VT 31, UM: 7: The Hokies rarely pass in ending Miami's win streaks.
By Associated Press
Published November 2, 2003
Miami's Kevin Everett drops a pass in the end zone. Virginia Tech won 31-7.
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech blew the national championship race wide open Saturday with the biggest victory in its history, 31-7 against No. 2 Miami.
The Hokies got two touchdowns from their defense and another on a 10-yard drive set up by the defense to end Miami's 39-game regular-season win streak, 27-game win streak in the Big East and, perhaps, hopes for a third consecutive championship appearance.
It was the first victory in Virginia Tech history in 40 games against teams ranked No. 8 or higher and came just 10 days after one of its most humbling losses in 111 seasons, 28-7 at West Virginia.
Miami hadn't lost in league play since 43-10 at Virginia Tech on Nov. 13, 1999.
And the Hokies came up with a similar effort this time to get back into the race after they seemed to have been ushered out.
Miami didn't score until 7:53 left on a 10-yard pass from backup Derrick Crudup to Jason Geathers. By then, it trailed 31-0.
Virginia Tech, ranked No. 10, won the way it has so often under coach Frank Beamer, getting stout defense - and offense - from its defense and riding a thunderous wave of appreciation from 65,115 fans to victory.
The Hokies also did it with virtually no passing game. Beamer chose the safer means of keeping the ball on the ground both before and after he pulled quarterback Bryan Randall and let Marcus Vick take over.
Virginia Tech finished with 219 total yards, just 44 through the air, and didn't complete a pass until Vick hit Doug Easlick on a swing pass for a 2-yard loss with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
About two minutes later, Vick made the only other completion a big one, hitting Ernest Wilford for 46 yards and a touchdown that made it 31-0.
Kevin Jones, who ran for 124 yards, scored the other touchdown on a 2-yard run after a 44-yard interception return by Michael Crawford, the last pass Brock Berlin threw before being replaced by Crudup.
Berlin, who led the Hurricanes back from 23 points down in a 38-33 victory against Florida, didn't have it this time.
The Hokies sacked him three times and had him running on both interceptions.
He finished 16-for-25 for 164 yards.
Berlin wasn't the only Miami player who struggled.
Earlier, the Hokies' DeAngelo Hall stripped a ball from Roscoe Parrish and ran 28 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, and Eric Green picked off an off-balance throw by Berlin and ran 51 yards for a score.
Green's play started a 21-point third quarter for the Hokies.
Green also blocked a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter, the Hokies' 101st blocked kick since 1987 under Beamer. And the Hokies caught an early break when Kevin Everett failed to catch a sure touchdown on a fake field goal.