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Tech thunders past Herd / September 14, 2009
By Joshua Parcell
Special to the News & Record

The Virginia Tech Hokies finally found a potent offense Saturday against the Marshall Thundering Herd, and it came in the form of Ryan Williams.

The redshirt freshman running back stole the show, carrying the ball 16 times for 164 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 52-10 victory.

It was the first time since facing Akron in 1995 that the Hokies rushed for 400 yards as a team.

“Both Ryan and David stepped up today, and we’re very proud of them,” said Billy Hite, the Hokies’ running back coach.

No. 14 Tech got off to a slow start, with its first two offensive drives resulting in a punt and a Tyrod Taylor interception.

After a questionable performance from offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring’s group last week against Alabama, it looked as if the Hokies would struggle again.

Enter Williams.

On the Hokies’ third possession, the young running back took the handoff on the first play and scampered 57 yards for the touchdown.

That was when the onslaught began. Williams found the end zone twice more in the first half, and had 139 yards rushing at halftime.

Taylor recovered from the sluggish start to finish with nine-of-16 passing for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

“I just kept playing, stayed poised in the pocket, and let the game come to me,” Taylor said.

The Hokies also were aided by true freshman Jayron Hosley, who returned a second-quarter punt 64 yards to paydirt.

“He just (returns punts) so naturally. He’s been doing it for a long time and he is really good at it,” head coach Frank Beamer said.

It was the second straight game the Hokies scored a touchdown on special teams; Dyrell Roberts took a kickoff back 98 yards for a score against the Crimson Tide.

Marshall never really found its rhythm on offense. Quarterback Brian Anderson looked uncomfortable for much of the game, finishing 15-31 for 116 yards.

Thundering Herd running back Darius Marshall made some big plays to highlight the game for the road team. With ten minutes remaining in the second quarter, Marshall broke several tackles for a 61-yard touchdown run.

Marshall finished the game with 126 yards on 28 rushes.

Tech scored as many points in the first half, 35, as they did in any one game last season.

“We really needed this big victory,” Beamer said.

Besides Williams, the rest of his backfield counterparts made a statement that they can make some plays, too.

David Wilson, a true freshman, carried the ball 12 times for 165 yards, including a 51-yard run in the third quarter, and a 36-yard touchdown run with nine minutes to play in the game.

“It was a real thrill after the first carry,” Wilson said, “I liked hearing the fans yelling for me just because I had the ball.”

Josh Oglesby, the veteran in the youthful bunch of tailbacks, carried the ball 12 times for 60 yards. Although he didn’t break open as many long runs as the other backs, Oglesby looked strong when he carried the ball.

Besides Marshall’s long touchdown run in the second quarter Bud Foster’s defense looked stout, allowing only 252 total yards, with much of that coming late in the game.

The strong all-around performance from Beamer’s squad comes at the right time, as the Hokies’next two games are against Big 12 strongman Nebraska and Miami, which should present a formidable challenge.

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