Virginia Tech 35, Temple 0
November 10, 2001
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
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Philadelphia, PA - Badly needing a spark, the Hokies got it from freshman running back Kevin Jones, and the Tech defense shut down Temple's inept offense to notch a 35-0 shutout win.
Jones, who rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, became the first true freshman to run for over 100 yards for Tech since Shyrone Stith did it at Akron in 1996. Midway through the third quarter, with the Hokies holding a 14-0 lead, Jones spun through the line off-tackle and rolled for an 87-yard touchdown. The run was the fourth-longest in Virginia Tech history. "I just laid my ears back and ran with it," Jones said.
Tech got off to a rocky start in this one when Grant Noel threw an interception on the first possession, but the Hokies broke out on top when Noel hit Andre Davis for a 41-yard TD strike late in the first quarter. On the play, it was second and 6 when Noel play-action faked and heaved a strike to Davis, who caught it in stride at the goal line.
After the two teams traded possessions, Temple gift-wrapped a second touchdown when punter Jace Amore fielded a snap on his knee on the Temple 11 yard line. The referees called him down on the play, giving Virginia Tech possession, and the Hokies put the ball in the end zone on the next play when Jones ran up the middle untouched.
Temple put together their best drive of the first half late in the second quarter, going from their 10 yard line to the Tech 25, but Temple placekicker Cap Poklemba missed a 42-yard field goal attempt with 55 seconds to go in the half. The drive had been kept alive by a questionable pass interference call on Tech's DeAngelo Hall, but the Hokies held on to take a 14-0 lead into half time.
At the half, the Hokies had 135 yards of offense (68 passing, 67 rushing) to Temple's 103. Both teams had 7 first downs, but the long pass from Noel to Davis and the unintentional kneel-down by the Temple punter were the difference.
The Hokies dominated the second half, led by Jones' 87-yard TD run. The two teams traded possessions to open the half, and after Temple pinned the Hokies at their 13-yard line with a punt, Jones burst up the middle on the first play and raced to the end zone. The run was the longest in the Frank Beamer era and the longest since 1975, when Roscoe Coles went 89 yards against Auburn. The run made it 21-0.
After the Hokies missed a 41-yard field goal wide left on their ensuing possession, they took it to the Owls with a 6-play, 45-yard drive that ended in a 1-yard run by fullback Jarrett Ferguson. Ferguson had taken the ball to the one yard line on a 24-yard dash on the previous play, and his TD put the Hokies up 28-0. Noel was sacked on the first play of the drive for a 13 yard loss, but the Hokies went 58 yards on five straight running plays, including Ferguson's 24-yard rush and a 27-yard run by Keith Burnell on a draw play on third and 20.
Tech's final TD came midway through the fourth quarter on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Noel to Ernest Wilford. Wilford beat the Temple cornerback to the end zone, came out to the 2 yard line to make the catch, and then ran back into the end zone. The score made it 35-0 Hokies with 8:26 to go.
In the remaining minutes, Tech cornerback Garnell Wilds intercepted two Temple passes, the last one coming in the Tech end zone on the last play of the game, ending a Temple scoring threat and preserving the shutout. Wilds was starting for the first time in his career, along with fellow cornerback DeAngelo Hall. They were pressed into starting service because Larry Austin was out with injury and Ronyell Whitaker was suspended for one game for violating an unspecified team rule.
With the win, Tech improves to 7-2 overall, 4-2 in Big East play. The Hokies travel to Virginia next Saturday for a 3:30 game on ESPN.
RUSHING: Virginia Tech-JONES, Kevin 21-155; BURNELL, Keith 8-45; FERGUSON, J. 3-28; WARD, Wayne 1-2; DAVIS, Andre 1-2; RANDALL, Bryan 2-1; EASLICK, Doug 2-1; NOEL, Grant 6-minus 9. Temple-SHARPS, Tanardo 7-46; STAPLES, Akeiff 1-26; FENTON, Makonnen 6-12; TRAMMER, Lester 6-9; MCKIE, Jason 1-3; AMORE, Jace 1-minus 9; DEVITO, Mac 5-minus 27.
PASSING: Virginia Tech-NOEL, Grant 11-15-1-134; RANDALL, Bryan 0-3-0-0. Temple-DEVITO, Mac 11-34-2-152; MCGANN, Mike 1-6-1-13; HANNIGAN, Colin 2-5-1-12.
RECEIVING: Virginia Tech-DAVIS, Andre 4-60; PARHAM, Terrell 3-18; WILFORD, Ernest 1-34; WYNN, Browning 1-12; JOHNSON, Emmett 1-6; FERGUSON, J. 1-4. Temple-DILLARD, Sean 5-47; MUCKERSON, Greg 4-73; LEWIS, Krishan 2-36; TRAMMER, Lester 1-13; MCKIE, Jason 1-8; FENTON, Makonnen 1-0.
INTERCEPTIONS: Virginia Tech-WILDS, Garnell 2-16; PILE, Willie 1-4; HALL, DeAngelo 1-2. Temple-LACEY, Chonn 1-7.
FUMBLES: Virginia Tech-HALL, DeAngelo 1-0. Temple-DEVITO, Mac 1-1; DILLARD, Sean 1-0; AMORE, Jace 1-1.