BLACKSBURG, Va. - Brandon Pace kicked three field goals to set a school record with 19 consecutive successful attempts and No. 20 Virginia Tech posted its third shutout of the season in a 23-0 victory over Kent State on Saturday.
Branden Ore added a 6-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Noland Burchette returned a fumble caused by a sack 15 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown for the Hokies (8-2), who gained only 214 yards, but allowed the Golden Flashes 182.
Kent State (5-5) managed nine first downs. The Golden Flashes did drive to the Hokies' 6 in the second half, but Michael Machen was sacked by Carlton Powell for a loss of 9 yards, and Nate Reed missed a field goal try from 32 yards.
Pace kicked field goals of 34, 37 and 24 yards for the Hokies, and now has the second-longest streak in Atlantic Coast Conference history. Marc Primanti of Maryland made 27 in a row in 1995 and '96.
On the second play after Pace's third field goal made it 16-0, Hokies defensive end Chris Ellis sacked Machen, forcing the fumble that Burchette turned into points.
Ore, who rushed for 72 yards, capped a 65-yard drive with his TD run with 10:42 left in the third quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 15-yard pass from Sean Glennon to David Clowney, and bolstered by 29 yards in penalties against Kent State.
Kent State threatened midway through the third period, after Eddie Royal fumbled a 42-yard punt return and the Golden Flashes took over on their 11. Machen completed a 49-yard pass to Najah Pruden and Eugene Jarvis ran for 15 on the drive before Powell had one of the Hokies' three sacks and Reed's kick was off target.
Glennon was 12-for-22 for 141 yards. The Hokies had just 14 first downs.
Warned all week against taking the school from the Mid-American Conference lightly, Virginia Tech led just 6-0 on Pace's field goals and had gained just 38 yards on the ground at halftime.
Pace, a senior, hasn't missed since he went 3-for-4 against Boston College on Oct. 27, 2005.