Top 25 Football: Virginia Tech 26, Arkansas State 7
BLACKSBURG, Va. ó Virginia Tech knew Arkansas State’s veteran defense would dare the Hokies to throw. When the Red Wolves never backed off on that approach, Logan Thomas made them pay.
Thomas threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and the No. 13 Hokies overcame an otherwise sluggish offensive performance for a 26-7 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday.
“We had a good day passing,” Thomas said after completing 21 of 33 attempts. His completions and yardage both exceeded his totals in the first two games combined.
“I think it shows what our offense can do if we do have the passing game moving,” he said.
Thomas, a redshirt sophomore, had help. He hit D.J. Coles with a short pass that Coles took 49 yards for a touchdown, sprung in part by a big block from fellow wide receiver Danny Coale.
“Danny made an excellent block on two players. I saw green and I just turned the corner and turned on the jets to the end zone,” Coles said of his first collegiate touchdown.
Coale, who hooked up with Thomas on receptions of 52 and 44 yards, caught a 4-yard scoring pass later in the first quarter as the Hokies improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006.
He finished with seven receptions for 128 yards.
Once again, the defense was key, as it has been for all three victories ó all against non-BCS competition. They entered Saturday’s game ranked eighth nationally, allowing just 202.5 yards per game and ended the Red Wolves’ string of 14 games with at least 300 yards. They finished with 269.
“We know we probably had to play our best game,” Arkansas State QB Ryan Aplin said after going 16 for 36 for 205 yards with two interceptions. “They had a really good defense, but we did not play well at all today.”
Arkansas State (1-2) came in averaging 480 yards but managed little after Aplin’s 51-yard pass to Taylor Stockemer on its first offensive play set up its only scoring drive. Consecutive keepers by Aplin covered the last eight yards, and the Red Wolves led 7-0 after just 3:01.
Apart from a drive to the Hokies’ 8 yard-line at the end of the half that ended with a missed field goal, that was pretty much all they mustered against the Hokies’ improving defense.
Aplin was sacked three times.
The Hokies’ offense looked shaky from the start.
By Ronnie Gallagher email@example.com SALISBURY ó Chip Hester was pleased with his defense in a 20-3 loss to Coastal Carolina... read more