Saturday, November 4
Ineffective Vick feels he hurt team

MIAMI -- With his strong arm, his flashy style, even with his hobbled foot, Michael Vick was supposed to give Virginia Tech a boost Saturday against No. 3 Miami.

It worked. Until he tried to run.

Michael Vick
With one loss, Michael Vick knows his hopes for the Heisman and the national title are seemingly out of reach.

Now Vick is seemingly out of the race for the Heisman Trophy, and the No. 2 Hokies are likely out of the Big East and national title hunts.

"It's very disappointing," Vick said after Miami's 41-21 victory. "This was a big game. This determined our season. It really hurt me inside, deep inside."

Vick, who sprained his right ankle in last week's win over Pittsburgh, did not start but ran 19 plays after replacing Dave Meyer late in the first quarter.

Wearing a custom-built brace that had been slightly modified with ski clasps to firmly tighten it around his ankle, Vick entered the game with the Hokies trailing 14-0.

The injury clearly hampered the 6-foot-1, 214-pound sophomore.

Vick was 2-of-5 passing for 9 yards and ran three times for 5 yards. He fumbled once and threw an interception.

"I didn't want to do anything to hurt the football team. But I did that," Vick said. "That's one of the reasons I came out. That was not Michael Vick out there playing football."


Vick wasn't sure he would be able to play when the day started. That changed during pregame warmups after he switched to a bigger shoe that gave him a little more flexibility and mobility.

"I was feeling pain, but sometimes pain goes away when you start playing," he said.

Meyer made his third career start, but was ineffective. The Hokies punted on their first three possessions. Trailing by two touchdowns, coach Frank Beamer turned to Vick.

"Maybe we thought the persona of Michael Vick could give us a spark even though we knew he was crippled and hobbled and not 100 percent," Meyer said.

On his first three plays, Vick drove the Hokies 26 yards. He might have led them to a score had Emmett Johnson not dropped a perfectly thrown pass on third down.

Trying to run during the next series, Vick struggled. He couldn't cut. He couldn't make defenders miss. He was even caught from behind. On the play, he was trying so hard to protect his ankle that he forgot to protect the ball.

"After that, there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't stay in there very long," Vick said. "I couldn't move, I was hobbling and I just wasn't comfortable. But I wanted to give it a try."

Vick, along with Beamer and team trainer Mike Goforth, decided during halftime that he would not return to the game. Vick spent the second half standing near the sideline with a towel draped over his head, his right shoe loosened to accommodate his heavily taped ankle.

"The pain had become too unbearable for him," Goforth said. "The key was whether he was going to be able to protect himself and we knew he couldn't. He was very upset. He took it hard."

Receiver Andre Davis, Vick's favorite target and the nation's leading punt returner, played sparingly because of bursitis in his left foot.

"Who knows what would have happened if Mike and I were healthy," Davis said.

Beamer might.

"I'm not getting into that," he said. "We came in here with who we have. No excuses here. We've got the best quarterback in the country ... it would've helped if he would have been in the ball game."

Hurricanes take big step toward title in rout vs. Hokies HELP | ADVERTISER INFO | CONTACT US | TOOLS | SITE MAP
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