Virginia Tech 42, Virginia 21
November 15, 2000
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
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Blacksburg, VA - Despite the frigid, wet weather, and despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of Tech head coach Frank Beamer, the Hokies dispatched arch-rival UVa with cold, surgical precision.
Led by four touchdowns from star tailback Lee Suggs, including Suggs's first career touchdown reception, the Hokies spotted Virginia a 14-7 first quarter lead and then went on a 35-7 run to win easily before a sellout crowd.
With three rushing TD's and one receiving TD, Suggs has 28 touchdowns on the year, extending his Tech single-season record. When combined with two touchdowns from last year, Suggs, just a sophomore, has now tied the Tech career record with 30 touchdowns. James Barber and Cyrus Lawrence both scored 30 TD's in their Tech careers.
Suggs had 116 yards on 23 carries. But on a night when the Hokies were expected to pile up huge rushing yardage, they went to the air a surprising 23 times, with quarterback Michael Vick going 16-23 for 202 yards, one TD, and no interceptions. Tech also racked up 259 yards rushing on 53 carries and had 461 total yards.
Tech got off to a sluggish start in this one and found themselves down 14-7 after one quarter. The Hokies shook off the doldrums and went on a 21-0 second quarter run to post a 28-7 half time lead.
The second quarter scoring for Tech began with a 30-yard touchdown by Suggs, who broke two tackles in a twisting run that brought the Lane Stadium crowd to its feet. The run tied the score at 14.
After a short UVa drive, Tech blocked a Cavalier punt, but the Hokies were whistled for offsides on the play. UVa punted again, and Tech's Ronyell Whitaker returned it 61 yards to the Cavalier 14 yard line. Jarrett Ferguson scored a few plays later from the one yard line to make it 21-14.
The Hokies closed out the second quarter scoring with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard pass from Vick to Suggs. On the play, Vick twisted away from the UVa rush and found Suggs running down the middle wide open. It was Suggs's first TD reception of his career, and it came with 19 seconds left in the half and made the score 28-14.
The Hokies took total control in the second half, scoring on a 3-yard Suggs run to make it 35-14 with 9:51 to go in the third quarter. With Tech poised to run away with the game, the Hokies turned the ball over on downs on their next possession when the referees placed the ball on an extremely questionable spot on a fourth and one quarterback sneak by Vick. UVa took possession on their 27 yard line.
The Cavaliers scored from there in just two plays to make it 35-21 with a minute to go in the third quarter. They followed a 62-yard pass to Chris Luzar with an 11-yard TD run by Tyree Foreman, and UVa was back in business.
But the Hokies put UVa's hopes quickly to rest by embarking on a 7-play, 62-yard drive that made it 41-21. The drive ended with a 6-yard TD run by Suggs, his fourth TD of the game, and it came with 13:00 to go.
From there, the two teams traded possessions until the clock ran out. Tech now has two straight wins over UVa, and the Hokies retain possession of the coveted Commonwealth Trophy.
But for Tech fans, the victory was bittersweet. In post-game comments, Beamer did not put to rest the possibility of him leaving for UNC. Tech broadcasters Bill Roth and Mike Burnop noted that the Beamer coaching situation will most likely be resolved by the time the Hokie Hotline radio show airs on Monday night.
With a commendable 10-1 record in hand, and the regular season over, Hokie fans now sit and wait to find out what the future of their program will be.
RUSHING: Virginia-Womack 20-134, Foreman 6-29, Spinner 6-8, Duckett 1-2, Team 1-minus 2. Virginia Tech-Suggs 22-116, Kendrick 14-81, Vick 5-28, Ferguson 4-18, W Ward 4-14, Burnell 1-3, Briggs 1-1, Hawkins 1-0, Team 1-minus 2.
PASSING: Virginia-Spinner 9-20-0-157, Ellis 0-4-0-0. Virginia Tech-Vick 16-23-0-202, Meyer 0-2-0-0.
RECEIVING: Virginia-K Coffey 3-50, Baber 2-29, C Luzar 1-62, J Johnson 1-15, Dotson 1-8, Womack 1-minus 7. Virginia Tech-Johnson 6-71, Witten 4-39, E Wilford 2-33, Ferguson 1-25, Suggs 1-23, Hawkins 1-10, Moody 1-1.