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West Virginia Is Surprised by Virginia Tech

October 08, 1989|Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Virginia Tech freshman Mickey Thomas had only one thing on his mind as he kicked four field goals to lead the Hokies to a 12-10 upset of No. 9 West Virginia Saturday.

"All we wanted to do is score, no matter if it's a field goal or what," Thomas said. "I just said to myself, 'I can do it, I can do it.' It was tough out there with the wind."

West Virginia (4-1-1) dropped its first regular-season game since a 32-31 loss to Syracuse in the final game of the 1987 season.

Virginia Tech (3-1-1) won its first game at Morgantown since 1967.

Said Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer: "What makes this thing so enjoyable is we beat a great football team. We had things under control in the first half, came out in the third quarter with the wind against us and they take the lead, then we hang tough and win it like good football teams do."

Virginia Tech quarterback Cam Young completed 15 of 22 passes for 167 yards in his first start for the Hokies. Young replaced starting quarterback Will Furrer, who injured a knee in a game against Temple two weeks ago.

"This is by far my best game ever," Young said. "I'm short for words. Our game plan was excellent. We executed it exactly."

The Hokies' defense, ranked third in the nation coming into the game, held the Mountaineers to 84 yards rushing. The Mountaineers were averaging 243.6 yards rushing, 12th best in the nation.

Mountaineer quarterback Major Harris completed 10 of 20 passes for 101 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Harris, sacked three times, was the Mountaineers' leading rusher with 22 yards.

"It's just like basketball, I just couldn't get into the rhythm today," said Harris, who came into the game ranked second nationally in passing efficiency.

"Last week we tied (No. 8 Pittsburgh), this week we lose. We just weren't making the plays."

Virginia Tech's defense had given up 195 yards a game in its first four games. The Hokies allowed 185 against West Virginia.

West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen said: "I know this, we certainly were a flat team. They just beat us. It's that simple. We didn't block, we didn't play and we didn't tackle."

Thomas, one of only two straight-on kickers in NCAA Division I-A, kicked three field goals in the opening two quarters to give the Hokies a 9-0 halftime lead.

It was the second time this season that the Mountaineers were shut out in the first half. The first was in a 14-10 victory over Maryland.

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