Monthly Archives: September 2010

Russell Wilson puts up 368 yards passing, 3 TDs for NCState

Associated Press

ATLANTA — Russell Wilson passed for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns and North Carolina State answered Georgia Tech's fourth-quarter rally to beat the Yellow Jackets 45-28 on Saturday and remain unbeaten.

Wilson completed 28 of 41 passes and ran for a touchdown as North Carolina State (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) continued its best start since winning its first nine games in 2002.

**********************************************************************************************************
N.C. State gained 527 yards and scored its most points in the series with Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1) scored two quick fourth-quarter touchdowns to trail only 31-28 before Wilson answered with two touchdown drives.

Wilson threw a 23-yard scoring pass to T.J. Graham to cap a nine-play, 74-yard drive, and Mustafa Greene added a 5-yard scoring run with 4:08 remaining.

Wilson also threw touchdown passes to Steven Howard and Jarvis Williams, who returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.

Wilson had help from the Wolfpack's running game. Dean Haynes had 18 carries for 75 yards and Greene had 13 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Jerrard Tarrant's 33-yard interception return cut N.C. State's lead to 31-28 early in the fourth quarter.

It was Wilson's first interception on his 136th pass of the season. Wilson, a junior, set the NCAA record with 379 attempts without an interception in a streak that overlapped his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Orwin Smith and Roddy Jones had touchdown runs for Georgia Tech. Joshua Nesbitt threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Melton in the fourth quarter as the highlight of his poor passing day.

Nesbitt had 19 carries for 95 yards rushing. He completed only 5 of 18 passes for 116 yards.

Nesbitt completed only 1 of 7 passes for 9 yards through three quarters before attempting to rally the Yellow Jackets.

With N.C. State leading 31-14, Nesbitt completed a 50-yard pass to Anthony Allen before his scoring pass to Melton capped a drive that covered 90 yards in three plays.

Tarrant's interception gave Georgia Tech hope, but the Yellow Jackets couldn't stop the Wolfpack.

Asa Watson blocked a punt, Williams picked up the loose ball and scored from the 1 to give N.C. State a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter.

The Wolfpack needed an official review to score their second touchdown. Leading 10-7 late in the first half, Wilson's pass to Howard at the back of the end zone was ruled an incomplete pass. The review with only 22 seconds remaining determined Howard had control of the ball with one foot in the end zone, giving N.C. State a 17-7 halftime lead.

Georgia Tech linebacker Brad Jefferson had the first two sacks of his career, including a hit on Wilson that ended the Wolfpack's first possession with a lost fumble. Logan Walls recovered the fumble for the Yellow Jackets, who couldn't take advantage of the break and punted after gaining 3 yards on three plays.

N.C. State also failed to take advantage of its first break. Linebacker Terrell Manning recovered a fumbled pitch from Nesbitt to Anthony Allen, but Josh Czajkowski missed a 31-yard field goal attempt.

Czajkowski made a 35-yarder early in the second quarter but missed another 31-yarder after Allen's second lost fumble.

Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford left the game in the first quarter with an injury to his lower right leg. He did not return.

Christian Ponder shines while Seminoles defense bullies Demon Deacons

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Christian Ponder threw for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Willie Haulstead and Florida State's defense recorded its first shutout in more than two years as the Seminoles defeated Wake Forest 31-0 Saturday.

Florida State (3-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 10-0 at halftime in a game delayed 42 minutes by lightning.

The Seminoles, who led the nation with 13 sacks entering the game, added six more while holding an opponent to fewer than 200 yards offense for the second straight week.

Ponder, who was off to a slow start this season, completed 24 of 37 passes, exceeding 200 yards for the first time this season. He also ran for a touchdown.

Wake Forest (2-2, 1-1) came into the game averaging 43.7 points, but giving up 43 points a game.

Haulstead scored his first two career touchdowns on plays covering 10 and 4 yards.

Florida State's final touchdown came on a 23-yard pass from EJ Manuel to freshman Kenny Shaw with 1:04 left in the game.

Florida State rolled up 485 yards offense and limited Wake Forest to 185. Last week the Seminoles held BYU to 191 yards offense in a 34-10 win.

It was a particularly sweet victory for the Seminoles, who were embarrassed in Wake Forest's previous two visits to Tallahassee, outscoring the Seminoles 42-3.

The Demon Deacons routed Florida State 30-0 in 2006 on their way to an ACC title that year, giving iconic coach Bobby Bowden his first shutout loss at home in 30 years.

And in 2008, Wake Forest kept the Seminoles out of the end zone again in a 12-3 win — the Demon Deacons' third straight in the series.

But this time it was all Florida State on a sweltering afternoon, the game closely following the script of Florida State's 34-10 win last week over BYU with the Seminoles taking command in the second half.

Ponder ran 6 yards on a keeper to score with 8:34 left in the third quarter. That put the Seminoles up 17-0, and Ponder's second TD throw to Haulstead made it a 24-0 game midway through the fourth quarter.

Haulstead's first touchdown reception 1:38 into the second quarter gave the Seminoles a 7-0 lead and Dustin Hopkins tacked on a 34-yard field goal with 5:28 left in the period to give Florida State its 10-0 halftime lead.

Florida State had threatened to score in the first quarter, but Ponder fumbled at the Wake Forest 4 when he was sacked by the Demon Deacons' Joey Ehrmann.

Florida State's last shutout was a 62-0 win over Western Carolina in 2008. The Seminoles' last ACC shutout was a 33-0 win over Virginia in 2006.

Florida State has now won two straight over Wake Forest after snapping a three-game losing streak last year with a 41-28 win behind Manuel, who had replaced an injured Ponder.

Buccaneers off to 2-0 start as Panthers pull QB Moore for Clausen

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked poised and mature, nothing like that bumbling, youthful team from a year ago that started 0-7.

The Carolina Panthers played that role in a performance so inept they might be ready to truly start over with their own rookie quarterback, Jimmy Clausen.

Returning to the site of the worst game in his brief pro career, Freeman threw for 178 yards and two touchdown passes in Tampa Bay's 20-7 win on Sunday that produced a full-blown quarterback controversy for Carolina and gave the Buccaneers their first 2-0 start in five years.

"We're not really worried about what people are saying," said Freeman who took over last year as a rookie in Tampa Bay's 3-13 season. "It's a great feeling."

Nine months removed from his five-interception nightmare against Carolina, Freeman and the Bucs were turnover-free. The miscues were made by the Panthers (0-2), who couldn't move the ball as Matt Moore had two more turnovers and was benched for Clausen in the fourth quarter.

Coach John Fox said it's "way too early" to say who will start at quarterback next week against Cincinnati, with Carolina in danger of its second straight 0-3 start with Fox in the final year of his contract.

"Matt has not been benched by any stretch," Fox said. "We'll go with whoever gives us the best chance to win next week and that will take some time."

Moore, who has committed six turnovers and produced two touchdowns in two games, said he can't "put my finger on" what's gone wrong after he threw eight TD passes and one interception in a 4-1 finish last season that earned Jake Delhomme a ticket out of town.

"I don't know what the biggest difference is," said Moore, who was booed in the first quarter, had trouble finding receivers and completed just 6 of 16 passes for 125 yards. It included a 37-yard TD to Steve Smith, Carolina's only reliable receiver.

Clausen completed that many passes on his first drive, but it ended with Jonathan Stewart stuffed shy of the goal line with Carolina trailing 20-7. Clausen was later picked off by Aqib Talib, in his first game back from suspension, and finished 7 of 13 for 59 yards.

"We just have to keep getting better," Clausen said.

The sturdy, elusive, 6-foot-6 Freeman has done just that despite still recovering from a broken right thumb. He threw touchdown passes to Earnest Graham and rookie Mike Williams, and also scrambled for 43 yards on four carries for the Bucs, whose rebuilding process may be ahead of schedule.

After beating Cleveland with a solid second-half defensive effort in Week 1, Tampa Bay held Carolina's running game in check by daring Moore to throw.

"They don't have a lot in the way of threats over there at wide receiver," said cornerback Ronde Barber, who had an interception.

Freeman, who last season led Tampa Bay inside the Carolina 30 eight times but produced just six points, showed his versatility early in staking the Bucs to a 7-0 lead. After his 17-yard scramble on third-and-11, Freeman found an open Graham in the flat for a 14-yard touchdown.

Freeman was even more impressive on Tampa Bay's second TD. He eluded a sack twice on third-and-long, then threw a bullet to Kellen Winslow, playing despite a sore knee, for a 40-yard gain. On the next play, he threw a 35-yard, catch-and-run TD to Williams to put Tampa Bay ahead 14-7 midway through the second quarter.

That would be all the Bucs would need in a matchup of the NFL's youngest teams.

It didn't take long for the crowd, sitting in 90-degree heat, to grow restless with Moore. Clausen, the second-round pick and former Notre Dame star, trotted on the field with 10:03 left to loud cheers one possession after Moore fumbled on a sack.

"To be honest, I really wasn't paying attention," Clausen said of the crowd reaction.

The Bucs, who had allowed 299, 267 and 157 yards rushing to Carolina in the previous three meetings limited DeAngelo Williams (54 yards) and Stewart (43 yards) to mediocre performances.

"We've just got a bunch of guys that don't care what people think about them," Barber said. "We're young, we know we're young and that nobody has any expectations for us. [Coach] Raheem [Morris] has done a great job of preaching what this team is and what our identity is going to be."

Game notes
The Panthers went 2 for 3 on fourth-down conversions. … Panthers rookie WR David Gettis got the start ahead of Dwayne Jarrett with Brandon LaFell (hamstring) sidelined. … Bucs WR Micheal Spurlock threw an incomplete pass that was nearly intercepted on a first-quarter trick play. … Jeremy Zuttah rotated some with Bucs LG Keydrick Vincent.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

Virginia Tech climbs out of 10-point hole to beat ECU

Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. — David Wilson ran for two touchdowns and Darren Evans added a rushing score to lead Virginia Tech to a 49-27 win over East Carolina on Saturday.

Virginia Tech (1-2) rallied from a 10-0 deficit, scoring 28 unanswered points in the second half.

The Hokies won their first game of the season despite losing standout tailback Ryan Williams, a redshirt sophomore who broke Tech's single-season rushing record last season (1,655 yards). Williams injured his right hamstring with 7:24 left in the first half and did not return.

Virginia Tech trailed 27-21 in the third quarter, but they took the lead when Wilson scored on a 3-yard run with 4:34 left in the quarter. The Hokies' defense then held the Pirates (2-1) on the ensuing possession.

Wilson, a sophomore, scored on an 8-yard run with 29 seconds remaining in the quarter to give Tech a 35-27 lead.

The Hokies put the game away on East Carolina's next possession when cornerback Rashad Carmichael intercepted a Dominique Davis pass and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown.

Carmichael's second interception — the Hokies' first two interceptions of the season — set up Tech's final score. Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin for a 69-yard touchdown with 13:22 left in the game that gave the Hokies a 49-27 lead.

Wilson rushed for 89 yards on 12 carries, while Evans finished with 91 yards on 10 carries. Taylor completed 8 of 16 for 199 yards and two touchdowns, and Boykin had 118 yards receiving.

East Carolina was led by Davis, who completed 30 of 44 for 251 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Pirates, who were looking to go 3-0 for the second time since 1999, scored on five of their first six possessions in the game, but Tech's defense held ECU to just three points and 83 total yards in the second half.

Georgia Tech / North Carolina Preview

Georgia Tech (1-1) at North Carolina (0-1)

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 18th, 12:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Kenan Stadium (60,000) — Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Television: Raycom/ACC Network. Home Record: Georgia Tech 1-0, UNC 0-0. Away Record: Georgia Tech 0-1, UNC 0-0. Neutral Record: Georgia Tech 0-0, UNC 0-1. Conference Record: Georgia Tech 0-0, UNC 0-0. Series Record: Georgia Tech leads, 24-18-3.

GAME NOTES: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets begin defense of their ACC title, as they travel to Chapel Hill this weekend to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets would like nothing better than to get out to a fast start in league play, but must shake off last week's stunning 28-25 setback at Kansas. The loss dropped Tech out of the top-25 and leaves the team with questions, considering the Jayhawks' poor play in their season-opener.

Butch Davis also must rally the troops following a season-opening loss to LSU. The 30-24 setback to the Tigers was particularly disappointing considering that Davis was forced to use a skeleton crew due to numerous suspensions to begin the year.

Georgia Tech holds a 24-18-3 advantage in the all-time series and has won four of the last five meetings, including a 24-7 decision in Atlanta last year.

After two games, the Yellow Jackets are putting up 33.0 ppg. However, the offense is one-dimensional, with 331.5 yards of its total 395.5 coming on the ground. A number of players have the ability to move the chains for Tech, but it is QB Joshua Nesbitt that poses the biggest threat to defenses. Nesbitt is averaging 5.3 yards per carry in the early going and is responsible for five of the team's eight rushing scores to date. Tailbacks Anthony Allen (6.9 ypc) and Roddy Jones (7.5 ypc, two TDs) provide more than enough depth in the backfield. The real problem for this offense is the lack of a passing game. In years past Tech was able to overcome their run-heavy offense with the threat of a passing game. However, standout WRs like Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas are long gone and there doesn't seem to be a go-to-guy on the outside any more.

Tech's defense has already had its ups and downs this season and while the team has been stellar against the pass (136.5 ypg), the run defense (159.5 ypg) has been lacking. The squad has been very active, with eight defenders already in double digits in tackles, led by freshman safety Isaiah Johnson's 15. Sophomore end Izaan Cross (13 tackles, 2.5 TFLs) and junior linebacker Steven Sylvester (12 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks) have made plays as well. This defense will need its veteran leaders to step up in conference play if Tech is to make a real bid at a second straight league title. The likely candidates are senior cornerback Mario Butler (12 tackles) and senior linebacker Brad Jefferson (12 tackles, 1.5 TFLs).

The North Carolina offense was missing its top two tailbacks and its top wide receiver in the opener against LSU, but still managed to put up 436 yards of offense. Quarterback T.J. Yates was outstanding in defeat, completing 28-of-46 passes for 412 yards and three TDs. Although wideout Greg Little was not in uniform, youngster Jheranie Boyd picked up the slack, hauling in six balls, for 221 yards and one score. Tight end Zack Pianalto also had a big game, with eight receptions, for 74 yards. The ground game managed just 11 yards, but the hope is that the return of veteran tailback Shaun Draughn, who was reinstated this week, will improve the ground game.

The North Carolina defense is one of the scariest units in the country, but that was not apparent in the loss to LSU, as the Tigers rumbled for 162 yards on the ground. Of course, UNC's lack of production on this side of the football had a lot to do with the fact that at least four All-American candidates were missing from the lineup due to suspensions. Although standout LBs Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter played in the opener, they are both questionable for this contest (disciplinary reasons). Without the likes of star end Robert Quinn and star tackle Marvin Austin up front last week, North Carolina struggled to end LSU drives early. Quinn is questionable for this week, while Austin is suspended indefinitely. In addition, the absence of players like Kendric Burney, Charles Brown and Deunta Williams further crippled the UNC defense. All three are listed as questionable this weekend.

Both teams figure to be players in the ACC's Coastal Division this year. Tech is a one-trick pony on offense and while the Yellow Jackets will get their yards, UNC's passing game will counter. Go with the hometown Tar Heels in this one, with or without their star power on defense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 23, Georgia Tech 20

#1 Alabama set to face Duke

 
 
STATS LLC

While recovering from knee surgery, Mark Ingram has watched a pair of impressive games from his Alabama teammates. The school's only Heisman Trophy winner might play a part in the next one.

Ingram and defensive end Marcell Dareus are expected to return when the top-ranked Crimson Tide make their first trip to Duke on Saturday.

On Monday, Ingram took part in his first practice since undergoing surgery on his left knee Aug. 31, and he appears ready to return after a two-game absence. The junior running back injured his knee five days before a 48-3 season-opening win over San Jose State on Sept. 4.

In his place, Trent Richardson has rushed for 210 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore had a career-best 144 yards and one score in last Saturday's 24-3 home victory over then-No. 18 Penn State.

Greg McElroy threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense held the Nittany Lions scoreless until there was 9:47 remaining.

The Crimson Tide (2-0) are ranked in the top 20 nationally in total offense and defense, having allowed the fewest points in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Those rankings could get better with the additions of Ingram, who rushed for 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns last year to help Alabama win its 13th national title, and Dareus, the defensive MVP of last year's BCS championship game.

Dareus, who had a team-best 6 1/2 sacks last season and returned an interception for a touchdown in the title game win over Texas, was suspended two games by the NCAA for accepting nearly $2,000 in improper benefits from an agent on two trips to Miami. The school chose not to appeal the suspension in time for last week's matchup with Penn State.

"We're hopeful that those guys will be able to contribute in a very positive way and make us better," coach Nick Saban said. "That's our expectation and there is no reason for us to think any differently based on their attitude, how they've worked or what they've done to this point to be ready to be able to play."

Saban will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline when he faces Duke for the first time as Alabama's coach. Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe led SEC rival Mississippi when Saban was at LSU.

Inheriting a program that won a combined 10 games in its previous eight seasons, Cutcliffe has guided Duke to a 10-16 mark since taking over in 2008. Last year, he nearly led the Blue Devils to their first non-losing season since 1994 with a 5-7 finish.

Duke was 101st in yards per game and 100th in scoring after the former Tennessee offensive coordinator's first season, but enters this game ranked ninth (514.5 yards per game) and 15th (44.5 points per game) in those categories.

The Blue Devils (1-1) opened with a 41-27 victory over Elon but lost the second highest-scoring game in ACC history last Saturday, 54-48 to Wake Forest.

Duke's Sean Renfree threw for four touchdowns and a career-high 358 yards, including 181 to Conner Vernon, and Desmond Scott ran for a career-best 122. However, the Blue Devils never led after the first quarter and let the Demon Deacons rack up 500 yards.

"We just kept fighting. As many problems as we were having defensively, our kids never shut down. There is a lot to that and that is encouraging," Cutcliffe said. "We don't expect anyone to give up on this young team because it can do some special things."

Duke is 0-10 all-time against No. 1 teams.

Alabama leads the series 2-1 and won the previous meeting 30-14 in Tuscaloosa in 2006. Duke's only win came in the 1945 Sugar Bowl.

Backup QB Tanner Price helps Wake Forest outscore Duke

Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Backup quarterback Tanner Price threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, and Wake Forest held off Duke 54-48 on Saturday for its 11th straight victory in the series.

Price was 12 of 19 for 190 yards with scoring passes covering 13, 38 and 23 yards and an early 1-yard scoring run for the Demon Deacons (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Wake Forest posted the first consecutive 50-point games in school history, outgained the Blue Devils 500-487 and won the second highest-scoring game in ACC history. During an early 5-minute stretch, the teams combined for three touchdowns of at least 60 yards.

Sean Renfree was 28 of 44 for 358 yards with four touchdowns for Duke (1-1, 0-1). Conner Vernon caught two of those, covering 70 and 51 yards.

Renfree's second scoring pass to Vernon made it a six-point game with 1:39 remaining, but Marshall Williams recovered the ensuing onside kick.

Renfree had touchdowns covering 9 yards to Cooper Helfet and 13 yards to Austin Kelly. Vernon finished with eight catches for 181 yards — his second straight 100-yard game — and Desmond Scott rushed for 122 yards including a 63-yard score.

Will Snyderwine kicked field goals covering 46 and 38 yards for the Blue Devils, with the second pulling them to 48-41 with 8:45 remaining.

Price then led them on a 13-play, 79-yard drive that chewed up nearly 6 minutes and ended with Devon Brown's 6-yard touchdown run.

Price, who played the entire second half after sharing time in the first with Ted Stachitas, put the Demon Deacons ahead to stay midway through the third quarter.

He found a wide-open Williams streaking down the right sideline from 38 yards out to make it 41-35. Earlier, those two hooked up from 13 yards out during a school-record-tying 28-point second quarter for Wake Forest. Price threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Danny Dembry on the fourth play of the fourth quarter to make it 48-38.

Stachitas had an early 23-yard touchdown run for the Demon Deacons. Williams caught two touchdown passes and threw another on a gadget play and Chris Givens had two TDs — one catch, one return of a fumbled long snap on a punt. Givens finished with four catches for 159 yards.

Most of Wake Forest's previous five wins in Winston-Salem were tight affairs that weren't decided until the final moments.

This one was destined for that kind of finish, and the tone was set during a wild first half in which the teams combined for 604 total yards and midway through the second quarter, there were touchdowns scored on three consecutive snaps.

Renfree's long strike to Vernon came one play after Price's scoring sneak put the Demon Deacons up by seven. That 21-all tie didn't last long: Williams took a pitch on an end-around and found Givens wide open behind the Blue Devils' secondary for an 81-yard score — the longest by Wake Forest in stadium history.

Then came more wackiness. After Price's first scoring pass to Marshall put Wake Forest up 35-21, Scott had a 63-yard touchdown run. Renfree's touchdown pass to Kelly came 41 seconds before the break and made it a 35-all game at the half.

Va. Tech suffers 2nd loss in 6 days as James Madison pulls off upset

Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Two games into the season, and No. 13 Virginia Tech can already forget the national championship talk that prevailed throughout their preseason camp.

These Hokies can't even beat an FBS powerhouse, losing 21-16 to James Madison on Saturday. It was their second consecutive performance dominated not by a powerhouse offense, a stout defense or game-changing special teams, but by mistakes, missed tackles and disappointment.

*************************************************************************************
"I don't know what's going on," tailback Ryan Williams said. "I really don't."

Drew Dudzik ran for two touchdowns and threw for another for the Dukes (2-0), a top team in the Football Championship Subdivision, but only the second from a lower tier to beat Virginia Tech. Richmond, also in the FCS, beat the Hokies 24-14 at Lane Stadium in 1985.

Virginia Tech is the second ranked team to lose to a lower division team. The first was No. 5 Michigan, which fell 34-32 to I-AA Appalachian State on Sept. 1, 2007.

Dudzik called it the biggest victory in school history, and coach Mickey Matthews agreed, a remarkable thought because Matthews led the Dukes to the 2004 FCS national championship.

"This is the biggest win of my professional career," he said.

And it happened with Tech looking too much like the mistake-prone team that lost just six days earlier 33-30, when No. 3 Boise State scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:09 left.

The Dukes needed no such late-game heroics, hanging onto the ball for the last 5:23 to finish off the Hokies. Jones and his teammates streamed onto the field to celebrate.

"It was like a dream come true when the clock hit zero," Jones said. "It was like, `Oh my God, we did it!"

Dudzik attempted just eight passes, but completed five for 121 yards, including three huge third-down conversions in the second half. The Hokies also helped on both of the Dukes' second-half scoring drives with 15-yard personal fouls for tackling players out of bounds.

Tackling was more of a problem for the Hokies on one play in the first half.

Facing a third-and-17 from his 23, Dudzik hit Jamal Sullivan with a swing pass going left, and the tailback went 77 yards down the sideline, breaking several tackles for the touchdown. Last week, Boise State had a 71-yard touchdown, also on the third-down play.

"We need to block better and we need to tackle better," Frank Beamer said after his team's first home loss in 33 games against a non-league opponent. "Execute. We need to execute."

Dudzik also ran 12 times for 35 yards, and went in virtually untouched on TD runs of 7 and 12 yards. The latter came with 13:45 remaining, and while Virginia Tech drove deep into Dukes territory twice thereafter, the first drive ended when Tyrod Taylor's fourth-down pass to Jarrett Boykin in the end zone was broken up by Leavander Jones. Darren Evans fumbled it away at the Dukes 19 on the next series, and James Madison ran out the last 5:23.

"Mistakes," Williams said. "Mistakes are killing us."

Taylor also fumbled once and threw a second-half interception.

The Hokies (0-2) began the season expecting their loaded offense to be their strength, but with the offensive line again having trouble creating holes for the running backs, the unit did less against the Dukes than it had done against Boise State on Monday night.

After scoring a touchdown on their opening possession, the Hokies made five trips inside the Dukes 25 and came away with three field goals by Chris Hazley and nothing else.

Their highlight came very early as Taylor drove them 94 yards in 17 plays, capped by his 9-yard TD pass to Boykin. Taylor had an 18-yard scramble on third-and-6 in the drive.