Sept. 30, 2006
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -Reggie Ball and the No. 24 Yellow Jackets made their second consecutive visit to Lane Stadium a huge success Saturday, jumping out to a big lead and beating the 11th-ranked Hokies 38-27 at their own disruptive game.
With Ball finding receivers Calvin Johnson and James Johnson with ease, and mixing in enough of his own running to keep the No. 11 Hokies guessing, the 24th-ranked Yellow Jackets (4-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 21-0 after just 10:48.
Ball finished 9-for-16 for 176 yards with two interceptions. He also ran for 34 yards, and Calvin Johnson caught six for 115 yards.
It looked similar to last year’s game between the Techs, won by the Hokies 51-7, except that this time it was the visitors that had the upper hand all the way.
Only two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Hokies made it look closer.
A sea of flans clad in orange and maroon filled Lane Stadium, but the Yellow Jackets quickly silenced them, scoring easily the first three times they had the ball.
After the Hokies punted, the Yellow Jackets went 62 yards in three plays. Ball ran 9 yards on a keeper, then hit Calvin Johnson with a short pass and the big receiver ran untouched past three defensive backs for a 53-yard touchdown down the right side.
After another three-and-out by the Hokies, Georgia Tech’s Troy Garside blocked Nic Schmitt’s punt, setting the Yellow Jackets up at Virginia Tech’s 25 yard-line.
Two runs by Ball for 20 yards and one for 5 by Tashard Choice made it 21-0.
In 12 plays, the Yellow Jackets had gained 167 yards and were just two points shy of what Virginia Tech’s first four opponents had managed to score collectively.
The Hokies (4-1, 2-1) got back in it on a 26-yard scoring run by Branden Ore and two field goals that made it 21-13, but the Yellow Jackets used a drive to a field goal just before halftime to steady themselves. Then their defense took over.
On the fourth play of the second half, with the crowd anticipating a comeback, Philip Wheeler came from the blind side and sacked Sean Glennon, causing a fumble that Gary Guyton scooped up and took 38 yards for a touchdown.
And if that didn’t send fans heading for the exits, the Yellow Jackets furious blitz got through the Hokies’ young offensive line again three plays later. Glennon fumbled again at his own 40, and Georgia Tech’s Adamm Olivered recovered.
Glennon, under pressure much of the day, finished 27-for-52 for 339 yards.
Choice’s 10-yard touchdown run made it 38-13 in the third quarter.
The Hokies came into the game hoping to justify their lofty ranking built up against four weak opponents. Instead they head into a week off knowing the truth is they have a lot to improve.
The Yellow Jackets, meantime, moved into first place by themselves in the ACC’s Coastal Division, the only unbeaten left in a division with the Hokies and Miami.
And after losing to No. 12 Notre Dame in its opener, then beating Samford, Troy and Virginia, coach Chan Gailey’s team showed it is ready to contend to stay there.
The Hokies came in averaging 119 yards rushing, but got just 42 on 27 carries.