Hokies Record Historic Comeback, Down Wolfpack

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Virginia Tech .....  0  7 14 20 - 41
NC State (23) ..... 14  3 10  3 - 30

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
11:10 NCSU - Bryan 7 pass from Wilson (Czajkowski kick)
06:23 NCSU - Haynes 2 pass from Wilson (Czajkowski kick)

2nd Quarter
14:11 NCSU - Czajkowski 37 FG
06:34 VT - Smith 10 pass from Taylor (Hazley kick)

3rd Quarter
14:48 VT - Wilson 92 kickoff return (kick failed)
11:41 NCSU - Williams 34 pass from Wilson (Czajkowski kick)
09:09 VT - Evans 54 run (Coale pass from Taylor)
04:51 NCSU - Czajkowski 32 FG

4th Quarter
12:24 VT - Smith 4 pass from Taylor (Hazley kick)
04:42 NCSU - Czajkowski 42 FG
01:27 VT - Boykin 39 pass from Taylor (pass failed)
00:28 VT - Evans 3 run (Hazley kick)


Raleigh, NC – Down 17-0 early in the second quarter, Virginia Tech rallied for a 41-30 win
at #23 North Carolina State. Trailing 27-21 at the start of the fourth quarter,
the Hokies outscored the Wolfpack 20-3 in the last 15 minutes for a big win. The
17-point comeback is the biggest ever for Virginia Tech under Frank Beamer,
beating the 15-point comeback at Virginia in 1995. With the win, the Hokies
advance to 3-2 overall, 2-0 in the ACC. NC State falls to 4-1, 1-1 in the ACC.

Tech tallied a season-high 317 yards rushing, including 160 yards by Darren
Evans on just 15 carries. Evans’ evening included a 54-yard touchdown run and
just one play for negative yardage, a 1-yard loss. Evans had two rushing
touchdowns, and his effort was bolstered by 121 rushing yards from Tyrod Taylor,
including a 71-yarder that set up a touchdown, and 36 yards on six carries from
David Wilson. Wilson also had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open
the second half.

Tyrod Taylor struggled with his accuracy for much of the game, but he made
some key plays and orchestrated the winning drive with less than five minutes
left, throwing a 39-yard TD to Jarrett Boykin that put the Hokies up 34-30 with
1:27 left to go. Taylor finished 12-of-24 for 123 yards and three touchdowns. He
had a single interception, a tipped ball that was picked off in the first
quarter. Two of this three touchdown passes were to tight end Andre Smith, who
has become much more involved in the Hokie offense in the last two games.

Defensively, the Hokies gave up 507 yards to NC State, including 362 yards
passing by Wolfpack QB Russell Wilson. But Wilson was only 21-of-49, and he
threw three interceptions, all three to cornerback Jayron Hosley. Hosley’s three
picks are the first time a Virginia Tech player has picked off three passes in a
game since Garnell Wilds did it against Syracuse in 2002. Hosley’s last
interception came with the Hokies up 34-30, and he returned it 42 yards to the
NC State 6 yard line, setting up Darren Evans’ last touchdown and the final
margin of victory. NC State’s Wilson had just one interception on the season
coming into the game. He also had three touchdown passes in the game.

With the win, the Hokies start out 2-0 in the ACC, with both wins coming on
the road against quality programs. With the national championship out of the
picture and a loss to 1-AA JMU on their ledger, getting off to a good start in
the ACC and keeping their dreams of an ACC championship alive is a critical
accomplishment.

Game Recap

NC State bolted out to a big advantage in this game, beating the Hokies
soundly in the first 16 minutes and taking a 17-0 lead. The Wolfpack marched 80
yards in 9 plays with their opening possession, scoring on a 7-yard pass from
Russell Wilson to tight end George Bryan.

The Pack’s second touchdown came after a Tyrod Taylor interception. From the
Hokie 27 yard line, Taylor threw a pass across the middle to tight end Andre
Smith, but the pass was a little high and skipped off of Smith’s hands. Brandon
Bishop snagged the ball out of the air and returned it to the Hokie two yard
line. Three plays later, Wilson hit Dean Haynes out of the backfield for an easy
touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

The Hokies put together a 7-play, 45-yard drive that stalled at the State 34
yard line, and punter Brian Saunders pinned the Wolfpack at their own six yard
line. State responded with a 74-yard field goal drive that included two catches
for 57 yards by Owen Spencer, and the drive culminated in a 37-yard field goal
by Josh Czajkowski with 14:11 to go in the second quarter. State led 17-0.

At that point, NC State had 156 yards of offense, and the Hokies had just 62.
Things were looking grim for Tech. The Hokies went three and out on their next
two possessions, and the only thing that kept NC State from running the score up
further was an interception by Jayron Hosley on third and 17 that gave the
Hokies possession with 8:17 to go on their own 18 yard line.

Then came Tech’s first break of the game. Tyrod Taylor broke off a 71-yard
run on a read option that took the Hokies to the Wolfpack 11 yard line. Three
plays later, Taylor scrambled and hit Andre Smith for a 10 yard TD pass with
6:34 to go in the second quarter. That made it 17-7, Wolfpack.

Neither team could do anything with the ball for the remainder of the half.
The Pack advanced to the Hokie 15 yard line with less than a minute to go, but
Hosley had his second interception of the game in the end zone, on a terrible
pass by Wilson that hit Hosley square in the hands.

At halftime, NC State had 299 yards of offense, including 186 passing yards,
and the Hokies had 187 total yards.

The Hokies opened the second half with possession, and they wasted no time
scoring when David Wilson took the kickoff at the eight yard line, burst up the
middle, ran through a diving tackle attempt, and turned it up the left sideline
for a 92-yard touchdown. It was Tech’s first kickoff return for touchdown since
Dyrell Roberts did it against Alabama in the 2009 season opener, and it was one
of the reasons the Hokie coaching staff decided not to redshirt Wilson.

Placekicker Chris Hazley pulled the extra point left, however, leaving the
score at 17-13, Wolfpack. NC State responded with a quick 66-yard scoring drive,
going the last 58 yards in just two plays. Wilson broke the pocket from the
Hokie 34 yard line and hit Jarvis Williams with a touchdown pass to make it
24-13, Pack, with 11:41 to go in the third quarter.

At that point, with almost half of the game remaining, NC State had 370 yards
of offense and 24 points. For the rest of the game, they would gain just 137
more yards and score just six more points.

Tech’s next possession was the Darren Evans show. Evans had 83 yards of
offense on three rushes and one catch, including a 54-yard third down touchdown
run in which he swept right, broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage, and
brushed off NC State defensive back CJ Wilson at the Pack 20 yard line for a
score. Tech went for two points, and Tyrod scrambled and hit Danny Coale for an
easy score to make it 24-21, Wolfpack.

NC State drove to the Hokie 15 yard line and got a 32-yard field goal to make
it 27-21 with 4:51 to go in the third, and they carried that advantage into the
fourth quarter.

As the fourth quarter dawned, the Hokies had possession, and they got an
18-yard run from Evans and a key third down scramble from Taylor that took them
inside the Pack ten yard line. On second and goal from the State four yard line,
the Hokies lined Andre Smith up as an eligible tackle. NC State didn’t pick up
on it, Smith slipped into the end zone uncovered, and Tyrod Taylor hit him for
an easy touchdown that made it 28-27, Hokies, with 12:24 left.

The two teams traded punts, and NC State took over on their own 39 yard line,
still down 28-27. The Pack opened with a 23-yard pass to Haynes and then later
picked up a first down on a questionable pass interference call against the
Hokies’ Antone Exum. That put the ball at the Tech 23 yard line, but the drive
stalled, and the Pack kicked a 42 yard field goal to go up 30-27 with 4:42 left.

This is the exact situation that has not gone well for the Hokie offense in
recent years: needing a score with less than five minutes left.

Starting from their own 24 yard line, however, the Hokies got it done. After
an incompletion, Darren Evans ripped off a 16 yard rush around the right side.
On third and three from the Tech 47, Taylor scrambled for 12 yards. Two plays
later, on second and eight from the Pack 39 yard line, Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin
in stride across the middle at the NC State 24 yard line. Boykin broke an
immediate tackle, broke another tackle at the 12 yard line, and ran in upright
for the touchdown with 1:27 left. The play made SportsCenter’s top ten as the #8
play of the day.

The Hokies went for two but missed it, leaving the score at 34-30. After a
good kickoff and great coverage, NC State started from their own 11 yard line
with 1:19 left and all three timeouts. But on their first play, Russell Wilson
chucked a pass towards midfield, where Jayron Hosley easily picked up his third
interception of the game and returned it to the NC State 6 yard line.

Wilson holds the NCAA record with 379 pass attempts without an interception,
but in this game, Jayron Hosley got him three times, for the first three-pick
game at Tech in the last eight seasons.

Two plays later, Darren Evans ran it in from the three yard line, leaving the
crowd at Carter-Finley in stunned silence and bringing the Hokies their biggest
comeback win under Beamer, a key ACC victory that brings Tech to 2-0 in the
league and keeps their conference title hopes alive. The Hokies are now 21-5 in
road play in the ACC.

The Hokies now face three very winnable games in a row, returning home to
play Central Michigan, Wake Forest, and Duke to close out the month of October.
Tech will then host Georgia Tech on Thursday night on November 4th.

The Central Michigan game has been set for noon and will be televised on
ESPNU. Tickets remain available for the game and can be purchased at
hokietickets.com.


STATISTICS

                          VT        NCSU
                         ----       ----
First downs               18          24
Rushed-yards          37-317      33-145
Passing yards            123         362
Sacked-yards lost       4-20         1-8
Return yards             261         137
Passes               12-24-1     21-49-3
Punts                 7-42.4      4-43.0
Fumbles-lost             2-0         2-0
Penalties-yards         4-50        9-61
Time of possession     28:21       31:39
Att: 58,083

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 

RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Evans 15-160, Taylor 16-121, Wilson 6-36.
NCSU, Greene 10-91, Wilson 10-34, Haynes 12-27, Graham 1-(-7).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 12-24-123-1. 
NCSU, Wilson 21-49-362-3.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Boykin 2-47, Coles 2-16, Smith 2-14,
Davis 2-11, Roberts 1-18, Coale 1-15, Evans 1-5, Wilson 1-(-3).
NCSU, Spencer 6-145, Williams 4-103, Haynes 3-34, Greene 3-30
Bryan 2-24, Smith 2-23, Gentry 1-3.
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