Virginia Tech 63, Western Michigan 0
Youth is Served on Record-Setting Day

September 11, 2004
by Will Stewart,

                            1    2    3    4    F
                           --  ---  ---  ---  ---
Western Michigan            0    0    0    0    0
Virginia Tech               7   21   21   14   63

1st Quarter:
VT-Royal 11 run (Pace kick), 11:28 remaining

2nd Quarter:
VT-Humes 21 run (Pace kick), 14:51
VT-Hamilton 1 run (Pace kick), 10:31
VT-Royal 35 pass from Randall (Pace kick), 2:12

3rd Quarter:
VT-Kinzer 3 pass from Randall (Pace kick),4:40
VT-Lallis 28 fumble return (Pace kick), 4:14
VT-Harper 34 pass from Glennon (Pace kick), 1:17

4th Quarter:
VT-Flowers 38 interception return (Pace kick), 14:53
VT-Brown 33 pass from Glennon (Pace kick), 5:22

Blacksburg, VA -- Controlling all aspects of the game, Virginia Tech got six touchdowns from five different true or redshirt freshmen and shut out Western Michigan 63-0. The margin of victory was the largest of any Frank Beamer-coached Hokie football team, and the shutout was the third straight for the Hokies over WMU, the first time VT has shut out the same team three times in a row in the modern era (post-WWII) of college football.

True freshman wide receiver Eddie Royal led the way with two first-half touchdowns, one on an 11-yard reverse and one on a 35-yard pass from Bryan Randall, and in the second half, four other freshmen chipped in: redshirt freshman fullback John Kinzer had a 3-yard TD reception, true freshman wide receiver Justin Harper caught a 34-yard TD from true freshman QB Sean Glennon, true freshman cornerback Brandon Flowers returned an interception 38 yards for a TD, and redshirt freshman tight end Duane Brown caught a 33-yard TD pass from Glennon to close out the scoring.

This game was a return to BeamerBall for the Hokies, who got two defensive touchdowns, one on the interception return by Flowers, and one from defensive end Jason Lallis -- the third TD of his career -- when he stripped the ball from a WMU offensive lineman, who had caught a tipped pass, and ran it 28 yards for a TD. The Hokies also blocked a field goal and a punt. Western Michigan had two good chances to score, but the Broncos had a 22-yard field goal attempt blocked by Jim Davis in the second quarter and missed a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Bryan Randall was sharp, completing 15 of 21 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. The only blemish on his day was a third quarter interception where he threw the ball straight to WMU's Paul Tithof. Unlike the BCA Classic, where Randall was the Hokies' leading rusher, he stayed in the pocket in this game, rushing just two times for zero yards. The Hokies instead concentrated on getting the ball to their four freshman receivers and working on the rushing game.

Royal, Harper, and fellow freshmen Josh Morgan and Josh Hyman caught 11 of 12 receptions by VT wide receivers. The only non-freshman wide receiver that caught a pass was Richard Johnson, who had a catch for 32 yards. Chris Clifton, who started against USC, didn't play a single down.

If Randall was sharp, then so was Glennon. The true freshman went 4-for-4 for 79 yards and two TDs. Randall and Glennon together combined to go 19-of-25 (76%) for 332 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 interception. Glennon entered the game late in the third quarter and showed poise, accuracy, and command of the offense.

Defensively, the Hokies were led by redshirt freshman linebacker Vince Hall, who had 10 tackles (5 solo, 5 assisted), including a team-high 1.5 tackles for loss. The Hokies' one sack was tallied by Lallis.

Tech gave up 272 yards of offense (163 passing, 109 rushing) to WMU, more than they had given up in 2001 (164 yards) and 2002 (268 yards), but the result was the same. In 180 minutes of game time, VT has outscored WMU 124-0.

Game Recap

Eddie Royal's first collegiate TD, and the first TD of the game, came after a Jimmy Williams interception that was returned from WMU's 32 to their 11. On the next play, Randall flipped the ball to Royal on a reverse, and Royal waltzed into the end zone untouched.

Early in the second quarter, Tech tailback Cedric Humes (10 carries, 51 yards), found a seam on the right side of the WMU defense and rumbled 21 yards for a TD. On the Hokies' next possession, they moved smartly from their 36 to the WMU 1 yard line on the strength of a couple of 32-yard completions by Randall, to Royal (2 catches, 67 yards) and Johnson. Justin Hamilton (12 carries, 41 yards) punched it in from the 1-yard line for a 21-0 Tech lead with 10:31 to go in the second.

Western Michigan followed with their best drive (12 plays, 79 yards), moving the ball all the way to the Hokie 2-yard line, where they had a first and goal. After three plays netted minus-3 yards, Jim Davis blocked WMU's 22-yard field goal attempt.

With that threat turned back, the Hokies drove 80 yards in six plays to take a 28-0 lead. The drive ended with a 35-yard TD pass from Randall to Royal down the middle, with Randall avoiding a rush, stepping up in the pocket, and delivering a perfect strike inside the five-yard line to Royal.

Randall opened the second half with his interception, keeping the score 28-0, and after a WMU three-and-out, the Hokies drove 77 yards in 9 plays, the highlight being a 42-yard pass from Randall to Hyman, for Tech's longest pass play of the day. Randall finished it off with a 3-yard pass to Kinzer, and the Hokies had a 35-0 lead with 4:40 to go in the third.

On WMU's next possession, the pace of the blowout accelerated. On their first play, backup QB Ryan Cubit's pass was deflected by Lallis into the arms of offensive lineman Mark Ottney. Ottney caught the ball and was ganged up on by Tech defenders, and Lallis ripped the ball from his arms and rumbled 28 yards for the TD. It was Lallis' third career TD, in addition to a 59-yard fumble return against Arkansas State in 2002 and a 45-yard interception return against UCF in 2003.

With the score 42-0 in the third, the Hokies put in the backups. Sean Glennon officially lost his redshirt when he entered the game with 2:57 to go in the third, and he threw his first career TD pass just a minute and 40 seconds later. Glennon hit Justin Harper with a short pass, and Harper avoided a tackler and turned it upfield for a 34-yard TD. It was Glennon's first career completion.

The Hokies closed out the scoring with two fourth-quarter TDs. Cornerback Brandon Flowers, a promising young player, anticipated Cubit's pass, cut in front of it, and returned it 28 yards for a TD on the first play of the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter, Glennon, who was 4-for-4 with two TDs, hit redshirt freshman tight end Duane Brown with a pretty 33-yard pass down the middle for a TD. Brown was wide open, caught the pass cleanly, and put a nifty move on a Western Michigan defensive back to free himself for the score.

The Hokies play their first-ever ACC conference game next week, against Duke in Lane Stadium. Kickoff is noon, and the game will be televised by Jefferson Pilot/Raycom.

Click here for TSL's post-game analysis


                         WMU          VT
                        ----        ----
First downs               17          23
Rushed-yards          31-109      35-155
Passing yards            163         332
Sacked-yards lost        1-1         1-1
Return yards              24         103
Passes               26-39-2     19-25-1
Punts                 6-40.5      2-48.5
Fumbles-lost             3-2         0-0
Penalties-yards        10-60        8-80
Time of possession     32:25       27:35

Att: 65,115


RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Candelas 10-52, Humes 10-51, Hamilton 12-41, Royal 1-11, Randall 2-0. WMU, Marks 13-62, Bonds 7-24, Riley 6-13, Baggett 2-11, Cubit 3-(-3).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Randall 15-21-1-253, Glennon 4-4-0-79. WMU, Cubit 19-30-1-113, Baggett 7-9-1-50.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Hyman 4-89, Royal 2-67, Harper 3-57, Brown 1-33, Johnson 1-32, Morgan 2-31, Humes 2-14, King 1-12, Kinzer 2-6, Glennon 1-(-9). WMU, Jennings 8-64, Walker 6-55, LeMay 4-21, Jackson 3-20, DeVree 1-5, Marks 2-2, Riley 1-1, Ottney 1-(-5).



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