Virginia Tech 49, Rutgers 0
September 16, 2000
by Will Stewart,

                        1   2   3   4    F
                       --  --  --  --   --
Virginia Tech (8)      21  14   7   7   49
Rutgers                 0   0   0   0    0

VT-Suggs 7 run (Warley kick)
VT-Johnson 17 pass from Vick (Warley kick)
VT-Suggs 3 run (Warley kick)
VT-Vick 8 run (Warley kick)
VT-Suggs 1 run (Warley kick)
VT-Suggs 3 run (Warley kick)
VT-Burnell 1 run (Warley kick)

Blacksburg, VA - The Rutgers Scarlet Knights came in hoping to make a better showing against the Hokies than they have in recent years, but it was just more of the same.

Virginia Tech got four short touchdown runs from Lee Suggs and a shutout from their defense to propel the Hokies to a 49-0 victory in this one. Michael Vick had a workmanlike day for him, mixing 104 rushing yards with 120 passing yards, and throwing in a few spectacular plays for good measure. Vick threw for one touchdown and ran for another.

Suggs had 16 carries for 76 yards, and he would have had significantly more yardage if the Rutgers end zone hadn't kept getting in the way. He scored on runs of 7, 3, 1, and 3 yards, a couple of them of the standing-up-untouched variety.

Vick had 104 yards rushing on just 11 carries, and his runs included two highlight-reel plays. In the first one, he ducked a Rutgers defender in the backfield, reversed his field, and motored 45 yards to the Rutgers 3 yard line. As he was tackled out of bounds, he grabbed his tackler by the face mask and flung him away (no penalty was called).

Vick's second Heisman-like run came on an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He flipped over a Rutgers defender, a la the "Vick Flip" against JMU last year, but this time, Vick executed a perfect roll and landed harmlessly on his shoulders and back, springing up immediately in celebration.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Hokies held Rutgers to 241 total yards and didn't let the Scarlet Knights get any farther than the Tech 22 yard line.  Rutgers QB Mike McMahon, who came into the game with 10 touchdowns and just one interception on the season, went just 12-36 for 149 yards, with three interceptions. Tech's Ben Taylor, Philip Summers, and true freshman Eric Green got the pickoffs.

This game was never really in doubt. The Hokies rolled up three easy touchdowns in the first 12:53 of the game to stake themselves to a 21-0 lead, and they never looked back.

Tech went 80 yards in 13 plays on their opening possession, which ended with a 7-yard run by Suggs with 9:30 to go in the first quarter. Rutgers responded with a quick three-and-out, and when freshman punt snapper Brian Hohmann unleashed a low snap to the Rutgers punter, Tech's Eric Green tackled him on the Rutgers 14 yard line.

Tech scored two plays later on a 17-yard pass from Vick to Emmett Johnson, who made a nice diving catch for the TD. It came with 7:39 to in the quarter.

After another quick Rutgers possession, Tech put together a 70-yard, 8-play drive that culminated in a Suggs 3-yard TD to make it 21-0. Then, with 10:29 to go in the second quarter, Vick capped a seven-play, 59-yard drive with his flip into the end zone.

Green made another big play shortly thereafter, blocking a Rutgers punt (the first time Tech has blocked a punt against Rutgers since 1993). The Hokies took over possession at the Rutgers 21-yard line and scored in three plays, when Suggs went over from the 1 to make it 35-0 with 8:56 to go in the half.

After that, both teams played out the string. Rutgers kept Tech out of the end zone for the rest of the half, and in the second half, the Hokies started substituting liberally fairly early in the third quarter. Before that happened, though, Suggs scored his fourth touchdown, a 3-yarder with 10:14 to go in the third quarter.

Tech backup tailback Keith Burnell finished off the scoring in the fourth quarter with a one-yard TD run. Burnell's touchdown came a few plays after he had peeled off a spinning, juking 59-yarder to take it to the Rutgers 3. His score came with 10:42 to play and provided the final 49-0 margin, Tech's first shutout since blanking Syracuse 62-0 in the sixth game last year.

Key Stats: Tech outgained Rutgers 527 to 241 and held the ball 34:16 to Rutgers' 25:44. Rutgers quarterbacks went a combined 17-49 with 4 interceptions, although they did outpass Vick, Dave Meyer, and Grant Noel, 184 yards to 179.

The Hokies had 58 carries for 348 yards, for a 6.0 yards-per-carry average. Vick was the leading rusher (11 for 104), followed by Suggs (16-76) and Burnell (6-70).

Greased Ball: The Hokies coughed up 5 fumbles, 3 of which were lost to Rutgers. One of the fumbles came from the Tech defense, when Phillip Summers picked off a pass and then gave it right back while attempting to return the ball for yardage.

Top Tacklers: Tech was led in tackling by Summers with 6 solo tackles and linebacker Brian Welch with 5 solos and 2 assisted tackles, including Tech's only sack of the game.

Up Next: the Hokies will take a week off and then play at Boston College on September 30th. The game will be played at 3:30 and will be televised by CBS.

Click here for HokieCentral's post-game analysis


                        RU       VT
First downs             15       29
Rushed-yards         24-57   58-348
Passing yards          184      179
Sacked-yards lost      1-4     3-11
Return yards            14       70
Passes             17-49-4  15-29-1
Punts               7-30.9   3-45.7
Fumbles-lost           1-1      5-3
Penalties-yards       5-50     7-62
Time of possession   25:44    34:16

Att: 56,272

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: Rutgers-D Thomas 11-53, Ohene 4-15, Schwenk 3-8, Anderson 5-3, Team 1-minus 22. Virginia Tech-Vick 11-104, Suggs 16-76, Burnell 6-70, Kendrick 9-31, W Ward 8-26, Andre Davis 1-15, Hawkins 2-11, Easlick 2-9, Noel 1-5, Ferguson 2-1.

PASSING: Rutgers-M McMahon 12-36-3-149, Schwenk 4-12-1-21, M Barr 1-1-0-14. Virginia Tech-Vick 10-18-0-120, Meyer 3-5-0-38, Noel 2-5-0-21, G Wilds 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING: Rutgers-King 5-67, A Martin 2-39, L Smith 2-25, Johnson 2-7, Stringer 1-18, White 1-14, Ohene 1-5, Lovelace 1-5, S Carty 1-3, Anderson 1-1. Virginia Tech-Johnson 3-46, E Wilford 3-35, And Davis 3-34, W Ward 2-28, Briggs 1-17, Donahue 1-8, Witten 1-6, Ferguson 1-5.


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