- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2005

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Earlier this week, Virginia Tech wide receiver David Clowney worried that his hair looked windblown as he awaited a television interview.

The way Clowney ran over the winter, he’s getting used to his hair being out of place; he worked with the Hokies’ track team to improve his already blazing speed. In spring football practice, he was named the team’s top offensive hustler. And Sunday the work paid off as he caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Marcus Vick in a 20-16 win at N.C. State.

Still, Clowney was not taking the credit for what turned out to be the game-winning grab.

“I think it was more of a pass than a catch,” Clowney said. “Marcus made an incredible throw. I’m going to give all of that to Marcus.”

Vick’s first career start was anything but overwhelming as he completed just 10 of 21 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown.

“Marcus played a good game but missed some reads and some throws,” offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring said.

Said Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato: “Vick made some great plays, but we allowed him to make some great plays.”

Vick will attempt to sharpen his passing game today at Duke (0-1) in the ACC opener for the Blue Devils, who lost at East Carolina last week. Though his numbers were mediocre against N.C. State, Vick showed flashes of strong play. With just under 13 minutes left in a 13-13 game, he rolled to his left and fired to the left corner of the end zone. Clowney went into a baseball slide, catching the ball inches above the turf.

“He threw it in the perfect spot, where only I could get it. No matter what, the [defensive back] can’t get to it,” Clowney said. “He threw it out there, and I kind of had to slide low to get it.”

The play gave Virginia Tech its first lead against N.C. State since the second quarter of last season’s 17-16 loss in Blacksburg. To put zip on that pass, Vick had to square his shoulders before his release, especially with a defender step-for-step with Clowney.

Considered a deep threat, Clowney has four career touchdown catches, his first coming in 2003 against Central Florida. Vick threw that 27-yarder for his first career scoring pass.

“Everybody always said we have that connection from our freshman year when we played [Central Florida],” Clowney said. “He has the arm and ability to share it with all of our receivers.”

As Vick was suspended for 2004, Clowney remained a key part of the offense. His 34-yard touchdown catch against Georgia Tech helped rally the Hokies from a 14-0 deficit to a 34-20 win. Clowney, from Delray Beach, Fla., enjoyed his best day in Miami last December, catching five passes for 54 yards as Tech clinched the ACC title.

Last week Vick and Clowney connected three times for 30 yards, but the one that made the highlight reels was the needle-threading 19-yarder.

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