Hokies Annihilate Vols at Line of Scrimmage, Win Chick-fil-A Bowl 37-14

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Virginia Tech (11) ...    7 10 7 13 - 37
Tennessee..............   0 14 0  0 - 14

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
06:56 VT - Williams 1 yd run (Waldon kick)

2nd Quarter
11:56 VT - Williams 3 yd run (Waldron)
06:43 UT - Hardesty 4 yd run (Mathis kick)
00:18 UT - Moore 2 yd pass from Crompton (Mathis)
00:00 VT - Waldron 21 yd FG

3rd Quarter
08:42 VT - Taylor 1 yd run (Waldron)

4th Quarter
13:33 VT - Waldron 46 yd FG
05:14 VT - Wilson 3 yd run (Waldron)
02:38 VT - Waldron 22 yd FG


Atlanta, GA – Virginia Tech outscored Tennessee 20-0 in the second half en route to a 37-14 blowout win in the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Hokies and Vols were tied at 14 late in the second quarter before a huge pass from Tyrod Taylor to Jarrett Boykin set up a field goal as time expired in the half, and Tennessee was never able to recover. Virginia Tech improved to 10-3 on the season with the win, while the Volunteers dropped to 7-6.

Virginia Tech is now one of just two teams in the nation to post six straight 10 win seasons. Texas has won 10 games for nine consecutive years. The Hokies have also now won back-to-back bowl games for the first time under Frank Beamer.

Ryan Williams set some impressive marks of his own. Despite missing the last 1.5 quarters with an ankle injury, the r-freshman had 25 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the season with 1,655 yards, breaking the single season Virginia Tech record set by Kevin Jones in 2003. Williams finished the year with 22 total touchdowns, which is an ACC record.

Tech didn’t get much going on the ground until the second half. Williams had just 17 carries for 38 yards in the first two quarters, but he had 78 yards on Virginia Tech’s opening drive of the second half. The game was even at the line of scrimmage in the first half, but the Hokies dominated in the final 30 minutes. For the game, Tech outrushed Tennessee 229 to 5, and outgained them 438 to 240 in total offense.

Tyrod Taylor hit a number of big plays down the field, none bigger than his 63 yard strike to Jarrett Boykin just before halftime to set up a field goal. Taylor finished the game 10-of-17 for 209 yards, with an interception. He also added 26 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Jarrett Boykin led the Tech wide receiver corps with four receptions for 120 yards. Danny Coale had a huge catch for 42 yards to set up a touchdown, and Dyrell Roberts had two catches for 37 yards. The Hokies were very balanced on offense, and that balance helped them convert eight of their 14 third down conversions.

The Virginia Tech defense dominated the line of scrimmage from start to finish. Tech held Montario Hardesty, one of the top running backs in the country, to just 39 yards on 18 carries. Hardesty had rushed for over 1,300 yards coming into the game.

Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton had been sacked just 12 times on the season, but Bud Foster’s defense planted him in the Georgia Dome turf on six occasions. Jayron Hosley, Cody Grimm, John Graves and Dorian Porch all had one sack, while Nekos Brown added two in his final game as a Hokie.

John Graves was playing healthy for the first time since early September, after a month off to rest his injured ankle. Graves recorded two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Overall, Virginia Tech had 14 tackles for loss, while Tennessee had just five. It was total domination for the Hokies up front, and that was the big difference in the game.

Recap

Normally Virginia Tech likes to run to set up the pass. In the Chick-fil-A Bowl, while the running game was struggling in the first half, it was Tyrod Taylor and the wide receivers who made big plays downfield that later set up Ryan Williams and the running game.

Tech’s first score was set up by a Rashad Carmichael interception, which he returned to the Tennessee 44. The Tech offense took advantage quickly, with Tyrod Taylor hitting Jarrett Boykin for a quick 20 yard gain to the 24. It was the first of many big plays the Hokies hit in the passing game, and Ryan Williams went on to punch it in from one yard out to give Tech a 7-0 lead with 6:56 remaining in the first quarter.

The next big play came early in the second quarter. The Hokies took over at the Tennessee 46, and they went up top on the first play of the possession. Taylor found Danny Coale working against single coverage and threw a perfect deep ball, which Coale hauled in for a 42 yard gain to the four yard line.

The drive appeared to be stalled when Taylor was sacked on third down, but Tennessee defensive end Ben Martin grabbed Taylor by the face mask, which gave the Hokies an automatic first down. Ryan Williams eventually took it in from three yards out, and Tech led 14-0 at the 11:56 mark of the second quarter.

Tennessee fought back to tie the game. Jonathan Crompton began the next Vol drive by hooking up with Denarius Moore for a 40 yard gain to the Tech 41. Tennessee went on to convert two more big third downs on the drive on passes of 15 and 20 yards. The Vols only converted four third downs all night, and two of the conversions came on this touchdown drive.

Montario Hardesty eventually punched it in from four yards out, but it was not without a struggle. Tech defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson broke free and had Hardesty wrapped up behind the line of scrimmage on second down from the four. However, the talented Tennessee running back was able to slip free and take it into the endzone, making the score 14-7 with 6:43 left in the second quarter.

The Vols weren’t done. Both teams traded punts, and then the Hokies got the ball back and proceeded to drive to the Tennessee 40. Tech was regaining the momentum, but a Tyrod Taylor pass was intercepted by free safety Janzen Jackson, who returned it to the Tech 48. On Tennessee’s first play from scrimmage on their next drive, a screen pass to Montario Hardesty gained 47 yards to the Tech one.

Jonathan Crompton eventually capped the drive with a one yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore, and the game was tied at 14 with just 18 seconds remaining in the half. However, the fireworks were not done.

The Tech offense took over on their own 33, and instead of taking a knee, the Hokies went deep. True freshman free safety Janzen Jackson let Jarrett Boykin slip behind him in prevent defense, and Tyrod Taylor showed off his arm strength, hurling the ball nearly 70 yards in the air. Boykin came down with it and fell down at the Tennessee four, but time ran out.

However, officials reviewed the play and determined that Boykin’s knee hit the turf with two seconds remaining on the clock. The Hokies were able to tack on a Matt Waldron field goal and they went into halftime leading 17-14.

Tennessee felt good about themselves after evening the score at 14, but they had nothing for the Hokies in the second half. Virginia Tech forced Tennessee to punt on their first possession of the third quarter, and took over on their own 26 after a 21 yard punt return by Jayron Hosley. From there, Tech embarked on arguably their most impressive drive of the season.

The Hokies ran eight plays and advanced the ball 74 yards for a touchdown. They actually had 79 yards of offense, thanks to a false start penalty. After being shut down in the first half, Ryan Williams had 78 of the 79 yards in this drive, including runs of 21 and 32 yards. The Tech passing game in the first half loosened up the Tennessee defense, and the Hokies also added more misdirection to their running game.

Williams did the bulk of the work on the drive, but it was Tyrod Taylor who snuck it in from one yard out, giving the Hokies a 24-14 lead with 8:42 left in the third quarter.

Virginia Tech methodically extended their lead in the second half. Ryan Williams injured his ankle on the first play of Tech’s next drive and never returned to the game, but it didn’t matter. The Tech offensive line kept opening up holes for Josh Oglesby and David Wilson, and the Hokies crushed the Vols at the line of scrimmage throughout the second half.

Tech added a field goal on their next drive to make the score 27-14 with 13:33 left in the game. It was a 46 yarder by Matt Waldron, and it was the longest field goal of his career.

The Hokies dodged one more bullet on Tennessee’s next drive. Jonathan Crompton hit Denarius Moore for what would have been a 51 yard touchdown pass that would have made the score 27-21. However, Moore dropped the easy pass, and the Volunteer drive fizzled out.

The Hokies took over on their own 20, and David Wilson entered the game at tailback. He carried the ball five straight times for 26 yards, and then Tyrod Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin for a 30 yard gain to the Tennessee 24. Bryan Stinespring had the Vols on their heels, and then he dialed up a Dyrell Roberts reverse for 21 yards. From there, Wilson took it in from three yards out to make the score 34-14 with 5:14 remaining.

Tech went on to add another field goal, and then added insult to injury on Tennessee’s last drive. Facing fourth and 10 from the Tech 20 with 52 seconds remaining and trailing by 23, the Vols called a timeout. Bud Foster was noticeably upset on the sideline, and he called a rover blitz. Dorian Porch came through and sacked Jonathan Crompton for a big 14 yard loss, and the Hokies ran out the clock to end the game.

Crompton was apparently so shaken up by the Porch sack that he collapsed in the tunnel following the game and had to be carried back to the dressing room. It was a fitting ending for a game that the Hokies dominated in the trenches from start to finish.

Virginia Tech finishes a successful 2009 season with a 10-3 record. They now look forward to 2010, when they return the bulk of their team intact, led by rising senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor, star tailbacks Ryan Williams and Darren Evans, a talented group of receivers, an improving offensive line, and as usual, Bud Foster’s excellent defense.


STATISTICS

                          VT          UT
                         ----        ----
First downs               19          14
Rushed-yards          48-229        31-5
Passing yards            209         235
Sacked-yards lost        1-9        6-55
Return yards              99         134
Passes               10-17-1     15-26-1
Punts                 3-41.7      6-42.7
Fumbles-lost             0-0         2-1
Penalties-yards         5-30        4-28
Time of possession     33:35       26:25
Att: 73,777

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 

RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Williams 25-117, Oglesby 8-34, Wilson 7-33,
Taylor 5-26, Roberts 1-21, TEAM 2-(-2).
UT, Hardesty 18-39, Poole 3-15, Moore 1-8, Hancock 1-(-1),
Jones 1-(-1), Crompton 7-(-55).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 10-17-209-1. 
UT, Crompton 15-26-235-1.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Boykin 4-120, Roberts 2-37, Williams 2-0, 
Coale 1-42, Davis 1-10.
UT, Jones 5-70, Hardesty 4-79, Moore 4-67, Stocker 2-19.
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