2008 Football Game Recap: Hokies Survive UNC, Win 20-17

Virginia Tech.......  0  3  7 10 - 20
North Carolina......  0 10  7  0 - 17

Scoring Summary:

2nd Quarter
12:31 NC - Wooten 27 yd FG
06:59 VT - Keys 19 yd FG
01:02 NC - Tate 32 yd pass from Yates (Wooten)

3rd Quarter
06:44 NC - Little 50 yd run (Wooten)
01:09 VT - Evans 10 yd run (Keys)

4th Quarter
13:46 VT - Lewis 11 yd run (Keys)
10:42 VT - Keys 45 yd FG

Chapel Hill, NC -Virginia Tech scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to knock off a
fired up North Carolina team 20-17 in Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon. The win
puts the Hokies at 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. Tech also now holds the
head-to-head tiebreaker over two teams in the Coastal Division, Georgia Tech and

Trailing 17-3 in the third quarter, things looked bleak for the Hokies.
However, they took advantage of some UNC turnovers, knocked starting quarterback
T.J. Yates out of the game and crushed the Tar Heels in penalty yards. As a
result, they squeaked out the win. Tech is now 16-1 in ACC road games.

North Carolina was penalized 14 times for 121 yards, while the Hokies drew
just four flags for 21 yards. In the end, that was probably the difference in
the game. More on that later.

The Hokies were outgained by the UNC offense 307 to 267. Overall, the Tech
defense played an excellent game. They gave up several big plays, including a 50
yard touchdown run by Greg Little and a 32 yard touchdown reception by Brandon
Tate, but overall they did an excellent job against a solid UNC offense. The
defense recorded four sacks and knocked T.J. Yates out of the game in the third

The Tech offense was anemic in the first half, but rebounded with a decent
second half. Tyrod Taylor threw two interceptions, but he also made some plays
through the air. He was 11-of-21 for 125 yards. Taylor was knocked out of the
game in the fourth quarter with an apparent ankle injury, and Sean Glennon
entered in relief and was 1-of-1 for 16 yards.

Danny Coale was the favorite target for the Tech quarterbacks. The r-freshman
had four catches for 54 yards, and narrowly missed hauling in a deep touchdown
pass on an overthrow by Taylor. True freshman Jarrett Boykin, who is from the state of North Carolina, had
two catches for 33 yards.

The Hokies ran for 127 yards. They were led by Darren Evans, who had 61 yards
on 14 carries and a touchdown. Kenny Lewis added 28 yards and a touchdown on
seven carries. UNC did a great job of containing Tyrod Taylor, who had 35 yards
on 12 carries.

Brett Warren led Tech with nine tackles and one tackle for loss. Jason
Worilds, Nekos Brown, Orion Martin and Cody Grimm each added a sack, and the
Tech defensive front was able to shut down the UNC running game for virtually
the entire game.

Backup quarterback Mike Paulus threw two interceptions to Macho Harris and
Stephan Virgil after Yates was knocked out of the game. The Hokies also
recovered two fumbles, and had a +2 turnover margin for the game. In the last
two games, both 20-17 wins, Tech has a +5 turnover margin advantage. That’s
exactly what they have to keep doing to win football games this season.


North Carolina got the ball first and immediately went to work, picking up
two quick first downs. Brooks Foster picked up 17 yards on a reverse, and then
Yates found Foster for a 10 yard gain. On first down from their own 46, the Tar
Heels went with two running plays, which netted just three yards. On third down,
Bud Foster dialed up a rover blitz from the boundary. Davon Morgan forced Yates
up into the pocket, where Jason Worilds was there to clean up for the sack.

The Hokies then took over on their own 11 yard line. After picking up two
first downs, Tyrod Taylor threw over the middle, but it was intercepted by
middle linebacker Mark Paschal. The Tar Heels took over on Tech’s 33.

UNC took the ball to Tech’s 17 before they were stopped on downs. Freshman
kicker Jay Wooten came on for a 35 yard field goal attempt, which he pulled to
the left. The Hokie defense held after being put in a bad situation.

After another ineffective possession by Tech’s offense, UNC took over at
their own 42, once again in good field position. Yates threw two incomplete
passes, and was then sacked by Nekos Brown. The ensuing punt was downed on Tech’s
1, but yet again, the Tech defense had held when UNC had good field position.

Tech went three and out from inside their own five yard line, and after a 43
yard Brent Bowden punt, UNC took over at the VT 49. This time the Tar Heels had
better success on offense, advancing the ball to Tech’s 5. UNC lined up to go
for it on 4th and 1, but they were flagged for delay of game. Wooten then
came on and hit a 27 yard field goal to put UNC up 3-0 with 12:31 remaining in
the second quarter.

On three possessions, UNC had started with the football at their own
42 on one occasion, and in Virginia Tech territory on the other two possessions.
The Hokie defense limited them to a total of three points, and kept themselves
in the game.

The Tech offense was able to reverse the field position war on their next
possession. A 28 yard pass play to Danny Coale was the difference. Although Tech
was stopped at the UNC 35, Bowden’s punt was downed at the UNC 5. On the first
play of their next possession, UNC tailback Shaun Draughn put the ball on the
ground, and it was recovered by John Graves at the UNC 8.

The Tech offense couldn’t punch it in the endzone, but Dustin Keys came on
for a 19 yard field goal. With 6:59 left in the second quarter, the game was
tied 3-3.

UNC broke the stalemate shortly before halftime. With the Hokies coming on a
heavy blitz on third down, T.J. Yates hit Brandon Tate on a quick slant. Free
safety Kam Chancellor was hesitant, then missed the tackle altogether, and Tate
scampered in untouched for the 32 yard touchdown. The extra point made the score
10-3, and UNC went into halftime up by a touchdown.

Perhaps the key point in the game came with just over nine minutes left in
the third quarter. Defensive end Orion Martin broke through the line and sacked
a scrambling T.J. Yates. Yates’ came up limping and was obviously injured, but
he stayed in the game. On third and 30 from the VT 47, with Yates injured, Bud
Foster dialed up a blitz. Yates got the pass away, and it fell incomplete, but
he was hit again. He came up limping badly again and trotted off the field,
never to return.

On UNC’s next possession, it didn’t seem to matter. They took over on the
50 yard line after yet another bad possession by Tech’s offense. R-freshman
Mike Paulus entered the game at quarterback. The Tar Heels faked a reverse,
which had been successful earlier in the game, and handed it off to Greg Little
up the middle. Kam Chancellor took himself out of the play by biting on the
reverse, and Little went untouched 50 yards for the touchdown. With 6:44 left in
the third quarter, UNC led 17-3. Tech’s offense looked incapable of moving the
ball, and there didn’t appear to be much hope.

The Hokies got the ball back, and faced third and seven from their own 14.
Tyrod Taylor then made perhaps the biggest play of the game for Tech. With
defensive end Robert Quinn dragging him to the ground, Taylor muscled a pass to
true freshman wide receiver Dyrell Roberts for a 15 yard gain. With that play,
the Hokies started moving the football.

UNC also handed the Hokies a first down later in the drive. After holding
Taylor to a 4-yard run on third and five, linebacker Quan Sturdivant was flagged
for unsportsmanlike conduct, which gave Tech a first down at the UNC 20. On
third down from the 20, UNC was called for another penalty, this time a highly
questionable holding call on free safety Deunta Williams.

That gave Tech a first down at the 10, and it took Darren Evans just one play
to find the end zone. Evans took it in from 10 yards out, dragging tacklers into
the end zone with him. The extra point made the score 17-10 with 1:09 left in the
third quarter.

The Hokies had the momentum, and they kept it on their next drive. With UNC
afraid to throw the ball with Paulus, the Heels ran two straight running plays on
their next possession. On the second play, the Tech defensive line blew up the
UNC offensive line, and Orion Martin put his helmet on the football, which was
carried by Greg Little. The ball popped out, and Davon Morgan fell on it at the
UNC 30.

The Hokies capitalized, with Taylor making another big play on third down. On
third and nine at the UNC 30, Taylor dropped the shotgun snap. He picked it up,
didn’t panic, and then found Jarrett Boykin for a 13 yard gain and a first
down to the UNC 16. Two plays later, junior tailback Kenny Lewis took it in
untouched from 13 yards out. With 13:46 left in the game, the score was tied at

UNC went three and out on their next possession, with John Graves knocking
down a key third down pass. Macho Harris finally got a chance to return a punt,
and he returned it 17 yards to the UNC 44. Yet again, the Tar Heels were
undisciplined, and Anthony Elzy hit Harris late out of bounds. With 15 yards
tacked on to the end of the run, Tech had the ball at the UNC 29.

The Hokies only managed to move forward one yard on their drive, but first
year starting kicker Dustin Keys hit a huge 45 yard field goal which put Tech up
20-17 with 10:42 remaining in the game.

UNC still had plenty of time, and they managed to drive the ball all the way
to the Tech 24. On second down and 11, Paulus was flushed from the pocket to his
right. He made an ill-advised decision, throwing the ball back towards the
middle of the field into triple coverage. Macho Harris was there to snag the
interception, and he was tackled at the 2 with 7:24 left in the game.

It was obvious at this point that the Hokies were going to win the football
game. Despite UNC stacking the box, the Tech offensive line began to impose
their will on the Tar Heel front seven. On first down, Darren Evans went up the
middle for 13 yards, and on the next play Tyrod Taylor gained 11 yards. Taylor
was injured on the play, and Sean Glennon came into the game.

Evans took the handoff on Glennon’s first play, and he gained 11 yards to
the Tech 37. On the next play, Glennon executed a beautiful play fake and found a
wide open Danny Coale for a gain of 16 yards to the UNC 47. The Hokies failed to
pick up a first down from there, but Brent Bowden’s punt went out of bounds at
the UNC 10. The Hokies had burned over four minutes off the clock.

UNC took over at their
own 10 with 3:01 remaining. A Greg Little run netted just two yards, and then
Paulus was sacked on second down by Cody Grimm. Paulus could have been flagged
for intentional grounding in the end zone, but officials spotted the ball at the
UNC 2.

Two plays later, on fourth and 15 from the 5, Paulus threw his second
interception of the game, this time to cornerback Stephan Virgil. At that point,
the Hokies were able to run out the clock and leave Chapel Hill with a big

Virginia Tech returns to action next Saturday night when they travel to
Nebraska. Kickoff is scheduled for 8pm, and the game will be televised by ABC.


                           VT         UNC
                         ----        ----
First downs                16          14
Rushed-yards           42-127      32-103
Passing yards             141         204
Sacked-yards lost         2-6        4-39
Return yards               80         118
Passes                12-22-2     14-26-2
Punts                  6-34.0      5-44.2
Fumbles-lost              0-0         2-2
Penalties-yards          4-21      14-121
Time of possession      32:42       27:18
Att: 59,800


RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Evans 14-61, Taylor 12-35, Lewis 7-28,
Oglesby 4-9, Roberts 2-0, Boone 1-(-2), TEAM 2-(-4).
NC, Little 18-71, Foster 3-45, Tate 2-16, Draughn 5-10, Paulus 1-(-10)
Yates 3-(-29).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 11-21-125-2, Glennon 1-1-16.
NC, Yates 11-18-181, Paulus 3-8-28-2.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Coale 4-54, Boykin 2-33, Roberts 1-15,
Drager 1-15, Harris 1-9, Boone 1-5, Smith 1-5, Evans 1-5.
NC, Nicks 4-51, Tate 3-66, Foster 3-52, Pianalto 3-31, Little 1-4.