Winston-Salem, NC -- Mike Imoh ran for a touchdown from 7 yards out to break a 10-10 tie with 2:10 to go, and the
Hokie defense made it stand up, stopping Wake Forest on fourth down from the Hokie 5-yard line to give Virginia Tech
their first-ever ACC road win. The Hokies held Wake's touted rushing offense a hundred yards below their average,
but two Hokie fumbles inside the Wake Forest 20-yard line kept the game close.
The Hokies scored on their opening possession and led most of the game, but when Wake Forest's Ryan Plackemeier
kicked a 20-yard field goal with 6:15 to go, that knotted the score at 10. The Hokies took over on their 22-yard line
after the kickoff and put together their longest drive of the day, taking it 78 yards in 10 plays. Imoh scored from the
7-yard line, breaking three tackles and lunging into the end zone with two Wake Forest defenders hanging onto him. The
run gave Imoh 100 yards on the day on 29 carries, giving him 59 rushes for 215 yards in Tech's last two games.
The Deacons responded in kind, mounting their longest drive of the day, taking the ball from their 31 to the Tech
5-yard line, where they faced 2nd and 4. After Wake spent their last timeout with 21 seconds to go, Wake quarterback
Cory Randolph threw a fade route to Jason Anderson in the corner of the end zone, where Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams
came down with the ball. The referees ruled that Williams was out of bounds, and on 3rd down, Randolph threw just off
the fingertips of Anderson on a crossing pattern in the end zone.
On fourth down, Randolph threw to Anderson again, this time in the middle of the field and short of the goal line.
Tech rover Mike Daniels read it and broke the pass up with seven seconds to go, securing the win.
Tech's winning drive was spearheaded by QB Bryan Randall, who hit tight end Jeff King down the middle for 24 yards
early in the drive, then rushed three times for 45 yards, the last one a 21-yard run that put the ball at the Wake
Forest 11. Imoh carried it to the 7 on the next play and then took it in on 2nd down.
Randall carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards, including 29 yards lost on three sacks by the Demon Deacon
defense. Randall completed 12-of-18 passes for 119 yards and an early 5-yard TD to King, with no interceptions. King
led the Hokies in receiving, grabbing 3 balls for 37 yards.
The Hokies had 329 yards of offense on the day (to 347 by Wake), including 210 yards rushing on 50 carries. The
Hokies hurt themselves with fumbles by the backup tailbacks. Cedric Humes fumbled on the Wake 18-yard line on his only
carry of the game, and Justin Hamilton (8 carries, 58 yards) fumbled on the Wake 1-yard line when he tried to dive into
the end zone on first down and the ball was knocked free. Statistically, Hamilton's fumble was Tech's only red-zone failure, though, as
the Hokies were 3-for-4 (2 TDs, 1 FG) inside the Wake Forest 20 (Humes' fumble didn't count as a red-zone possession,
since VT didn't start any plays inside the 20 on that drive).
Defensively, the Hokies held Wake's rushing offense, which was averaging 238 yards, to just 139 yards on 41 carries
(3.4 yards per carry). Wake picked up 208 yards through the air on 15-of-26 passing, most of it by Randolph. Backup QB
Ben Mauk was 1-for-2 for 28 yards and an interception, and Randolph was 14-for-24 for 180 yards. Wake's lone touchdown
came on a 45-yard drive just before half time that started with a 30-yard completion from Randolph to Kevin Marion and
ended with a 1-yard TD run by Chris Barclay.
The Hokies were led defensively by Mikal Baaqee with 13 tackles (10 solo), the most by any Tech defender in a game
this season. Williams had 6 tackles and an interception of Mauk for 15 yards, and the defensive line was anchored by
Darryl Tapp (6 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack) and Jonathan Lewis (5 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks).
Attendance for the game was 32,433, including a large contingent of Hokie fans. That figure represents the
10th-largest crowd in Wake Forest history.
The Hokies took the ball first and got started with a bang when Eddie Royal (2 catches, 15 yards) returned the
opening kickoff 43 yards to the Hokie 43. The Hokies completed a 9-play, 57-yard drive when Randall hit King for a
5-yard score on 3rd and 3.
The Hokies stopped Wake and then drove from their own 32 to the Wake 22 on the strength of 4 carries by Imoh for 21
yards and a 25-yard completion from Randall to Justin Harper. But Imoh was thrown for an 8-yard loss, pushing the ball
back to the Wake Forest 30-yard line, and Brandon Pace missed a 47-yard field goal from there.
On Wake's next possession, the Demon Deacon offense came to life when Randolph hit Nate Morton for a 53-yard gain
down to the Hokie 27. The Tech defense held, forcing a 38-yard field goal attempt by Plackemeier, who bounced it off the
right upright, and Tech still led 7-0.
The Hokies threatened again, moving methodically downfield behind the running of Imoh and Hamilton, but the drive was
killed when third-string tailback Cedric Humes fumbled on the Wake 18-yard line after a 10-yard gain. It was Humes' only
carry of the game.
Jimmy Williams intercepted Mauk four plays later, returning it 15 yards to the 50-yard line and setting the Hokies up
for an 8-play drive that stalled at the Wake 9-yard line, resulting in a 26-yard field goal by Pace to make it 10-0
Hokies with 7:37 to go in the first half. The drive featured a great 16-yard catch by Jared Mazzetta.
The Hokies, firmly in control, forced another Wake punt and took over on the VT 20-yard line. Two sacks of Randall
pushed the Hokies back to the 1-yard line, where Vinnie Burns punted out to the Hokie 45. Wake then put together their
only touchdown drive of the day, taking it in in 7 plays via the 1-yard run by Barclay.
The defenses ruled the third quarter, in which no scoring occurred. Holding a 10-7 lead, the Hokies threatened when
they took it from their 46 to the Wake Forest 1-yard line. Hamilton had 4 carries for 49 yards to get it there,
including runs of 24 and 16 yards. But on his fifth carry of the drive, Hamilton tried to leap into the end zone from
the 1-yard line, and Wake linebacker Jonathan Abbate hit the ball and popped it loose. Josh Gattis recovered for the
Deacs on the Wake 2-yard line with 5:38 to go in the third quarter.
That put the Hokie offense into a funk, and they turned in two straight three-and-out possessions. Wake tied it up
with a 20-yard field goal with 6:15 to go. The Deacons had a 1st and goal from the Hokie 8, but Tech held and forced the
kick by Plackemeier.
VT took over on their 22-yard line and put together a clutch drive, led by Randall. First he hit King for 24 yards
down the middle, then he ran for gains of 12 yards (on 3rd and 7), 12 yards, and 21 yards. His last carry was a QB draw
that put the ball at the Wake 11-yard line, and Imoh did the work from there.
Wake had one last chance, taking possession on their 31-yard line with 2:05 to go. Randolph completed 5-of-7 passes
to move the ball to the Tech 12-yard line, then ran a QB draw to the 5. From there, Randolph threw the fade route that
was almost picked off by Williams (some observers said Williams was in bounds in the corner of the end zone when he
caught it), the end zone incompletion to Anderson, and the short incompletion to Anderson that ended the game.
With the win, the Hokies move to 4-2 on the year, 2-1 in conference. Wake drops to 3-3 (0-3). The Demon Deacons have
now lost to Clemson in overtime, NC State in overtime, and VT on a late stop. With UNC's upset of NC State (30-24) and
Georgia Tech knocking off Maryland (20-7), the Hokies move into a third-place tie in the ACC with Florida State and NC
State at 2-1. Miami and Virginia are in first place at 2-0, and Georgia Tech is in sixth place at 2-2. Click
here for the ACC standings.
- Tech punter Vinnie Burns, though he did shank one punt for 16 yards, averaged 44.3 yards on 4 punts, His other
three punts were for 54, 57, and 50 yards.
- After averaging almost 9 penalties per game to this point, Tech only had 3 penalties (for 26 yards) in this game.
- Bryan Randall now has 6 TD passes and 6 interceptions for the season. This was his second game of the season
without an interception (NC State was the other).
- With his 100 yards rushing, Mike Imoh took over the season rushing lead from Randall. Imoh has 289 yards on 73
carries (4.0 ypc), and Randall has 263 yards on 72 carries (3.7 ypc).
- VT tight ends now have 19 catches on the year. In last year's 13-game season, they only had 16 receptions. Jeff
King leads the tight ends with 13 catches for 179 yards and a TD.
here for TSL's post-game analysis