No. 13 Virginia Tech downs Arkansas State
Blacksburg, VA – Logan Thomas threw for 292 yards and a pair 7 victory over Arkansas State at Lane Stadium.
David Wilson contributed 88 yards and a rushing score for the Hokies (3-0), who host Marshall next week before opening up their ACC schedule against Clemson two weeks from today.
Danny Coale paced the receiving corps with 128 yards and a TD on seven receptions and D.J. Coles notched 61 yards and a score on a pair of catches.
"I think we're a team that just has to keep learning from games and keep getting better," Virgnia Tech head coach Frank Beamer admitted. "I think we've got the foundation of a good team, but we���re certainly not there yet."
Ryan Aplin finished 16-of-36 for 205 yards and a pair of interceptions, adding 29 rushing yards and the lone touchdown for the Red Wolves (1-2), who welcome Central Arkansas next Saturday.
Down 7-0 in the first quarter, Virginia Tech's defense swung the momentum of the game with a key stop.
On a 2nd-and-7 from his own four-yard line, Aplin was brought down into the end zone for a safety, then the Hokies were set up on their own 38 following a 22-yard kick return from Tony Gregory. Thomas hit Coles on a screen on 1st-and-10 just across midfield, and the speedy wideout hit the end zone 49 yards later to make it 9-7.
It was 16-7 for the Hokies before the end of the quarter on a four-yard TD pass from Thomas to Coale, and Wilson posted a three-yard scamper in the second quarter.
ASU's Brian Davis missed a 30-yard attempt on the second-to-last play of the half and the visitors trailed 23-7 at intermission.
Cody Journell converted a 26-yard field goal with 9:49 remaining in the third quarter to cap the scoring, and the Hokies defense held the lead from there.
Aplin was picked off by Jayron Hosley inside the red zone on ASU's ensuing possession, then Frankie Jackson was stuffed for a loss after a catch during a 4th-and-3 from the Tech 38 in the fourth quarter.
ASU's final series was stunted when Derek Lawson gained one yard on a 4th- and-2 from the Wolves' 35.
"We wanted to get back to that dominant defense," Hosley said. "The first half, we were shaky at the start but we came back and played a great game. The defense fought hard, the front four came up big with three sacks, and the back end, we had to hold up our end."
Arkansas State converted its opening series of the contest, going 59 yards in just three plays and taking a 7-0 lead when Aplin took it in from the five.
The visitors' defense refused to budge Virginia Tech's ensuing series, as Thomas' 4th-and-goal pass from the one fell incomplete.
Virginia Tech has won all four meetings, including a 63-7 rout in 2002...Aplin was sacked three times...Arkansas State was held to 64 rushing yards...The Hokies enjoyed a 427-269 advantage in total offense...Virginia Tech wideout Dyrell Roberts suffered a broken left arm on the opening kickoff and may miss the remainder of the season.