- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2002

BLACKSBURG, Va. By the end of the first quarter, there was no doubt coach Frank Beamer was going to celebrate his 150th win.
Lee Suggs ran for his first touchdown in almost a year and Virginia Tech scored a team-record 56 points before halftime yesterday as the No.16 Hokies routed Arkansas State 63-7 in the Hispanic College Fund Football Classic.
Opening the season without 11 starters from last year, Virginia Tech was led by sophomores Bryan Randall and DeAngello Hall, who combined for five touchdowns.
"When you have some fast guys you just want to play fast and watch the blurs go by," coach Frank Beamer said after hitting the coaching milestone.
Hokies running back Suggs, the nation's leading scorer two years ago, made a successful return after missing nearly all of last year with a torn ligament in his left knee. He gained 87 yards and scored the Hokies' second TD on a 42-yard run in his first game since Sept.1, 2001, when he was injured against Connecticut.
"It's been a year since I've been in the end zone," Suggs said. "It's just a wonderful feeling."
Randall, who took over at quarterback from Grant Noel in the second quarter, was 6-for-8 for 66 yards, connecting with Mike Imoh on a 19-yard touchdown and running for two more.
Hall scored twice in the first quarter, returning a punt and an interception for touchdowns.
Seven Virginia Tech players had touchdowns in the first half as the Hokies took a 56-0 lead. The previous Virginia Tech school record for points in a first half was 49 against Rutgers in 1999.
"The way it happened was unbelievable," Arkansas State first-year coach Steve Roberts said. "You don't expect that to happen. We didn't take care of the football. They took advantage of the mistakes we made."
Just about everyone got in on the action after Tech scored five straight touchdowns in the first quarter.
"We dressed 70 guys, and I think we got 68 into the game," Beamer said.
The Hokies had some especially tough adjustments to make on defense after losing six starters and five of its front seven, including standout linebackers Ben Taylor and Jake Houseright.
But the inexperience didn't appear to change the way the Hokies dominate opponents. Arkansas State turned the ball over five times and was held to 227 total yards, 73 of which came on Elliot Jacobs' TD pass to Mike Cox in the third quarter.
"The defense is ready," Hall said. "No matter what people say, the defense is ready."
Five Hokies scored for the first time, including Randall, Hall, Imoh, defensive tackle Jason Lallis and tight end Jeff King.

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