Raheem Blackshear rushed for two second-half touchdowns Saturday as No. 19 Virginia Tech broke a close game open and cruised to a 35-14 non-conference decision over Middle Tennessee in Blacksburg, Va.
Blackshear capped drives with 6- and 1-yard runs that gave the Hokies (2-0) a four-touchdown advantage. It capped a stretch that saw Virginia Tech score on its first three possessions of the second half.
The Hokies’ defense also played another strong game. After notching six sacks and three interceptions in last week’s 17-10 win over then-No. 10 North Carolina, they limited the Blue Raiders (1-1) to just 66 yards on 36 rushes and registered three sacks.
Quarterback Braxton Burmeister completed 14 of 24 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown for Virginia Tech. The Hokies finished with 383 total yards, 224 of them on the ground. Blackshear’s 54 yards led a balanced rushing attack.
Middle Tennessee starting quarterback Bailey Hockman was good on 19 of 32 passes for 207 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Backup Chase Cunningham completed 7 of 8 for 76 yards and a score in the final minute.
The Hokies took a 7-0 lead when Burmeister hit Tayvion Robinson on a 6-yard scoring strike with 21 seconds left in the first quarter, finishing a 17-play, 79-yard drive that lasted 7:36.
Connor Blumrick’s 2-yard run with 8:54 remaining in the second quarter upped the margin to 14-0. The Blue Raiders sliced the deficit in half as Hockman found CJ Windham for a 5-yard touchdown at the 5:17 mark.
But Virginia Tech pulled away in the second half as its offense found a rhythm. Jalen Holston ripped off a 29-yard scoring jaunt with 7:55 left in the third quarter, followed by Blackshear’s consecutive touchdowns.
Cunningham’s 6-yard scoring strike to Marquel Tinsley with 30 seconds remaining in the game made the final margin a bit closer.
The Hokies converted 7 of 12 third downs and played a clean game, drawing just three penalties for 26 yards.
–Field Level Media