The Washington Post Sunday

After halftime, Hokies make quick work of Blue Raiders

VIRGINIA TECH 35, MIDDLE TENN. 14

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blacksburg, va. — Raheem Blackshear rushed for two touchdowns to lead No. 19 Virginia Tech to a 35-14 victory over Middle Tennessee on Saturday after a slow start.

The Hokies (2-0, 2-0 ACC) scored on their first three possession­s of the second half, including back-to-back touchdowns by Blackshear, in a game they led 14-7 at halftime.

Virginia Tech broke open the game when Jalen Holston scored on a 29-yard run in the third quarter to give it a 21-7 lead. Blackshear, who rushed for 58 yards, then scored on runs of six yards and one yard to help the Hokies build a 35-7 cushion.

“At halftime, it was obviously a tight ballgame. I didn’t feel like we were shocked it was close,” Virginia Tech Coach Justin Fuente said. “I don’t know that we’re the team that can just blow the doors off people. That’s just not how we’re built right now.

“I didn’t sense any panic or shock. That’s what happens with teams that are overconfid­ent or arrogant; they’re shocked that the other team wants to play. We knew what we were getting into, so there was no shock, no panic. Those guys were ready to go back out there and play.”

Braxton Burmeister went 14 of 24 for 142 yards and a score for Virginia Tech, which finished with 375 yards.

Bailey Hockman was 19 of 32 for 207 yards and a score to lead the Blue Raiders (1-1, 0-1 Conference USA), who had 349 yards.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Middle Tennessee Coach Rick Stockstill said. “We’ve got a really good football team. I’m disappoint­ed we lost, but we fought our guts out. We get better at a few things, and we’ve got a chance to have a good team.”

Virginia Tech will receive a much stiffer test next weekend with a road game against rival West Virginia.

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