It was a fairly unexpected result for all involved. The college football media is still licking their collective wounds after pumping up Miami all last week and Blacksburg is still drying out from a torrential downpour and victory Saturday.
In my preview last week, I picked the Hokies to score 31 points and win a close one against the Hurricanes. Someone commented that Tech couldn’t score 31 and I replied by citing the 2003 match up when the No. 11 Hokies slammed No. 2 Miami 31-7.
Talk about prophetic.
The game was eerily similar to 2003, aside from the weather.
This one was ultimately won in the trenches, as Tech dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage.
The Hokie defense was stifling, repeatedly pressuring quarterback Jacory Harris into a lackluster 9-of-25 for 150 yards and one interception.
Jason Worilds tallied 6 tackles, including 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries en route to being named the ACC defensive lineman of the week.
The rushing defense, which had been criticized all week for being ranked 107th in the nation, held Miami to just 59 yards on the ground.
It was encouraging for Tech fans to once again watch defensive coordinator Bud Foster push his unit and get a resounding response.
The big surprise was the Hokie offense and the nice mix of play-calling by much-maligned offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.
The Hokie offensive line was able to make Miami’s defensive front almost a non-factor, controlling them to the tune of 272 yards rushing and not allowing any sacks.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Williams was formally introduced to the nation, carrying the ball 34 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns. He also hauled in two catches for 40 yards.
Williams now ranks 6th in the country in rushing with 123 yards per game and is tied with California’s Jahvid Best for second in the nation with eight touchdowns.
Many were concerned when Darren Evans went down for the year with a torn ACL in preseason, but Williams has quelled those fears and given Tech fans reason to salivate about next season’s Hokie backfield.
Perhaps lost in the shuffle of Williams’ performance was the job done by Tyrod Taylor. Taylor attempted just nine passes, completing four of them for 98 yards and a 48-yard touchdown to Jarrett Boykin.
Taylor finally looked comfortable tucking and running, carrying 10 times for 75 yards. It was an efficient performance and shows just what Taylor must do for the Tech offense to be successful, manage the game, and take what the defense gives you.
It was by far the most complete performance of the season for the Hokies, and one of their best all-around games in some time.
It was vintage Beamer Ball Saturday with a slow-down power offense complimented by a dominant defense and excellent special teams, highlighted by a blocked punt returned for a touchdown.
This was vintage Virginia Tech football and the blueprint to follow for the rest of the season.
The Hokies proved they are once again the team to beat in the ACC, and with a slate of winnable games starting with a road contest next weekend at Duke, Tech appears well on their way to another Coastal Division crown.