COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP
Virginia Tech has too much for UCF, 49-28
Published: Monday, September 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 1, 2003 at 12:21 a.m.
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Bryan Randall knew Marcus Vick's debut as his backup would get lots of attention Sunday. He also felt ready to leave no doubt about his status as No. 9 Virginia Tech's starter.
Randall gave Vick a tension-free stage by leading the Hokies to touchdowns on their first three drives and later threw a clutch scoring pass as Virginia Tech beat Central Florida 49-28 in its season opener.
``I probably felt the most comfortable since I've been here for this game,'' Randall said after completing 22 of 28 passes for 278 yards.
``I realize the situation that I'm in. I've got a good backup in Marcus and he's here to push me, trying to take my job,'' he said. ``At the same time, I know I've got to keep improving. I can't look back or worry about what people are saying out there because I've got a game to play myself.''
Randall's fast start and an 80-yard scoring drive led by Vick in his first series gave the Hokies a 28-0 lead and made it look real easy.
Then the Golden Knights changed strategy from throwing long to ``trying to dink 'em to death,'' coach Mike Kruczek said, and scored the next three touchdowns. That gave Randall another chance to prove his No. 1 status.
He did, driving the Hokies 67 yards in seven plays and finding DeAngelo Hall in the end zone from 29 yards to make the margin 35-21.
When Jason Lallis intercepted a pass from Ryan Schneider and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown 39 seconds later, the victory was secure. That gave coach Frank Beamer a good lesson to prepare for his team this week.
``I think we were guilty of getting lulled into 28-zip, the game is over,'' Beamer said, including himself among the guilty parties.
UCF used an effective mix of Schneider's short passes, Alex Haynes' cutback running and a 56-yard trick play to close the gap, leaving Kruczek thinking the game was there to be had, and with momentum on UCF's side.
``Our kids were sky-high,'' he said.
The backbreaker came in typical Tech fashion: With 11:32 left, Schneider threw to avoid a blitzing Vegas Robinson, Lallis picked it off over the middle and rambled 45 yards to give the Hokies a 42-21 lead.
The Cardinals took advantage of two punt miscues by Kentucky, built an 18-point lead, weathered a rally, and drained the clock with two time-consuming drives to seal the win.
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