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AROUND THE NATION | GATOR BOWL

Virginia Tech Ends on High Note, 35-24

January 03, 2006|From the Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Virginia Tech had a much better experience in the River City this time around.

Marcus Vick threw two touchdown passes, Cedric Humes ran for 113 yards and a score and No. 12 Virginia Tech rallied to beat 15th-ranked Louisville, 35-24, in the Gator Bowl on Monday.

The Hokies overcame numerous penalties, the absence of a key offensive lineman and the ejection of a defensive leader to rebound from a surprising loss to Florida State on the same field in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game a month ago.

Tech (11-2) scored on three consecutive possessions in the second half, turning a 17-10 deficit into a 28-24 lead. James Anderson sealed the victory when he intercepted Hunter Cantwell's pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown with just over 5 minutes to play.

Vick made several plays while directing the comeback, which ended a five-game winning streak for Louisville (9-3).

He completed a 54-yard pass to David Clowney, then Cedric Humes scored on the next play from 24 yards. The Hokies made the two-point conversion when Vick scrambled right and laced a pass to Josh Morgan, cutting the lead to 24-21.

Chris Ellis sacked Cantwell on the ensuing drive and knocked the ball loose. Anderson recovered near midfield, and Vick did the rest. He threw two deep passes that might have been caught if not for pass interference penalties. He completed another sharp throw to Clowney to set up a first and goal. Two plays later, he found Jeff King for the go-ahead score.

Vick finished 11 for 21 for 203 yards. He also ran 13 times for 10 yards.

But Vick found himself engulfed in controversy after the game because he stepped on the back of NCAA sack leader Elvis Dumervil's leg just before halftime. Vick wasn't penalized, but it looked intentional on television replays.

"It was an accident," Vick said.

Tech senior cornerback Jimmy Williams also was ejected for bumping an official in the first quarter after an extra point.

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