Virginia Tech 41, Duke 17
Hokies Somewhat Sloppy, But Win Big

September 18, 2004
by Will Stewart,

                            1    2    3    4    F
                           --  ---  ---  ---  ---
Duke                        7    0    0   10   17
Virginia Tech               0   24   10    7   41

1st Quarter:
Duke-Adams 28 run (Brooks kick), 11:28 remaining

2nd Quarter:
VT-Hamilton 1 run (Pace kick), 14:55
VT-Pace 21 FG, 10:21
VT-Hyman 34 pass from R. Johnson (Pace kick), 5:00
VT-Randall 30 run (Pace kick), 1:05

3rd Quarter:
VT-Pace 28 FG, 11:12
VT-Johnson 11 pass from Randall (Pace kick), 3:04

4th Quarter:
Duke-Brooks 45 FG, 14:17
VT-Humes 1 run (Pace kick), 5:45
Duke-Wright 35 pass from Dukes (Brooks kick), 0:44

Blacksburg, VA -- Virginia Tech was outscored in the first and fourth quarters, but in the middle quarters of their first-ever ACC game, the Hokies laid a 34-0 whitewash on Duke and won 41-17, on an unexpectedly sunny day in Lane Stadium.

With Hurricane Ivan having vacated the area early, leaving behind clouds that gave way to a surprisingly sunny sky, the Hokies came out flat and gave up the first score of the game to Duke to trail 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. A 24-0 second-quarter burst, on the strength of a trick-play TD pass from Richard Johnson to Josh Hyman and a highlight-reel touchdown scramble by Bryan Randall, put the Hokies up 24-7 at the half and put the game out of reach of the injury-plagued Blue Devils.

The second-quarter burst, and ten more unanswered points in the third quarter, masked a somewhat sloppy effort by VT. The Hokies had 13 penalties, the most since the debacle in Morgantown last season, for 101 yards. Randall threw two ugly interceptions, and the running game struggled to get on track, as Cedric Humes (17 carries, 74 yards) and Justin Hamilton (13 carries, 64 yards) put up decent numbers but didn't dominate.

On the positive side of the ledger, the Hokie defense absolutely stifled Duke for most of the game, holding the Blue Devils to a paltry 1 of 15 on third-down conversions. The Hokies gave up 103 yards on Duke's first and last possessions, but just 94 yards in between. Tech had 4 sacks, the most since they had 5 sacks against Temple in game 10 last season.

The Hokie kicking game was outstanding, with Brandon Pace hitting two field goals (21 and 28 yards), Vinnie Burns averaging 46.8 yards on five punts, and Jared Develli crushing 6 of his 9 kickoffs for touchbacks. Redshirt freshman Josh Hyman, the team's leading receiver, had 4 catches for 89 yards for the second game in a row, with one TD.

ACC commissioner John Swofford did the honors for the pre-game coin toss, flipping a special commemorative coin to start the festivities. There was an uncomfortable moment when Swofford was introduced, as a chorus of boos ensued, but the boos were the result of the Duke football team running out on the field at the same time, not Swofford's presence. (One would think.)

The Hokies got off to a poor start when Randall threw an interception directly to Duke defensive end Justin Kitchen, who had dropped back into coverage. Kitchen picked the ball off at the VT 48 and returned it to the Tech 39. Duke turned the pick into six points with a 28-yard reverse by Deon Adams, shocking the crowd of 65,115 (which had at least several thousand no-shows, thanks to Ivan).

The quarter ended with Tech down 7-0, but the Hokies were in the process of putting together a 10-play, 72-yard TD drive. Hamilton scored on the first play of the second quarter, his second effort from the one-yard line getting the Hokies on the board. That was the beginning of a 24-point burst that the Hokies put on Duke in the second quarter.

The Hokies held Duke to a string of three-and-outs in the second quarter and played the field position game to two more TD's and a field goal. First Brandon Pace kicked a 21-yard field goal after Humes was stopped cold on 3rd and 3 from the Duke 4 yard line. The Hokies failed to score on their next possession, but Vinnie Burns had a punt for the ages when he rocketed a 60-yarder from the Hokie 39-yard line out of bounds on the Duke 1-yard line.

That set up the next TD for Tech. After Duke played it conservative and VT took over on the Blue Devil 34 yard line, the Hokies scored on the next play when Johnson took a reverse pitch from Randall and uncorked a 34-yard bullet to Hyman, who pulled it down in traffic for a score that put the Hokies up 17-7.

VT sunk the dagger with just over a minute to go in the quarter on a scramble for the ages by Randall. Facing 1st and 10 from the Duke 30, the Hokies called a shovel pass. Duke defended it well, and Randall tucked and scrambled up the middle for an electrifying TD run that saw him break six tackles over the course of 30 yards. Randall, who was flushed out of the pocket by the blitzing Blue Devil defense throughout the game, led the Hokies with 93 yards on 12 carries.

As Tech's defense held Duke's offense in check throughout the third quarter, VT added an insurance field goal and TD. Pace kicked a 28-yard field goal in a drive that featured a 38-yard completion from Randall to Hyman, and Randall hit Richard Johnson with an 11-yard bullet on a post pattern late in the quarter. 34-7, Tech.

The Hokies got a TD in the fourth quarter when Blake Warren intercepted a pass at the 50 and returned it to the Duke 10-yard line, setting up a 1-yard run by Humes to put the Hokies up 41-10 with 5:45 to go. Duke executed a 9-play, 64-yard drive on VT's defensive reserves to close out the scoring, striking for a 35-yard TD pass on 4th and 11.

The Hokies (2-1, 1-0 ACC) square off next against NC State next Saturday in Lane Stadium. The game is set to kick off at noon on ESPN.

Game Notes

  • Randall leads the Hokies in rushing for the season, with 31 carries for 175 yards (5.6 ypc). Humes is second with 36 carries for 151 yards (4.2 ypc), and Hamilton is third with 33 carries for 138 yards (4.2 ypc).

  • Vince Hall led the Hokies with 8 tackles. His second-quarter hit on Duke QB Mike Schneider put Schneider out of the game.

  • Burns Watch: Vinnie Burns is now averaging 46.7 yards on 12 punts this season. The record for punting average in a season is 45.1 yards per punt by Jimmy Kibble in 1997.

  • Darryl Tapp had 2.5 of Tech's 4 sacks, giving Tapp 3.5 sacks on the year. Tapp is on a pace to get 14 sacks in the regular season. Last year's sack leader, Cols Colas, only had 6.5 sacks in a 13-game season, including the bowl game.

  • At one point, Duke picked up just one first down in eight possessions in the second and third quarters.

  • Randall's 30-yard scramble for a TD was set up by an interception by Vince Fuller, Fuller's sixth interception in his career.

  • Brandon Pace is now 4-for-4 on field goals this year. Pace has field goals of 35, 42, 21, and 28 yards. Last year, Carter Warley hit 8 of his first 10 field goals and finished the season 12-for-18.

  • The Hokies lost the time of possession battle in this game, 31:05 to 28:55. The Hokies have held the ball longer than just one opponent, USC -- and they lost that game.

  • Randall has four 4 interceptions versus 4 touchdowns this season. For his career, he has 31 TDs and 26 INTs.

  • Jeff King had 2 catches for 21 yards, and Jared Mazzetta had 1 catch for 10 yards, giving Hokie tight ends 10 catches so far this season. They only caught 16 passes all of last year.

  • The Hokies held Duke to 89 yards passing, the first VT opponent to have less than 100 yards passing since Syracuse in game six last year (a 51-7 VT victory).

Click here for TSL's post-game analysis


                        DUKE          VT
                        ----        ----
First downs               11          21
Rushed-yards          42-108      45-250
Passing yards             89         172
Sacked-yards lost       4-21        2-10
Return yards              51         107
Passes                6-20-2     13-25-2
Punts                 9-37.8      5-46.8
Fumbles-lost             1-0         3-0
Penalties-yards         5-31      13-101
Time of possession     31:05       28:55

Att: 65,115


RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Randall 12-93, Humes 17-74, Hamilton 13-64, Hyman 1-16, Johnson 1-5, Team 1-(-2). Duke, Fryer 12-32, Adams 1-28, Boyle 10-26, Ball 4-26, Dukes 8-7, Schneider 3-(-5), Dapolito, 4-(-6).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Randall 12-24-2-138, Johnson 1-1-0-34. Duke, Dukes 3-10-1-73, McDonald 1-1-0-9, Dapolito 2-8-1-7, Schneider 0-1-0-0..

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Hyman 4-89, King 2-21, Royal 2-19, Johnson 1-11, Humes 1-11, Clowney 2-11, Mazzetta 1-10. Duke, Wright 2-68, Roland 1-9, Patrick 1-5, Dukes 1-4, Elliott 1-3.



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