four downs

Frank BeamerJohn GravesEducationDarrius Heyward-BeyVirginia Tech

Player of the game Virginia Tech freshman tailback Darren Evans rushed for a school-record 253 yards on 32 carries. He scored a 1-yard touchdown and broke runs of 50, 45 and 29 yards. He was a fourth-quarter workhorse with 13 carries and did not fumble. This is why he was a high school All-American.

Play of the game As good as Evans was, the defense turned the tide in the third quarter. Maryland had drawn to within 20-10 and after a fumbled punt took over on Tech's 11. On third down from the 9, Chris Turner threw to Darrius Heyward-Bey on a bubble screen that earlier produced a touchdown. But linebacker Brett Warren read the play and smothered Heyward-Bey for a 1-yard loss to force a field goal.

What we learned Hokies defensive tackles Cordarrow Thompson and John Graves are improving each week. They clogged the inside and were the primary reason Da'Rel Scott, the ACC's leading rusher, gained a paltry 11 yards on 10 carries. Thompson was credited with four tackles, Graves one, the one a critical third-down stop.

What to work on Never have Frank Beamer's treasured special teams been this bad. Thursday the punting teams were a disaster. Maryland's Torrey Smith went untouched as he blocked a Brent Bowden punt; Kam Chancellor was careless in allowing a Terps punt to bounce off his leg, giving Maryland possession at Tech's 11.

Player of the game Play of the game What we learned What to work on

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