Bryan Randall is closing his college career in style, putting Virginia Tech on the verge of an unexpected championship.
Randall threw two second-half touchdown passes and the No. 11 Hokies moved a victory from an Atlantic Coast Conference title Saturday with a 24-10 win over No. 16 Virginia.
“The stakes just keep getting bigger,” Randall said after leading the Hokies to their seventh consecutive victory and ninth in 10 games.
The Hokies, 9-2 and 6-1 in the ACC, can win the league title -- and a berth to a bowl championship series game -- by winning Saturday at No. 9 Miami, the team that moved from the Big East to the ACC with Virginia Tech this season.
“To go down to Miami and get a win and the whole championship outright by ourselves in the first year, it would be phenomenal,” Randall said.
“It would mean a lot to our whole team, the coaches, the program,” Randall said. “It would make people respect us. I think we’ve gained a lot of respect for what we’ve done.”
The Hokies, picked to finish as low as eighth in the ACC, have done it by returning to the style of play that lifted them into the national elite a decade ago: a hard-nosed defense, big-play special teams and an efficient offense.
And Randall has been a big part of it too.
“He plays his best when things look the worst,” Coach Frank Beamer said.
“There’s just something special about this kid. What a player.”
Randall completed 16 of 22 passes for 200 yards and passed Don Strock to become Virginia Tech’s career yardage leader.
Strock finished with 6,009 yards. Randall has 6,061.
Virginia Tech’s defense and special teams made three big plays to thwart the Cavaliers (8-3, 5-3), who were playing for a share of the ACC title.
After the game, Virginia announced that it would decline any invitation to a bowl falling between Dec. 13-21 because of final exams, taking the Cavaliers out of the running for the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 21.
Virginia entered with the nation’s ninth-best rushing offense, averaging 247 yards, and had 155 by halftime, but nothing to show for it in a scoreless tie.
“We had a chance today and blew it,” Virginia safety Marquis Weeks said.