Virginia Tech football explodes on offense in 52-21 win over Wake Forest

Virginia Tech's Darren Evans coasts into the end zone for one of his three first-half touchdowns.
Virginia Tech's Darren Evans coasts into the end zone for one of his three first-half touchdowns. (Matt Gentry/roanoke Times Via Associated Press)
By Mark Giannotto
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 17, 2010; 12:20 AM

BLACKSBURG, VA. - Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer isn't the bombastic type, no matter the situation. When the Hokies face an inferior opponent, like in Saturday's 52-21 homecoming blowout of Wake Forest, Beamer insists that his players forget about what others think should happen and instead focus on "what we make happen."

The advice escaped Virginia Tech just five weeks ago, when division I-AA James Madison defeated the Hokies at Lane Stadium in the biggest upset of this college football season. More recently, Virginia Tech had seen itself fall behind early in three of its four games since that setback.

But after the Hokies racked up 605 yards - 434 of which came before halftime - scored touchdowns on seven of their first eight possessions and rewrote some of Virginia Tech's offensive record book against the overmatched Demon Deacons, consider the message received.

"I'd been telling the guys all week that we need to start early from play one, get on top of [Wake Forest] and kind of control the game and that's what we did," said quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who finished 19 of 27 for 292 yards with three touchdown passes before being pulled midway through the third quarter. "Seven out of eight, we'll take that, but I think there's still a better game out there for us."

Cornerback Jayron Hosley ensured that the Hokies would avoid another slow start when he took his first punt return of the afternoon 58 yards to set up Virginia Tech inside the Demon Deacons 10-yard line.

Then, on third and goal, 6-foot-6 backup quarterback Logan Thomas lined up at wide receiver and made a one-handed catch on a fade route in the back of the end zone to give the Hokies a 7-0 lead.

Later in the first quarter with Virginia Tech nursing a 14-7 lead, Taylor engineered perhaps his best passing play since his memorable game-winning touchdown throw to beat Nebraska last year.

After heading to the sideline for a play following a gruesome-looking high-low hit that resulted in a Wake Forest late-hit penalty, Taylor scrambled to his right, escaped a sack attempt by a Demon Deacons defender, reversed field and then found wide receiver Danny Coale all alone along the left sideline for a 25-yard touchdown pass. From there, the rout was on as the Hokies built a 49-14 lead before halftime.

With injured running back Ryan Williams not in uniform for a fourth straight game, junior Darren Evans and sophomore David Wilson again made his absence a non-factor. Evans had 57 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, while Wilson finished with 107 yards on the ground.

Taylor threw touchdown passes to Coale (five catches, 103 yards) and wide receiver Jarrett Boykin. Taylor also had a one-yard touchdown plunge that tied him with Bob Schweickert for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in program history (21).

"When we're clicking on all cylinders, it just feels good, no extra stress," said junior wide receiver Dyrell Roberts, who finished with a career-high six catches for 134 yards. "Whatever play is called, you just go out there and try to execute it. When we have a game like we have today, everything is just working, so it felt great."

The lone blemish for Virginia Tech came in the form of a defense that allowed a few too many big plays. Wake Forest running back Josh Harris had first-half touchdown runs of 87 and 33 yards and finished with 20 carries for 241 yards, the most by an opposing player in Virginia Tech's history. Early in the second half, Demon Deacons wide receiver Chris Givens scored on a 78-yard catch.

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