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Halftime: Virginia Tech 10, Cincinnati 7

1/1/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
MIAMI -- Just looking at the score, you might think it is a boring game.

But it's actually been pretty exciting, with several big plays on both sides. Cincinnati is on pace for more than 400 yards and Virginia Tech for over 500. The problem is that each team is hurting itself with mistakes.

Each team missed a field goal, and both Tony Pike and Tyrod Taylor had interceptions that ended promising drives.

Pike threw an interception in the end zone to kill Cincinnati's chances of taking a lead into halftime. He had Dominick Goodman open, but Pike -- who was scrambling left and had to throw across his body -- floated the throw, and Stephan Virgil swept in and made a highlight reel pick. The Hokies then drove the other way for a 43-yard field goal to end the half.

Virginia Tech's offense has been far more balanced, with a nearly even split between running and passing and Taylor has reminded me of another No. 5 at quarterback: Pat White. Cincinnati has relied almost exclusively on the pass, with just 11 rushing yards, and the Hokies have been able to play a bend-but-don't break style against that. The Bearcats need to mix things up a little in the second half.

Punter Kevin Huber might be the most valuable Cincinnati player so far. He's averaged 52 yards on three kicks and pinned one on the Hokies' three.

The Doobie Brothers are providing the halftime entertainment. If you're wondering about tonight's attendance, there are about 10 empty sections up top, and the corners are sparse. But other than that, Dolphin Stadium has filled in fairly nicely. Cincinnati fans appear to outnumber Virginia Tech supporters, but not by a wide margin.