Hokies Escape From Durham

DURHAM, N.C. - Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns to lead the No.6 Hokies past Duke, 34-26, in front on 26,211 fans at Wallace Wade Stadium.

The Blue Devils went up 7-0 early and pulled within four points twice in the second half, but could never regain the lead down the stretch. Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed 22 passes for two touchdowns and 359 yards, the sixth 300-yard game of his career and second this season. Freshman wide receiver Conner Vernon caught four passes for career-high 128 yards in the loss, while kicker Will Snyderwine was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts to become the first Blue Devil to hit four field goals in a single game since Sims Lenhardt accomplished the feat against Northwestern in 1999.

The Duke defense forced Virginia Tech to punt on its first two series and the Blue Devils used the momentum to march 79 yards down the field to break the scoreless tie late in the first quarter. Lewis completed a 48-yard pass to wide-open receiver Brandon King for the touchdown.

Duke's lead was short-lived however as Virginia Tech responded on its following possession, needing four plays and a 36-yard touchdown pass to knot the score at seven.

Virginia Tech took the 10-7 lead on its next possession with a 39-yard field goal.

A three-and-out by the Duke offense gave Tech the ball back at its own 28, and the Hokies added to their lead with a 72-yard drive to the end zone. Taylor connected with receiver Dyrell Roberts for a 28-yard strike, which at first appeared to be intercepted by Devils cornerback Leon Wright, but Tech was able to come away with the ball.

Down 17-7, the Blue Devils offense got into a rhythm, putting together an 11-play drive covering 69 yards. Duke got within the Virginia Tech 20, but had to settle for the field goal and entered halftime down 17-10.

The Blue Devils again cut into the Hokies lead early in the third quarter after Vernon hauled in a 74-yard pass from Lewis for Duke's longest completion of the season and moved the Blue Devils to the Tech 7-yard line. Snyderwine converted a 25-yard field goal and Duke trailed 17-13 with 12:43 remaining in the third quarter.

Following a Duke punt and two Virginia Tech penalties, the Hokies faced 3rd-and-34, but a 62-pass play from Taylor moved Virginia Tech across midfield. Duke's defense kept the Hokies out of the end zone and Tech ended the drive with a 33-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 20-13.

Virginia Tech looked close to extending its margin again when Duke safety Matt Daniels, who finished the day with a career-high nine tackles, forced a fumble and cornerback Chris Rwabukamba recovered at the Blue Devils' 26. The resulting Duke drive ended in a season-long, 47-yard field goal by Snyderwine to trail 20-16 with 13:51 left in the fourth quarter.

The Devils were unable to pull any closer, adding a 43-yard field goal and a touchdown reception from receiver Austin Kelly in the fourth quarter, but allowed two rushing touchdowns by Tech running back Josh Oglesby.

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