Virginia Tech rips WVU

Virginia Tech ripped off big runs and long passes en route to 21 first half points in dominating West Virginia 35-0 Saturday at Mountaineer Field.

The Mountaineers (2-3, 0-2 Big East) were outgained, outhustled and outclassed by the far superior Hokies (5-0, 2-0 Big East) in front of 63,271 fans, most of which left at the half. It was WVU's first home shutout loss since November of 1987. Tech is 5-0 for the fifth straight season.

West Virginia, dressed in white pants with blue stripes, proved it has no right to even be on the same field with Virginia Tech, giving up a pair of quick touchdowns after a pair of blatantly stupid play calls by WVU head coach Rich Rodriguez, including a stuffed second and one and a third and one where WVU passed, which cost solid field position and led to Tech's first touchdown. The coaching staff, thus far, has proven to be in over their head, especially against solid teams like the Hokies.

WVU picked off two passes in the first half, but it proved meaningless because the Blue and Gold could not move the ball. The Mountaineers were stuffed in the running game and awful at passing.

After Grant Wiley intercepted Noel to give WVU good field position, Tech immediately picked off another Brad Lewis gift, and on the first play Hokie freshman tailback Kevin Jones went 44 yards in seven seconds for the score to make it 21-0.

Tech had another long run by Jones called back because of holding. The jaunt would have made it 28-0, but the foul brought the ball back inside the 20 and the Hokies were forced to punt.

WVU was getting its behind handed to it on its home field like never before, and backup signal caller Derek Jones was quickly inserted two drives before the half.

WVU, playing Jones at quarterback, drove inside the 30-yard line, only to stall and line up to attempt a field goal. The fake was brilliantly executed with wideout A.J. Nastasi running directly into the line and getting crushed. Tech held.

Jones showed scrambling ability on one other drive, but couldn't move the ball and the Gobblers kneeled it to mercifully end the half.

The Hokies, after trading possessions to start the last 30 minutes, then went 48 yards in four plays -- including a long pass play to Andre Davis, who got behind starting corner Lew Daniels -- for a 28-0 lead. The contest was sealed at that point and it got worse.

Jones threw another pass up on the next set of downs, and Shawn Terry cut under it and allowed it to get intercepted by Larry Austin. Tech was held there, but Jones gave them another gift in the form of a pass right into the arms of defensive lineman Jim Davis, who returned it for a touchdown and a 35-0 Hokie lead.

The 27-yard return was a microcosm of the differences between the two programs: Tech, a team with well-coached football players who execute when put in the right position; WVU, a confused, hesitant bunch of athletes who have little idea of how to play, much less how to win.

From Lewis' lack of mobility and interceptions and the defensive lapses and injuries to Antonio Brown's patented falling down, West Virginia has little chance to win one of its next two games and even less of a chance at a bowl. In short, the season is over. I fold -- it's time to pack it in.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author.

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