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The Wild Turkey re-emerges

Virginia Tech brought out the turkey – the Wild Turkey – just in time for Thanksgiving.

For only the second time this season, the Hokies ran their variation of the Wildcat offense, the Wild Turkey, in Saturday’s 38-10 win over North Carolina State. In the third quarter, senior tight end Greg Boone took four snaps in the formation – and nearly completed a touchdown pass.

“It felt better because it was Senior Day,” Boone said of running the formation, “coming out here for my last Saturday at Lane Stadium, hearing the crowd scream my name.”

Last season, Boone ran 21 times for 76 yards and a touchdown out of the Wild Turkey. But he had yet to run a play in the formation this season; he was injured earlier in the year and the Hokies’ coaches said they did not need to run Wild Turkey because the offense had improved moving the ball without that added wrinkle.

“It wasn’t something we really needed to run like last year,” Boone said.

Before Saturday, the Wild Turkey appearance only once this season. It was a 3-yard rush by running back Ryan Williams, who lined up as quarterback.

But on Saturday, Boone returned to the role in the Hokies’ offense. The crowd reacted in kind, greeting him with a familiar calling: “Boooooone.”

The senior tight end handed off once and ran twice for 9 yards. He also took a shot toward the end zone, heaving a deep pass to Jarrett Boykin but play was broken up by safety Brandan Bishop. It was Boone’s second career pass attempt.

“It was overall a good feeling throwing the ball,” Boone said. “I figured I’d get him over the top, but the ball fell a little short.”

No. 14 Virginia Tech (8-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) closes out the regular season at Virginia (3-8, 2-5) on Saturday.

By Mark Viera  |  November 23, 2009; 1:35 PM ET
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