JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Virginia Tech players danced around the field,
pausing for hugs, posing for photographs and praising their
come-from-behind victory. The Hokies 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 championship 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 5:04 to play.
Vick made several plays while directing the comeback, which snapped a
five-game winning streak for Louisville (9-3). He completed a 54-yard
pass to David Clowney, then Humes scored on the next play from 24 yards.
The Hokies made the 2-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 King for the go-ahead score.
Vick finished 11-of-21 for 203 yards. He also ran 13 times for 10 yards.
But Vick found himself engulfed in controversy following the game
because he stepped on the back of NCAA sack leader Elvis Dumervil's leg
just before halftime (video). Vick wasn't
penalized, but it looked intentional on television replays.
"It was an accident," Vick said.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said he sent Vick to Louisville's
locker room after the game to apologize, but Dumervil never emerged.
Senior cornerback Jimmy Williams also was ejected for bumping an
official in the first quarter following an extra point. The Hokies were
penalized two other times on the drive. Ellis was flagged 15 yards for
roughing the passer, then Noland Burchette was penalized 15 yards for
unsportsmanlike conduct after he celebrated a hard hit that left
Cantwell with a bloody nose.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said Cantwell may have broken his nose.
"Hunter gave a great effort," Petrino said. "He got hit probably harder
than he's ever been hit."
A freshman walk-on making his second start in place of Brian Brohm,
Cantwell played well early but looked overwhelmed against Tech's vaunted
defense late. He finished 15-of-37 for 216 yards with three touchdowns
but also was sacked four times and had four turnovers, three
interceptions and a fumble. Three of the turnovers came in the decisive
Update- January 6, 2006- Virginia Tech’s Marcus Vick will meet with his
mother and famous brother Saturday to discuss whether applying for the
NFL draft is his best option following his dismissal from the Virginia
Tech football team. Marcus Vick's Virginia Tech career ended with a
35-24 victory over Louisville in the Gator Bowl. Brenda Boddie, speaking
to The Associated Press by phone from her home, acknowledged that her
son "did the wrong thing" when he stomped on an opponent during the
LOU- Urrutia 11 yard pass from Cantwell (Carmody kick)
VT- FG Pace 36
LOU- Tinch 39 yard pass from Cantwell (Carmody kick)
VT- Harper 33 yard pass from Vick (Pace kick)
LOU- FG Carmody 35
VT- FG Pace 28
LOU- Barnidge 29 yard pass from Cantwell (Carmody kick)
VT- Humes 24 yard run (Morgan pass from Marcus Vick)
VT- King 5 yard pass from Vick (Pace kick)
VT- Anderson 39 yard interception return (Pace kick)
LOU- Bush 16-94, Cantwell 5-34, Smith 3-32
VT- Humes 22-113, Ore 11-56
LOU- Cantwell 15-37-216
VT- Vick 11-21-203
LOU- Urrutia 6-95, Tinch 3-55, Jones 3-22, Barnidge 1-29
VT- Clowney 2-69, Harper 2-62, King 3-27, Hyman 2-44