- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 18, 2005

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Marcus Vick threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as fourth-ranked Virginia Tech opened its home schedule by dominating Ohio 45-0 yesterday.

Having blanked Duke the previous week, the Hokies (3-0) posted consecutive shutouts for the first time since September 2001 against Western Michigan and Rutgers. N.C. State is the last team to score against Tech, on a field goal with 6:50 left in the season opener.

“The defense has been giving us great opportunities,” Vick said.

The junior quarterback converted three Ohio turnovers into touchdowns, completing 12 of 16 passes for 200 yards. His 4-yard touchdown rush was the first of his career.

“The defense picked us up today and hopefully we can pick them up next week [at home against Georgia Tech],” Tech tight end Jeff King said. “We came out a little lethargic on offense today, but we got it going.”

The Hokies failed to capitalize early, taking the ball inside Ohio territory on their first three possessions and scoring but three points — a 35-yard field goal by Brandon Pace after Vick connected on a career-best 52-yard pass to David Clowney on the Hokies’ first offensive play.

Mike Imoh lost a yard on fourth-and-1 at the Ohio 3-yard line at the end of the opening quarter. Leading 3-0, the Hokies drove from their own 49 before they turned the ball over on downs to the Bobcats (1-2).

Then Tech’s defense continued to shut down Ohio.

Linebacker James Anderson, who had nine of his 10 tackles in the first half, blitzed on a third down, forcing a fumble when he batted Austen Everson’s option pitch. Defensive end Noland Burchette recovered the fumble and Tech took over at the Ohio 8 with just more than 10 minutes left in the half. Three plays later, Cedric Humes had a 1-yard touchdown run off left tackle to make it 10-0.

“I give credit to our defense. They keep banging,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “Two straight shutouts in college football — now that’s tough.”

After falling behind by 10 points, the Bobcats moved the ball 59 yards on 10 plays. Everson’s 12-yard pass to Scott Mayle set up a Brooks Rossman 36-yard field goal attempt that sailed just wide right at the 4-minute mark.

But with 2:12 to play, Tech started a drive at the Ohio 33 after free safety D.J. Parker batted an Everson pass that Xavier Adibi picked off and returned 23 yards. Three plays later, Vick hit King over the middle for a 28-yard score and a 17-0 lead.

Midway through the third quarter, Vick tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to fullback Jesse Allen for a 24-0 lead.

Vick’s rushing touchdown, a 4-yarder, capped a 12-play, 81-yard drive that pushed the score to 31-0. It began with cornerback Roland Minor’s interception of an Everson pass.

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