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No. 9 Va. Tech 49, Rutgers 0
Associated Press

BOX SCORE

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- First Michael Vick flipped, then his coaches did after another dazzling performance by the acrobatic quarterback.

QB Michael Vick had two seasons of eligibility left at Virginia Tech, but he's bound for the NFL.
Vick scored on a spectacular somersault into the end zone, threw for a touchdown and set up a third with a 45-yard escape and run Saturday as No. 9 Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 49-0 in its Big East opener.

"I got it when I went to the sidelines," Vick said of a tongue-lashing from assistant coach Billy Hite. "But I knew I was going to get a perfect landing. I knew how I wanted to land. I just rolled into it."

Last season, in his much-anticipated debut, Vick ran for three touchdowns against James Madison, including a similar dive and flip, but sustained a leg contusion on the play and was forced to miss the Hokies' next game.

"That flip scared me," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said of the play early in the second quarter, which gave Virginia Tech a 28-0 lead.

Lee Suggs ran for four touchdowns and the Hokies picked up 348 of their 527 yards on the ground while holding Rutgers to 241 yards.

They also continued the resurgence of their special teams, blocking one punt and smothering another after a bad snap, both plays setting up first-half touchdowns as the Hokies rolled to a 35-0 lead by halftime.

Once again, though, Vick stole the show as Virginia Tech (3-0) obliterated Rutgers' hope for its first 3-0 start since the 1981 season.

The sophomore, quiet in a 45-28 victory at East Carolina 10 days earlier, passed for 105 yards and rushed for 104 in the opening half, including the 8-yard run and flip that came 10:29 before halftime.

On second-and-goal from the 8, Vick ran right, cut inside a defender and dove for an opening into the end zone, somersaulting in the air before he landed, then popping up to his feet to the roars of the sellout crowd.

Earlier, while standing in the pocket, Vick slipped out of the grasp of defensive lineman Jason Malakoski, bolted left and down the sideline, finally getting pushed out of bounds at the Rutgers' 3.

"I was right behind him," Malakoski said. "I was running as hard as I could to catch him, and he just spun back around."

Rutgers coach Terry Shea, whose team was coming off a 59-0 victory against Buffalo, said his squad helped Tech too much early in the game.

"We played right into the script that they've had success with in their first two games, and that was by the end of the first quarter, you were pretty much fighting for your lives and out of the game," he said.

The Hokies led Akron 21-3 in their opener, then took a 31-0 advantage into the locker room at halftime against East Carolina last week.

Suggs, who followed Vick's 45-yard run with a 3-yard touchdown run, also scored on runs of 7, 1 and 3 yards for the Hokies' first four-touchdown performance since Tommy Edwards against Pittsburgh in 1993.

Suggs finished with 76 yards on 16 carries.

Vick left after that sixth scoring drive early in the third quarter and finished 10-for-18 for 120 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Emmett Johnson. That play followed a botched snap on a punt by Rutgers.

Rutgers had gotten 10 touchdown passes in two games from Mike McMahon, but never had time to get its quick-hitting passing game going. The Scarlet Knights threw 30 times in the first half, completing just 10.

One of the Scarlet Knights' best scoring drives came on their second possession when punter Mike Barr completed a 14-yard pass to Shabib White on fourth-and-4 from the Rutgers' 26. McMahon then drove the team to the Hokies' 30, but Steve Barone's 47-yard field- goal attempt was wide right.

Later, with Rutgers down 35-0, McMahon's desperation heave on fourth-and-2 from the Hokies' 22 was intercepted in the end zone by Eric Green.

McMahon also went to the sidelines midway through the third quarter with a strained right shoulder. He finished 12-for-36 for 149 yards.

Green's second-quarter punt block was the fourth in three games for the Hokies, and the 79th in Beamer's 13-plus seasons as coach.

Keith Burnell, who broke off a 59-yard run early in the fourth quarter for the Hokies, scored from the 1 three plays later to cap the scoring.

AUDIO/VIDEO
video
 Michael Vick is at it again, somersaulting over a defender into the end zone.
avi: 735 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Michael Vick throws 17 yards to Emmett Johnson for the TD.
avi: 1038 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Lee Suggs runs 4 yards for a touchdown against Rutgers.
avi: 906 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1





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