Hokies Start Slow, but Finish Strong in Blowout Win

Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, on October 16, 2011
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Virginia Tech fell behind 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, but rallied and blew out Wake Forest 38-17 on the road on Saturday night. The Hokies improved to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, while the Demon Deacons dropped to 4-2, with a 3-1 mark in conference play.

Logan Thomas had another huge game for the Hokies, going 17-of-32 for 280 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He also had 30 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, as Virginia Tech racked up 473 yards of total offense against one of the ACC’s better defenses.

Jarrett Boykin also had a big game for Virginia Tech, pulling down seven receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown. He beat Wake Forest defensive backs down the field in one-on-one situations numerous times. Danny Coale also came up with four receptions for 30 yards, while Marcus Davis added two catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.

The Hokies ran for 193 yards, led by David Wilson, who had 17 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown. Logan Thomas was sacked just once during the game, and the offensive line held up well against a defense that was allowing just 122 yards per game on the ground against the 1-A offenses they had faced.

The Tech offense controlled the ball for 32:30, and they were 7-of-15 on their third down conversions.

The defense entered this game missing three starters: Antoine Hopkins, James Gayle and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow. They also lost Jayron Hosley to a hamstring injury in the first quarter when Tech’s All-American cornerback was beaten on a 79 yard touchdown by Chris Givens. Hosley pulled up lame on the play, and was replaced by r-freshman Detrick Bonner. Bonner went on to finish with eight tackles, a tackle for loss and broke up a pass.

Despite Tech having so many starters out, with the exception of that one 79 yard touchdown pass that put them up 10-0, the Wake Forest offense couldn’t get much going. They had just 59 rushing yards and averaged only 1.9 yards per carry, much of which was thanks to four sacks by the Virginia Tech defense. The Demon Deacons finished with 320 yards for the game, but didn’t get much after that 79 yard completion.

The big key for the Tech defense was allowing Wake Forest to convert just one third down on 13 attempts. Overall, that was probably the stat of the game.

After not playing well in the first quarter, the Tech offense came to life, scoring three straight touchdowns in the second quarter. The key sequence of the game came late in the second quarter, and early in the third quarter.

Trailing 14-10, Wake Forest got the ball back at their own 5 with 1:02 left in the half. Instead of taking a knee, the Demon Deacons tried to move the ball down the field. It didn’t work out, as J.R. Collins hit the arm of quarterback Tanner Price, who was intercepted by Tariq Edwards on the Wake Forest 26. Logan Thomas then hit Chris Drager on a 23 yard pass, and then finished the drive with a three yard touchdown run. The Hokies went into halftime leading 21-10.

The Hokies got the ball first to start the second half, and a big 44 yard pass play to Jarrett Boykin set up a seven yard touchdown run by David Wilson. Just like that, the Hokies turned a close game into a comfortable 28-10 lead. Although Wake Forest tried to rally by making it 28-17 in the third quarter, the Hokies scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away. The dagger for the Hokies was a 14-play, 96-yard drive that made it 35-17 with 10:49 left.

In the last three quarters of the game, Virginia Tech outscored Wake Forest 38-7 and outgained the Deacs 465-182. After a horrendous offensive game against Clemson two weeks ago, the Hokies have averaged 38 points and 478 yards in their last two outings. Logan Thomas has nine total touchdowns (five passing, four rushing) in those two games.

Defensively, the Hokies were led by Bruce Taylor, Antone Exum, and Detrick Bonner, with eight tackles each.

This was an impressive win away from home for Virginia Tech against a team that would be undefeated had quarterback Tanner Price not been injured in the fourth quarter against Syracuse, which sparked a big comeback for the Orange.

The Hokies return to action next Saturday at 3pm when they host Boston College. The game will be televised by RSN. Check your local listings.

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