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September 9, 2006
Hokies rout UNC with Beamerball at its best
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Two of Branden Ore's three touchdowns were set up by Virginia Tech's dominating defense and special teams in the 16th-ranked Hokies' 35-10 victory over North Carolina on Saturday.
Ore finished with 111 yards and scoring runs of 1, 4 and 3 yards, and the Hokies (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) went back to their Beamerball roots in improving to 9-0 in ACC road games since they joined the league in 2004.
Xavier Adibi returned an interception 40 yards to set up Ore's first touchdown, Josh Morgan blocked a punt inside the North Carolina 10 to set up another and Brenden Hill scored on a 69-yard interception return.
North Carolina outgained Virginia Tech 268-224, but it was the Hokies' punishing defense and special teams that made the difference.
Tech intercepted four passes, blocked a punt in its second straight game and victimized North Carolina punter David Wooldridge for the second year in a row.
Sean Glennon, a sophomore making his second career start, was 10-of-17 for 66 yards for Tech. Redshirt freshman Ike Whitaker, Glennon's backup, completed his only pass - a 41-yard touchdown to Greg Boone with about five minutes left.
Ore became the second running back in two weeks to score three touchdowns against North Carolina, joining Rutgers' Ray Rice, who rushed for 201 yards and three scores in the opener.
Tech trailed 3-0 late in the first quarter before Adibi got the Hokies rolling. He picked off Joe Dailey's pass at the 41 and returned it to the North Carolina 1, and Ore scored on the next play to put Tech ahead to stay.
Then, just before halftime, the Hokies' trademark strong special teams helped them build on their lead.
Morgan burst up the middle and blocked Wooldridge's punt at the Tar Heels' 7, and Jason Adjepong returned it to the 1. Two plays later, Ore scored from 4 yards out to put Tech comfortably ahead.
Dailey was 10-of-17 for 55 yards, and was intercepted twice for the Tar Heels (0-2, 0-1). His backup, redshirt freshman Cam Sexton, was 9-of-21 for 120 yards and was picked off twice, including the fourth-quarter interception Hill returned for a score.
Sexton also had an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Foster in the final minutes against Tech's backups.
Connor Barth capped North Carolina's opening possession with a 46-yard field goal.
But after that, the Tar Heels had trouble moving the ball against Tech's defense until the outcome was all but decided.