Marshall............. 0 7 0 7 - 14
Virginia Tech (3).... 7 7 20 7 - 41
04:24 VT - Humes 11 yd run (Pace kick)
13:36 MU - Bradshaw 13 yd run (O'Connor kick)
05:09 VT - Ore 14 yd run (Pace kick)
11:51 VT - Pace 19 yd field goal
11:01 VT - V. Hall 15 yd fumble return (Pace kick)
08:22 VT - Clowney 48 yd pass from Vick (Pace kick)
01:23 VT - Pace 23 yd field goal
13:07 VT - Bell 2 yd run (Pace kick)
00:19 MU - Small 17 yd pass from Morris (O'Connor kick)
Blacksburg, VA — Virginia Tech overcame a sluggish first half to crush Marshall 41-14, scoring 20 third quarter points to blow open a game that was 14-7 at half time. Hokie tailback Branden Ore, subbing for the injured Cedric Humes, gained 146 yards on just 19 carries, including 115 second half yards, to lead the Hokies to the win.
With the game tied 7-7 in the second quarter, Humes suffered a fractured right arm on an otherwise unremarkable running play. There is a possibility that he could play in VT’s next game against Maryland on October 20th, but there is no set timetable for his return.
After Humes departed with his injury, Ore came on and gained 31 yards on four carries for the remainder of the drive, scoring on a 14-yard run to put the Hokies up 14-7 with 5:09 left in the first half.
Known as a passing team, Marshall ran for 131 yards in the first half, mostly on carries right up the middle against a lethargic Hokie defense. The Herd passed for just 18 yards in the first half, as Marshall sophomore Ahmad Bradshaw, a former VT recruiting target, carried 16 times for 83 yards before the break. Marshall’s most impressive drive of the half was a 12-play, 80-yard affair that took 5:48 off the clock and tied the score 7-7 early in the second quarter. Marshall threw one pass for five yards in the drive and picked the rest up on the ground, finishing with a 13-yard run by Bradshaw.
The second half was a different story. The Hokies opened the second half with 27 straight points in 17 minutes to break the game open, 41-7. First Brandon Pace kicked a 19 yard field goal, and 50 seconds later, Tech linebacker Vince Hall plucked a fumble from Marshall quarterback Bernie Morris out of the air and rolled untouched for a 15 yard TD. On the play, VT defensive end Chris Ellis got a hold of Morris in the backfield, and the ball popped free from the flailing Morris, straight to Hall.
Less than three minutes later, Marcus Vick pump-faked and hit David Clowney for a 48-yard touchdown pass. Pace added a 23 yard field goal in the third quarter, and George Bell followed up with a two yard touchdown run with 13:07 remaining to finish off the scoring streak and close out the Hokie scoring.
During the Hokie burst, Marshall had no first downs and gained just two yards on offense in four possessions.
Finishing the game against Tech’s backup defenders, Bernie Morris drove Marshall 84 yards in 11 plays, throwing a 17 yard touchdown pass to Chubb Small with 19 seconds left to go for the final margin.
The Hokie defense entered the game ranked #1 in scoring defense (8 points per game) and #3 in total defense (226.4 yards per game). In addition to the 14 points, Marshall had 281 yards of total offense. After his first half outburst, Bradshaw had just 16 yards in the second half and finished with 99 for the day, narrowly missing being the first opposing player to rush for 100 yards against Tech on the season.
With Humes injured and Mike Imoh sitting out the game with a sore ankle, Ore shouldered most of the load, and fellow backup George Bell added five carries for 25 yards and a touchdown. Vick had an unspectacular day passing, finishing 11-of-16 for 163 yards with the TD to Clowney, plus an interception. The interception was just Vick’s second of the year and was originally ruled an incomplete pass, but after a replay review, officials said that Marshall safety Chris Royal, the brother of VT wide receiver Eddie Royal, caught the ball before it hit the ground.
The Hokies were led in receiving by Josh Morgan, who caught four balls for 63 yards. Eddie Royal caught three for 34, and Clowney had two catches for 56 yards. VT finished with 409 yards of offense, including a season-high 233 yards on 42 carries (5.5 yards per carry).
The Hokies were led in tackles by the linebacking duo of James Anderson (12 tackles, one tackle for loss) and Vince Hall (10 tackles plus the fumble return for the touchdown). Xavier Adibi had just two tackles and left the game in the first half for a short time with an ankle injury. Adibi had to be helped off the field, but was taped up on the sidelines after some treatment and appeared to be okay.
As has been their style all season, the Hokies won the turnover battle and the penalty battle. Vick’s interception was VT’s only turnover of the game, though the Hokies did fumble twice, recovering both. Marshall, meanwhile, had one interception (by Justin Hamilton) and one fumble lost. Marshall had seven penalties for 36 yards, and the Hokies played their second straight game with just two penalties for 10 yards. VT picked up their second penalty on the third play of the second quarter and played the rest of the game penalty-free.
The Hokies continued their remarkable streak of having scored in every quarter this season.
After playing games on six straight Saturdays, the Hokies get next Saturday off and won’t play again until a road game at Maryland on Thursday, October 20th. The 12-day break will give Mike Imoh and Xavier Adibi a chance to heal up, as well as other various nicks and dings the Tech players are playing through right now. The Maryland game will kick off at 7:45 and will be televised by ESPN.
STATISTICS MU VT ---- ---- First downs 20 25 Rushed-yards 44-164 42-233 Passing yards 117 176 Sacked-yards lost 3-24 2-15 Return yards 100 19 Passes 14-28-1 12-18-1 Punts 7-41.4 2-52.0 Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-0 Penalties-yards 7-36 2-10 Time of possession 33:54 26:06 Att: 65,115 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Ore 19-146, Humes 10-58, Bell 5-25, Royal 1-3, Vick 6-3. Marshall, Bradshaw 22-99, Morris 7-8, Jones 1-0. PASSING-Virginia Tech, Vick 11-16-163-1, Holt 1-2-13-0. Marshall, Morris 14-28-1-117. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Morgan 4-63, Royal 3-34, Clowney 2-56, Ore 1-13, King 1-6, Kinzer 1-4. Marshall, Fitzgerald 6-67, Bradshaw 2-5, Moore 1-6, Morris 1-6, Lauzon 1-5.