North Carolina....... 0 3 0 0 - 3 Virginia Tech (5).... 0 6 21 3 - 30 Scoring Summary: 2nd Quarter 10:30 VT - Jeff King 1 yd pass from Vick (Kick failed) 00:01 NC - Barth 25 yd FG 3rd Quarter 09:42 VT - Humes 1 yd run (Pace kick) 04:57 VT - Ore 4 yd run (Pace kick) 01:35 VT - Humes 3 yd run (Pace kick) 4th Quarter 10:49 VT - Pace 44 yd FG
Virginia Tech took advantage of the second chance they were granted and knocked off the North Carolina Tar Heels 30-3 in Lane Stadium on Saturday night. The Hokies led just 6-3 at halftime, but used a powerful rushing attack to turn a close game into a rout in the second half. Virginia Tech finished the regular season 10-1 overall, 7-1 in ACC play, and will meet the Florida State Seminoles in the inaugural ACC Championship Game on Saturday, December 3.
For the second consecutive game, Cedric Humes and Branden Ore each had over 100 yards rushing. Humes celebrated his senior day by rushing for a career-high 134 yards on 20 carries. He also had two rushing touchdowns during the game. Ore had 17 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown. Until Saturdayï¿½s game, the Hokies had not had two running backs rush for 100 yards in back-to-back games since Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones did it in 2002 against Boston College and Rutgers.
The Hokies rushed for a total of 277 yards on 53 attempts for an average of 5.2 yards per carry. The Tech offense had 338 total yards for the game, compared to just 196 for North Carolina. George Bell also added 40 yards on seven carries for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech’s second half domination on the ground was so complete that they only threw two passes the entire half, both short completions. For the game Marcus Vick was 8-of-15 for 61 yards. He threw one touchdown pass to Jeff King, as well as one interception.
Virginia Tech picked up 22 first downs during the game, compared to just 11 for the Tar Heels. The Hokies rushed for 19 of their first downs and were 5-of-9 on third down conversions.
Perhaps the most impressive individual performance of the game came from Tech defensive end Darryl Tapp. The senior played one of the best games of his career in his final game in Lane Stadium, sacking UNC quarterback Matt Baker twice. Tapp also had five quarterback hurries, batted down two passes at the line of scrimmage and blocked a key field goal early in the game that would have given the Tar Heels a 3-0 lead.
Tech’s sophomore middle linebacker Vince Hall had an impressive game as well. Hall had ten tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception. Rover Aaron Rouse also added ten tackles for the Hokie defense. The Tech defense had an impressive day against the run and the pass. Matt Baker completed just 15 of his 41 passing attempts for 160 yards. Ronnie McGill was held to just 34 yards on 12 carries.
Tech received the opening kickoff and their offense got off to a quick start. Marcus Vick hit David Clowney on a wide receiver screen that picked up 13 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Two Cedric Humes runs that totaled 13 yards gave Virginia Tech a first down on the UNC 45 yard line, but Vick was sacked for a seven yard loss on a safety blitz by Kareen Taylor. Vick’s next two passes were incomplete, but Nic Schmitt managed to salvage the possession with a 51 yard punt that was downed by D.J. Parker on the Tar Heel one yard line.
The Virginia Tech defense could not take advantage of the situation, and the UNC offense was able to move the ball out to their own 48 yard line before being forced to punt. The Tech offense took over on their own 18 yard line following the punt. Branden Ore carried the ball on five straight plays and picked up two first downs, and then Vick found Josh Hyman for a 13 yard gain on a slant pattern to the UNC 44 yard line.
However the Hokies would botch their second consecutive drive after moving into Tar Heel territory, this time when Cedric Humes couldn’t handle the handoff from Marcus Vick. UNC recovered Humes’ fumble at their own 45 yard line and were able to move the ball deep into Virginia Tech territory on their ensuing drive. Facing a third down and three from the Tech 15 yard line, Baker lofted a pass into the corner of the end zone that was broken up by Hokie true freshman cornerback Victor “Macho” Harris. This forced a field goal attempt on the first play of the second quarter, which was blocked by Darryl Tapp.
Virginia Tech took over possession of the football on their own 27 yard line and they would make UNC pay for not capitalizing on their scoring opportunity. The Hokies would take the ball down the field and record the first score of the game when Marcus Vick found Jeff King for a one yard touchdown pass with 10:30 left in the second quarter. The key play of the drive came when Cedric Humes rumbled 39 yards to the UNC 18 yard line. Vick hit King with the touchdown pass four plays later. Brandon Pace’s extra point attempt sailed wide left, and the Hokies led 6-0.
Neither team would muster much offense for the remainder of the half. Marcus Vick threw an interception to UNC’s Kareen Taylor at the Virginia Tech 30 yard line with just 1:16 remaining in the second quarter. From there, the Tar Heels were able to mount a major scoring threat. Matt Baker found wide receiver Jesse Holley for a 17 yard gain to the Tech 8 yard line, but they would not be able to capitalize. Two plays later, Holley dropped an easy touchdown pass on a slant over the middle. The Tar Heels were forced to settle for a 25 yard field goal attempt, which Connor Barth hit easily. The Hokies would take their 6-3 lead into halftime.
Virginia Tech would make up for missed first half opportunities in the second half. The Hokies scored on their first four possessions of the half, blowing the game open. Carolina’s offense, not made to play from behind, would not be able to keep up with Tech’s high powered rushing attack.
Cedric Humes did it all for Tech on their first possession of the half. After Macho Harris partially blocked a punt, the Hokies took over on UNC’s 45 yard line. Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring called Humes’ number six times in a row, and the big tailback finally punched it in from one yard out with 9:42 remaining in the third quarter. Brandon Pace converted the extra point this time around, and Tech led 13-3.
Carolina needed to answer Tech’s scoring drive on their next possession, but they could only muster a three-and-out. The Hokies got the ball back on their own 40 yard line and marched down the field for another touchdown. Tech threw the ball once during the drive, a screen pass to Justin Harper that went for nine yards. Other than that one play, it was all Branden Ore, who carried the ball seven times during the drive, finally scoring from four yards out with 4:57 left in the third quarter. The Hokies were now up 20-3, and there was no way the Heels were coming back at that point.
North Carolina went backwards on their next drive. A Darryl Tapp sack and a holding penalty pushed the Tar Heels back to their own four yard line, and they were forced to punt from there. Eddie Royal returned the punt to the UNC 36 yard line, and a 15 yard personal foul penalty gave the Hokies a first down at the Tar Heel 21. From there Cedric Humes carried the ball four times and Marcus Vick once, with Humes scoring his second touchdown of the night from three yards out with. The Hokies now led 27-3 with 1:25 left in the third quarter.
Virginia Tech would tack on a 44 yard field goal with 10:49 remaining in the game to make the final score 30-3. The three points were set up by a Vince Hall interception and a 26 yard run by Branden Ore on the ensuing possession.
With the victory, the Hokies are officially the champions of the ACC’s Coastal Division. They will play Florida State for the ACC Championship next Saturday, December 3 in Jacksonville. The Seminoles finished the season 7-4, with losses in their final three games of the regular season. Kickoff is scheduled for 8pm and the game will be televised by ABC.
STATISTICS VT UNC ---- ---- First downs 22 11 Rushed-yards 53-277 22-36 Passing yards 61 160 Sacked-yards lost 3-22 3-22 Return yard 36 160 Passes 8-15-1 15-41-1 Punts 3-50.3 7-34.6 Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0 Penalties-yards 9-74 8-69 Time of possession 31:17 28:43 Att: 65,115 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Humes 20-134, Ore 17-104, Bell 7-40, Vick 7-1, Team 1-(-2). UNC, McGill 12-34, Warren 3-5, Baker 7-(-3). PASSING-Virginia Tech, Vick 8-15-61-1. UNC, Baker 15-41-169-1. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Clowney 2-18, Hyman 2-16, Morgan 1-11, Harper 1-9, Ore 1-6, King 1-1. UNC, Holley 4-49, Pollock 4-26, Mitchell 2-28, McGill 2-18, Mason 2-16, Hamlett 1-23.