Ore, Virginia Tech roll late over Kent StateNov 12, 2006 - 1:41 AM BLACKSBURG, Virginia (Ticker) - Offense was at a premium for Brandon Ore and Virginia Tech.
Ore rushed for 72 yards and the lone offensive touchdown as the 20th-ranked Hokies continued their lengthy winning streak here against non-conference foes with a 23-0 victory over Kent State.
Winning for the fourth straight time, Virginia Tech claimed its 25th consecutive win at home against non-conference opponents.
"We appreciate every win we get around here," Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. "Kent State came in here and played tough and hard. Not everything was pretty out there."
In an early defensive struggle, Virginia Tech (8-2) managed just 103 total yards in the first half and combined with Kent State for just nine first downs.
"We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win that game," Golden Flashes coach Doug Martin said. "I'm proud of our team tonight. They played with a lot of heart under some tough circumstances in a tough place."
However, the Hokies were able to string together a pair of drives that Brandon Pace capped with field goals. The redshirt senior kicker was successful from 35 yards out in the first quarter and added a 37-yarder in the second.
Pace, who added a 24-yard field goal within the opening 1 1/2 minutes of the fourth quarter, set a school record with 19 consecutive attempts made dating back to last season.
"He's been very good," Beamer said. "As a field-goal guy, the things he does, he gets into the ball very quickly and he gets it up very quickly. Those are two great assets."
Chris Kinzer set the previous mark of 17 straight back in 1986. The longest streak in the Atlantic Coast Conference is 27, accomplished by Marc Primanti of Maryland from 1995-96.
Virginia Tech held Kent State to a three-and-out on its first drive of the second half before the Hokies had a six-play drive that Ore finished with a six-yard TD run for a 13-0 lead with 11:10 remaining. The home team was helped by two penalties on the Golden Flashes for 29 yards.
After Kent State failed to record a first down again, Virginia Tech had a chance to really open up the contest on a strong punt return by Eddie Royal. However, the junior was stripped of the ball at the Kent State 11 before he was downed.
Sensing a change in momentum, Golden Flashes quarterback Michael Machen attempted to lead a charge, finding Najah Pruden for a 49-yard pass play. Unfortunately, the drive stalled at the Hokies 6 following a sack by Carlton Powell and Nate Reed missed a 32-yard field goal.
The kicking game has been a major problem for Kent State (5-5) all year, with the duo of Reed and Reid Macko converting just 2-of-10 attempts.
Virginia Tech, which shut out a team for the third time this season, put the game out of reach early in the fourth when defensive end Chris Ellis sacked Machen from behind and Noland Burchette grabbed a fumble out of the air and went eight yards for the touchdown.
Since the start of 1993, the Hokies are 59-8 when they score at least one touchdown on defense or special teams.
The win may have been costly for Virginia Tech, as star cornerback Victor "Macho" Harris injured his right shoulder after making a diving interception on the left sideline with 4:38 left. X-rays were negative.
"You say take them out, but we're not in the habit of giving up points, either," Beamer said. "Right now, if you asked me if he should be in the game, I'd say no, let's take him out."
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