Herd Looks Impressive Early, But Hokies Take 41-14 Victory|
Oct. 8, 2005
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Marshall rushed for a season-high 164 total rushing yards, giving Virginia Tech a first-half scare, but the third-ranked Hokies proved to be too much as the Thundering Herd fell 41-14 Saturday at Lane Stadium.
Sophomore running back Ahmad Bradshaw (Bluefield, Va.) led Marshall (2-3) with a season-high 99 rushing yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Virginia Tech's (6-0) Branden Ore led all rushers with 146 yards on 19 carries and a score. Cedric Humes, Virginia Tech's leading rusher at the half, did not play in the second half after suffering a broken right arm.
Marcus Vick finished with 166 yards of total offense. Vick was 11-of-16 passing with 163 yards and a touchdown. Bernie Morris (Orlando, Fla.) threw for 117 yards on 14-of-28 passing and a touchdown.
Marcus Fitzgerald (Minneapolis, Minn.) led all receivers with 67 yards on six catches. Josh Morgan led the Hokies with 63 yards on four catches.
Curtis Keyes (Mt. Olive, Miss.) led the Herd with 11 tackles, while Demarcus Thomas (Lithonia, Ga.) added seven. James Anderson led the Hokies with 12 tackles and a tackle for loss, while Vince Hall added 10 tackles and a fumble return for a touchdown.
After Virginia Tech and Marshall traded stalled opening drives, the Hokies pinned the Herd at its one-yard line after a career-long 67 yard punt by Nic Schmitt.
Marshall, however, was unable to produce an extensive drive, as the Herd was forced to punt for the second time in as many possessions.
The third-ranked Hokies capitalized as Virginia Tech drove 65 yards on six plays in 2:37, capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run by Humes to give VT an early 7-0 advantage.
Marshall responded with a touchdown-scoring drive of its own, as the Herd used a 12-play, 80-yard possession and 5:48 on the clock to even the score at 7-7 early on in the second quarter.
Bradshaw muscled his way in from 13 yards out for his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. Bradshaw wasn't the only big playmaker on the drive, as Morris broke off running plays of nine and 18 yards and Chubb Small (Auburndale, Fla.) also added a key 11-yard run as well. Marshall amassed 63 rushing yards on the drive alone.
On the ensuing Virginia Tech drive, Chris Royal (Herndon, Va.), who was playing against brother Eddie on Virginia Tech, nabbed his first interception of the season with 11:26 remaining in the second quarter at the Marshall 34-yard line. Eddie Royal finished with 34 yards on three receptions.
It marked only the second turnover of the season by Virginia Tech - both coming on Marcus Vick interceptions.
However, Marshall couldn't capitalize on the Hokies turnover and was forced to punt for a third time.
Virginia Tech took advantage of Marshall's stalled drive. The Hokies used an 11-play, 80-yard drive in 4:43, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown run by Branden Ore to retake a 14-7 lead.
Bradshaw, who came into Saturday's game against the nation's top-ranked defense, surpassed his season-best rushing total of 72 yards in the first half with 77 yards on 16 carries.
Virginia Tech opened the second half with a 78-yard drive which ended with a 19-yard field goal from Brandon Pace, extending the Hokies' lead to 17-7.
The play that put the Hokies in the red zone was Ore's 45-yard run, which was the longest by a Hokie this season. However, a pass break-up on third-and-goal by Keyes forced the Hokies to settle for a field goal.
On the ensuing Marshall possession, Virginia Tech's Chris Ellis sacked Morris and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Hall and returned 15 yards for the touchdown. The defensive score gave VT a 24-7 lead.
Virginia Tech would strike again on its next offensive possession on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Vick to David Clowney, extending the Hokies lead to 31-7.
Pace would add another field goal late in the third quarter, giving the VT a 27-point lead, 34-7. A George Bell two-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the fourth quarter gave the Hokies a 41-7 lead.
Marshall would add a late touchdown with 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, as Morris connected on a 17-yard strike with Small, cutting the Hokies' lead to 41-14.
The Marshall Thundering Herd will return to action Saturday, Oct. 15, when it hosts Conference USA foe UAB for the 104th Homecoming game in school history. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.