Time Machine: No. 16 Syracuse blown out by Michael Vick, No. 4 Virginia Tech in 1999

first_imgEditor’s note: This was a game story written by Dave Curtis, former assistant sports editor, after No. 16 Syracuse lost to No. 4 Virginia Tech. It was published in The Daily Orange on Oct. 19, 1999. BLACKSBURG, Va. — The massacre ended at 9:32 p.m. EST, 204 gory minutes after an errant Jimmy Kibble kickoff began it.No. 4 Virginia Tech, playing with the enthusiasm and skill of a national-champion-in-waiting, turned Lane Stadium into an Orange cemetery Saturday evening, smothering No. 16 Syracuse 62-0.The first 30 minutes served as a public funeral, the last 30 minutes a disrespectful Blacksburg burial. The stat sheet read like an obituary, a numerical tribute to the most dominant effort in the Big East’s nine-year history.Redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Vick completed passes to seven different receivers, tailback Shyrone Stith rushed for 140 yards and the vaunted Hokie defense scored three touchdowns in Syracuse’s worst loss since the Taft administration.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They’re definitely a good football team,” SU offensive tackle Mark Baniewicz said. “We need help to win the Big East now. Maybe that’s not realistic. Maybe Virginia Tech will bring a national championship to the Big East Conference.”Syracuse looked the Hokies’ equal for the games first two series. Despite gaining only one yard in six plays with Madei Williams at the helm, SU held the Hokies twice with just a single first down.On the Orangemen’s third possession, Troy Nunes found Quinton Spotwood for six yards on first down. But Tech cornerback Anthony Midget stripped Spotwood and outside linebacker Cory Bird corralled the loose pigskin and sprinted 26 yards for a 7-0 Hokies lead.A crowd of 53,130, juiced Saturday morning with ESPN’s Gameday crew broadcasting live from the Tech campus, turned the stadium into a rabid jungle after the initial score. The rising intensity appeared to overwhelm the Orangemen, drowning any hopes of an SU rally.A procedure penalty stunted SU’s next drive, and Vick drove the Hokies 55 yards in eight plays to take a 14-0 lead. With 15 minutes history, SU found itself down two scores and owned no first downs and 14 total yards.“We had to play a great game tonight, and I thought we were capable,” SU head coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “Early on, Michael Vick made a couple plays to keep drives going, and things got out of hand for us.”After a Mike Shafer punt, Vick showed the cannon that left Blacksburg bragging about their young gridiron prodigy. He found Andre Davis on second-and-seven to push the ball to the SU nine.Two plays later, Vick checked off a second-and-goal running play and opted for a pass. The freshman southpaw took a seven-step drop and found Ricky Hall on a crossing pattern in the back of the end zone for a 21-nil cushion.“They played a lot of man-to-man, and they wanted to bump us,” Hall said. “We knew we needed to beat them at the line. We threw in a lot of crossing plays, and we made the plays.”Despite a 19-yard James Mungro carry for SU’s lone first-half chain movement, Shafer ended another SU possession with a right-footed blast. Vick and the Hokies then gave SU an offensive clinic, driving 75 yards in 14 plays. Stith darted across the goal line from a yard out, and Tech led 28-0.Hokie kicker Shayne Graham kicked a field goal to end the first half and another one two minutes into the second. With a 34-point bulge, head coach Frank Beamer’s defense refused to let the Orangemen breathe.Syracuse finished the night with just 120 yards, five turnovers, no points and another Blacksburg horror tale.“I’ve been trying to tell everyone for two years,” defensive end Corey Moore said. “Nobody plays defense like we do. We made a statement tonight, and it was important to do that on national television against them.”Vick remained in the game for three quarters, but the Hokies stressed their running attack in the final 30 minutes. Tech picked up chunks of yardage on first down, allowing it to convert 8-of-17 third downs and keep the second half clock rolling.Andre Kendrick, who racked up 65 yards on 10 carries, scored five minutes into the third quarter. With 1:34 left in the stanza, Davis took a reverse 28 yards to paydirt, and the Hokies headed into the fourth with a 48-0 lead.In the fourth, Syracuse’s putrid performance persisted while the Hokies continued to build their lead. Neither Williams, Nunes or Dee Brown could get the Orangemen rolling, as ferocious Tech linebackers and a slew of punishing hits destroyed SU.An ill-advised Williams heave found the arms of Hokies backup defensive back Phillip Summers, who dashed 43 yards for another Hokies touchdown.A Tech sack on the ensuing drive forced Shafer to punt out of his end zone, and the freshman botched a low snap. Tee Butler covered the fumble, and the sixth largest crowd in Lane Stadium history celebrated the incredible lead.“Syracuse has a great defense,” Beamer said. “We saw what they did to some teams, and to move the ball against them and score those points is very encouraging.”The outrageous outcome marked the worst-ever shutout loss of a ranked team. The win ranked as Va. Tech’s most lopsided shutout since a 73-0 blanking of Catholic University in 1922. Syracuse survived nearly two decades since taking a similar hit in a 63-7 loss to Nebraska.Home teams now own nine straight victories in this series, and Paul Pasqualoni –led teams sit at 0-5 in Blacksburg.But the Orangemen can find solace from this recent SU rout. Just seven days after falling 66-13 in the Carrier Dome last November, Miami upset top-five UCLA 49-45 in the Orange Bowl.Syracuse takes this week off before hosting Boston College on Oct. 30.“It hurts, what can you say?” SU defensive end Duke Pettijohn said. “You’ve got to get past this and move on right away.” Comments Published on October 16, 2014 at 12:25 am Facebook Twitter Google+last_img