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Beamer Ball Reigns Supreme

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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For the Hokies, it was a vintage showing in Tallahassee, all with Frank Beamer fittingly watching on-site.

The pre-game scene at Doak Campbell Stadium was overwhelming. Countless legends, from Bobby Bowden to Derrick Brooks to Warrick Dunn to the newly-honored Peter Warrick, were on hand for Willie Taggart's highly-anticipated, primetime Florida State debut. In a spotlight that was all about the home scene and Taggart, just the third head coach in Tallahassee since 1976, it was Bud Foster and even Frank Beamer, one on the field and one in the box, who stood out.

Virginia Tech took the opening drive of the football game and promptly marched downfield for a statement 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. En route to a convincing 24-to-3 triumph, the Hokies never looked back. They reinforced their history along the way.

With the iconic Beamer at the game as an honorary team captain opposite Bowden, Virginia Tech won with a tried-and-true formula, one that has been in place, at their place, for years. "Beamer Ball" proved to be the difference in an important season opener. The play of the game came when the Hokies blocked a second quarter punt and Eric Kumah, who later had a touchdown reception, caught the ball and ran it in for a critical short touchdown. The sequence changed the momentum of the entire night. 

Quite conversely, Virginia Tech's Oscar Bradburn downed four punts inside the 20-yard line, setting up the aforementioned score with one of his pinpoint kicks. Bradburn was a weapon, downing Florida State near the goaline on most of the Seminoles' offensive drives. Kicker Brian Johnson converted his only field goal attempt. Additionally, booming kickoff specialist Jordan Stout only allowed one return as the rest of his kicks resulted in touchbacks. C.J. Carroll had an 18-yard punt return. 

While Florida State struggled on special teams, the Hokies were, simply, themselves.

Once again, Foster proved why he is one of the best coordinators in college football history. He, with limited personnel, oversaw a unit that forced five turnovers, which defined the game, and held the Seminoles to 327 yards, a large chunk of which came on a late 85-yard run, and just 12 first downs. Foster's defense was aggressive, clutch and dominant at the point of attack and held FSU without one single touchdown. Virginia Tech recorded a remarkable 14 tackles for loss and five sacks, setting the tone for a momentum-boosting victory.   

For the Hokies, it was a vintage showing, all with Beamer fittingly watching on-site. 

Watch out for Virginia Tech moving forward. After a chaotic off-season, the suddenly-hot Hokies are now 1-0, with an early lead in the ACC standings as well. Virginia Tech next has consecutive contests with William & Mary, East Carolina, at Old Dominion and at Duke before what-could-be a huge home showdown with rising Notre Dame. On paper, at least, the Hokies' overall schedule looks favorable for a run. 

The people and principles that have made Virginia Tech one of the most consistent and successful programs in the country were on complete display Monday night in Tallahassee. A familiar end result was, too.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports