October 20, 2016
Hokies bounce back, calm Canes in Thursday night win
Tech's defense records eight sacks and the offense racks up 523 yards in a 37-16 blowout
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Miami (4-3) 367016
Virginia Tech (5-2) 31314737
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 63,507
  • Passing: Jerod Evans 259 yds
  • Rushing: Travon McMillian 131 yds
  • Receiving: Sam Rogers 72 yds
Virginia Tech-Miami Notes and Quotes

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente quotes

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster quotes

Virginia Tech player quotes

Miami coach Mark Richt quotes

Postgame Notes

BLACKSBURG – Paced by quarterback Jerod Evans’ 259 yards passing, Travon McMillian’s 131 yards rushing and a defense that recorded a season-high eight sacks, Virginia Tech rolled to a 37-16 victory over Miami in an ACC game played Thursday night at Lane Stadium.

Joey Slye added three field goals for the Hokies, who moved to 5-2 overall, 3-1 in the ACC. Tech snapped a two-game losing streak to Miami, which fell to 4-3 overall, 1-3 in league action.

Despite playing without starting defensive linemen Ken Ekanem and Nigel Williams, the Hokies’ defense played one of its most productive games of the season, holding Miami to 42 yards rushing in addition to getting the eight sacks. Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 323 yards, but was sacked the eight times.

“I’ve played this team three times, and you know what kind of team they are,” said defensive tackle Woody Baron, who led the way with 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for a loss. “They’re just like us. They’re fundamentally driven, and they always have great athletes at all 11 positions at any time of the game. So we tried to take it upon ourselves and our execution versus them. Getting pressure on them was really a benefit, and we just tried to keep it going the whole game.”

The Hokies led 16-9 at halftime thanks to three field goals from Slye and a touchdown pass from Evans to Bucky Hodges. Tech then broke things open with two touchdowns in the third quarter, scoring on a 12-yard pass from Evans to Hodges and a 13-yard touchdown strike from running back Sam Rogers to fullback Steven Peoples. The latter score gave the Hokies a 30-16 lead with 4:01 left in the third quarter.

McMillian rushed a season-high 18 times and finished with the second-most rushing yards in his career. The game marked his second 100-yard performance of the season (Tennessee) and was the biggest chunk of an evening in which Tech rushed for a season-high 251 yards.

Evans, who sealed the game with a 34-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run, completed 21 of 33, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and he also rushed for 98 yards. The Hokies finished with 523 yards of offense.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“We didn’t have time to dwell on what happened last week, as much as we didn’t like it. We had to pour all of our focus into the game because it was coming quickly. I felt good about our plan and the way we practiced heading into the game. I felt confident in our ability to attack the short week. I think our kids sensed that and accepted the plan in terms of what we were going to do offensively and defensively – and went out and executed it very well.” Justin Fuente on bouncing back from the Syracuse loss

“I thought Travon ran hard. Marshawn didn’t have as many carries, but he had a few and got in there and did a good job as well. I like the way that we protected the football, first and foremost. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind.” – Fuente on Tech’s rushing attack against Miami

“I thought it was implied. All six of us in the rotation needed to have a good game. Me being the most experienced, I knew that the younger guys were going to follow my example, like they have from myself, Nigel and Ken. It was implied that I had to have a big one.” Woody Baron on whether he was told he needed to have a big game with two starting defensive linemen out.

BIG PLAYS

• Sam Rogers’ career-long 52-yard reception in the second quarter set up Hodges’ 7-yard touchdown reception. The touchdown was the only one of the half for the Hokies, and Rogers’ reception broke his previous career long of 51 yards, which came last season against Ohio State.

• Tech faced third-and-7 from the Miami 38 late in the first half when Evans found Isaiah Ford for a 9-yard gain to the Miami 29. The drive stalled after that, but the play led to a 38-yard field goal by Slye to give the Hokies a 16-3 lead.

• Miami cut the Tech lead to 23-16 midway through the third quarter, but the Hokies answered with a 75-yard drive. An 11-yard pass from Evans to Hodges on third-and-9 kept the drive going and ultimately led to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Sam Rogers to Steven Peoples that gave the Hokies a 30-16 lead.

• Miami’s best chance in the fourth quarter ended at the Tech 25. The Canes faced a third-and-14, and Tech’s Trevon Hill sacked Kaaya on the play for a 6-yard loss. Kaaya’s pass on fourth down fell incomplete, giving the Hokies the ball with 5:51 to go.

GAME NOTES

• Hodges’ touchdown receptions marked the 17th and 18th of his career, moving him into a tie for third place with Ricky Scales, Jarrett Boykin and André Davis on Tech’s all-time list. Isaiah Ford and Antonio Freeman share the mark at 22.

• Steven Peoples’ 13-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter marked the first touchdown of his career. The reception came on a pass from Sam Rogers, which marked the first touchdown pass of Rogers’ career.

• Slye’s 13 points gave him 262 points for his career, enabling him to moving past former kicker Ryan Williams into fifth place in Tech’s all-time list for scoring. He needs 45 points to tie Carter Warley for fourth place on the list.

• Ekanem missed the game with an injury, snapping his streak of 32 consecutive starts. Chuck Clark now has the longest streak, having started in 30 straight games.

UP NEXT

The Hokies next travel to Pittsburgh, where they’ll take on the Panthers next Thursday night at 7. The Hokies have beaten the Panthers just once since the 2000 season (19-9 in 2013) and are just 1-6 in that span. They haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 1999 and are 0-4 there during that time period.

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