BLACKSBURG, Va. >> Sam Rogers ran for a career-best 105 yards and two touchdowns and Virginia Tech tuned up for next Saturday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference championship showdown against No. 4 Clemson with a 59-10 victory against Virginia on Saturday.
Rogers, one of 13 seniors honored before the game, scored on runs of 8 and 32 yards for the Hokies (9-3, 6-2), whose ticket for the title game was punched when North Carolina lost to North Carolina State on Friday. It will be Virginia Tech’s first appearance since 2011.
“We’re not done yet,” first-year Hokies coach Justin Fuente told the crowd after the game.
The victory was the Hokies’ 13th in a row in the series, and sent Virginia (2-10, 1-7) to its seventh consecutive loss.
Jerod Evans threw for two touchdowns and ran for another for Virginia Tech, allowing the junior college transfer to set school single season records with 26 touchdown passes (Tyrod Taylor had 24 in 2010) and 3,752 total yards (Logan Thomas had 3,500 in 2012).
Virginia went with a quarterback rotation, sometimes from play to play, and was outgained 579-247.
“It is a little bit of a different challenge than we’re obviously used to,” said Kurt Benkert, the starter for most of the season who was benched last week after struggling in several games. “We felt like we were able to do everything we need to, but we just didn’t.”
He finished 9 for 26 for 122 yards with one touchdown. Matt Johns was 4 for 10 for 17 yards and threw two interceptions.
Virginia: The Cavaliers have a long way to go to get to the talent level and mindset Bronco Mendenhall expects. Returning Benkert to the field after a series of skittish performances behind shaky protection and benching last week was probably meant to give him something to build on, but the Cavaliers will also have to rebuild their offensive line and replace Taquan Mizzell and Keeon Johnson, two key seniors.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies’ three most recent victories were all by three points and all on the road: at Pittsburgh, at Duke and at Notre Dame. In between, they lost a home game to Georgia Tech in there, so dominating should bolster confidence heading into next weekend.
Virginia Tech will face Clemson in the ACC championship game next Saturday in Orlando, Florida.