- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Virginia Tech needs no reminder that it can’t afford to take any opponent lightly.

Becoming only the second Top 25 team to lose to a team from the Football Championship Subdivision earlier took care of that. However, the Hokies (3-2) have reason to feel better about themselves with Central Michigan (2-3) visiting Saturday.

The Hokies’ 41-30 victory against then-No. 23 North Carolina State on Saturday was their third straight, and probably their most complete. They ran for 317 yards, got a kickoff return for a touchdown and intercepted the normally efficient Russell Wilson three times.

The Chippewas have lost two in a row, but won the Mid-American Conference last year and gave unbeaten Northwestern a scare earlier this season before falling, 30-25.

“We already had lessons this year that you better get ready to play each week and it’s not what should happen, it’s what you make happen,” coach Frank Beamer said. “How you prepare and how you play is what’s real, so that’s what we’re going to talk about this week.”

How the Hokies have played since losing two in a row to start the season is something the players are startiung to look forward to, especially among the offensive linemen.

Earlier this year, the line was being maligned as the unit that kept an offense stacked with skill players from being effective, especially in the 21-16 loss to James Madison.

Now, film review is no longer something players like right guard Jaymes Brooks dread. Even offensive line coach Curt Newsome was pleased with the dominating effort against the Wolfpack.

“He said before the game, ‘Think about 6:45 in the morning on Monday. How do you want to feel coming into the meeting room?’” Brooks said. “That’s when we watch the film as a group, and we just felt good coming in there at 6:45 knowing we played good.”

Darren Evans carried 15 times for 160 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown, and quarterback Tyrod Taylor gained another 121 yards on 16 attempts, including a 71-yard burst.

Taylor also threw three touchdown passes as the Hokies completed their biggest comeback in Beamer’s 24 years as coach. They trailed 17-0, then outscored the Wolfpack 41-13.

The victory, on a heels of a 19-0 victory at Boston College the previous week, made them 2-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and on track to play for another ACC championship.

The key to making that happen, Beamer said, is to assume nothing.

“I think when you start assuming things are going to happen or you think, ‘OK, it should happen this way,’ that’s when you get caught,” he said. “… The last thing I want right now is to feel like everything is OK, because we’ve got to work like heck to make it OK.”

It would help, Evans said, to stop digging themselves a hole early in games.

“Basically just score as many points as we can as fast as we can early on in the game,” he said. “It just makes it easier throughout the game, to have a little room to spare.”