PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Ticker) -- For the second time in as many outings, Rutgers and first-year coach Greg Schiano were dealt a humiliating shutout loss by a national power.
Ninth-ranked Virginia Tech provided the pounding on Saturday with a 50-0 win in the Big East Conference opener for the Hokies.
Grant Noel threw four touchdown passes, including three in a seven-minute span of the first quarter, as the Hokies defeated Rutgers (1-2, 0-1 Big East) for the ninth straight time while nearly mirroring last year's 49-0 blanking in Blacksburg.
"Every coach and player was at the same speed today, whether it was 49-0 or 0-0," Schiano said. "When we start winning, people will ask us why we are running up the score. We won't be, we'll just be running plays."
After opening the new era with a 31-15 victory at Buffalo, the Scarlet Knights were routed by Schiano's former school, Miami, 61-0. However, the good news for the 35-year-old coach is that things can't get any worse.
"We are building a system here," Schiano added. "We are building a way of playing football that will be natural for us. And we are going to have a fun time."
It is the first time Rutgers has been shut out twice in one season since 1996, when it failed to score in three games, and the first time it has been blanked in consecutive contests since November 2-9, 1985.
In addition, it is the second straight shutout for Virginia Tech, which defeated Western Michigan, 31-0, on September 8. The Hokies (2-0, 1-0), who forced six turnovers, have won the last four games between the teams by an average of 51-7.
"I congratulate Rutgers. I thought they played hard all day," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "I think Greg's (Schiano) got the right idea as far as I'm concerned. Recruit this state hard and get the best players, and he'll win."
The game was the first for both schools since the terrorist attacks on the United States 11 days ago. A moment of silence was observed prior to the game at Rutgers Stadium, which is located approximately 35 miles from Manhattan, site of the leveled World Trade Center.
Virginia Tech has not given up a point in 11 straight quarters and had more than enough on the scoreboard following the first 15 minutes on Saturday that the remainder of the contest was nothing short of "garbage time."
Keith Burnell scored on a one-yard run just 1:20 into the contest, a TD that was set up by the interception of Hokies senior linebacker Brian Welch, who lost his father to a terrorist attack in Lebanon in the mid-1980s.
"It was great to see everyone come together on this day and celebrate our great nation," Welch said. "Our hearts and thoughts went out to all the victims and our victory is dedicted to them."
The remainder of the first quarter belonged to Noel, who had TD passes of five, 16 and six yards to running back Jarrett Ferguson and Emmett Johnson and Terrell Parham, respectively.
Noel completed 17-of-22 passes for 164 yards while Virginia Tech limited Rutgers to 102 yards of total offense. Burnell, who carried 12 times or 74 yards, had a 55-yard scamper that set up the score to Ferguson.
"(Grant Noel) did some really good things, then he's got some plays that we'd like to have back," Beamer added. "A couple of plays, I think if we execute better we're in the end zone, as opposed to kicking a field goal."
Arter a scoreless second quarter, Carter Warley boosted field goals of 38 and 37 yards in a four-minute span to make it 34-0.
In addition to a fourth-quarter safety after a blocked punt, Noel hit tight end Keith Willis for a seven-yard score and defensive tackle Channing Reed returned a fumble eight yards for a TD with 2:19 remaining.
Rutgers' Ryan Cubit completed 11-of-23 attempts for a meager 55 yards and was picked off four times.
"It's definitely a challenge," said Cubit, a freshman. "I think we did a lot of things better today with the receivers and backs than against Miami.
The Scarlet Knights fell to 0-25 against ranked opponents since joining the Big East in 1991.
"We were hoping or a shutout and we got one," said Hokies linebacker Ben Taylor.