Virginia Tech's first perfect regular season in 81 years ended on a sweet note, but was it sweet enough to be Sugar?
Frank Beamer certainly thinks so.
Walking into the interview nearly an hour after the second-ranked Hokies beat Boston College 38-14 to wrap up their first perfect season since the 1918 team went 7-0, Beamer stopped.
"You don't mind if I put my hat on, do you?" he asked to no one in particular as he looked at the "Big East champions" hat he was holding, then pullled it on. "I'll tell you what. If I had a Sugar Bowl hat, I'd put that on."
"You look at the ranked teams that we played this year, and we've taken all of them to the woodshed," an emotional Corey Moore said as he held on to a victory cigar. "I firmly believe and I'm confident that we'll be in New Orleans."
The Hokies (11-0, 7-0) got three long touchdown passes from sensational redshirt freshman Michael Vick and another big effort from its nationally ranked defense to beat No. 22 Boston College.
The victory gave the Hokies a 174-31 scoring advantage in games against Virginia, Syracuse, Miami and the Eagles, but still no guarantee that it will be good enough to get into the Sugar Bowl, this year's designated championship.
That was clearly on the minds of most of the 53,130 fans in attendance as they streamed onto the field, tearing down the goalposts at both ends, frolicking with the players and then turning their attention to the end zone scoreboard.
"Colorado ball. 2:00 left."
The Hokies and No. 3 Nebraska are battling to play No. 1 Florida State for the championship under the Bowl Championship Series format, and many here fear the Cornhuskers could overtake the Hokies with two solid season-ending games.
Most fans stayed in their seats, watching the updates on the scoreboard, and groaned when the announcement came that the Buffaloes' last-play field goal was no good. Moments later, they roared at the news that Colorado had won, 30-27.
The correction later that Nebraska had won 33-30 was met with silence.
But the Hokies, Beamer and even Boston College coach Tom O'Brien all seemed sure that the trip to New Orleans had all but been sealed at Lane Stadium.
"There's still no doubt in my mind," Moore said. "I heard Nebraska came back and won the game. I don't think any of that matters. We're 11-0.
"What more do you want us to do?"
Other than a school-record 97-yard pass from Tim Hasselbeck to Dedrick Dewalt in the third quarter, the Eagles (8-3, 4-3) managed very little against the nation's second-ranked scoring defense and fourth-ranked defense overall.
The Hokies outgained them 555-319.
Vick and the offense, meanwhile, were making things happen.
"He's really good, isn't he?" said O'Brien. "He's the difference-maker. We couldn't contain him. He's the wild-card factor. He's playing at a level that Charlie Ward and Donovan McNabb did in their third and fourth years."
Vick got started right away, running for 34 yards on the game's first play. He scrambled for 9 on third-and-8 from the Hokies' 48. Jarrett Ferguson burst up the middle for 33 yards, and Shyrone Stith took it the last 10 on two carries.
Stith finished with 97 yards on 23 carries and his 13th touchdown.
Boston College missed two chances to tie it, first when it failed to scoop up Ricky Hall's fumbled punt return in Hokies territory, later when Hasselbeck was sacked by Cory Bird on fourth-and-15 from the Virginia Tech 25.
t was one of three sacks in the game for Bird.
After the sack, Vick doubled the lead with a perfectly thrown pass that Davis caught over his shoulder and behind the defense, a 69-yard touchdown.
One series later, Vick ducked and juked away from the rush, rolled to his right and was still moving when he hit Davis for 59 yards and another score.
Davis, an Atlantic-10 sprint champion, had five catches for 172 yards.
Vick later hit Cullen Hawkins with another perfect throw, Hawkins diving to make the catch in the right corner of the end zone, and it was 31-7.
Vick finished 11 for 13 for 290 yards and rushed 16 times for 76 yards, the last on a 5-yard reverse with 3:27 left.
After the run, most fans were paying more attention to the scoreboard updates on Nebraska-Colorado than the last few plays. Many probably didn't notice the Eagles' second TD, on a 45-yard run by William Green with 46 seconds left.
Smoking his cigar, Moore was clearly still fighting his emotions.
"This is a special feeling, man," he said. "I can't believe it."
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