BLACKSBURG, Va. – Cedric Humes ran for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns and No. 5 Virginia Tech advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game with a 30-3 victory against North Carolina.

The Hokies (10-1, 7-1) led only 6-3 at halftime, but Humes scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards and Branden Ore added a TD run – all in the third quarter – as Virginia Tech made certain it didn’t squander a second chance to win the ACC’s Coastal Division.

The Hokies feared they had blown their chance three weeks ago when they lost 27-7 to Miami, but the Hurricanes then lost at home last weekend against Georgia Tech.

While the Hokies move on to the inaugural championship game next Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla., against Florida State, the loss deprived the Tar Heels (5-6, 4-4) of becoming the ninth conference team to have the six wins needed for a bowl berth.

Virginia Tech will be seeking its second ACC title in as many years since joining the league, and will be facing a Seminoles team that lost its third straight Saturday, the first three-game slide for coach Bobby Bowden’s team since the 1983 season.

The Hokies that came out after halftime would be a formidable foe for anyone, even though Marcus Vick was hardly a factor, finishing 8-for-15 for just 61 yards.

Humes carried on six plays the first time the Hokies got the ball after the half. He had runs of 11, 9 and 13 yards to start the drive, and finished with a 1-yard dive.

After the Tar Heels went three-and-out, Ore took over at tailback, carrying seven times for 42 yards – including a 20-yard burst – before scoring from 4 yards out.

The Hokies again held the Tar Heels without a first down, and again it was Humes’ turn, his touchdown coming as he pushed a pile of defenders into the end zone.

That made it 27-3, and the Tar Heels were finished. They did drive inside the Tech five in the fourth quarter, but the Hokies defense held on four consecutive plays.

Earlier, the Hokies seemed tentative.

Humes fumbled the ball away in the first quarter, and Vick finally brought the frigid crowd to life with a 1-yard scoring pass to a diving Jeff King early in the second quarter. Brandon Pace’s extra point try was pulled wide to the right.

The game’s next five possessions ended in punts before Vick overthrew David Clowney late in the second quarter and Kareen Taylor intercepted, leading to a 25-yard field goal from Connor Barth with :01 left in the half. It could have been worse for Tech, but on the play before the kick, Jesse Holley dropped Matt Baker’s perfect pass in the end zone.

AP-ES-11-26-05 2315EST


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