Virginia Tech
63, Arkansas State 7
August 25, 2002
by Will Stewart,

                         1   2   3   4    F
                        --  --  --  --   --
Arkansas State           0   0   7   0    7
Virginia Tech (16)      35  21   7   0   63

1st Quarter:
VT-Hall 68 punt return (Warley kick), 13:40
VT-Suggs 32 run (Warley kick), 9:47
VT-Hall 49 interception return (Warley kick), 6:05
VT-King 19 pass from Noel (Warley kick), 5:40
VT-Jones 19 run (Warley kick), 2:11

2nd Quarter:
VT-Randall 12 run (Warley kick), 12:14
VT-Lallis 59 fumble return (Warley kick), 9:50
VT-Imoh 19 pass from Randall (Warley kick), 5:43

3rd Quarter:
ASU-Cox 73 pass from Jacobs (Neihouse kick), 11:06
VT-Randall 5 run (Warley kick), 7:02

4th Quarter:
No scoring

Blacksburg, VA - It was expected to be a cakewalk, and it was. Getting points from all phases of the game, the Virginia Tech Hokies jumped to a 56-0 halftime lead and crushed Arkansas State 63-7 in the Hispanic College Fund Classic in Lane Stadium.

Tech put up five touchdowns in the first quarter, two from cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Hall, who was named the game's MVP, returned a punt 69 yards for Tech's first score and later took a gift-wrapped interception 49 yards untouched for Tech's third TD. On the play, Tech linebacker Mikal Baaqee blitzed up the middle and hit ASU starting quarterback Tommy Miller as he threw the ball. Hall stepped in front of the pass in the right flat, caught it cleanly, and scored easily down the left sideline.

In between Hall's touchdowns, Tech tailback Lee Suggs, who had 7 carries for 87 yards, took one 32 yards for his 32nd career rushing touchdown. On the play, Suggs burst through the right side of the line and cut back to the left to a wide open field. He easily accelerated past the Arkansas State defensive backfield and scored untouched.

Grant Noel started the game at quarterback for the Hokies, and he notched his first TD pass of the year when he hit backup tight end Jeff King for a 19-yard TD that made it 28-0, Tech. The first quarter tidal wave of TD's ended with a 19 yard TD run from tailback Kevin Jones on a nifty move that left an Arkansas State defender who was in good position grabbing air. Jones had 4 carries for 31 yards and a TD.

As planned, backup QB Bryan Randall played the second quarter for the Hokies, and he led Tech to two second quarter scores, a 12-yard run by Randall himself and a 19-yard pass to Mike Imoh. Between those two scores, defensive tackle Jason Lallis, a converted defensive end, scooped up an ASU fumble and rumbled 59 yards for a TD.

Noel did not play again after the first quarter and was 2-of-5 for 24 yards and a TD. Randall played the first series of the second half and finished 6-of-8 for 66 yards and a TD, plus 5 carries for 52 yards and 2 more TD's. For most of the second half, both QB's gave way to third-stringer Will Hunt, who went 3-of-5 for 9 yards and carried once for 11 yards.

The quarterback performances did little to settle the ongoing debate about the Tech QB position. Noel had two passes batted down and threw one bad incompletion, but his TD pass to King was well-thrown.

Randall started out rough with his passing, completing just one of his first three and fumbling for Tech's only turnover of the game. Randall's running look very strong, though, and he ripped off runs of 16, 19, and 12 yards on his first three carries. His 19-yard pass to Imoh was as well-thrown as Noel's to King.

The Hokie defense stifled Arkansas State. The Indians had six fumbles, losing four, and in the first half, only two of their eleven possessions were more than three plays. For the game, they had 24 rushing yards on 31 carries and 227 yards overall. The Hokies only had 387 yards, including 288 yards rushing on 41 carries (7 yards per carry) and 99 yards passing on 11-of-18 completions.

The Hokies were led in receiving by Mike Imoh with 4 catches for 28 yards and a TD. Seven other Tech players had one catch each. The Hokies were led defensively by true freshman safety Jimmy Williams, who was the top tackler with five and a half tackles and had two passes defensed.

After this one-sided blowout, the Hokies will face a much stiffer challenge next Sunday, when they play host to defending SEC and Sugar Bowl champion LSU.

Game Notes

  • Suggs' rushing TD was his 33rd touchdown overall. He is the highest-ranked non-kicker on Tech's career scoring list, ranking fifth with his 33 TD's and 198 points. Tech's fourth-ranked career scoring leader is placekicker Don Wade (1981-84) with 224 points.
  • The special teams TD from Hall and defensive TD's from Hall and Lallis were the 71st, 72nd, and 73rd TD's from the defense and special teams in Frank Beamer's sixteen seasons at Tech.
  • Tech's six offensive touchdown drives averaged just 2:02 in time of possession. The Hokies scored on drives of 5, 1, 6, 5, 4, and 9 plays. Only one drive was longer than three minutes, and that was the opening drive of the second half: 9 plays, 72 yards, 4:04 possession time.
  • In a related statistical oddity, ASU's time of possession stat was 31:47, versus 28:13 for Tech.
  • The Tech running back with the most carries was ... fullback Cedric Humes. Humes had 10 carries for 52 yards (5.2 yards per carry). Only tailback John Candelas, with 5 carries for 15 yards had a lower yards-per-carry average.
  • The announced crowd of 54,016 was Tech's first non-sellout since the 1998 Rutgers game, breaking a string of 19 straight sellouts. The crowd was Tech's eighth-largest crowd ever.


                         ASU          VT
                        ----        ----
First downs               10          21 
Rushed-yards           33-24      41-288 
Passing yards            203          99 
Sacked-yards lost        1-8        1-16 
Return yards              24         138 
Passes               14-27-1     11-18-0 
Punts                 9-42.9      5-40.6 
Fumbles-lost             6-4         1-1 
Penalties-yards         8-72       10-82 
Time of possession     31:47       28:13 

Att: 54,016


RUSHING: ASU-Smith 17-36, Stegall 6-12, Warren 4-(-4), Team 1-(-6), Jacobs 4-(-6), Miller 1-(-8). Virginia Tech-Suggs 7-87, Humes 10-52, Randall 5-36, Jones 4-31, Imoh 4-22, Spence 3-21, Easlick 1-15, Candelas 5-15, Hunt 1-11, Noel 1-(-2)

PASSING: ASU-Jacobs 9-16-0-177, Miller 5-11-1-26. Virginia Tech-Randall 6-8-0-66, Hunt 3-5-0-9, Noel 2-5-0-24.

RECEIVING: ASU-Cox 5-120, Hickenbotham 2-39, Wood 2-17, Smith 2-13, Stegall 1-9, Mack 1-3, Walker 1-2. Virginia Tech-Imoh 4-28, King 1-19, Wilford 1-15, Willis 1-15, Witten 1-11, Easlick 1-5, Hamilton 1-5, Humes 1-1.


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