Virginia Tech 1999 game by game
Game 1: Sept. 4, 1999
Virginia Tech 47, James Madison 0
In short: The Hokies dominated Division I-AA JMU as redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Vick rushed for three touchdowns in his debut, and the Hokies accumulated 274 yards on the ground.
Key moment: As Vick leaped for the end zone on a second-quarter scramble, he was upended by JMU defenders and somersaulted into the end zone, landing awkwardly and painfully on his left ankle. If you ever wondered what 51,000 people gasping simultaneously sounds like, that was it.
Key player: Vick accounted for 164 yards rushing and passing and three scores in less than a half.
Their words: "I was scared to look down at my ankle at first. I thought there was probably about two or three bones sticking out. I just thank God it wasn't as severe as I thought it was." – Michael Vick
Game 2: Sept. 11, 1999
Virginia Tech 31, UAB 10
In short: Tech's defense held the Blazers to 63 total yards, helping the offense overcome five turnovers in Vick's absence. Vick sat out nursing an ankle sprain from the previous week.
Key moment: Tailback Andre Kendrick threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Andre Davis early in the fourth quarter on a halfback option pass, giving the Hokies breathing room in a game that was closer than it should have been.
Key player: Defensive end Corey Moore had three sacks, two other tackles-for-loss, four quarterback hurries, one pass deflection and six total tackles.
Their words: "I'm an authority on Virginia Tech and I've had all I want. I've had enough. Their defense is just really, really good. They know what they're doing, they're so fast; they're out there with such confidence." – UAB coach Watson Brown, after his teams totaled 10 points in three games versus Tech
Game 3: Sept. 23, 1999
Virginia Tech 31, Clemson 11
In short: The Hokies broke open a close game in the fourth quarter with two defensive touchdowns in a 38-second span: Ike Charlton's interception return and Moore's fumble return.
Key moment: Moore strip-sacked Clemson QB Brandon Streeter, forcing a fumble. He picked it up himself and ran 32 yards for Tech's final score.
Key player: Moore scored a defensive touchdown with his strip-sack of Streeter and forced him to throw the interception that Charlton returned moments earlier.
Their words: "That's a No. 1 draft pick coming after you. Good players will themselves in the fourth quarter to make plays." – Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, talking about Moore
Game 4: Oct. 2, 1999
Virginia Tech 31, Virginia 7
In short: Tech jumped out to a 28-7 first-half lead in Charlottesville and went conservative on offense after Vick tweaked his ankle late in the second quarter. The Hokies limited All-ACC tailback Thomas Jones to 67 yards and sacked quarterback Dan Ellis six times.
Key moment: Vick hit Davis for a pretty 60-yard touchdown pass midway through the first quarter to begin the scoring.
Key player: Vick accounted for 252 yards of offense in the first half until he got injured.
Their words: "He had time back there to get a drink and wave up in the stands. He could have waved to his mom." – Moore, on the protection Vick had behind Tech's offensive line
Game 5: Oct. 9, 1999
Virginia Tech 58, Rutgers 20
In short: Tech scored on seven of eight first-half possessions in New Jersey and might have hit 100 had Frank Beamer not pulled the starters in the second half. The Hokies scored 35 points in the second quarter and led 49-14 at the half.
Key moment: First play from scrimmage, Vick and Davis hooked up for a 74-yard touchdown, and the rout was on.
Key player: Vick completed 11 of 12 passes for 248 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for another 68 yards and a score.
Their words: "I don't even think I had a game like that in high school." – Vick
Game 6: Oct. 16, 1999
Virginia Tech 62, Syracuse 0
In short: The fourth-ranked Hokies recorded the most lopsided shutout of a ranked team in history in front of a sellout crowd in Blacksburg. Offense, defense and special teams scored touchdowns, and Tech held No. 16 Syracuse to 120 yards offense.
Key moment: Rover Cory Bird picked a Quinton Spotwood fumble out of the air and returned it 26 yards for Tech's first score midway through the first quarter.
Key player: Tailback Shyrone Stith rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns.
Their words: "I'm convinced, I'm sold. I'm pretty sure we can go out there and play with anybody." – Tech wide receiver and punt returner Ricky Hall
Game 7: Oct. 30, 1999
Virginia Tech 30, Pittsburgh 17
In short: The Hokies rolled to a 27-7 halftime lead, then withstood Pitt's 427-yard passing attack against a depleted secondary. Tech rushed for 295 yards – Kendrick getting 162 – and recorded nine sacks and held the Panthers to minus-12 yards rushing.
Key moment: Vick ran 46 yards for a touchdown on an option play for the Hokies' first score.
Key player: Pitt quarterback David Priestly completed 28 of 46 passes for 407 yards, with freshman Antonio Bryant catching 13 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown.
Their words: "We've been in games like this in the past and probably came away with a loss. I think this kind of shows the maturity of our football team, and I'm really proud of the way they fought and played." – defensive coordinator Bud Foster
Game 8: Nov. 6, 1999
Virginia Tech 22, West Virginia 20
In short: Shayne Graham's 44-yard field goal at the gun preserved Tech's unbeaten season. The Hokies squandered a 19-7 lead late and needed a Vick-led drive in the waning seconds.
Key moment: Vick screamed 26 yards down the sideline on a quarterback run to the West Virginia 36 on the final drive.
Key player: Graham, who graduated as the Big East's career scoring leader, kicked the first game winner of his college career.
Their words: "I hit it well and the ball did exactly what I wanted it to. There's not much else I can say except for everybody ran on the field. It's probably the best feeling I've had, being lifted up on their shoulders and being carried around a little bit." – Graham after the game winner
Game 9: Nov. 13, 1999
Virginia Tech 43, Miami 10
In short: The Hokies spotted Miami 10 points in Blacksburg, then scored the last 43. Tech rushed for 248 yards and averaged five yards per carry, while the Hurricanes committed six turnovers and gave up five sacks.
Key moment: Stith's 41-yard touchdown run gave Tech the lead for good midway through the second quarter.
Key player: Charlton recovered three fumbles, returning one 51 yards for a touchdown, caused a fumble and had eight tackles.
Their words: "I think we keep the pressure on you defensively. I think we keep the pressure on you in the kicking game. I think that constant pressure takes its toll on you over time." – Beamer
Game 10: Nov. 20, 1999
Virginia Tech 62, Temple 7
In short: The Hokies, who lost to Temple the year before in Blacksburg in one of the biggest upsets in college football history, blasted the Owls at the Vet. They rushed for a season-high 315 yards, and Vick, Kendrick and Davis scored two touchdowns apiece.
Key moment: Cornerback Larry Austin's 31-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter gave the Hokies a 17-7 lead and seemed to ignite the team.
Key player: Vick rushed for a career-high 134 yards and touchdowns of 75 and 53 yards. He completed 7 of 10 passes for 171 yards and two scores.
Their words: "He'll just start scrambling and you don't know where he is. The next thing you know he's 15 yards downfield in a dead sprint and you just start chasing him. No one ever catches him. He makes us look good on the offensive line." – center Keith Short on Vick
Game 11: Nov. 26, 1999
Virginia Tech 38, Boston College 14
In short: The second-ranked Hokies completed their first unbeaten regular season in 81 years, piling up a season-high 555 yards of offense on a Friday afternoon in Blacksburg. Tech's defense sacked BC quarterbacks six times, and the Eagles completed 6 of 21 passes.
Key moment: The Hokies were up just 7-0 when Cory Bird sacked Tim Hasselbeck on fourth down. On the next play, Vick hit Davis for a 69-yard touchdown, the ball traveling 65 yards in the air.
Key player: Vick accounted for 366 yards and four touchdowns, 290 passing – he was 11-for-13, with two drops – and 76 rushing.
Their words: "We've been planning on this since last January. Those hard-hitting Hokies are going to Bourbon Street." – linebacker Jamel SmithCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun