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   Welcome to TSLMail #56 - Friday, December 6, 2002    
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   New From TechLocker.com

Get the Jump on Your Christmas Shopping

If your town is like mine, it's covered in ice and snow right now, and the thought of Christmas shopping ... ugh.

So take it easy, kick back at home, and do all your Hokie Christmas shopping at TechLocker.com. It's quick, convenient, and you don't have to fight the crowds and traffic.

Here's a look at some of the great gift items we've got -- just click the links to head over to TechLocker.com and start shopping:

To Enter TechLocker.com, Click Here
To check out the items below, click the picture or the link


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VT Golf Umbrella - $39.95
This quality golf umbrella made by Vitronic 4 Seasons features the orange and white VT logo imprinted on one of the maroon panels. Very light and durable.
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Frosted Mug - $14.95
Imagine your favorite golden beverage in this 13 oz. frosted sport mug by Glass America. The orange and maroon VT logo is imprinted on this durable tankard. Get a set so you and your friends can toast the Hokies at your next party.
Click here to see the Glassware and Barware category


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Deluxe Leather Laptop Attache - $234.95
Black, supple, fine-grained Nappa leather attache with the VT logo embossed on the flap. A laptop computer fits nicely into one of the twin padded compartments.
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Classic Varsity Jacket - $249.95
The commitment to quality detail and impeccable design is evident in this Classic Varsity Jacket by Holloway. The 24-oz. wool melton body and soft leather sleeves are the perfect choice for the discerning Hokie fan.
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VT Necktie - $29.95
This is the MUST HAVE tie for all Hokie fans. The VT logo is woven throughout this fine silk/poly blend maroon tie.
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   Tech Sports News

All About Ernest
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

With Saturday's game against #1-ranked Miami fast approaching, the subject of Ernest Wilford's dropped two-point conversion against the Canes last year has been brought up often. Ernest has been a very popular interview subject this week.

I watched a replay of the 2001 Miami/VT game on ESPN Classic Thursday afternoon, and it was painful to see Wilford drop the pass that would have tied the score with 6:03 remaining. Wilford was distraught, so much so that he refused to speak to the media afterwards.

It was heartening to see his VT teammates gather around him after the play and tell him that it was okay, and not to worry about it, but you still have to wonder what would have happened if Wilford had caught that pass.

But through adversity, we become better people, and Wilford has rebounded from "The Drop" to turn in a great season this year. He has set records for receiving yards in a game (279, versus Syracuse) and TD receptions in a game (4, also against Syracuse).

Not only did he set those two game records, but Wilford has turned in one of the best seasons by a receiver in Virginia Tech history. He has 40 receptions for 807 yards (20.2 ypc, 6 TD's), and here's where those figures rank in the Tech record books:

Season Records for VT Receivers
Pass Receptions Receiving Yards
46 Mike Burnop, 1971 962 Andre Davis, 1999
43 Ricky Scales, 1972 826 Ricky Scales 1972
43 Sidney Snell, 1979 807 Ernest Wilford, 2002
43 Sidney Snell, 1980 772 Ricky Scales, 1973
40 Ernest Wilford, 2002 706 Sidney Snell, 1979

Wilford's assault on the record books is aided by the fact that he is playing in a 13-game season, whereas all past Hokie football players have compiled their records in 11-game seasons.

And this year, Wilford's final statistics will include his bowl game stats, as well. In a change that reversed decades of history, the NCAA voted to include bowl game statistics in football stats, starting this season. The change will not be retroactive, so bowl game stats will not be added back in to past statistics, but will only be included from this season on.

So Wilford has two games in which to catch 7 passes and break Burnop's record, and two games in which to amass 156 receiving yards and break Andre Davis' record. When all is said and done, Wilford's statistics will be for a 14-game season, with all past statistics covering 11-game seasons.

With regards to career records, Wilford, a redshirt junior, now has 60 catches for 1,048 yards and 7 TD's. He is far away from breaking Tech career records for catches (121, Antonio Freeman), yards (2,272, Ricky Scales), and TD's (22, Antonio Freeman).

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VT/Miami Classics

Speaking of ESPN Classic (from the note above), they could fill up a whole day's worth of programming with VT/Miami games from the last seven times the teams have played each other (1995-2001). From 1995-1998, the Canes and Hokies played nothing but barn-burners, and last season, they resumed the tradition of exciting finishes.

This week, ESPN Classic has replayed the 1997 game (on Sunday), the 2001 game (on Thursday), and the 1998 game (Friday afternoon). As exciting as those games were, they don't represent every exciting Canes/Hokies finish since 1995.

1995: Tech true freshman Loren Johnson bats down a fourth-down pass in the end zone with 17 seconds to go to preserve Tech's first ever win over Miami, 13-7.

1996: With the Hokies leading 14-7 and Miami driving, Tech's Keion Carpenter returns an interception 100 yards with 1:54 to go to seal the win, 21-7.

1997: Miami storms back from a 24-13 deficit in the fourth quarter to close within two points at 27-25, but with 1:48 to go, Pierson Prioleau intercepts Miami's 2-point conversion attempt to preserve the win.

1998: In a hard-fought game at Miami's Orange Bowl, the Hokies score in the first overtime on a 24 yard pass from Al Clark to Ricky Hall to take a 27-20 lead, and then Corey Moore and John Engelberger shut down the Canes with two straight sacks for the Hokie win.

2001: Tech roars back from a 20-0 half time deficit to close to 26-24 on a blocked punt return by Brandon Manning, but Grant Noel's 2-point conversion pass is dropped by Ernest Wilford with 6:03 to go.

The 1999 (43-10, Hokies) and 2000 (41-21, Canes) games were blowouts, but these two teams have established a tradition of hard-hitting, nasty, competitive games that any college football fan can appreciate. Here's hoping Saturday's game is as good, and that it ends up as well for the Hokies as the 1995-1999 games did.

-- Will Stewart

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Miami Preview
by Jeff Ouellet, 12/5/02, 4:10 pm
Although it seems a shame to interrupt all this talk about the Hokiesí bowl destination, on a whim I decided to check the schedule. Lo and behold, it appears that VT has a game against the University of Miami on Saturday in the Orange Bowl.
in Football

Waiting on the Domers, and Other Bowl Thoughts
by Jim Alderson, 12/5/02, 10:00 am
Itís early December and the annual bowl scramble is upon us. Who cannot help but marvel at the art of the deals being struck, such as where in the continental United States Tech ends up and which poor bowl committee wretches are stuck with the Hoos? Ainít college football grand?
in TSL Columnists

Hokie Hotline Notes
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 12/4/02, 3:20 pm
Tuesday's guests were defensive coordinator Bud Foster and head coach Frank Beamer. The show came from Gobblertown Tavern, soon to be "Beamer's," but there was no studio audience, as the restaurant is undergoing renovations.
in Hotline Notes

Virginia Game Analysis
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 12/3/02, 10:30 pm
Hokie fans had to endure a lot during Virginia Tech's three-game losing streak. They had to give up a lot of long-held beliefs, some of which were at the very foundation of their beliefs about Virginia Tech football. Click here

TSLX Supplement -- by Will Stewart
A breakdown of Tech's punt block, and Virginia's third-quarter short passing game.

Wide Right: Slow, Fat Kids
by Jeff Cockey, 12/3/02, 9:50 am
"Wide Right" is a column that will focus on the current sports season. The problem is that, much like Florida State kickers, I am not always accurate.
in Voice of the Fan

Hokies Freeze Out Hoos, 21-9
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 12/1/02, 12:50 am
Blacksburg, VA - Lee Suggs, playing in his final home game, ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hokies to a 21-9 victory over Virginia in bitterly cold weather in Lane Stadium.
in Football

 
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