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Hokies silence critics in ACC opener

BLACKSBURG — The Virginia Tech Hokies proved their detractors wrong in Lane Stadium on Saturday, edging out the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech 20-17 to take their ACC opener.
“It was a team win and I love team wins,” head coach Frank Beamer said after the game.
The game was largely a ground battle with the Hokies gaining 199 yards on the ground while Georgia Tech racked up 278, including a 151 yards from quarterback Josh Nesbitt, breaking a school record for single game rushing yards from a quarterback.
Though the Yellow Jackets put up more yards than the Hokies, anyone in Lane Stadium would’ve told you that the Hokie defense was the decider in this game, forcing two fumbles from Nesbitt and made a key fourth quarter interception to hold Georgia Tech to 17 points.
This was particularly impressive in that the Hokies were trying to stop an intricate triple-option offense. “It’s so hard to run it in practice the way Georgia Tech runs it,” noted Beamer. “ [Nesbitt] did a nice job, but fortunately, we got a couple of fumbles.”
Hokie linebackers Brett Warren and Purnell Sturdivant had big games and were crucial factors in the victory. Both combining for 26 tackles in addition to Warren forcing a crucial fumble in the second quarter.
Saturday’s game was also a debut for the young talent that so many people had doubted up to this point, particularly in tailback and red shirt freshman Darren Evans. Evans had a big game, with 94 yards on 19 attempts and a TD run. “Evans ran awfully hard … I thought he did a nice job. He’s got a good knack for running the football,” Beamer said.
Tyrod Taylor also stepped it up, taking every snap of the game and coming up with a crucial TD scramble with ten seconds to go in the half.
Though Beamer acknowledged that the play he called was a, “take a look at your receivers and if they’re not there, throw to the back of the end zone,” He seemed pleased with Taylor’s decision to tuck and run. “Tyrod is Tyrod. He saw an opening and went to the end zone with it,” Beamer said.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson was also vocal about Taylor’s performance. “He’s a tough guy to tackle … I thought he played a great game. You know he’s going to run the ball and we still couldn’t tackle him,” Johnson said.
Though the numbers were not an indication, 387 total yards for the Yellow Jackets compared to 247 for Hokies, crucial plays on defense decided this ball game. This included Georgia Tech’s third and 7 play with mere seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter as a high-lofted ball from Nesbitt fell just out of reach for receive Roddy Jones. Sturdivant would drive the nails in the coffin with a fourth down sack.
This game was the first big test for the Hokies and they passed with high marks, contributing to the old adage that defense wins ball games.

Hokies silence critics in ACC opener

BLACKSBURG — The Virginia Tech Hokies proved their detractors wrong in Lane Stadium on Saturday, edging out the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech 20-17 to take their ACC opener.
“It was a team win and I love team wins,” head coach Frank Beamer said after the game.
The game was largely a ground battle with the Hokies gaining 199 yards on the ground while Georgia Tech racked up 278, including a 151 yards from quarterback Josh Nesbitt, breaking a school record for single game rushing yards from a quarterback.
Though the Yellow Jackets put up more yards than the Hokies, anyone in Lane Stadium would’ve told you that the Hokie defense was the decider in this game, forcing two fumbles from Nesbitt and made a key fourth quarter interception to hold Georgia Tech to 17 points.
This was particularly impressive in that the Hokies were trying to stop an intricate triple-option offense. “It’s so hard to run it in practice the way Georgia Tech runs it,” noted Beamer. “ [Nesbitt] did a nice job, but fortunately, we got a couple of fumbles.”
Hokie linebackers Brett Warren and Purnell Sturdivant had big games and were crucial factors in the victory. Both combining for 26 tackles in addition to Warren forcing a crucial fumble in the second quarter.
Saturday’s game was also a debut for the young talent that so many people had doubted up to this point, particularly in tailback and red shirt freshman Darren Evans. Evans had a big game, with 94 yards on 19 attempts and a TD run. “Evans ran awfully hard … I thought he did a nice job. He’s got a good knack for running the football,” Beamer said.
Tyrod Taylor also stepped it up, taking every snap of the game and coming up with a crucial TD scramble with ten seconds to go in the half.
Though Beamer acknowledged that the play he called was a, “take a look at your receivers and if they’re not there, throw to the back of the end zone,” He seemed pleased with Taylor’s decision to tuck and run. “Tyrod is Tyrod. He saw an opening and went to the end zone with it,” Beamer said.
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson was also vocal about Taylor’s performance. “He’s a tough guy to tackle … I thought he played a great game. You know he’s going to run the ball and we still couldn’t tackle him,” Johnson said.
Though the numbers were not an indication, 387 total yards for the Yellow Jackets compared to 247 for Hokies, crucial plays on defense decided this ball game. This included Georgia Tech’s third and 7 play with mere seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter as a high-lofted ball from Nesbitt fell just out of reach for receive Roddy Jones. Sturdivant would drive the nails in the coffin with a fourth down sack.
This game was the first big test for the Hokies and they passed with high marks, contributing to the old adage that defense wins ball games.