Virginia Tech Beats Arkansas State to Stay Undefeated
Sept. 17, 2011
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - Logan Thomas threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 13 Virginia Tech overcame a sluggish offensive performance for a 26-7 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday.
Thomas hit D.J. Coles with a short pass that Coles took 49 yards for a touchdown and found Danny Coale from 4 yards out as the Hokies improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006. Thomas was 21 for 33 and also threw two interceptions.
Arkansas State (1-2) came in averaging 480 yards but managed little after a 51-yard pass on its first offensive play set up its only scoring drive. The Red Wolves finished with 269 yards, ending their string of 14 consecutive games with at least 300 total yards.
Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin hit Taylor Stockemer with the long pass to the Hokies' 8 yard-line on the Red Wolves' first offensive play, and two runs by Aplin made it 7-0.
They threatened once more, driving to Virginia Tech's 8 late in the first half, but Brian Davis' 30-yard field goal try on fourth down from the 13 yard-line sailed wide right.
Aplin was 16 for 36 for 205 yards and was sacked three times.
The Hokies' offense struggled from the start.
After Thomas hit Jarrett Boykin for 10 yards on the first play from scrimmage, Thomas fumbled the snap on the next play. A 2-yard run and near interception forced a punt, and Scott Demler shanked it out of bounds to the left, a 22-yard kick.
Worse, receiver and kick returner Dyrell Roberts broke his left arm returning the opening kickoff but could choose to take a redshirt year and come back next season if he chooses.
On their next possession, the Hokies drove 83 yards, with Thomas running for 16 yards and then hitting Coale for 52, but couldn't punch it in after a first-and-goal at the 7.
On fourth down, Thomas' flip to fullback Martin Scales was underthrown and bobbled.
Two plays later, under pressure in the end zone, Arkansas State's Aplin threw the ball away. He was called for intentional grounding, giving Virginia Tech a safety. Five plays later, Thomas' swing pass that Coles took for a touchdown made it 9-7, and his 4-yarder to Coale - after also hitting Coale for 44 yards earlier in the drive - made it 16-7 before the end of the first quarter.
Coale caught five passes for 112 yards in the first quarter and finished with seven for 128.
David Wilson added the Hokies' final touchdown on a 3-yard run in the second quarter, and Cody Journell kicked a 31-yard field goal and missed from 40 yards for the Hokies.