BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech Hokies dominated the Western Michigan Broncos in all phases of the game and as a result, ended their four-game losing streak with a 63-0 victory on Sept. 11. This marked the conclusion of a three-game series between the teams in which the Broncos failed to score a single point in 180 minutes.
The win by Tech leaves both teams at 1-1 on the season.
The Hokies pounced early in this game and were never challenged. Promising freshman Eddie Royal, whom the coaching staff vowed to get more involved in the offense, did indeed get involved with an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to open the scoring. Royal took the reverse pitch from Bryan Randall and streaked in along the right side for his first collegiate score at the 11:28 mark of the first quarter.
"We had a reverse called, it was a fake option and they just pitched the ball to me," Royal said. "I got to the corner, got a great block, and was able to just walk into the end zone."
An interception by Jimmy Williams set up the score. Williams picked off a pass by WMU's Blayne Baggett at the Western Michigan 32 and returned it to the 11 before being knocked out of bounds. The interception was the fourth of Williams' career.
The score remained 7-0 until the first play of the second quarter when Tech tailback Cedric Humes took the handoff, bounced to the right sideline and snuck the ball inside the pylon for a 21-yard touchdown run. Brandon Pace's extra point made the score 14-0.
This score was also set up by a Bronco turnover. Baggett scrambled out of the pocket but was drilled by Tech whip linebacker Aaron Rouse. Rouse's hit jarred the ball loose and Tech's Jonathan Lewis fell on it.
Tech's Justin Hamilton got into the act at the 10:31 mark of the second quarter with a 1-yard plunge on first-and-goal. A pair of 32-yard passes from Randall, the first to Royal and the second to Richard Johnson, set up the score. The touchdown pushed Tech's lead to 21-0.
The scoring in the first half ended the same way it began, with a Royal touchdown. Randall dropped back to pass, and with the pocket breaking down around him, fired a 35-yard strike to Royal with 2:12 remaining in the half. Pace's extra point gave the Hokies their 28-0 halftime advantage.
"It was a post route, and we had a lot of time for Bryan to read the defense," Royal said. "He threw a great ball and it was six points."
The Broncos had a couple of scoring opportunities in the first half but could not convert. Trailing the Hokies 21-0, WMU drove 79 yards to the Tech 5-yard line and settled for a field-goal attempt. But Tech's Jim Davis broke through and deflected the attempt. Then just before the half, the Broncos drove to Tech's 10-yard line, helped by 35 yards of Hokie penalties. However, Robert Menchinger's second attempt of the day sailed wide left from 27 yards out.
Redshirt freshman fullback John Kinzer recorded his first career touchdown at the 4:40 mark of the third quarter on a 3rd-and-goal pass from Randall. The 3-yard pass and Pace's extra point extended Tech's lead to 35-0.
A bizarre play on Western Michigan's next snap from scrimmage led to Tech's next score as Bronco quarterback Ryan Cubit threw a pass that was deflected and landed in the arms of offensive guard Mark Ottney. Ottney tried to advance up the field, but Tech's Jason Lallis stripped him of the ball and strolled into the end zone from 28 yards away.
With Tech ahead 42-0, Beamer inserted many of his backups, including true freshman quarterback Sean Glennon. The offense did not miss a beat as Glennon led the Hokies 48 yards in four plays for another score. Glennon connected with fellow freshman Justin Harper for a 34-yard touchdown on his first collegiate pass attempt, giving the Hokies a 49-0 lead.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers was the next to get into the act, intercepting a Cubit pass on WMU's next possession and racing 38 yards for Tech's second defensive touchdown of the day.
Tech's scoring day finally came to a close when Glennon found Duane Brown along the right sideline for a 33-yard touchdown. Brown put on the brakes to avoid a charging defender and then walked into the end zone. The touchdown was the first of Brown's career and the extra point provided the final score. In all, six Hokies scored their first touchdowns against the Broncos - Glennon, Royal, Kinzer, Harper, Brown and Flowers.
Tech's quarterbacks were the picture of efficiency, with Randall completing 15-of-21 for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Glennon was a perfect 4-for-4 for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hokies also excelled in special teams in this game. In addition to the blocked field goal by Davis, Darryl Tapp partially blocked a Bronco punt and Tech punter Vinnie Burns averaged 48.5 yards on two punts.
"I thought that was a great win for our program," head coach Frank Beamer said. "I saw good things on all sides of the ball. I saw good things in our kicking game. I saw some good freshmen make some plays, and I think you have to give those receivers some credit. I thought it was an outstanding day for those freshmen receivers."
Tech's next game is scheduled for noon on Sept. 18 when the Hokies serve as the host to the Duke Blue Devils.