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Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas carried the ball 24 times for 101 yards and a touchdown Saturday. Thomas' five-yard TD run gave him 24 in his career, a school record for quarterbacks.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
BLACKSBURG — Antone Exum made his return, Kyle Fuller was limited to spot appearances on special teams and Brandon Facyson didn’t suit up Saturday against Duke, but the biggest cornerback story of the day was freshman Kendall Fuller.
The younger Fuller had three interceptions in the Hokies’ 13-10 loss to Duke, becoming the first Virginia Tech player to notch three picks in a game since Jayron Hosley did so against Russell Wilson and N.C. State in 2010.
“With just a week of learning boundary corner, I can’t speak any more highly of him,” linebacker Jack Tyler said. “Like I said before, he’s not a freshman. He plays like a wily veteran.
“He’s good. He’s really good. We were hoping that coming in that he would be good and he is.”
Kendall Fuller normally plays Virginia Tech’s nickel position, but injuries forced him to the boundary corner spot.
His brother Kyle’s groin injury prevented him from playing more than on special teams. He had started 34 straight games prior to Saturday, dating back to the 2011 Orange Bowl. Facsyon’s concussion kept him out of the game.
With Exum making his debut after offseason ACL and bone fracture surgery, the Hokies moved Kendall Fuller to the outside and had freshman Chuck Clark make his first start as the nickelback.
Duke tested the younger Fuller often and had little success. He now has five picks this year, a Virginia Tech freshman record.
Exum, meanwhile, didn’t get tested much. Duke, which completed only seven passes, didn’t have any on the senior.
“It’s definitely bittersweet,” Exum said. “Because it was a milestone for me being out there and I was excited to play with my team again, but I definitely didn’t want to be on this end of the game.”
Starting defensive end J.R. Collins and backup linebacker Deon Clarke were both suspended for the game for what Virginia Tech said was an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Collins, a senior who coaches praised earlier this year for turning his life around, leads the team with 8.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks.
Sophomore Dadi Nicolas started in Collins’ place and finished with six tackles, a tackle for a loss and an interception off a ball batted into the air.
Quarterback Logan Thomas again led the Hokies in rushing, carrying the ball 24 times for 101 yards and punching in a touchdown from 5 yards out.
It was Thomas’ 24th career rushing touchdown, breaking the previous Tech mark for a quarterback of 23 set by Tyrod Taylor.
His passing day left more to be desired. Thomas was intercepted four times, snapping a streak of 116 straight throws without a pick, which was close to a personal best. Thomas finished 21 for 38 for 214 yards.
He appeared to throw a second quarter touchdown to D.J. Coles, but Coles was flagged for illegal motion, moving forward before the snap. On the next play, Thomas forced a ball into coverage that was intercepted.
“It’s a tough one,” head coach Frank Beamer said. “That’s kind of a diagram of the football game there.”
The Hokies wore orange jerseys and pants with maroon helmets for the first time in 19 years and only the second time under Beamer. The last time they had that combination was a 43-23 home loss to Virginia. … The last time Tech recorded four interceptions in a game and lost was a 50-49 loss to Rutgers in 1992, when it had five.
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