By Mark Giannotto
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 10, 2010; 12:05 AM
BLACKSBURG, VA. - Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor sat on a podium inside Lane Stadium answering questions from reporters, his face revealing few emotions. Minutes removed from leading the Hokies to a 45-21 win over Central Michigan, a game in which he passed for 161 yards, rushed for 127 yards, had a hand in three touchdowns and became Virginia Tech's all-time winningest quarterback, the senior seemed genuinely unimpressed.
Then again, maybe it's this restraint, more so than any electric scramble or long touchdown pass, that has come to define Taylor's 27-7 record as a starting quarterback in Blacksburg. For Taylor, there's always another win to be had.
"It's a big deal," admitted Taylor, who surpassed Bryan Randall to take over first place. "I'm honored to have my name beside that record, but there's still a lot of games to play. I just want to continue to win."
That commitment to winning was evident from the moment he took the field Saturday. Though the final score indicated a blowout, it was only because of some well-timed outbursts from Taylor.
Central Michigan opened the contest by ripping through Virginia Tech's defense on an 80-yard drive that was capped when wide receiver Jerry Harris caught a 23-yard touchdown from quarterback Ryan Radcliff over the outstretched hands of safety Eddie Whitley.
The Hokies (4-2) found themselves facing an early deficit for the fourth time in six games this season, but Taylor wouldn't let it stand for long. On the Hokies' second offensive play of the game, he took a designed option play down the sideline for 72 yards, the longest touchdown run of his career.
"When Tyrod broke that run," defensive tackle John Graves said, "it helps energize your defense."
That it did, and once the Virginia Tech defense steadied itself, the rout was on. The Hokies scored 38 straight points including Taylor's long touchdown run, many of which came on big plays.
In the second quarter, Taylor bought some time by scrambling to his right and found wide receiver Jarrett Boykin (eight catches, 117 yards) on a 25-yard strike. Two plays later, Taylor threw to tight end Andre Smith for a seven-yard touchdown. Then, in the third quarter, Taylor connected with Boykin on a beautiful 39-yard bomb, setting the stage for the quarterback's second rushing touchdown of the day, this time from 15 yards out.
Running back David Wilson broke for a 67-yard touchdown run to start the fourth quarter, and cornerback Jayron Hosley put an exclamation point on the afternoon when he returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown.
Despite the big plays, Virginia Tech's offense sputtered at times. The Hokies punted seven times, finished 0 for 8 on third-down conversions and had eight series in which they didn't get a first down.
Central Michigan, meanwhile, had success moving the ball, finishing with 401 yards, though the Chippewas (2-4) did get two touchdowns in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. Central Michigan drove inside the Virginia Tech 40-yard line on five possessions before the third quarter was complete but only had seven points to show for it.
"I still say we're pretty average," said senior safety Davon Morgan, who had a first-half interception that set up a 30-yard field goal by place kicker Chris Hazley. "We're satisfied with the 'W,' don't get me wrong. But there's still a lot of things where we can get better."
That sort of attitude is a direct reflection of the Hokies' offensive leader. Morgan, a quarterback in high school, was a bit in awe of Taylor's accomplishment, shaking his head as he said, "Look at all the quarterbacks who have come through here; I'm just happy to play with him."
It's little wonder then that the Hokies have reeled off four straight wins after beginning this season with two losses. Their quarterback wouldn't have it any other way.
"Years from now, I'm gonna say, 'I played with the winningest quarterback in Virginia Tech history,' " Boykin said. "It's just a privilege."