|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.
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
"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
"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
"Who knows what would have happened if Mike and I were
healthy," Davis said.
"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
|With one loss, Michael Vick knows his hopes for the Heisman and the national title are seemingly out of reach.|
Hurricanes take big step toward title in rout vs. Hokies