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September 8, 2012

Hokies Defeat Austin Peay 42-7

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Virginia Tech improved to 2-0 (1-0) on the season with a 42-7 win over Austin Peay. Tech led 21-0 at halftime and continued the romp with a strong second half that saw just about everyone on the roster play.

The win marked the second win in five days for Tech, something the Hokies did in 2010 as well.

"At least we're 2-0," coach Frank Beamer said. "Playing two football games that close isn't easy."

Linebacker Jack Tyler offered a bit of optimism on the turnaround when compared to 2010, stating the Hokies feel "mentally a lot better, physically about the same."

The Hokies got off to a slow start in the first quarter, cashing in only one touchdown on a 2-yard run by Michael Holmes. The redshirt freshman finished the day with 40 yards on nine carries. Beamer would like to see more out of the ground game though.

"I wouldn't say we're a good running team, but we're working," he said.

The drive started at the six yard line after a 46-yard punt return by Kyshoen Jarrett.

"Just doing what I had to do," offered the sophomore.

Junior quarterback Logan Thomas finished the first frame just 2-5 for 36 yards along with six yards rushing on two carries. But Beamer said he liked what he saw in pieces.

"I saw a lot of good plays out of our offense," he said. "We just got to put it together."

Virginia Tech took control of the game for good in the second quarter, beginning with a quarterback sneak by Thomas with 5:35 left in the half. The Hokies began that possession on Austin Peay's 42-yard line thanks to a blocked punt by Tony Gregory on the Govs previous possession.

"He's got a burst on the backside," Beamer said.

The blocked punt was the first by the Hokies since last season's opener against Appalachian State, which was also blocked by Gregory. A 23-yard slant route to Marcus Davis set up Thomas at the one-yard line for the sneak.

Thomas finished out the first half strong, completing 4-6 passes in the two minute drill, a drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Corey Fuller. The Hokies went to the locker room with a 21-0 lead about the same time the rain started falling in Lane Stadium and finished the half with 205 yards of total offense.

The Governors finished the first half with 95 total yards, 84 of which came on the ground.

Tech scored twice more in the third quarter, once on a 9-yard run by Holmes and again on a 13-yard pass to senior tight end Randall Dunn. Dunn's reception appeared very similar to senior tight end Eric Martin's redzone touchdown last week against Georgia Tech.

Austin Peay got on the board with a 10-yard sprint by Terrence Oliver, ending Tech's bid for a shutout. Beamer pulled his offensive starters near the end of the third quarter, giving time to guys like sophomore quarterback Mark Leal and wide receiver Joshua Stanford.

Leal and Gregory led the Hokies down the field early in the fourth, capping off the drive with an 18-yard dash by Gregory, the first touchdown run of his career. Gregory finished the day with 29 yards on five carries, most of which came in the fourth. Freshman cornerback Donaldven Manning capped off the action with an interception in the final two minutes.

Thomas finished his day 15 of 23 for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster's defense held the Govs to 221 total yards, including just 62 through the air. Tyler led all Hokies with eight stops and credited the Governors for their effort.

The Hokies return to action next Saturday at Heinz Field against former Big East foe and future conference rival Pittsburgh.


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