%HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> spt_notestech_0914.ARTGraves knows how to start a block party Inside The gameBy DAVID TEEL AND NORM WOOD| 247-4636 | 247-4642BLACKSBURG — Though defensive tackle John Graves is only a sophomore, he can already be considered an elite special-teams player after becoming the first player of the Frank Beamer era at Virginia Tech to block a kick in three consecutive games.
Graves swatted away Georgia Tech kicker Scott Blair's extra point late in the second quarter. The play kept Virginia Tech within two points at 9-7.
Graves becomes the fifth Hokie under Beamer to block three kicks in a season. The others are Angelo Harrison (1995), Keion Carpenter ('96), Corey Moore ('98) and Jim Davis (2004).
"I just do what (Hokies defensive line) coach (Charley) Wiles preaches and get off the ball," said Graves, who also logged his first two tackles of the season. "A big help to that is the guy next to me, Andre Smith.
"He gets off the ball and gives me a lot of great help and helps propel me in there and helped me block it."
HARRIS ON OFFENSEVirginia Tech's coaches have indicated since spring that they wanted to use Victor Harris on offense. He finally got in Saturday, starting the game at both cornerback and wide receiver.
He didn't have quite the offensive debut he'd probably envisioned, catching just one pass for minus-one yard and fumbling a double reverse that quarterback Tyrod Taylor recovered.
VIP VISITORSThe Hokies entertained more than a dozen prospects this weekend, including touted in-state recruits Kevin Newsome, Logan Thomas and Antone Exum.
Newsome is a mobile quarterback playing at Hargrave Military Academy after transferring from Chesapeake's Western Branch High. He committed to Michigan, but has since re-opened his recruitment.
Thomas plays quarterback at Brookville High near Lynchburg but is considered a tight end prospect; Exum is a defensive back at Deep Run High near Richmond.
QB RECORDJosh Nesbitt's 151 yards rushing are the most ever by a Georgia Tech quarterback. Reggie Ball had the previous record of 130, set against Troy in '06.
"We watched (high school) video of Nesbitt ourselves," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "What a player he is."
"We are still adjusting a lot to the (option) offense," first-year Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said.
"I think Josh is making better reads and making more plays."
UNFORESEEN STARTERSIn a surprise move, Virginia Tech started defensive end Nekos Brown and linebacker Cody Grimm in place of Jason Worilds and Cam Martin, respectively.
Worilds and Martin both wound up playing in the first half. Worilds missed a lot of practice this week with a shoulder injury, while Martin injured his groin last week against Furman.
It was Brown's first career start. He finished with six tackles. Grimm had three tackles.
On the offensive side, tight end Chris Drager made his first career start in a two-tight end set.
He had one catch for eight yards.
TINCHER HONOREDVirginia Tech recognized '08 softball All-American Angela Tincher during pregame ceremonies.
Tincher earned national player of the year and ACC female athlete of the year awards last season as a senior, when she pitched the Hokies to the College World Series.
Serving as a volunteer assistant coach at Tech for the upcoming season, Tincher led the National Pro Fastpitch league in strikeouts as a rookie.
ON DECKVirginia Tech plays at ACC Coastal Division rival North Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ABC regional television.
The Tar Heels (2-0, 0-0) routed Rutgers 44-12 on Thursday.
Virginia Tech is 4-0 against North Carolina since joining the ACC.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun