November 14, 2009
Taylor's career-high three TD passes lift Hokies over Maryland
By Jimmy Robertson
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259-white (20) Virginia Tech (7-3) 14133636
Maryland (2-8) 03069
  • Capital One at Byrd - 51,514
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 268 yds
  • Rushing: Ryan Williams 126 yds
  • Receiving: Jarrett Boykin 118 yds

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw three first-half touchdown passes as the Hokies scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions en route to an easy 36-9 ACC victory over the Maryland Terrapins Saturday afternoon at Byrd Stadium.

The victory marked Tech’s fifth straight over the Terrapins and moved the Hokies to 7-3 overall, 4-2 in the ACC. Maryland fell to 2-8 overall, 1-5 in league play.

We’ve still got a chance for 10 wins,” said Tech head coach Frank Beamer, whose team found out after the game that they will not be playing for the ACC title again by virtue of Georgia Tech’s victory over Duke on Saturday that clinched the Coastal Division. “We’ve got some work to do. It’s not going to be easy. We’ve got an opportunity to do that, and let’s see if we can do that. We want to become the best football team we can be.

“I can tell you this, I’m disappointed in the two losses in the middle of the season [Georgia Tech and North Carolina], as our team is. But I’m not disappointed at all in how much effort and caring and how much we’ve tried to be a good football. We haven’t always played as well as we want to, but I like the effort and caring this team has. I like it a lot.”

He had to like what he saw from Taylor, whose three touchdown passes were a career high. Behind Taylor, the Hokies broke their recent habit of slow starts and instead got it cranked up early in this one. On their first drive of the game, they marched 71 yards in 10 plays, with the big play coming being a 30-yard pass completion from Taylor to Jarrett Boykin that got the Hokies to the Maryland 1 - the play looked like a touchdown, but the official reviewed it and determined Boykin’s knee was down at the 1. Ryan Williams went in on the next play, and the extra point gave Tech a 7-0 lead with 10:48 left in the first quarter.

“I still think that was a touchdown, but the referees made the call and we had to deal with it,” Taylor said. “Ryan put it in for us and that was just a great way to set the tone for the game.”

Tech padded that lead two possessions later by again embarking on a long drive. Bolstered by a 27-yard run by Williams and a 27-yard pass play from Taylor to Dyrell Roberts, the Hokies went 72 yards in eight plays. The drive ended when Taylor found tight end Andre Smith in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown strike, and Matt Waldron’s extra point gave Tech a 14-0 lead with 4:55 left in the first half.

Maryland got its lone score of the first half early in the second quarter. The Terrapins drove inside the Tech 20, but the drive stalled and they settled for a 36-yard field goal by Nick Ferrara to cut the lead to 14-3.

But the Hokies answered, going 56 yards in eight plays. Taylor’s 24-yard pass to Boykin on third-and-16 from the Maryland 34 turned out to be the critical play of the drive, and the Hokies scored two plays later on a 10-yard pass from Taylor to Roberts. The Hokies botched the extra point, but still led 20-3 with 11:37 left in the first half.

Taylor struck again for the Hokies on their next possession. He threw a strike to Boykin, and, as two Maryland defenders collided, Boykin went 64 yards to the end zone. The extra point gave the Hokies a 27-3 lead with 8:06 left in the half and that turned out to be the score at halftime.

Taylor threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. He finished the day completing 13-of-23 for 268 yards, with the three touchdowns. He also rushed eight times for 81 yards, with a fumble.

“I think it was one of my better games,” Taylor said. “I still had a lot of mistakes and I think I can go back and look at the film and see what I can do better.”

Boykin and Williams enjoyed fine days, too. Boykin hauled in three catches for 118 yards. The 64-yard touchdown reception marked a career long for him as well, and marked his fourth receiving score of the season.

Williams finished with 126 yards on 23 carries, with the one touchdown. The game marked his seventh 100-yard rushing performance this season.

For the game, Tech finished with 484 yards of total offense.

“We’re very dangerous when everyone is clicking,” Boykin said. “We’ve got Ty, Ryan and the receivers. We’re very dangerous when everyone is clicking.”

Defensively, Tech kept the Terrapins out of the end zone. Maryland’s only touchdown came when Taylor fumbled in the end zone and Maryland defensive Jared Harrell recovered for the score.

The Terrapins finished with 236 yards of total offense. Quarterback Jamarr Robinson got the start in place of senior Chris Turner (knee) and accounted for most of the damage, rushing for 129 yards and completing 12-of-32 for 104 yards. Tech’s defense, though, sacked him six times, with Cam Martin and Jake Johnson sacking him twice each.

The Hokies will look to extend their winning streak to three next Saturday when they play their final home game of the season. Tech will take on NC State at Lane Stadium on Senior Day. The kickoff time will be announced Sunday.

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

For updates on the Hokies, follow Jimmy Robertson on Twitter (@jrobIHS).

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