Unranked Virginia Tech's 19--13 victory over No. 6 West Virginia in Blacksburg last Saturday may have saved the BCS from the embarrassment of having a major-conference team with a weak schedule finish undefeated and earn a spot in the national championship game. Playing in the Big East, which has been decimated by the defection of the Hokies and Miami to the ACC, West Virginia (4--1) has faced just one team in the Top 25 and probably won't play another the rest of the season. The Mountaineers' lofty position in the polls was so tentative that the Hokies (3--2) were three-point favorites.
Virginia Tech won with a superlative defensive effort, limiting West Virginia, which had been averaging 276.0 rushing yards per game, to 134 yards on the ground. The Hokies shut down running lanes and pressured Mountaineers quarterback Rasheed Marshall into a brutal passing performance (9 of 19 for 81 yards).
It appears that the Hokies, who have lost tight games to USC and North Carolina State, may be better than many people thought. "West Virginia isn't overrated," says Tech senior defensive end Jim Davis. "They're a great team. But we're not too bad ourselves." --M.B.