January 1, 2010
Tennessee Notes & Quotes
By Jimmy Robertson

Williams breaks Tech single-season rushing record: With a 6-yard carry on Tech’s first drive of the second half, Ryan Williams broke the school’s single-season rushing record of 1,647 yards held by former tailback Kevin Jones, who set the record in 2003.

Williams, a redshirt freshman from Manassas, Va., recorded his 10th game of at least 100 yards rushing, finishing with 117 yards on 25 carries and scoring two touchdowns. That gave him a total of 1,655 yards rushing on the season.

His record-breaking carry came midway through the third quarter. He carried the ball eight straight times on a nine-play drive that ended when Tyrod Taylor scored on a 1-yard run on a quarterback sneak. Williams had 78 yards rushing alone on the drive.

Williams also broke two ACC records in the game. His 1-yard rushing touchdowns in the first and second quarters gave him 21 rushing touchdowns on the season and 22 total touchdowns.

The 22 total touchdowns enabled him to break the ACC record for total touchdowns in a season held previously by Don McCauley of UNC, who scored 21 in 1970, and Clemson’s C.J. Spiller, who scored 21 this season.

The 21 rushing touchdowns enabled him to break the ACC’s single-season record for rushing scores. McCauley had 19 rushing touchdowns in 1970, while former Georgia Tech running back Robert Lavette had 19 in 1982.

One reporter jokingly asked if the Ryan Williams for Heisman campaign got started with this performance.

“Nah, there is no Ryan Williams for Heisman,” he said. “There’s only Ryan Williams trying to help this team win.”

Boykin’s big play: Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin made arguably the biggest play in the game when he slipped behind Tennessee’s defense, for a 64-yard gain to the Tennessee 3 in the final seconds of the first half. In fact, the clock ran out on the play, and Tennessee’s players and coaches headed to the locker room.

But the officials reviewed the play and correctly gave the Hokies two seconds. That enabled Matt Waldron to boot a 21-yard field goal to give the Hokies a 17-14 lead at halftime.

Boykin finished with four catches for 120 yards.

“That was big to get a momentum changer right into halftime,” Tyrod Taylor said. “Jarrett made a great catch. I can only throw the ball. Those guys are the ones who have the hard part. They have to make the catch.

Carmichael interception set up TD: Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael intercepted a Jonathan Crompton pass in the first quarter and returned it to the Tennessee 44, setting up the Hokies’ first score of the game.

Tech marched 44 yards in seven plays, with Ryan Williams carrying the ball on five of those plays. Williams’ 1-yard burst with 6:56 left in the first quarter gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead.

The interception marked the sixth of the season for Carmichael, an honorable mention All-ACC selection. He led the team this season in that category.

Graves notches first career sack: Tech defensive tackle John Graves was bothered by an ankle injury for much of the season and did not have a sack or a tackle for a loss during the regular season.

But in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, he played a fantastic game. He managed to sack Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton in the second quarter. Surprisingly, the sack marked the first of the redshirt junior’s career. He also recovered a fumble, forced a fumble and finished with three solo tackles.

Waldron breaks bowl mark: Senior kicker Matt Waldron capped a great season by nailing three field goals, including a career long of 46 yards, in Tech’s win. That set the Tech record for most field goals in a bowl game.

Waldron booted field goals of 21, 46 and 22 yards. He hit 20-of-23 field goals this season.

His 46-yarder tied for the longest kick ever by a Hokie in a bowl game. Chris Kinzer booted a 46-yard in the Hokies’ win over N.C. State in the 1986 Peach Bowl.

Hill got the nod: Tech cornerback Cris Hill made his second collegiate start in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He got the nod after Stephan Virgil failed to meet NCAA eligibility requirements for bowl participation.

“It was a big opportunity for me,” Hill said. “I wanted to take advantage of it. I wanted to prove to the coaches that there wasn’t going to be a drop-off at the cornerback position.”

Hill finished with four tackles, three solo.

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

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