Tech Offense Sprints Out To Big ACC Win Over Wakeby James Beale
October 16, 2010
Needing to stay undefeated in the ACC, the Virginia Tech Hokies got off to a fast start and used all of its offensive weapons in a 52-21 drubbing of Wake Forest.
"I think we took a big step today," said head coach Frank Beamer.
Wake (2-5, 1-3) was led by Josh Harris, who broke the all-time rushing record against Virginia Tech with 241 yards on just 20 carries. The previous record was held by Paul Palmer of Temple, who rushed for 239 yards on 44 carries in 1986.
But Tech's offense, which converted seven of
eight first half drives into touchdowns, was simply too much for Harris and the
Demon Deacons. Tailback Darren Evans scored three touchdowns and senior Tyrod
Taylor scored a total of four, all in the first half.
"It was good to start the game the way we
did," said Taylor. "We haven't been getting off to good starts, and
I've been telling the guys that we needed to start the game early from play one
and get on top of them."
Tech (5-2, 3-0) did begin early; after a 58
yard punt return by sophomore Jayron Hosley, a fade pass to backup QB Logan
Thomas 1:31 into the game gave them a 7-0 lead. Thomas, who said he played some
wide receiver in high school as a sophomore, caught his first collegiate pass
on his first play as a wide receiver.
"It brought a lot of energy to our
team," said Thomas. "It was just a nice little beginning of the
career, I guess you could say."
"I knew [the play] was coming," said
Taylor, "when I looked to the sideline and [Thomas] was fumbling with the
Furthermore, in the second half, Thomas
relieved Taylor as starting quarterback. Offensive coordinator Bryan
Stinespring said it was important to get Thomas snaps against an ACC foe.
"You can't put a price tag on getting
Logan out there," said Stinespring. He continued to say that he wants to
get Thomas on the field more in positions other than quarterback.
"It's very important to help me learn and
grow," Thomas said after going 3 of 8 for 22 yards.
Wake relied on the big play throughout the
game. Harris peeled off runs of 37 and 33 yards, both to the left side, to cut the
score to 14-7. After two more Virginia Tech touchdown drives, Harris responded
again, this time on the only play of the drive. His 87-yard burst was the
longest given up for the Hokies since 1987, Beamer's first game as coach. In
the third quarter, Wake true freshman Tanner Price threw a 78-yard strike to
sophomore Chris Givens.
"There was about three or four [plays]
that counted for quite a bit of their yardage," said Beamer. "We have
to really look at that...that won't be the last time we see that."
"In a closer game," sophomore
linebacker Bruce Taylor said," one of those plays probably beats us."
Price, who had a breakout game against Navy
last week, was shut down by the Hokie defense. In the first half, he went 2 of
12 for 12 yards. Today, Harris was the surprise star for the Demon Deacons. In
his previous five games, Harris combined for 189 yards on 43 attempts.
Following his 87-yard touchdown, Tech responded
with 21 unanswered points, giving the Hokies a halftime lead of 49-14. Taylor
pushed himself in the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown, tying Bob Schweickert's
school record 21 rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Taylor went 19-of 28 with
294 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 29 yards.
Near the end of the first quarter, a roughing
the quarterback penalty was called against Wake after two players combined on
an awkward high-low hit on Taylor. He was out one play; on the next, he
scrambled and eventually found Danny Coale in the endzone. Later, he hit his
throwing wrist, but he says he'll be fine for the next game against Duke Oct.
Scoring 49 points in a first half ties the second-most the Hokies have scored under Beamer, with 56 coming against Arkansas State in 2002. Tech had 35 first downs to Wake's 9 and went 12-for-17 on third down, including 605 yards of total offense. Virginia Tech led time of possession 41:26-18:34.