Virginia Tech (7)… 7 3 3 7 – 20
NC State………… 7 6 0 3 – 16
NCSU – Blackman 25 run (Deraney kick), 6:50
VT – Imoh 5 run (Pace kick), 3:24
NCSU – Deraney 33 FG, 8:49
VT – Pace 44 FG, 2:33
NCSU – Deraney 27 FG, 0:00
VT – Pace 28 FG, 2:19
VT – Vick 19 pass to Clowney (Pace kick), 12:24
NCSU – Deraney 35 FG, 8:09
Raleigh, NC –
Virginia Tech overcame a bad start, poor tackling and a
questionable instant replay decision to knock off a very tough NC State team on
the road 20-16. The Hokies picked up where they left off last season, winning
yet another hard fought game that wasn’t decided until the fourth quarter. NC
State also played in the same manner as last season, playing great defense, out
gaining the opposing offense, turning the ball over and committing a number of
The storyline for Virginia Tech was the poise displayed by quarterback Marcus
Vick, the punting of Nic Schmitt and uncharacteristic bad tackling by the
defense. Vick hit David Clowney for a critical 19 yard touchdown with 12:24
remaining in the fourth quarter to put Tech up 20-13, and made some big plays
with his feet. For the game he completed 10 of 21 passes for 108 yards and a
touchdown. He also carried the ball 13 times for 31 yards. Those stats aren’t
impressive, but he did a great job managing the game, he didn’t turn the ball
over and he made plays in key parts of the game.
Meanwhile Schmitt, who was considered a question mark heading into the season
opener, punted six times for an average of 46.5 yards per punt. He also pinned
NC State inside their 20 three times.
The Tech defense, which received a lot of hype during the preseason,
performed poorly in the first half, giving up too many big plays and yards after
the catch. On many occasions, NC State’s receivers found themselves all alone
after catching the pass and were able to turn it up field for a big gain. At
other times Tech’s defenders were in position to make the play, but missed the
The Virginia Tech offensive line, much maligned after allowing ten sacks
against NC State last season, played much better this time around by allowing
only three sacks. They were also able to take control of the line of scrimmage
on Tech’s last drive, milking valuable time off the clock.
Tech’s offense gained a total of 232 yards on the night, compared to a
whopping 438 by NC State. Despite giving up a lot of yards, the Tech defense was
able to force turnovers to stop drives, and were also aided by 12 NC State
penalties for 105 yards. The Hokies were penalized six times for just 40 yards.
Despite the poor first half performance, the Tech defense made a much better
showing in the second half. The defensive line got a better push and was able to
put more pressure on NC State quarterback Jay Davis. They were also aided by a
Tech offense that was able to control the clock in the second half, holding the
ball on two long possessions that totaled 15:16. While the Hokies were only able
to get three points out of the two possessions, they allowed the defense to rest
and kept the pass happy Wolfpack offense on the sidelines.
The Hokies weren’t able to run the ball consistently against NC State, but
they did manage some nice gains at times, especially towards the end of the
game. Mike Imoh and Cedric Humes ran the ball very effectively in Tech’s last
drive of the game. For the game, Imoh had 18 carries for 56 yards and a
touchdown, while Humes carried the ball ten times for 37 yards. Imoh’s touchdown
came with 3:24 remaining in the first quarter, and answered an NC State 25 yard
touchdown run by Darrell Blackman.
Virginia Tech got off to a slow start, going three and out in their first
possession of the game. Tech ran the ball twice with Mike Imoh and once with
Marcus Vick, and the NC State defense turned them away. After a booming punt of
59 yards by Nic Schmitt, NC State took over on offense.
The Wolfpack promptly drove downfield for a touchdown on the legs of tailback
Darrell Blackman and the arm of quarterback Jay Davis. They converted four third
downs on the drive, one of which came on a pass interference penalty on the
Hokies. The key play came on third and 16 from the Tech 42 when Davis completed
a pass to Brian Clark for 17 yards to the Tech 25. On the next play, Blackman
burst up the middle and turned it outside for a touchdown to put NC State up
Tech drove down the field and answered with their own touchdown on their next
possession. The drive was aided by a 15 yard face mask penalty on the Wolfpack.
Marcus Vick later hit Josh Morgan with a pass, and Morgan turned up field and
broke tackles, turning the intermediate route into a 27 yard gain. On the next
play, Mike Imoh used a nice cutback move to the left side to go into the end
zone untouched to make the score 7-7.
NC State returned the kickoff to their own 39, and Jay Davis promptly found
tight end T.J. Williams for a 26 yard gain to the Tech 35. Two plays later,
however NC State shot themselves in the foot once again with a 15 yard personal
foul penalty. The penalty pushed the Wolfpack offense back to Tech’s 48 yard
line, and Jay Davis followed it up by throwing an interception to Aaron Rouse on
a badly overthrown pass.
After three consecutive punts, one by NC State and two by Virginia Tech, the
Wolfpack took over on the Tech 48 yard line after a 38 yard punt by Nic Schmitt.
NC State was able to move the ball somewhat on this drive, but they were hurt by
another penalty, this time a false start. They settled for a John Deraney 33
yard field goal to make the score 10-7 with 8:49 remaining in the first half.
After a three and out by each team, the Hokies got possession at their own 42
yard line. On the first play of the drive, Vick found sophomore wide receiver
Justin Harper for a 25 yard gain into NC State territory. Tech could not manage
another first down on the drive, but Brandon Pace kicked a 44 yard field goal to
tie the game at ten.
NC State took over with 2:33 remaining on the game clock in the first half.
The Wolfpack managed to move the ball inside the Tech ten yard line, but D.J.
Parker knocked away a pass intended for T.J. Williams and NC State settled for a
27 yard field goal as time expired to take a 13-10 lead into halftime.
NC State had the ball to start the second half. As they did in the first
half, the Wolfpack moved the ball on the Tech defense, but committed two
penalties during the drive, killing their chance to score. John Deraney, also NC
State’s punter, was able to pin the Hokies at their own one yard line with a
41 yard punt.
Starting at their own 1 yard line, the Hokies began a drive that would last
17 plays and take 7:46 off the game clock and result in a field goal by Brandon
Pace. It was aided by yet another NC State penalty, a 15 yard facemask by A.J.
Davis after an incomplete pass on third down. Key plays of the drive included a
20 yard run by Mike Imoh and a 24 yard scramble by Marcus Vick. Tech drove
inside the Wolfpack ten yard line, but Vick was sacked by Ernest Jones, and
Brandon Pace connected on a 28 yard field goal to tie the game at 13 with 2:19
left in the third quarter.
On the next NC State possession, Jay Davis connected with Darrell Blackman in
the flat, and Blackman broke into the Virginia Tech secondary, but fumbled the
ball after a hard hit by Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams. Barry Booker recovered
the fumble for the Hokies at the Wolfpack 43 yard line.
Tech couldn’t manage a first down, and Nic Schmitt came on to punt. At this
point, Darrell Blackman made another huge mistake, calling for a fair catch at
the one yard line. The Hokie defense clamped down and forced State to punt from
the back of their end zone. Eddie Royal returned the punt 19 yards to the
Wolfpack 20 yard line. Facing a third and nine from the 19 yard line, Vick
rolled left and found David Clowney sliding in the corner of the end zone for a
touchdown. After the extra point, the Hokies found themselves in the lead for
the first time, 20-13.
NC State took over with 12:24 remaining in the game. It was on this drive
that the questionable instant replay decision came into play. Darryl Tapp got
pressure on Jay Davis and appeared to force a fumble as Davis was setting up to
throw. Aaron Rouse picked up the fumble and scampered for a touchdown, but the
play was reviewed. In the first instant replay decision in the history of
Virginia Tech football, the call on the field was overturned. Replay officials
ruled that Davis’ arm was going forward, thus it was an incomplete pass.
Instant replays shown on ESPN2 showed this to be a questionable reversal of the
call on the field.
Following the reversed decision on the Aaron Rouse fumble return for a
touchdown, NC State was stopped by the Tech defense. On fourth and six from
their own 31, Chuck Amato called a fake punt that worked to perfection, with
DaJuan Morgan gaining 44 yards on a run to the right side. The Tech defense
buckled down once again, holding the Wolfpack to a 35 yard field goal.
Tech took over at their own 20 with 8:09 remaining in the game. From there
the Hokies were able to run 7:30 off the game clock in a 15 play, 44 yard drive
that featured a lot of running by Humes and Imoh, as well as a key 17 yard run
by Vick. The NC State defense stopped the Hokies at one point during the drive
with less than 2:30 remaining in the game, and Brandon Pace came in for a field
goal attempt. His attempt went wide right, but NC State was penalized for
running into the kicker, which gave the Hokies a first down. Tech didn’t
convert the mistake into a score, but they did manage to run nearly two minutes
off the game clock before being forced to punt the ball back to State.
After the Nic Schmitt punt bounced into the end zone, the Wolfpack had the
ball on their own 20 yard line with 39 seconds remaining and no time outs. Jay
Davis was able to get the ball into Virginia Tech territory following a long run
after catch by Tramain Hall that went for a 32 yard gain. NC State then tried a
hook and ladder with Hall pitching the ball to Blackman, but he was forced out
of bounds at the VT 31 yard line.
With just seven seconds left, Jay Davis was forced to go deep, and the pass
was intercepted yet again by Aaron Rouse to preserve the victory.
With the victory, the Hokies move to 1-0 overall and 1-0 in the ACC. Tech
travels back to the state of North Carolina on Saturday to take on the Duke Blue
Devils, who were downed by East Carolina over the weekend. Kickoff is schedule
for noon and the game will be televised by Jefferson Pilot Sports.
First downs 16 21
Rushed-yards 41-124 29-127
Passing yards 108 311
Sacked-yards lost 2-18 3-20
Return yards 57 79
Passes 10-21-0 27-44-2
Punts 6-45.7 4-40.5
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 6-40 12-105
Time of possession 29:26 30:34
RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Imoh 18-56, Humes 10-37, Vick 13-31. NC State,
Blackman 12-58, Morgan 1-44, Davis 9-35, Baker 3-5, Davis 4-(-15).
PASSING-Virginia Tech, Vick 10-21-0-108. NC State, Davis 27-43-2-311,
RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Harper 2-36, Clowney 3-30, Morgan 1-27,
Humes 2-12, King 1-6, Royal 1-(-3). NC State, Hall 8-97,
Williams 6-62, Blackman 4-40, Clark 3-37, Hicks 2-35, Davis 1-18,
Hill 2-12, Barrett 1-10.