Virginia Tech 31, Western Michigan 0
September 8, 2001
by Will Stewart,

                        1   2   3   4    F
                       --  --  --  --   --
Virginia Tech (9)       7  10  14   0   31
Western Michigan        0   0   0   0    0

1st Quarter:
VT-Burnell 11 run (C Warley kick), 2:34

2nd Quarter:
VT-FG C Warley, 12:21
VT-Noel 1 run (C Warley kick), 6:35

3rd Quarter:
VT-Ferguson 24 run (C Warley kick), 6:31
VT-Easlick 22 pass from Noel (C Warley kick), 2:45

4th Quarter:

Blacksburg, VA - What was supposed to be a tough test for the Hokies turned into a rout, as a dominating defense and a steady offense led Virginia Tech to an easy 31-0 victory over Western Michigan.

The Hokie defense held the Broncos' pass-happy attack to 166 total yards, including just 34 yards rushing, and Western Michigan was only able to amass 7 first downs. The Broncos penetrated Tech territory just once under their own power, driving to the Tech 44 in the third quarter before being forced to punt.

Western Michigan's only other possession on Tech's side of the field started on the Tech 44 in the fourth quarter after a Wayne Ward fumble. That drive ended at the Tech 12 when Western Michigan had a bad snap on a field goal attempt, and their holder was swarmed over by the Tech special teams.

The Hokie defense was led by Kevin McCadam and David Pugh, who each had five tackles. McCadam added his first career interception on a bobbled ball that he plucked out of the air deep in Western Michigan territory, at the 22 yard line. Pugh had one sack and was named Player of the Game for the Hokies.

On offense, the Hokies rolled up 427 yards, consisting of 271 yards on the ground and 156 yards in the air. In relief of Lee Suggs, Keith Burnell had 75 yards on 21 carries and Kevin Jones had 77 yards on just 10 carries. The Hokies also got significant rushing contributions from Wayne Ward (6 carries for 54 yards) and Jarrett Ferguson (3 carries for 35 yards).

Tech QB Grant Noel, who was not as sharp as he was against Connecticut, was 13-25 for 144 yards, 1 TD, and no interceptions. Noel's touchdown pass was a shovel pass to reserve fullback Doug Easlick, who took it 22 yards for a third quarter score.

The Hokies drove from their 26 yard line to the Western Michigan 1 on their opening drive, but Tech's 16-play drive stalled when Keith Burnell was stopped short of the end zone on fourth and goal from the one. Western Michigan drove from their two yard line out to their 34, and on fourth and 2, Tech special teams artist Wayne Ward broke up the middle and blocked Western Michigan's punt. Tech recovered on WMU's 16-yard line and scored two plays later on Burnell's 11-yard run.

The two teams traded possessions, and on Western Michigan's third possession of the game, Kevin McCadam picked off Jeff Welsh's short pass on third and two. The ball was bobbled and batted into the air, where a late-arriving McCadam intercepted it and was tackled at the Bronco 22. The Hokies advanced it to the three yard line but settled for a 20 yard field goal by Carter Warley and a 10-0 lead.

After Western Michigan sputtered on their ensuing possession, the Hokies took over on the Bronco 46 and went on an 8-play scoring drive. Noel finished the drive off with a one-yard sneak for the TD, and the Hokies led 17-0 with 6:35 to go in the half. The score remained 17-0 at half time.

After the break, the Hokies put up 14 more points in the third quarter for the final 31-0 margin. Western Michigan only gained 15 yards on four third-quarter drives, while the Hokies had touchdown drives of 98 and 65 yards and held the ball for nearly 11 minutes in the quarter. The 98-yard drive was 10 plays and took 5:14. Tech fullback Jarrett Ferguson ran it in from 24 yards out.

The 65-yard drive was spurred by a 29-yard Kevin Jones run that had a 15-yard WMU personal foul penalty tacked on. The drive was four plays long and ended in a TD when reserve fullback Doug Easlick took a shovel pass from Noel and carried it in from 22 yards out, showing great field vision and cutting back across the field for the touchdown.

Backup QB Bryan Randall played most of the fourth quarter and had a spotty performance, completing one pass for 12 yards, rushing for 8 yards total, and fumbling twice.

Western Michigan was just 1-13 on third down conversions, while the Hokies were 10-18. The Hokies had 27 first downs to WMU's 7, and Tech held the ball for 35:28 to just 24:32 for Western Michigan.

Western Michigan committed an eyebrow-raising 13 penalties for 103 yards, while the Hokies only had 4 penalties for 25 yards. Tech's kickoff coverage improved from week one, with the Hokies holding WMU to just 35 yards on 2 returns. Tech's Jon Mollerup had 3 kickoffs for touchbacks.

The Hokies had no significant new injuries. Tech will take next Saturday off before traveling to Rutgers for a September 22nd game at noon.

Click here for TSL's post-game analysis


                             WMU       VT
                             ---       --
First downs                    7       27
Rushed-yards               23-34   58-271
Passing yards                132      156
Sacked-yards lost 
                      2-7      1-7
Return yards                   6       71
Passes                   15-31-1  14-26-0
Punts                    10-36.3   3-41.0
Fumbles-lost                 1-0      4-2
Penalties-yards           13-103     4-25
Time of possession         24:32    35:28

Att: 53,662


RUSHING: Western Mich-Reed 16-45, Welsh 3-2, Clark 1-2, R Harris 2-minus 5, Team 1-minus 10. Virginia Tech-Jones 10-75, K Burnell 21-74, W Ward 6-50, Ferguson 3-35, Spence 5-15, Noel 7-11, Randall 5-8, Easlick 1-3.

PASSING: Western Mich-Welsh 12-25-1-100, R Harris 3-6-0-32. Virginia Tech-Noel 13-25-0-144, Randall 1-1-0-12.

RECEIVING: Western Mich-D Jennings 4-31, Thomas 3-21, Wolverton 2-30, Zuhl 2-23, Afariogun 2-14, Mosley 1-7, Bush 1-6. Virginia Tech-Andre Davis 4-29, Slowikowski 1-27, Ferguson 1-25, Easlick 1-22, K Burnell 1-18, R Moody 1-12, W Ward 1-10, E Johnson 1-6, E Wilford 1-3, Jones 1-3, Witten 1-1.


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