Taylor, Defense Spark Win Over Ohio

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Ohio...................0  7  0  0 -  7
Virginia Tech (18).... 0  7  7 14 - 28

Scoring Summary:

2nd Quarter
13:06 OU - McRae 4 yd run (Braunstein)
05:42 VT - Lewis 13 yd run (Dunlevy 

3rd Quarter
03:38 VT - Taylor 6 yd run (Dunlevy)

4th Quarter
08:49 VT - Ore 1 yd run (Dunlevy)
06:13 VT - Lewis 44 yd run (Dunlevy)


Blacksburg, VA — The Tyrod Taylor era got off to a good start, and Frank Beamer picked up his 200th career victory as #18 Virginia Tech knocked off Ohio 28-7 in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Hokies to 2-1 on the season, while the Bobcats drop to 2-1.

Tyrod Taylor had a very impressive outing in his first collegiate start, going 18-of-31 for 287 yards. He didn’t throw any touchdown passes, but he didn’t throw any interceptions or fumble the ball. He also had 10 carries for eight yards and a touchdown. Three sacks for a loss of 32 yards cut into his rushing totals. Overall, it was as good a starting debut as you could hope for from a true freshman quarterback.

Taylor provided the spark for an offense that racked up 473 total yards for the game. The Hokies put up 292 yards through the air and 181 on the ground. Branden Ore had 18 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, while Kenny Lewis, Jr. added six carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns. A 44 yard touchdown by Lewis in the fourth quarter put the game away.

Josh Morgan led Tech’s receivers with six catches for 119 yards. Eddie Royal added three receptions for 30 yards. 11 different players caught at least one pass for Virginia Tech.

Tech’s defense was back to its dominating ways. Ohio was limited to just 114 yards of total offense for the game. The Bobcats picked up just five first downs, all of which came in the first half. Every Ohio possession of the second half ended with a three-and-out.

Senior linebacker Vince Hall was the defensive star of the game. Hall had 14 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Fellow senior linebacker Xavier Adibi had a great game in his own right, finishing with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack. Defensive tackle Barry Booker showed signs of getting back to his 2006 level of play with seven tackles and two tackles for loss.

Recap

Things didn’t start very well for Virginia Tech on Saturday. After going three-and-out on their first possession, the Hokies drove the ball to the Ohio 10 yard line following a 59 yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Josh Morgan over the middle. Two plays later, Taylor hit Morgan again at the seven yard line, but this time Morgan was met hard by an Ohio tackler and fumbled the ball. The Bobcats recovered inside their own 10 yard line.

Ohio got on the scoreboard first. Eddie Royal muffed a punt at Virginia Tech’s 26 yard line, and the Bobcats were able to fall on the loose ball. The Hokies’ defense had them stopped despite bad field position, but following the third down play Brandon Flowers committed his second personal foul penalty in as many weeks, and it gave Ohio a new set of downs at Tech’s 14 yard line.

From there, the Bobcats were eventually able to get the ball into the end zone. All-MAC running back Calvin McRae, who was limited to 55 yards on 22 carries, punched it in from four yards out on second down. The extra point was good, and Ohio led 7-0 with 13:06 left in the second quarter.

The Hokies drove down the field on their next possession, but faced fourth and four from the Ohio 27 yard line. Frank Beamer elected to go for it, and Taylor had Josh Morgan open on a deep post against man-to-man coverage, but the ball was slightly overthrown as Taylor faced heavy pressure. The Bobcats took over on downs, but didn’t retain their advantage on the scoreboard for long.

After Ohio went three-and-out, Virginia Tech took over on their own 32 yard line and began to take control of the game. The drive began with a nine yard pass to r-freshman wide receiver Zach Luckett. Tyrod Taylor was clutch on the drive, going 2-of-2 on third down passes to keep the drive alive.

After Taylor hit Sam Wheeler for a 16 yard gain, Kenny Lewis, Jr. took it in from 13 yards out on the very next play. Jud Dunlevy added the extra point, and the game was tied 7-7 with 5:42 remaining in the half. Both offenses were silent the remainder of the second quarter, and the score remained tied at seven heading into halftime.

Tech’s opening drive of the second half began well, but didn’t end in success. Tyrod Taylor successfully drove the Hokies from their own 20 to Ohio’s 25. The drive included a diving 32 yard reception over the middle by 291-pound tight end Greg Boone, as well as an 11 yard run by Taylor. However, the drive was stopped when Taylor was sacked for a 12 yard loss on third down, forcing the Hokies to punt.

The Hokies took control late in the third quarter when they finally got their running game going. They went on a nine play, 54 yard touchdown drive that took 3:45 off the clock. The drive included runs of 16, 9 and 8 yards by Branden Ore, as well as a 13 yard run by Taylor. Taylor capped the drive with a six yard touchdown run on third down, and the Hokies led 14-7 with 3:38 left in the third quarter.

Tech got on the scoreboard again on their first possession of the fourth quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 28 yard screen pass to tailback Branden Ore, and a 19 yard reception by Josh Hyman that he took all the way to the Ohio 1 yard line. Runs by Carlton Weatherford and Taylor were shut down, but Ore finally took it in from a yard out on third down. The Hokies led 21-7 with 8:49 remaining, and they were firmly in control of the game.

A little over two minutes later, Tech added another touchdown for good measure. Facing a third and 15 from the Ohio 44 yard line. The Hokies went with a conservative draw play to Kenny Lewis, Jr., but the line blocked well and Lewis broke a tackle and burst up the field, taking it all 44 yards for a touchdown. After Dunlevy’s extra point, the Hokies led 28-7, and they held on to win by the same score.

Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday when they host William & Mary. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30pm, and the game will not be televised.


STATISTICS

                          VT         OU
                        ----        ----
First downs               24           5
Rushed-yards          40-181       36-38
Passing yards            292          76
Sacked-yards lost       3-32        4-23
Return yards              13          72
Passes               20-33-0     10-20-0
Punts                 7-41.3     13-36.8
Fumbles-lost             3-2         2-0
Penalties-yards         8-60        9-48
Time of possession     29:01       30:59
Att: 66,233

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 

RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Ore 18-82,
Lewis 6-62, Cheeseman 2-17, Pickle 2-13
Taylor 10-8, Weatherford 1-0, Team 1-(-1).
OU, McRae 22-55, Scott 3-6, Abrams 1-(-3),
Price 1-(-3), Bower 9-(-17).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 18-31-287
Glennon 2-2-5. OU, Bower 9-16-70, Scott 1-4-6.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Morgan 6-119,
Royal 3-30, Hyman 2-26, Harper 2-21, Boone 1-32,
Ore 1-28, Wheeler 1-16, Luckett 1-9, Smith 1-6
Whitaker 1-3, Jefferson 1-2. OU, McRae 6-26, 
Mooney 2-24, Nwokocha 1-21, Fitzgerald 1-5.
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