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Michael the magician

Vick does it all for Virginia Tech in losing effort

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Posted: Wednesday January 05, 2000 09:29 AM

  Michael Vick Michael Vick led all Hokies rushers with 97 yards on 23 carries and contributed a 3-yard touchdown run late in the first half. AP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Michael Vick was dazzling. He just wasn't enough.

Virginia Tech's freshman quarterback used spin moves to leave defenders sprawled on the carpet and speed to leave them grabbing at air Tuesday night against Florida State in the national championship game.

And even though his fumble in Hokies territory with 11:58 left gave Florida State the chance to build a cushion on its way to a 46-29 victory, Vick still turned the Sugar Bowl into his own showcase with his biggest, best performance.

The 19-year-old lefthander did most of his damage with his feet, repeatedly sidestepping drooling defenders as they closed in for the kill, then using his 4.33 speed to burst into the open field and pick up huge chunks of yards.

Vick gained 97 yards on 23 carries, including a remarkable 42-yard jaunt that started when he spun away from a Seminoles lineman who seemed to have a free shot at him.

Four plays later, Vick's 3-yard touchdown run made it 28-14, capping a seven-play, 80-yard drive to give the Hokies hope just 37 seconds before halftime. On-Site
When you have a Michael Vick at quarterback, one thing you're going to realize is going to be great plays, but there are also going to be some plays made that you just kinda scratch your head. That's what he does. On the fumbles, he didn't have the ball tucked away. Some other plays you shouldn't even attempt in high school football let alone college.

But, Michael Vick, in my opinion is one of the most special players. It's going to be a lot of fun. He's a freshman. If he stays with it and this team stays with it, he can win a couple of Heisman Trophies. If Michael Vick wasn't in this game tonight -- we need to understand this -- if he wasn't in this game, it's 50-0 Florida State. It's not even close.'s Trev Alberts on Michael Vick


Later, with the Hokies dominating the third quarter, Vick pitched to Andre Kendrick out of the option and Kendrick went 29 yards for a TD to make it 28-23.

Vick also had runs of 15 and 22 yards on the next series, which Kendrick ended with a 6-yard scoring run that gave the Hokies their first lead, 29-28.

But it wasn't just the big gainers that dazzled. Vick frequently found a space where there appeared to be none, leaving even the Seminoles fans gasping with disbelief as he moved around the backfield trying to make a play.

He was still trying to make something happen when Seminoles linebacker Bobby Rhodes hit him after a 12-yard gain in the final quarter and jarred the ball loose. The Hokies trailed 36-29 at the time, and when Sean Key recovered and Florida State added a field goal five plays later, the Hokies were in trouble.

It was only Vick's seventh fumble of the season, but his second of the game. He also lost the ball on the Hokies' first series when coach Frank Beamer opted to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1 and Vick was swarmed in the backfield.

Vick was 15-of-29 for 225 yards with a 49-yard scoring pass to Andre Davis. He threw behind several receivers, but also was victimized by several drops and was almost always throwing while in an all-out sprint.

Related information
Seminoles claim second national title, rip Hokies
Hokies fans take pride in school's best season
Notebook: Vick's magic not enough
Virginia Tech-Florida State Game Summary
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