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Hokies attack CB Dowling

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference candidate, had a tough first half in Saturday's meeting between in-state rivals. And Virginia Tech took advantage of it.

Dowling has been one of the Cavaliers best cover cornerbacks this season. But the Hokies attacked him, repeatedly throwing at him in the first half. Dowling was beat on four throws for a total of 131 yards.

It started on Virginia Tech's opening possession. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor connected with wide receiver Danny Coale on passes of 41 and 36 yards over Dowling. Running back Ryan Williams capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown to make it a 7-7 game.

The Hokies did not stop throwing at Dowling in the second quarter. Taylor hit Coale for a 16-yard pick up along the sideline when Dowling was playing with a deep cushion. Williams also finished that possession with a touchdown, bursting through the Cavaliers' offense for a 20-yard scamper into the end zone.

Later, Taylor found Dyrell Roberts for a 38-yard gain. Roberts beat Dowling on an inside route, levering himself toward the center of the field and giving Taylor a clear target. Dowling made the tackle on the play, but because he was beat on the play, it allowed Virginia Tech to pick up the big gain. The Hokies did not score on that possession after kicker Matt Waldron missed a 40-yard field goal wide right.

Here are some more halftime notes:

-- Cavaliers quarterback Jameel Sewell ran for 99 yards and 1 touchdown on 10 carries in the first half. Sewell's previous best single-game rushing total was 92 yards against Maryland in 2006.

By Mark Viera  |  November 28, 2009; 5:14 PM ET
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