Posted on: January 4, 2011 2:26 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 7:24 am
MIAMI -- The Orange Bowl will most likely be remembered as Andrew Luck’s final college game, but it definitely will be one for the Virginia Tech defense to forget.
The Hokies came into the game ranked second in the ACC in points allowed, but were dominated in the second half, allowing 27 points, including big play after big play. The team completely fell apart after being only down one point at halftime, losing 40-12.
"We just kept pushing and pushing," said offensive guard David DeCastro. "We had to keep going until we broke them."
DeCastro and the rest of the offensive line opened up huge holes, allowing running back Jeremy Stewart to break off a career-best 60-yard run, while Stepfan Taylor finished with 114 yards. The success of the running game allowed Luck to pick apart the secondary with ease.
"The running backs hit the holes all day, sometimes the holes weren't there, but they kept at it," said guard Andrew Phillips. "That’s been a big motto for us this seasons, just keep at it and be patient."
Eventually the Hokies defense finally did break and the player that will be in the players and coaches nightmares is tight end Coby Fleener. The junior entered the game with only 22 catches this season, but ended the night with six receptions for 173 yards and three scores. Fleener was wide open all night, scoring on receptions of 41, 58 and 38 yards.
With a 19-12 lead late in the third quarter and the ball at its own 3, Taylor broke off a 56-yard run on a tremendous block from offensive lineman Andrew Phillips. The very next play Luck found Fleener for the first of his three touchdowns to break the game open.
"A couple of long plays against our defense, and then the game got away from us a little bit," said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. "Had them backed up, and felt like if we just hold them, we’re one play from getting back in it. But then we got two scores down and it got away from us a little bit."
Not what you would expect from a Virginia Tech defense in what will go down as one of the worst bowl losses in school history.
"We just didn’t execute," said Hokies defensive tackle John Graves. "There were a lot of big plays and mental mistakes on our part. They outperformed us and outplayed us."
Posted on: October 23, 2010 3:47 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2010 3:43 pm
As we look at all the action around the nation during Week 8, here are some of the biggest performances of the day. Follow all the action on our scoreboard and our updating college football blog.
1: Western Kentucky earns its first win of the season, beating Louisiana-Lafayette 54-21, ending the nation's longest losing streak of 26 games.
5: A school-record touchdowns by Washaun Ealey in Georgia's 44-31 victory over Kentucky. Ealey finished with a season-high 157 yards on 28 carries before getting banged up late in the fourth quarter. His five rushing scores broke the school record of four, set most recently by former running back Robert Edwards in 1997. Ealey also matched Edwards' record for total touchdowns in a game set in 1995 against South Carolina.
3: Maryland safety Antwine Perez had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, and Danny O'Brien threw for three touchdowns to lead the Terrapins to a 24-21 victory over Boston College.
166: Career-high rushing yards for Andre Ellington as Clemson ended a four-game losing streak to Georgia Tech in a 27-13 win.
172: Career-high rushing yards by Alex Green as Hawaii ran past Utah State 45-7. Green also had four touchdowns on runs of 2, 17, 36 and 60 yards for the Warriors.
176: Rushing yards by Arkansas' Knile Davis to go along with three touchdowns in the 38-24 victory over Ole Miss.
209: Ed Wesley had a career-high 209 yards and two touchdowns to lead TCU past Air Force 38-7. Wesley had more yards by himself than the nation's No. 1 rushing offense as the Frogs piled up 377 yards on the ground.
210: Rushing yards by Alexander Teich to lead Navy to its third victory against Notre Dame in the last four seasons, a 35-17 rout.
321: Passing yards by Jordan Wynn in Utah's 59-6 thrashing of Colorado State. The sophomore quarterback went 23 of 29 and reached the 300-yard mark for the third time in his career.
Posted on: January 12, 2010 3:21 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2010 6:10 pm
It's a little early, but time to give my preseason Top 10 for 2010. Lots of things can change, but here is what I got for now:
2. Ohio State: If the Buckeyes can play like they did in the Rose Bowl, they will find themselves in the BCS championship game next year. Ten starters are back on offense, including Terrelle Pryor, the entire backfield and both wide receivers. Five starters back on the offensive line will be huge too. Ohio State gets Miami (Fla.) at home on Sept. 18 which will be the early test. The season likely comes down to the final three games of the season -- Penn State (Nov. 13), at Iowa (Nov. 20) and Michigan (Nov. 27)
3. Boise State: This is all you have to know about Boise being ranked this high: 21 of 22 starters from a team that went 14-0. Kellen Moore will be entering his junior season after one of the best seasons in college football -- 39 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The defense was great last season and only loses cornerback Kyle Wilson. Assuming Boise goes undefeated in conference play for the third consecutive season, there are two big games on the schedule -- at home against Oregon State and Virginia Tech in Maryland on Oct. 2. Could this be the year the Broncos get into the title game?
4. Oregon: Another team that will be loaded with returners, including all 11 on offense. The Ducks offense was very explosive last year and should be again with the return of QB Jeremiah Masoli and RB LaMichael James. Keep an eye on the defense with the return of all three linebackers. The biggest holes to fill will be on the defensive line and replacing cornerback Walter Thurmond. The Ducks get a quick test playing at Tennessee on Sept. 11. The Pac-10 schedule will be tough again, especially with road games at USC (Sept. 30), at California (Nov. 13) and at Oregon State (Nov. 27).
5. Iowa: The Hawkeyes showed in the Orange Bowl what a difference Ricky Stanzi makes at quarterback. With him back along with running backs Adam Robinson and Brandon Wegher and wide receivers Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt, Iowa will challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title. The defense will again be one of the best in the country, especially in the secondary with Tyler Sash coming back. The schedule works perfectly for Iowa in its run to the a perfect season, getting Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State all at home.
6. Nebraska: Yes, Ndamukong Suh will be gone, but he wasn't a one-man team. One of the best defenses in the nation last year will be strong again with the return of DE Pierre Allen and DT Jared Crick. The key will be on offense if QB Zac Lee and RB Roy Helu can keep the ball moving. With the return of four offensive lineman, the Cornhuskers should be in great shape to challenge for the Big 12 Championship. Biggest game of the season will be Oct. 16 vs. Texas.
7. TCU: The Horned Frogs should be strong again with a team that returns a ton of players. It won't be easy to find a replacement for DE Jerry Hughes. With Andy Dalton back for one more season at quarterback and the return of WR Jimmy Young, the team should still be in great shape for another run at a BCS bowl. Obviously the conference has gotten better and a big game at Utah looms. So far TCU has only two non-conference opponents in Baylor and SMU, but it still has to find two more games.
8. Texas: The Longhorns won't be as good as they were this year. Too many key players will be gone, but Texas still has a nice group of returners back and should find itself in the Top 10. QB Garrett Gilbert got something to build on for next year with his appearance in the title game against Alabama. All the running backs return and a good core of wide receivers are back too. Earl Thomas is gone at safety, but Blake Gideon returns. The hardest part to replace will be the defensive line with the loss of Sergio Kindle. Oct. 2 vs. Oklahoma and Oct. 16 at Nebraska will be the season.
9. (tie) Virginia Tech: The defense lost some key players during the offseason, including Kam Chancellor and Jason Worilds, but the Hokies always just plug in newcomers and never miss a beat. The good news for Virginia Tech will be the return of sophomore running back Ryan Williams and junior Darren Evans, along with QB Tyrod Taylor. With those three back, the Hokies should be able to run all over opposing defenses. The Boise State game looms on Oct. 2 before huge road games at North Carolina and at Miami (Fla.)
9. (tie) Miami, Fla.: The offense is there for the Hurricanes to make a serious run at the ACC title. QB Jacory Harris returns with wide receivers LaRon Byrd and Leonard Hankerson. A big question mark will be at running back, where Craig Cooper might miss the entire season due to a knee injury. The defense must get better at the linebacker position, but the secondary returns four strong players, including Brandon Harris at corner. Two huge out of conferences games will test Miami early -- at Ohio State (Sept. 11) and at Pittsburgh (Sept. 25).
9. (tie) North Carolina: Don't laugh, here is a team that returns nine starters on a great defense and 10 starters on offense. Defensive lineman Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin will anchor the front seven with linebacker Quan Sturdivant controlling the middle of the field. The offense must get better, so with T.J. Yates and WR Greg Little back for one more season ... this is their chance. The Tar Heels play LSU in Atlanta during the opening weekend (Sept. 4), so we'll see how good this team is.
Posted on: January 2, 2009 2:11 am
Edited on: January 2, 2009 11:18 am
Virginia Tech and the rest of the past ACC Champions haven't enjoyed trips to Miami recently.
Florida State lost to Penn State in 2006, Wake Forest fell to Louisville in 2007 and the Hokies lost to Kansas last year.
Who knew the formula to success was a couple of freshmen?
Running back Darren Evans provided the spark on offense, while linebacker Barquell Rivers came up with the biggest play of his career midway through the fourth quarter to lift the Hokies to their first BCS bowl win, ending a three-game Orange Bowl losing streak by ACC Champions.
"Well, you know, if you can read, you knew what our record was, and we've been a part of that," said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. "I felt like we let the ACC down a couple times ourselves. We got on a bad streak here lately, and it's time to get off of it."
Evans, who has been magnificent for the Hokies all season, ran for 153 yards on 28 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown to put the Hokies up by two scores. Throughout the game Evans had numerous big runs, looking more like a seasoned veteran as he wore down the Cincinnati defense.
"At this point of the season, we don't consider ourselves young," Evans said. "We had some tough games and everybody's played a little bit. You have to swallow that notion about being young and just go out and play."
Evans grew throughout the season and got stronger, rushing for 253 yards against Maryland, 111 against Duke and 114 against Boston College in the ACC title game.
And tonight he put together not only hard runs of 3 and 4 yards, but also big runs of 11, 13 and 32 yards.
“I’ve got to give props to the offensive line because they made a lot of holes out there. It was just kind of for me to take those extra yards.”
While Evans can celebrate with his MVP trophy, Rivers made one of the game's biggest defensive plays.
And that's saying something, considering the Hokies recorded four interceptions.
With the Bearcats trailing by 13 points and eight minutes to play, they had no choice but to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1. Tony Pike tried to score on a QB keeper, but Rivers drilled him, stopping him in his tracks and giving the ball to the Hokies offense.
Rivers, who had only seen limited action as a reserve, earned the starting job in the OB in place of Brett Warren.
"When a player goes down, you got to step up and play big and that's what I did," said Rivers. "I didn't have to make all the plays, but I made that one play and that was a key play in the game."
From there Evans and quarterback Tyrod Taylor ran more than five minutes off the clock, basically sealing the win for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech will use its freshman duo to its advantage next year, as it is expected to return 18 of the 22 starters on offense and defense from tonight.
"We do have alot of these guys coming back," added Beamer. "We've got some good runs we're redshirting, but there's no guarantees in this business. You've got to get down to it, but I do feel like we've got a lot of good players in our program and a lot of them are young."