I feel I took the game away from us,” Williams said. “It was on the line. It was in my hands and I fumbled. But I’ve got to move on and bounce back and help the team succeed in the rest of the games. After today, there’s no reason to dwell on it. I can’t take it back. I can’t change what happened. Next Thursday, I’ll be the same old guy and I’ll be ready to play.”

The fumble marked the first of his career while rushing the ball. He was credited with a fumble on a muffed punt in the season opener against Alabama.

Carmichael’s INT: Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael made the biggest play of the game for the Hokies when he intercepted the pass of North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates with a little over 13 minutes left in the game. He picked it at the UNC 11 and returned it six yards to the UNC 5.

The interception led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor with 11:51 remaining that gave the Hokies a 17-14 lead – their first lead of the game.

The interception marked the fourth of the season for Carmichael, who leads the team. It also marked the fourth of his career.

“I just try to come out and play to the tempo of guys like Kam Chancellor and Jason Worilds because you know those guys are going to perform each and every week,” Carmichael said. “The interception is whatever because I gave up a touchdown [a 13-yard touchdown pass from Yates to Jheranie Boyd]. Seven points is on me and that hurts. I feel like I let my brothers down.”

Taylor ties rushing TD mark by Tech QB: For the second straight game, Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor used his legs to get into the end zone.

Tech head coach Frank Beamer decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the UNC 1 early in the third quarter and the junior from Hampton, Va., scored on a 1-yard run. His touchdown polished off a 13-play, 82-yard drive and tied the game at 7 with 6:44 remaining in the third quarter.

Taylor added another short touchdown run early in the third quarter. On third-and-goal from the 1, he managed to get over the goal line. Officials reviewed the play to see if he got in, and the play stood as called.

The rushing touchdowns came on the heels of his 22-yard touchdown run against Georgia Tech in the Hokies’ previous game. Those are his only three rushing touchdowns of the season.

Taylor has 16 rushing touchdowns for his career. His two against UNC tied him with Michael Vick for the most rushing touchdowns in a career by a Tech quarterback. Bob Schweikert holds the record with 22.

As an offense, Tech finished with just 256 yards and didn’t take advantage of opportunities. The Hokies got into North Carolina on five first-half possessions and failed to score on any of them.

“It’s just bad execution,” Taylor said. “We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that were given to us. That’s something we’ve got to learn from.

“I think we kind of beat ourselves tonight. No disrespect to them, they played a great game. I just think we beat ourselves.”

Big plays bite Tech ‘D’:
Tech’s defense has struggled with giving up the big play against teams this season, and that habit hurt the Hokies against North Carolina.

Tech’s defense gave up eight plays of 10 yards or more. Seven of those eight plays came on drives in which North Carolina scored touchdowns.

Arguably, the plays that hurt the Hokies the most came courtesy of UNC’s Greg Little, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver. Late in the first half on a third-and-3 from the Tech 39, Little took the ball on an end-around and went 23 yards to the Tech 16 for a first down. Three plays later, UNC scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Yates to Boyd.

Then on fourth-and-7 from the Tech 36, he hauled in a 19-yard pass from Yates for a first down at the Tech 17. That later led to a game-tying 19-yard field goal by Barth with 2:55 left in the game.

Tech gave up plays of 44, 23, 19, 17, 17, 17, 15 and 13 yards.

“Both Georgia Tech and UNC just had some good plays against the defenses we were in,” Carmichael said. “We weren’t out of position. They just ran good plays.

“It’s a big concern for us. But I don’t feel like it’s one person’s fault or missed tackles or missed assignments. They just ran good plays against the defense we were in.”

Penalty costs Tech a score: Tech appeared to have tied the game early in the fourth quarter when Ryan Williams scored on a 20-yard touchdown run. But an official threw a flag and called holding on Tech offensive tackle Blake DeChristopher. Williams was credited with four yards on the run, but the penalty pushed the Hokies back to the North Carolina 26. Tech ultimately settled for a 36-yard field goal by Matt Waldron with 13:27 left in the game.

“In parts, the defense was good,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “In parts, the offense was good. In parts, the special teams were good. But the problem we’ve got is that we’re not consistently good. Part of that goes back to North Carolina. They’ve got a lot of good players. But we’ve got to work hard to get that consistency back.”

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