Western Kentucky........ 0 3 3 7 - 13 Virginia Tech (20)...... 10 10 7 0 - 27 Scoring Summary: 1st Quarter 07:38 VT - Keys 27 yd FG 02:11 VT - Boone 27 yd pass from Taylor (Keys) 2nd Quarter 13:52 WK - Tanner 48 yd FG 00:25 VT - Evans 1 yd run (Keys) 00:01 VT - Keys 22 yd FG 3rd Quarter 10:39 VT - Evans 2 yd run (Keys) 00:30 WK - Tanner 24 yd FG 4th Quarter 11:58 WK - Jones 3 yd pass from Wolke (Tanner)
The Hokies didn’t look pretty, but they came out on top. Virginia Tech got a 24-point lead on Western Kentucky, then took out Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter and walked away with a 27-13 win. Tech is now 5-1 on the season, 2-0 in the ACC, and are just one game away from bowl eligibility for the 16th straight season.
Virginia Tech took a 27-3 lead on their first drive of the third quarter, and then took out starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Sean Glennon entered the game, and though he completed all three of his passes, he was sacked four times and the Hokies couldn’t get much going offensively. The result was a much closer final score than most people anticipated.
Tyrod Taylor had a solid game at quarterback, completing 10-of-15 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown pass to Greg Boone was his first of the season. Taylor also ran for 30 yards on ten carries.
Darren Evans paced the Tech rushing attack with 21 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Kenny Lewis was having a very good game, running for 38 yards on seven carries. However, while making a cut in the third quarter, Lewis injured himself and fell down in the backfield, losing three yards. No one touched him, and the injury looked bad. Shortly thereafter, it was confirmed: Lewis is done for the season with a ruptured achilles. That will push Evans into the starting lineup, and he’ll be backed up by fellow r-freshman Josh Oglesby.
The Tech defense held Western Kentucky to 243 yards, but they were gashed for part of the second half by the Hilltoppers’ read option attack. Western Kentucky used two quarterbacks, with David Wolke throwing the ball and Dexter Taylor running it. Taylor ran for 96 yards on 14 carries. He did a great job executing the read option with tailback Bobby Rainey, who had eight carries for 54 yards.
Purnell Sturdivant led Tech with eight tackles, and he also had 0.5 sacks. Orion Martin continued his All-ACC type season, finishing with seven tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Cody Grimm also had a sack, and Jason Worilds continued his good play with a tackle for loss and 0.5 sacks.
Macho Harris had a good all-around game. He caught two passes for 15 yards, had an interception on defense, and averaged 20 yards on two punt returns.
Western Kentucky went three and out on their first possession, and the Hokies took over with good field position at their own 44. After two Kenny Lewis runs left the Hokies with third and three, Taylor snapped a pass to Jarrett Boykin, which was incomplete. However, Hilltopper defensive back Marcus Minor was flagged for leading with his helmet when hitting Boykin, which gave the Hokies a free first down.
Minor wasn’t done. Locked up in Danny Coale with no safety help, Coale tried to take Minor deep, but Minor dragged him down to the ground. The 10 yard holding penalty gave the Hokies the ball and a first down at the Western Kentucky 19.
However, Tech couldn’t punch it in while in the red zone. That continues to be a problem for the offense. Two penalties, an illegal formation and a false start on tight end Andre Smith, contributed to the failure. Dustin Keys was called upon for a 27 yard field goal, and he gave Tech a 3-0 lead with 7:38 remaining in the first quarter.
After another Western Kentucky three and out, the Hokies took over on their own 34. They didn’t waste much time extending their lead. Most of the drive came through the air. Tyrod Taylor hit Chris Drager for a 14 yard gain, and later found Macho Harris for 13 yards to the Western Kentucky 29. Two plays later, Taylor lofted one up for Greg Boone, who made a jumping catch between two Hilltopper defenders for a 27 yard touchdown. The Hokies led 10-0 with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
Western Kentucky was again stopped on a three and out. They lined up to punt on the first play of the second quarter, and decided to go after Frank Beamer’s vaunted special teams. Punter Jeremy Moore flipped a pass to linebacker Blake Boyd, who was on the punt team for blocking purposes. Boyd found himself alone in the flat, shook a tackle by Macho Harris, and ran all the way to the VT 19 for a 46 yard gain. A block in the back took it back to the 29, but Western Kentucky was in scoring position. The fake punt was their first first down of the game.
The offense failed to take advantage, actually backing up to the VT 32. Tanner Siewart came on and hit a 48 yard field goal, making the score 10-3 Hokies with 13:53 remaining in the half.
The Hokies took over on their own 28, and took the ball to the red zone again. Again they were aided by four Hilltopper penalties for 35 yards. Tech had the ball first and goal at the five, but then things began to fall apart. A pitch from Tyrod Taylor to Darren Evans went awry, and the Hokies lost 12 yards. On the next play, Taylor scrambled up the middle but fumbled the football when he was hit. Robert Dark recovered the fumble for Western Kentucky.
The Tech defense held again, and later in the quarter a 32 yard punt return by Macho Harris gave the VT offense the ball at the Western Kentucky 38. The Hokies ran eight plays, seven of them runs. Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin for a 17 yard gain, and Tech advanced quickly inside the Western Kentucky 10. Facing third and goal from the 1, Taylor was stopped on the quarterback sneak.
Frank Beamer elected to go for it. Darren Evans took the handoff, leaped over the pile and scored a touchdown in his sixth straight game. Tech led 17-3 with 25 seconds left in the half.
It seemed the half was over, but not according to Macho Harris. Western Kentucky came out gunning, and Harris stepped in front of a David Wolke pass and returned it to the five yard line. Eight seconds remained on the clock. Tech attempted one pass into the end zone, but it was incomplete. Dustin Keys came on and nailed a 22 yard field goal, and the Hokies led 20-3 at halftime.
Tech got the ball first to start the second half, and they had their most impressive drive of the day. They went 72 yards in 10 plays, and for once Western Kentucky managed to not commit a penalty on the drive. This one was all Hokies.
On the first play of the drive, Danny Coale ran a crossing pattern from the right side of the field to the left. Taylor hit him in stride, and Coale slipped a tackle, and turned it into a 28 yard gain to the Western Kentucky 44. Two plays later, Kenny Lewis had an eight yard run, and then Taylor hit Andre Smith for a gain of 17 yards.
Tech went with Lewis for two straight plays. He gained nine yards on the first, then slipped in the backfield and lost three yards on the second. His ruptured Achilles occurred on this second run.
The Hokies eventually got it inside the five, and Darren Evans punched it in from one yard out. With 10:39 remaining in the third quarter, the Hokies were firmly in control with a 27-3 lead.
Western Kentucky went three and out, and at this point, with 8:58 remaining in the third quarter, Tyrod Taylor came out and Sean Glennon came in. Things were successful at first, with the Hokies picking up a first down behind three Josh Oglesby runs. Later in the drive, Glennon hit Jarrett Boykin for a five yard gain, setting up fourth and inches at the Western Kentucky 37.
It probably would have been an easy sneak for a first down, but Frank Beamer elected to punt the football. Brent Bowden’s punt resulted in a touchback, and Western Kentucky took over on their own 20. Because of the touchback, the punt netted just 17 yards.
At this point, the Hilltoppers began using Dexter Taylor as their primary quarterback to run the read option. Taylor began the drive with a 26 yard gain, and then had 11 more yards on the second play. Three plays later, on third and three from the Tech 36, Taylor handed it off to Bobby Rainey, who popped a 31 yard gain to the Virginia Tech five yard line.
Tech’s defense stiffened from there, limiting Western Kentucky to a field goal. With 30 seconds left in the third quarter, the Hokies led 27-6.
Western Kentucky attacked again on special teams, going for the onside kick. The Hokies weren’t prepared for it, and the Hilltoppers recovered at their own 47.
Taylor continued to kill the Hokies with his legs. On fourth and three from the Tech 36, he broke off a 19 yard run to the 27, and on the next play he ran another 23 yards all the way to the VT four yard line. After two straight runs netted nothing, David Wolke came in at quarterback.
With Wolkie in, the Hilltoppers faked a sprint out to the right, and then threw back to the left to the wide open tight end, Tristan Davis. It was an easy pitch and catch for the touchdown. With 11:58 showing on the clock, the Hokies still held a 27-13 lead.
Western Kentucky didn’t threaten again, but the Tech offense began to go into the tank in the fourth quarter. Sean Glennon was sacked four times, and the Hokies never crossed midfield until they took over on downs at the Western Kentucky 38 with 3:07 remaining in the game.
The fourth quarter wasn’t pretty, but the Hokies easily held on for the win despite the fight the Hilltoppers put up late in the game.
Virginia Tech is off next week, and will then travel to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College on Saturday, October 18. Kickoff time and television coverage is expected to be announced on Monday.
STATISTICS VT WK ---- ---- First downs 19 8 Rushed-yards 51-151 32-148 Passing yards 142 95 Sacked-yards lost 5-18 3-12 Return yards 106 114 Passes 13-18-0 8-20-1 Punts 4-39.8 6-37 Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 6-40 13-113 Time of possession 34:38 25:22 Att: 66,233 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Evans 21-79, Lewis 7-38, Taylor 10-30, Oglesby 7-19, TEAM 1-(-2), Glennon 5-(-13). WK, Taylor 14-96, Rainey 8-54, Booker 2-5, Wolke 3-(-2), Hayden 1-(-2), McCloud 1-(-3). PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 10-15-125, Glennon 3-3-17. WK, Wolke 7-19-49-1, Moore 1-1-46. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Coale 2-34, Boykin 2-22 Harris 2-15, Oglesby 2-7, Boone 1-27, Smith 1-17, Drager 1-14, Roberts 1-6, Lewis 1-0. WK, Graves 4-41, Boyd 1-46, Jones 1-3, Gaebler 1-3, Willis 1-2.