November 21, 2009
Tech-N.C. State notes and quotes
By Jimmy Robertson

Grimm ties an NCAA record: Cody Grimm made his final game in Lane Stadium a memorable one, tying an NCAA record with three forced fumbles in the first four plays of the Hokies’ 38-10 victory over N.C. State.

Grimm, who shares the record with seven others, got things started quickly, forcing a fumble on the very first play of the game. The redshirt senior sacked N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson and caused him to fumble, and then Grimm jumped on the loose ball at the N.C. State 34. The Hokies turned that gift into a short Matt Waldron field goal for an early 3-0 lead.

Then on the second play of N.C. State’s next possession, Grimm jarred the ball free from receiver Darrell Davis at the N.C. State 28. Stephan Virgil recovered for the Hokies at the N.C. State 25 and that led to a 4-yard touchdown run for Ryan Williams, which gave the Hokies a 10-0 lead.

On the first play of N.C. State’s next possession, he forced his third fumble of the game when he drilled Wolfpack tailback Toney Baker. N.C. State, however, recovered that fumble and went on to score a touchdown on the drive.

“Those were kind of lucky,” Grimm said. “The first was a good play, but the second, I just got my hand on the ball. On the third, I don’t know what happened.

“We work on it [forcing fumbles] in practice. If you’re the second person there, try to rip the ball out, but if you’re the first, then concentrate on getting him down.”

The forced fumbles marked Grimm’s fifth, sixth and seventh of the season. He now leads the nation in that category.

The fumble recovery marked his second of the year. He also finished with eight tackles and two sacks, giving him three for the season.

“He’s amazing,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “I never see him get tired. He keeps going the same speed all the time and he’s a playmaker. The game makes sense and he has a knack of making plays.”

“I thought I’d have a solid year,” Grimm said. “When I got in last year, I played pretty well, so I thought I’d play well this year. I just go out and try to do my job and let things come to me.”

Williams breaks Tech freshman rushing record, ties two others: As expected, Tech tailback Ryan Williams broke the single-season rushing record by a freshman. The redshirt freshman from Manassas, Va., went into the N.C. State game needing just 31 yards to break Darren Evans’ record of 1,265 yards set last season and he snapped the record with a 10-yard run late in the first quarter.

“I was just out there grinding for all the yardage,” Williams said. “The record ended up coming my way. It feels pretty good to have it. But I don’t find it as a big deal. I’m just glad we got the win. That’s all I’m thinking about.”

But Williams also tied two other records – one a Tech record and one an ACC record.

Williams finished with 120 yards rushing on 32 carries – his eighth 100-yard rushing game of the season – and he scored a career-high four touchdowns, reaching the end zone on runs of 4, 1, 1 and 19 yards. That ties the Tech record for rushing touchdowns by a freshman in a single game. Tommy Edwards scored four rushing touchdowns against Pittsburgh in 1993.

That gives him 16 total touchdowns for the season (15 rushing, 1 receiving). That ties the ACC record for touchdowns by a freshman, set in 1993 by former North Carolina tailback Leon Johnson.

Williams’ 19-yard touchdown may have been his best carry of the season. He dragged Wolfpack defensive back Earl Wolff from the N.C. State 12 to the end zone for the score.

“I was getting mad that he was on my jersey,” Williams said. “The whole time, I was trying to get to the end zone. I didn’t know how far I had dragged him. But he was making me mad.

“I’m not big on stiff-arming, but I do try to smack their hands down. When I smacked it, I smacked it down to the point where he grabbed my jersey. I thought he’d let go, but he held on the whole time.”

Williams now has 1,355 yards rushing on the season and leads the ACC.

Tech ‘D’ stymies Wilson, Wolfpack offense: N.C. State came into the game ranked third in the ACC and 23rd nationally in scoring offense at 32.6 points per game. Wilson, the Wolfpack quarterback, was third in touchdown passes with 26 for the season.

But the Hokies harassed Wilson all day. They sacked him five times and intercepted him once, and as a team, Tech forced four turnovers and had six sacks. Wilson completed 15-of-26 for 234 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

“We kept him contained in the pocket,” said safety Kam Chancellor, who intercepted his second pass of the season. “Any time you have a chance to make a tackle, you have to break down and get him wrapped up. You have to tackle him low because he’s a shifty guy and we just wanted to keep the pressure on him.”

The Wolfpack finished with 259 yards – 154 yards below their average – and only rushed for 14 yards. For the first time this season, the Wolfpack did not score in the second half of a game.

The game marked continued improvement for the Hokies’ defense. Tech’s defense has allowed just one touchdown during this three-game winning streak.

“Everyone has that ‘want-to’ right now,” Chancellor said. “We want to get those 10 wins and everyone is trying to do their part to help us. Everyone is playing their position and not worrying about what’s going on on the other side of the field or what’s going on down in the box. If you play your position, you’ll be alright. That’s what we’re doing.”

Taylor with a solid day: Tyrod Taylor was his usual efficient self, completing 9-of-17 for 197 yards, with a touchdown – his 13th of the season. He did not throw an interception and extended his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 98.

As a team, the Hokies had thrown just three interceptions (all by Taylor) this season coming into the game – tied for the second fewest nationally. Only Air Force, which traditionally runs the ball extensively, had thrown fewer (one).

Tech unveils ‘Wild Turkey’: The Virginia Tech offense unveiled the ‘Wild Turkey’ formation for the first time this season when Greg Boone, normally the starting tight end, lined up in the shotgun and handed the ball off to Dyrell Roberts early in the second half. Boone, a redshirt senior playing in his last home game, also rushed twice for nine yards and threw once (an incompletion).

Tech’s staff planned on using more of that formation earlier in the season, but Boone injured his shoulder, forcing the staff to shelve the formation for much of the year.

“All the wide receivers and running backs have stepped up, so it’s not something we really needed to rely on anyway,” Boone said. “Last year, we were such a young group and we needed something else to bring to the table.”

Boykin with another 100-yard day: For the second consecutive game, Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin caught more than 100 yards worth of passes. He followed a 118-yard effort against Maryland with a career-high 164 yards against N.C. State – the sixth-highest receiving day by a player under Beamer. He also tied a career high with six catches, including one that went for a 38-yard touchdown.

“I thought he made some great adjustments to the ball and got those big claws up there and grabbed it,” Beamer said. “He’s very dependable. Get that ball up in the air around him and we’ve got a good shot of getting it with him.”

Boykin leads the Hokies – by a long ways – in receiving yards, catches and touchdowns catches. He has caught 36 passes for 715 yards (averaging 19.9 ypc) and five touchdowns. He has three 100-yard games this season.

Waldron extends streak: Tech kicker Matt Waldron drilled a field goal early in the game to extend his streak of having kicked at least one field goal in every game this season (11 straight). Waldron booted a 26-yard field goal and now has made 17-of-19 on the season.

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