Virginia Tech 45, Syracuse 24
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ Maurice DeShazo threw two touchdown passes to tight end John Burke and Dwayne Thomas ran for 163 yards and a touchdown as Virginia Tech defeated Syracuse 45-24 in a Big East game Saturday.
Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-3 Big East) capitalized on four turnovers by Syracuse (5-4-1, 2-4) by scoring three touchdowns and a field goal and appeared to wrap up its first bowl bid in seven seasons under coach Frank Beamer.
During the last six minutes of the first quarter, Virginia Tech scored three touchdowns, blocked a punt, sacked Syracuse quarterback Marvin Graves twice and intercepted him twice.
Virginia Tech went ahead 7-0 on Dwayne Thomas’ 1-yard TD run. Torrian Gray grabbed the first of his two interceptions and DeShazo found Burke in the front corner of the end zone for a 23-yard TD pass.
Virginia Tech reserve Okesa Smith recovered a blocked punt at the Syracuse 7, and fullback Brian Edmonds carried it in on the next play to put the Hokies ahead 21-0.
After a Virginia Tech field goal, Jeyson Wilson returned the kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown to make the score 24-7 with 12:33 left in the second quarter.
The Orangemen added a field goal before halftime, but Virginia Tech scored twice in the first four minutes of the third quarter. After a 28-yard TD pass from DeShazo to Burke, linebacker DeWayne Knight picked up Graves’ fumble and ran it 23 yards into the end zone to put the Hokies ahead 38-10.
Graves threw two TD passes in the second half, the second with a minute to play, but by then Virginia Tech’s victory was ensured.
With 1,041 yards rushing, Thomas became the first running back to go over 1,000 yards in a season since Maurice Williams gained 1,029 yards in 1986.