Virginia Tech 45, Duke 0
Life in the ACC continues to be good for Virginia Tech.
The Hokies, who won the ACC title last year in their first season in the league, beat Duke, 45-0, on Saturday for their second conference win in seven days.
After edging N.C. State, 20-16, on Sunday, the seventh-ranked Hokies had an easier time at Duke. They held the Blue Devils (0-2) to a Virginia Tech-record 35 yards of total offense.
"It's good to start 2-0 on the road," Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer said. "Our defense really stepped up and played extremely well."
Beamer's defense left little room for worry in what was technically a Duke home game but featured about 10,000 Virginia Tech fans who made the three-hour drive from Blacksburg. The pro-Hokies crowd got to see a record performance from its defense, which previously had allowed a low of 63 yards against Alabama-Birmingham in 1999.
The Blue Devils crossed midfield only once. They attempted 35 running plays and netted only 13 yards. Their passing game wasn't much better.
The Blue Devils' two quarterbacks combined to throw for 22 yards. Virginia Tech returned an interception for more yards (23).
"We just got beat in every phase of the game today," Duke Coach Ted Roof said. "That's it. They're a much better football team than we are."
It wasn't all defense for Virginia Tech. Junior quarterback Marcus Vick threw for three touchdowns in three quarters. In his second college start, Vick completed 12 of 19 passes for 172 yards. He was intercepted once.
Vick, who was out of football last season because of a school-imposed suspension, didn't show any rust from a season off. His numbers improved from the season opener and so did his confidence.
"It's no surprise to us," Hokies tight end Jeff King said. "We saw him in spring. We know what kind of player he is. He's going to show that a little more each week."
Vick found King on a seven-yard pass to the back of the end zone to put the Hokies up 7-0 with 6 minutes 55 seconds left in the first quarter. The Hokies' defense provided the next touchdown. Cornerback Roland Minor stepped in front of a pass from Blue Devils quarterback Curt Dukes and returned it 23 yards for a 14-0 lead.
Vick made his only mistake in the second quarter, an interception to Duke's John Talley. Vick would avenge the error by connecting with Josh Morgan on a 37-yard touchdown over Talley.
That gave Virginia Tech a 21-0 lead with 9:15 left. Duke didn't have a first down at that point, and it had only one yard of total offense.
On the opening drive of the second half, Vick found receiver David Clowney for a 35-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead. Vick's improvement from the season opener, in which he connected on 10 of 21 passes, encouraged Beamer.
"We need to be able to throw the ball at any time," Beamer said. "We have to have confidence that we can do that."
While Vick rested in the fourth quarter, the running game did the work, although without running back Mike Imoh (66 yards), who tweaked a knee and missed the second half. Beamer said Imoh, Tech's leading rusher in 2004, would be fine.
The Hokies didn't need Imoh (Robinson High). They got 51 yards from freshman Branden Ore, all in the second half. Ore also had a four-yard touchdown run. Fellow freshman George Bell added a three-yard touchdown run.
Duke actually lost four yards of total offense in the second half.
Virginia Tech finished with five sacks, including two by senior defensive end Darryl Tapp.
Virginia Tech improved to 9-1 in its first 10 games in the ACC after going 4-6 in its last 10 games in the Big East.
"I don't think it's been easy," Beamer said. "These gray hairs aren't getting any darker."