Hokies Ground Game Rolling

Precision and dominance. Both aptly describe the manner in which Virginia Tech has run the football in a pair of convincing victories since its national title aspirations were sidetracked by Miami earlier this month.

Despite the absence of top runner Mike Imoh – troubled by ankle and foot problems – the Hokies (10-1) have plowed Virginia and North Carolina in consecutive weeks by a combined score of 82-17. Those routs helped VT to build an increasing head of steam going into Saturday's ACC Championship matchup with Florida State (7-4).

The ground attack has been the weapon of choice.

"Our goal is to demoralize you," said senior Cedric Humes, who has teamed with redshirt freshman Brandon Ore to provide more than sufficient relief in Imoh's absence.

"We want to make opposing defenses give up. It's got to be frustrating when we're running right at you and you can't stop it, even after (changes) are made. I'm hoping the gameplan Saturday is the same."

That strategy has been to alleviate the pressure on quarterback Marcus Vick after his six-turnover disaster against the 27-7 loss against Hurricanes. Vick's blunders led to 24 of UM's points.

The plan has worked – Humes totaled a career-high 134 yards against UNC after producing 113 against the Cavaliers the week before. Ore, meanwhile, lead the team with 115 against Virginia and chipped in 104 last week. The ground game clicked so well against the Tar Heels over the weekend that Vick was asked to throw just 15 passes, two after halftime.

"I could have gone another four quarters," Vick joked afterward.

Tech coach Frank Beamer took a more serious approach.

"All of our work for the most part of this year came out in the second half," he said. "We really came out and took it over against a good football team."

The stature of Humes (6-3, 230) and Ore (6-1, 215) will undoubtedly be a concern for an FSU team that is beat up along the defensive front. Both are more punishing runners than the shifty Imoh (5-7, 180). The Hokies' offensive line, meanwhile, averages upwards of 330 pounds per man.

"Those are the guys I owe this to," Humes said. "They have been improving game by game. This time of the season, it's the way you have to be. You know your offense and you know how to get it done."

FSU coach Bobby Bowden was asked recently how much he had seen Tech's offense on film.

"Too much," he said. "I've seen too much. I think they are one of the best teams in the country right now. They look like a team that has it all."


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