October 9, 2010
Taylor's big day propels Tech past Central Michigan
By Jimmy Robertson
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Central Michigan (2-4) 7001421
Virginia Tech (4-2) 71771445
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 66,233
  • Passing: Tyrod Taylor 161 yds
  • Rushing: Tyrod Taylor 127 yds
  • Receiving: Jarrett Boykin 117 yds

BLACKSBURG — Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another score as the Hokies scored 38 unanswered points at one stretch to roll past Central Michigan 45-21 in a non-conference game played Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium.

With the victory, the Hokies have won four straight since losing their first two games of the season and moved to 4-2 overall. Central Michigan fell to 2-4 on the season.

Tech trailed 7-0 after the Chippewas drove 80 yards for a touchdown on the first drive of the game. But the Hokies responded by scoring the next 38 points to put the game away.

“That’s what I like about this team – no one panics,” Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “That’s a good thing. There’s no screaming or hollering at each other. It’s all about getting on the same page and let’s get going. You have to like that about this football team.

“And we have the ability to score quickly. We did that [Saturday], and that always gives you hope, too. You’re just a play away from having a score.”

Taylor provided most of the big plays for the Hokies in this one on his way to becoming Tech’s all-time winningest starting quarterback. He won his 27th game as a starter, surpassing Bryan Randall’s previous high of 26 victories.

“It’s a big deal, but we still have plenty more games to play,” Taylor said. “I’m honored to have my name beside that record, but there’s still ball games left to play.”

Taylor finished with 288 of Tech’s 394 yards of total offense. He rushed for 127 yards on nine carries and was 13-for-23 for 161 yards and a touchdown.

His biggest play came on Tech’s opening drive. Down 7-0, Tech struck quickly when Taylor kept the ball on the option and went 72 yards for a touchdown. That tied the game at 7 with 8:33 left in the first quarter.

It also seemed to spark the Hokies on that 38-point barrage.

“They [CMU] did a good job of executing what they had on their side [on CMU’s first drive],” Tech defensive tackle John Graves said. “ We had a chance to make a play on third down to stop the drive and we missed that opportunity, and they capitalized.

“When Tyrod broke that run, it helps energize your defense. He did a great job.”

The Hokies then took the lead early in the second quarter, finishing a 67-yard drive with Darren Evans’ 6-yard touchdown run. Evans’ score was the first of three straight scoring drives in the second quarter by Tech.

Thanks to Davon Morgan’s first career interception, the Hokies took a 17-7 lead on a 30-yard field goal by Chris Hazley, and then Taylor connected with tight end Andre Smith for a 7-yard score with 7:11 left in the first half.

Tech put the game away in the second half by scoring two touchdowns in a 3:01 span bridging the third and fourth quarters. Taylor scored on a 15-yard run with 2:16 to go in the third quarter, and David Wilson scored on a 68-yard run with 14:15 left in the game for a 38-7 Hokies lead.

The game marked Taylor’s sixth 100-yard rushing performance of his career, tying the school record for 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback previously held by Bob Schweickert in 1962-64.

Tech’s final score came on an 80-yard punt return by Jayron Hosley with 4:55 left in the game. That return tied for the sixth-longest return in school history.

Central Michigan scored all of its touchdowns on passes by quarterback Ryan Radcliff. He hit Jerry Harris on a 23-yard score on the first drive of the game and then connected with Harris for an 8-yard score with 10:45 remaining. Radcliff's final touchdown pass came on a 19-yarder to Kito Poblah with 1:22 remaining.

Radcliff was 21-for-48 for 266 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception. Paris Cotton rushed for 105 yards on 21 carries. Central Michigan actually out-gained Tech 401-394.

“It’s one thing to give up plays and it’s one thing to come back and make those plays,” Hosley said. “We stuck in there and made the plays we had to, and we came out with a ‘W.’

“We’re not feeling good. We know we’ve got to come back Monday and fix those things. We’ve got to keep working. We’re never satisfied. If you get satisfied and start feeling good, that’s when you get hit in the mouth.”

Tech is now finished with non-conference games. The Hokies return to ACC play next Saturday when they take on Wake Forest in a game that serves as Homecoming in Blacksburg. The kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m.

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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