CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- It felt just like old times for
Virginia Tech. The 16th-ranked Hokies blocked a punt, forced a
fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown.
For one day, anyway, Beamerball was back.
The Hokies' dominating defense and special teams set up two of
Branden Ore's three TDs in Tech's 35-10 victory over North Carolina
"It's effort -- when you get there, getting things blocked.
Right now, we're doing that," said coach Frank Beamer, the
namesake of the punishing special-teams style that helped the
Hokies gain national notoriety.
Ore finished with 111 yards and scoring runs of 1, 4 and 3
yards. Virginia Tech (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) improved
to 9-0 in ACC road games since joining the league in 2004.
Xavier Adibi returned an interception 40 yards to set up Ore's
first touchdown. Josh Morgan blocked a punt inside the North
Carolina 10 to set up another, and Brenden Hill scored on a 69-yard
"When the special teams gives you great field position like
that, you just got to make sure you capitalize," Ore said. "You
don't want to get three [points] out of that situation. You always
want to get six points."
North Carolina outgained Virginia Tech 268-224, but it was the
Hokies' punishing defense and special teams that made the
Tech intercepted four passes, recovered a fumble, blocked a punt
in its second straight game and victimized North Carolina punter
David Wooldridge for the second year in a row.
"We gave them 21 points, and the defense just gave them 14,"
North Carolina running back Ronnie McGill said.
Sean Glennon, a sophomore making his second career start, was
10-of-17 for 66 yards for Tech. Redshirt freshman Ike Whitaker,
Glennon's backup, completed his only pass -- a 41-yard touchdown to
Greg Boone with about five minutes left.
Ore became the second running back in two weeks to score three
touchdowns against North Carolina, joining Rutgers' Ray Rice, who
rushed for 201 yards and three scores in the opener.
"There were little creases in the run support that we were
seeing, and that's what we attacked," Ore said.
Tech trailed 3-0 late in the first quarter before Adibi got the
Hokies rolling. He picked off Joe Dailey's pass at the 41 and
returned it to the North Carolina 1. Ore scored on the next play to
put Tech ahead to stay.
"That's what good teams are made of -- when the offense isn't
going good, helping out the offense and giving them good field
position," Adibi said. "Any time you get an interception in a
critical time in the game, momentum's going to shift your way."
Then, just before halftime, the Hokies' trademark strong special
teams helped them build on their lead.
Morgan -- a wide receiver used to returning punts not blocking
them -- burst up the middle and swatted Wooldridge's punt at the Tar
Heels' 7. Jason Adjepong returned it to the 1.
"[The Tar Heels coaches] always hounded us about how good their
special teams were," Wooldridge said.
"He's skilled enough to return a kick, and he's tough enough
and strong enough and explosive enough to block a kick," Beamer
Two plays later, Ore scored from 4 yards out to put Tech ahead
"To give up to any team 14 points on two yards of total offense
is always disappointing, and usually will cost you the game,"
North Carolina coach John Bunting said.
Dailey was 10-of-17 for 55 yards and was intercepted twice for
the Tar Heels (0-2, 0-1). His backup, redshirt freshman Cam Sexton,
was 9-of-21 for 120 yards and was picked off twice, including the
fourth-quarter interception Hill returned for a score. The Tar
Heels have eight turnovers in two games.
"Turning the ball over is killing us," Sexton said.
Sexton also had an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Foster in
the final minutes against Tech's backups.
Connor Barth capped North Carolina's opening possession with a
46-yard field goal.
But after that, the Tar Heels had trouble moving the ball
against Tech's defense until late in the game.
"That's hard against our defense," Beamer said. "We do it all
the time in practice, and our inexperienced offense has a tough
time, so I knew what those two [Tar Heels] quarterbacks were going
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Virginia Tech RB Branden Ore scored his third touchdown to give the Hokies a 21-3 lead with 5:00 left in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Ore. He not only scored three TDs, but he also finished with 114 rushing yards on 24 carries and had two receptions for 37 yards.
Stat of the game... 7: The total number of turnovers (3 by Va. Tech and 4 by UNC) in the game. But it was the 4 INTs by the Heels that did the most damage.