Vick powers second-half rally as Hokies win Gator Bowl

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Virginia Tech players danced around the field, pausing for hugs, posing for photographs and praising their come-from-behind victory.

The Hokies had a much better experience in the River City this time around.

Marcus Vick threw two touchdown passes, Cedric Humes ran for 113 yards and a score and No. 12 Virginia Tech rallied to beat 15th-ranked Louisville 35-24 in the Gator Bowl on Monday.

The Hokies overcame numerous penalties, the absence of a key offensive lineman and the ejection of a defensive leader to rebound from a surprising loss to Florida State on the same field in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game a month ago.

"This is a much better feeling than when we were here last time," tight end Jeff Kind said. "We wanted to go out on a better note than what we showed when we played Florida State. We had a lot of guys come in and step up. That's what good teams will do to get back on the winning track."

Tech (11-2) scored on three consecutive possessions in the second half, turning a 17-10 deficit into a 28-24 lead. James Anderson sealed the victory when he intercepted Hunter Cantwell's pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown with 5:04 to play.

"That was a big play," Anderson said. "It came at the right time and I was in the right spot. We got good pressure on the quarterback, he threw it right to me and I just made a play."

Vick made several plays while directing the comeback, which snapped a five-game winning streak for Louisville (9-3).

He completed a 54-yard pass to David Clowney and then Humes scored on the next play from 24 yards. The Hokies made the two-point conversion when Vick scrambled right and laced a pass to Josh Morgan, cutting the lead to 24-21.

Chris Ellis sacked Cantwell on the ensuing drive and knocked the ball loose. Anderson recovered near midfield, and Vick did the rest.

He threw two deep passes that might have been caught if not for pass interference penalties. He completed another sharp throw to Clowney to set up a first-and-goal. Two plays later, he found King for the go-ahead score.

"You could feel the momentum change," Louisville linebacker Nate Harris said.

Vick finished 11-of-21 for 203 yards. He also ran 13 times for 10 yards.

But Vick found himself engulfed in controversy following the game because he stepped on the back of NCAA sack leader Elvis Dumervil's leg just before halftime. Vick wasn't penalized, but it looked intentional on television replays.

"It was an accident," Vick said.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said he sent Vick to Louisville's locker room after the game to apologize, but Dumervil never emerged.

"Whatever happened is unfortunate," Beamer said. "I'm not happy about some of the things that happened in the first half. We'll leave it at that."

Senior cornerback Jimmy Williams was also ejected for bumping an official in the first quarter following an extra point. The Hokies were penalized two other times on the drive. Ellis was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer, and then Noland Burchette was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after he celebrated a hard hit that left Cantwell with a bloody nose.

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said Cantwell may have broken his nose.

"Hunter gave a great effort," Petrino said. "He got hit probably harder than he's ever been hit."

A freshman walk-on making his second start in place of Brian Brohm, Cantwell played well early but looked overwhelmed against Tech's vaunted defense late.

He finished 15-of-37 for 216 yards with three touchdowns but was also sacked four times and had four turnovers -- three interceptions and a fumble. Three of the turnovers came in the decisive second half.

"I want to remember the second half," Beamer said. "I don't particularly want to remember the first half. ... We got back to Virginia Tech football. Personal fouls, penalties and sloppy play. That's not us. We haven't won all these games by being like that."