Virginia Tech 17, Wake Forest 10
Hokies Score Late, Hold Off Deacons

October 9, 2004
by Will Stewart,

                            1    2    3    4    F
                           --  ---  ---  ---  ---
Virginia Tech               7    3    0    7   17
Wake Forest                 0    7    0    3   10

1st Quarter:
VT-King 5 pass from Randall (Pace kick), 9:56 remaining

2nd Quarter:
VT-Pace 26 FG, 7:37
Wake-Barclay 1 run (Plackemeier kick), 0:25

3rd Quarter:
no scoring

4th Quarter:
Wake-Plackemeier 20 FG, 6:15
VT-Imoh 7 run (Pace kick), 2:10

Winston-Salem, NC -- Mike Imoh ran for a touchdown from 7 yards out to break a 10-10 tie with 2:10 to go, and the Hokie defense made it stand up, stopping Wake Forest on fourth down from the Hokie 5-yard line to give Virginia Tech their first-ever ACC road win. The Hokies held Wake's touted rushing offense a hundred yards below their average, but two Hokie fumbles inside the Wake Forest 20-yard line kept the game close.

The Hokies scored on their opening possession and led most of the game, but when Wake Forest's Ryan Plackemeier kicked a 20-yard field goal with 6:15 to go, that knotted the score at 10. The Hokies took over on their 22-yard line after the kickoff and put together their longest drive of the day, taking it 78 yards in 10 plays. Imoh scored from the 7-yard line, breaking three tackles and lunging into the end zone with two Wake Forest defenders hanging onto him. The run gave Imoh 100 yards on the day on 29 carries, giving him 59 rushes for 215 yards in Tech's last two games.

The Deacons responded in kind, mounting their longest drive of the day, taking the ball from their 31 to the Tech 5-yard line, where they faced 2nd and 4. After Wake spent their last timeout with 21 seconds to go, Wake quarterback Cory Randolph threw a fade route to Jason Anderson in the corner of the end zone, where Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams came down with the ball. The referees ruled that Williams was out of bounds, and on 3rd down, Randolph threw just off the fingertips of Anderson on a crossing pattern in the end zone.

On fourth down, Randolph threw to Anderson again, this time in the middle of the field and short of the goal line. Tech rover Mike Daniels read it and broke the pass up with seven seconds to go, securing the win.

Tech's winning drive was spearheaded by QB Bryan Randall, who hit tight end Jeff King down the middle for 24 yards early in the drive, then rushed three times for 45 yards, the last one a 21-yard run that put the ball at the Wake Forest 11. Imoh carried it to the 7 on the next play and then took it in on 2nd down.

Randall carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards, including 29 yards lost on three sacks by the Demon Deacon defense. Randall completed 12-of-18 passes for 119 yards and an early 5-yard TD to King, with no interceptions. King led the Hokies in receiving, grabbing 3 balls for 37 yards.

The Hokies had 329 yards of offense on the day (to 347 by Wake), including 210 yards rushing on 50 carries. The Hokies hurt themselves with fumbles by the backup tailbacks. Cedric Humes fumbled on the Wake 18-yard line on his only carry of the game, and Justin Hamilton (8 carries, 58 yards) fumbled on the Wake 1-yard line when he tried to dive into the end zone on first down and the ball was knocked free. Statistically, Hamilton's fumble was Tech's only red-zone failure, though, as the Hokies were 3-for-4 (2 TDs, 1 FG) inside the Wake Forest 20 (Humes' fumble didn't count as a red-zone possession, since VT didn't start any plays inside the 20 on that drive).

Defensively, the Hokies held Wake's rushing offense, which was averaging 238 yards, to just 139 yards on 41 carries (3.4 yards per carry). Wake picked up 208 yards through the air on 15-of-26 passing, most of it by Randolph. Backup QB Ben Mauk was 1-for-2 for 28 yards and an interception, and Randolph was 14-for-24 for 180 yards. Wake's lone touchdown came on a 45-yard drive just before half time that started with a 30-yard completion from Randolph to Kevin Marion and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Chris Barclay.

The Hokies were led defensively by Mikal Baaqee with 13 tackles (10 solo), the most by any Tech defender in a game this season. Williams had 6 tackles and an interception of Mauk for 15 yards, and the defensive line was anchored by Darryl Tapp (6 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack) and Jonathan Lewis (5 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks).

Attendance for the game was 32,433, including a large contingent of Hokie fans. That figure represents the 10th-largest crowd in Wake Forest history.

Game Recap

The Hokies took the ball first and got started with a bang when Eddie Royal (2 catches, 15 yards) returned the opening kickoff 43 yards to the Hokie 43. The Hokies completed a 9-play, 57-yard drive when Randall hit King for a 5-yard score on 3rd and 3.

The Hokies stopped Wake and then drove from their own 32 to the Wake 22 on the strength of 4 carries by Imoh for 21 yards and a 25-yard completion from Randall to Justin Harper. But Imoh was thrown for an 8-yard loss, pushing the ball back to the Wake Forest 30-yard line, and Brandon Pace missed a 47-yard field goal from there.

On Wake's next possession, the Demon Deacon offense came to life when Randolph hit Nate Morton for a 53-yard gain down to the Hokie 27. The Tech defense held, forcing a 38-yard field goal attempt by Plackemeier, who bounced it off the right upright, and Tech still led 7-0.

The Hokies threatened again, moving methodically downfield behind the running of Imoh and Hamilton, but the drive was killed when third-string tailback Cedric Humes fumbled on the Wake 18-yard line after a 10-yard gain. It was Humes' only carry of the game.

Jimmy Williams intercepted Mauk four plays later, returning it 15 yards to the 50-yard line and setting the Hokies up for an 8-play drive that stalled at the Wake 9-yard line, resulting in a 26-yard field goal by Pace to make it 10-0 Hokies with 7:37 to go in the first half. The drive featured a great 16-yard catch by Jared Mazzetta.

The Hokies, firmly in control, forced another Wake punt and took over on the VT 20-yard line. Two sacks of Randall pushed the Hokies back to the 1-yard line, where Vinnie Burns punted out to the Hokie 45. Wake then put together their only touchdown drive of the day, taking it in in 7 plays via the 1-yard run by Barclay.

The defenses ruled the third quarter, in which no scoring occurred. Holding a 10-7 lead, the Hokies threatened when they took it from their 46 to the Wake Forest 1-yard line. Hamilton had 4 carries for 49 yards to get it there, including runs of 24 and 16 yards. But on his fifth carry of the drive, Hamilton tried to leap into the end zone from the 1-yard line, and Wake linebacker Jonathan Abbate hit the ball and popped it loose. Josh Gattis recovered for the Deacs on the Wake 2-yard line with 5:38 to go in the third quarter.

That put the Hokie offense into a funk, and they turned in two straight three-and-out possessions. Wake tied it up with a 20-yard field goal with 6:15 to go. The Deacons had a 1st and goal from the Hokie 8, but Tech held and forced the kick by Plackemeier.

VT took over on their 22-yard line and put together a clutch drive, led by Randall. First he hit King for 24 yards down the middle, then he ran for gains of 12 yards (on 3rd and 7), 12 yards, and 21 yards. His last carry was a QB draw that put the ball at the Wake 11-yard line, and Imoh did the work from there.

Wake had one last chance, taking possession on their 31-yard line with 2:05 to go. Randolph completed 5-of-7 passes to move the ball to the Tech 12-yard line, then ran a QB draw to the 5. From there, Randolph threw the fade route that was almost picked off by Williams (some observers said Williams was in bounds in the corner of the end zone when he caught it), the end zone incompletion to Anderson, and the short incompletion to Anderson that ended the game.

With the win, the Hokies move to 4-2 on the year, 2-1 in conference. Wake drops to 3-3 (0-3). The Demon Deacons have now lost to Clemson in overtime, NC State in overtime, and VT on a late stop. With UNC's upset of NC State (30-24) and Georgia Tech knocking off Maryland (20-7), the Hokies move into a third-place tie in the ACC with Florida State and NC State at 2-1. Miami and Virginia are in first place at 2-0, and Georgia Tech is in sixth place at 2-2. Click here for the ACC standings.

Game Notes

  • Tech punter Vinnie Burns, though he did shank one punt for 16 yards, averaged 44.3 yards on 4 punts, His other three punts were for 54, 57, and 50 yards.

  • After averaging almost 9 penalties per game to this point, Tech only had 3 penalties (for 26 yards) in this game.

  • Bryan Randall now has 6 TD passes and 6 interceptions for the season. This was his second game of the season without an interception (NC State was the other).

  • With his 100 yards rushing, Mike Imoh took over the season rushing lead from Randall. Imoh has 289 yards on 73 carries (4.0 ypc), and Randall has 263 yards on 72 carries (3.7 ypc).

  • VT tight ends now have 19 catches on the year. In last year's 13-game season, they only had 16 receptions. Jeff King leads the tight ends with 13 catches for 179 yards and a TD.

Click here for TSL's post-game analysis

Virginia Tech 17, Wake Forest 10
October 9, 2004, Groves Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC
Attendance: 32,433
Team Statistics Virginia Tech (4-2, 2-1) Wake Forest (3-3, 0-3)
First downs 19 17
Rushes-Yards 50 - 210 41 - 139
Passing yards 119 208
Sacked-Yards lost 3 - 29 4 - 21
Return yards 53 13
Passes 12 - 18 - 0 15 - 26 - 1
Punts-Average 4 - 44.3 6 - 49
Fumbles-Lost 3 - 2 0 - 0
Penalties-Yards 3 - 26 7 - 42
Time of Possession 31:11 28:49
Virginia Tech Cmp Att Yds Int
Randall, Bryan 12 18 119 0
Wake Forest Cmp Att Yds Int
Randolph, Cory 14 24 180 0
Mauk, Ben 1 2 28 1
Virginia Tech Att Yds
Imoh, Mike 29 100
Hamilton, Justin 8 58
Randall, Bryan 10 46
Humes, Cedric 1 10
Team, - 2 -4
Wake Forest Att Yds
Barclay, Chris 19 84
Andrews, Bryan 4 24
Mauk, Ben 8 16
Marion, Kevin 3 12
Idlette, Willie 1 6
Randolph, Cory 6 -3
Virginia Tech Att Yds
King, Jeff 3 37
Harper, Justin 1 25
Morgan, Josh 1 18
Mazzetta, Jared 1 16
Royal, Eddie 2 15
Hamilton, Justin 1 8
Hyman, Josh 1 3
Kinzer, John 1 1
Imoh, Mike 1 -4
Wake Forest Att Yds
Morton, Nate 5 114
Marion, Kevin 4 47
Anderson, Jason 3 26
Barclay, Chris 1 9
Tereshinski, John 1 7
Andrews, Micah 1 5




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