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Nov. 27, 2010
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -Once again, Virginia Tech showed it's the best team in the state.
Ryan Williams ran for two touchdowns and No. 13 Virginia Tech won its 10th consecutive game and seventh in a row over Virginia, 37-7, on Saturday.
Tyrod Taylor threw for 176 yards and a touchdown and became the career passing yardage leader for the Hokies (10-2, 8-0 ACC). Virginia Tech also became the first team to finish the regular season unbeaten in Atlantic Coast Conference play since Florida State in 2000.
The Hokies will meet either the Seminoles or North Carolina State in next weekend's ACC championship game in Charlotte, N.C. It will be Tech's fourth appearance in six years.
The game ended a difficult first season under coach Mike London for Virginia (4-8, 1-7). The Cavaliers lost their final four games and have now lost 13 straight games in November.
In his effort to rebuild the Virginia program, London would do well to improve his team's fortunes against the Hokies. Virginia Tech has now won 14 of the last 18 matchups and 11 of the last 12; the dominance has given coach Frank Beamer's team a huge recruiting edge.
Leading 17-0, the Hokies put the game away on their opening drive of the second half. Tyrod Taylor hit Jarrett Boykin for 24 yards on the first play, then for 11. Ryan Williams took it the last 15, carrying linebacker LaRoy Reynolds for 5 yards and into the end zone for a 24-0 lead.
As Virginia's defense grew weary, Darren Evans then led an 88-yard, 11-play drive capped by his 6-yard scoring run with 3:51 left in the third quarter. A 2-yard run by David Wilson with 4:53 to go in the game made it 37-0.
Virginia backup quarterback Ross Metheny's 11-yard scoring pass to Keith Payne prevented the shutout with 2:59 to play. It was Payne's ACC-high 16th touchdown of the season.
Taylor needed 153 yards to pass Bryan Randall (2001-04) as Virginia Tech's career passing yardage leader and got that in the third quarter. He now has 6,532 yards; Randall had 6,508.
Taylor's first-half TD pass to Wilson was his 20th scoring pass this year.
The matchup that figured to be critical - Virginia's 106th-ranked rushing defense against the Hokies 18th-ranked rushing offense - had little bearing in the first 30 minutes. The Hokies managed just 37 rushing yards in the half, and Taylor had 19 of them on three runs.
The Cavaliers held Virginia Tech without a first down over three possessions in the first quarter, but Eddie Whitley's interception of Marc Verica on the second play of the second quarter set the Hokies up for a touchdown before they had a first down. Whitley returned the pick 19 yards to the Virginia 5 and Williams scored on the next play.
A heads-up play by Bruce Taylor and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow on a fake punt near midfield on the Cavaliers' next series set up Virginia Tech again.
On the fake, Cavaliers punter Jimmy Howell rolled right as if he would kick a rugby-style punt, then threw to Colter Phillips needing 2 yards for the first down. Phillips got 1 before Taylor and Gouveia-Winslow stopped his progress cold, allowing the Hokies to take over.
Three plays, including a 15-yard pass interference call against Chase Minnifield, moved the ball to the 20, and Taylor hit Wilson with a swing pass that he took down the right sideline, finally lunging with the ball in front of him to reach the end zone.
Chris Hazley's school-record 19th consecutive field goal, from 40 yards, came 22 seconds before halftime, giving the Hokies a 17-0 cushion at the break.