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Williams hard on himself after fumble

After Virginia Tech’s 20-17 loss Thursday to North Carolina, running back Ryan Williams was despondent as he sat on the Hokies’ bench. With 2 minutes 2 second remaining in the game, Williams lost a fumble that set up to Casey Barth’s game-winning, 21-yard field goal.

But once the Hokies start preparing to play for Thursday night’s game at East Carolina, Williams said he would he would put the error behind him.

“After today, there’s no reason to dwell on it,” Williams said moments after Thursday’s game. “I can’t go back. Next Thursday, I will be the same old guy trying to get down the field.”

On the play, Williams ran toward the right side of the line. He hurdled one of his blockers when Tydreke Powell poked the ball loose. It was the first time Williams fumbled while rushing the ball. North Carolina’s Deunta Williams fell on the ball at the Hokies’ 24-yard line. After six rushing plays, Barth hit the field goal as time expired.

Afterward, Williams did not move from his spot on Virginia Tech’s bench. He dropped his head in his hands.

“Everybody is behind Ryan,” Coach Frank Beamer said. “In the dressing room there, he feels awful.”

Injured running backs Darren Evans and Kenny Lewis consoled Williams on the bench. Even Tar Heels linebacker Quan Sturdivant walked over and offered encouragement for Williams.

Williams, a redshirt freshman, has been the main cog in the Hokies’ offense, running the ball with authority in his first season as a starter. After the loss to North Carolina, Williams said he felt like he “took the game away.”

But he also said he would start to move forward. The Hokies (5-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) were scheduled to practice Saturday as they prepare to play at East Carolina (5-3, 4-1 Conference USA) next Thursday.

By Mark Viera  |  October 31, 2009; 2:15 PM ET
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