- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 3, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech opened its season with a 38-0 victory over Division I-AA Northeastern. But even the shutout wasn’t the dramatic unveiling that the Hokies had hoped for.

“In the end, with us, I think we just have to learn from this tape,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “This is probably the best thing that could happen for us right now. We played somebody else and we got every facet of the game on tape.”

The Hokies played an impressive first quarter. Northeastern’s opening drive began on its own 20-yard line and ended back on the 15 after a Chris Ellis sack of quarterback Anthony Orio.

In his first career start, Virginia Tech sophomore quarterback Sean Glennon directed a four-play, 34-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Branden Ore. Northeastern’s next possession ended when Brandon Flowers picked off an Orio pass at the Hokie 46-yard line. On the next play, Glennon threw a 54-yard touchdown to split end Josh Morgan.

Even Virginia Tech’s special teams started well, blocking a Jared White punt to end the Huskies third possession.

But as the initial excitement wore off, the questions that loomed over the Hokies program during the preseason were raised again. Glennon finished 15-for-18 passing for 222 yards and three touchdowns, but a second-quarter interception marred his game. Unable to find an open receiver, the young quarterback was bumped as he tried to throw the ball toward the sidelines — where Northeastern’s Louvans Charlot was waiting.

“I was ticked off that not only was it an interception, it was an interception that I forced,” Glennon said of the broken screen play. “And I pride myself on not doing that kind of stuff.”

The Hokies’ rushing game lacked decisiveness. Ore had two touchdowns but finished the game with only 54 yards rushing on 11 carries. And while 382 yards of total offense is respectable on any Saturday, the Huskies defense last season gave up an average of 405.7 yards a game last season without ever playing a team of Virginia Tech’s caliber.

Ore described his unit’s performance as average, a feeling his coach echoed.

“In all areas we need to clean it up,” Beamer said. “I think offensively we were playing hard, defensively we were playing hard and special teams played hard. It just wasn’t a real clean game.”

The Hokies defense also unraveled a bit, allowing the Huskies to complete 15 of 26 passes while earning a pair of the personal foul penalties that Beamer has been determined to curb.

Tech defensive tackle Kory Robertson blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game to preserve the shutout.

“Not bad, but definitely [we] had some improvements to make,” senior linebacker Aaron Rouse said. “Not just to our secondary line, but overall.”

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