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|Welcome to TSLMail #97 - Friday, September 19, 2003||
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TSL Welcomes New Sponsor Crown Auto to TechSideline.com!
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
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Click here to go to TSL's Crown Auto Sponsor's page (see link for sweepstakes at the bottom of the page) and play this week's trivia game.
Congratulations to Brian Bixon for winning last week's prize, a $100 gift certificate to Crutchfield!
And don't forget, if you're in the market for a luxury automobile (new or used), be sure to check out Crown Automotive, in Richmond, Midlothian, and Charlottesville. See our Crown Sponsor's Page for information and links for their four locations.
Thursday night's victory over Texas A&M makes the Hokies 8-1 in ESPN Thursday night games. Here's a look at the Hokie history of Thursday nights on ESPN.
VT 34, West Virginia 6, September 22nd, 1994 (no box score link available): With the national spotlight shining on Blacksburg and hysteria gripping Hokie fans (they painted VT's on Route 460 going into Blacksburg!), Maurice DeShazo had a rough outing, going 12-of-32 and throwing 3 interceptions. But DeShazo had 185 yards passing, including 2 TD's, a 29-yarder to Antonio Freeman and a 35-yarder to Bryan Still. The Hokie defense dominated WVU with 8 sacks, as Tech handed WVU their worst loss in the series since a 41-0 Tech victory in 1912. The Hokies had played a tough road game just five days earlier, beating Boston College 12-7 in Chestnut Hill.
Boston College 20, VT 14, September 7th, 1995: Jim Druckenmiller threw for 296 yards and a touchdown in his Tech debut, but the Hokies dropped a close one to a strong Boston College team coached by Dan Henning. As the game wound down, Druckenmiller drove his team to the BC 19-yard-line, but a dropped first-down pass by Cornelius White at the six-yard line halted the momentum and preceded three more incompletions. Beginning 9 days later, on September 16th, the Hokies would play ten straight games without a single off-week, unheard of these days.
VT 17, Boston College 0, October 8th, 1998: After a two-season hiatus, the Hokies returned to Thursday night football, beating BC in a downpour in Chestnut Hill. This game was full of drama: the Hokies started converted defender Nick Sorensen at QB, because Al Clark and Dave Meyer were both out with injuries. Tech turned the ball over six times but won on the strength of an 85-yard interception return for a TD by Pierson Prioleau, a blocked punt, a recovery of a muffed punt, and a goal-line stand in which they stopped BC four straight times from the one-yard line.
VT 31, Clemson 11, September 23rd, 1999: As Michael Vick struggled (3 INT's), Corey Moore put on a stellar performance, with two sacks, two other tackles for loss, five QB hurries, a forced fumble, and a fumble return for a touchdown. This game vaulted the 1999 Hokies and Moore into the national spotlight and got their march to the national championship game underway.
VT 45, East Carolina 28, September 7th, 2000: Just five days after opening against Akron at home, the Hokies traveled to Greenville, NC and destroyed a fired-up ECU team, jumping out to a 31-0 half time lead and coasting from there. Michael Vick was not a factor, throwing for 106 yards and rushing for 13. The Hokies dominated with special teams, scoring two TD's. Cory Bird returned a blocked punt nine yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, and Andre Davis brought back a punt 87 yards for a score in the second period.
VT 48, West Virginia 20, October 12th, 2000: Playing their second Thursday night game of the season, and again doing it on just five days rest, Tech's Andre Davis put on a show worthy of a Heisman contender. Davis scored on a 30-yard end-around run, caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Michael Vick, and returned a punt 76 yards for another TD, all in a six-minute, 36-second span of the third period. Davis' trio of scores blew the lid off a 14-14 tie.
VT 47, Marshall 21, September 12th, 2002: Hosting Heisman Trophy candidate Byron Leftwich, the Hokies jumped out to a 33-0 lead early in the fourth quarter and had 395 rushing yards for the game. Kevin Jones had 171 yards on 24 carries, and Lee Suggs had 153 yards, also on 24 carries.
VT 28, Boston College 23, October 10, 2002: The Hokies had 15 penalties and were soundly whipped on special teams, giving up 279 kick return yards, including an 83-yard punt return for a TD, but they won anyway at BC. The Hokies rolled up 334 yards rushing on 61 carries, including 154 yards by Lee Suggs (26 carries) and 144 yards by Kevin Jones (18 carries). Three of Boston College's four turnovers were critical, as they fumbled into the Tech end zone on one possession and threw interceptions at the Tech goal line on two other possessions.
VT 35, Texas A&M 19, September 18, 2003: Leading 21-19 going into the fourth quarter, the Hokies got a clutch performance from Bryan Randall and a career-high 188 yards rushing on 30 carries from Kevin Jones. The game was played in wind and rain as Hurricane Isabel made its way through central Virginia and doused Blacksburg.
The Hokies have played some classic battles on ESPN on Thursday nights, and the game has often served as a showcase for Tech's rabid fan base, from their very first appearance before a packed house against WVU in 1994.
The Thursday night games have allowed the Hokies to highlight their offense (1995 BC, 2002 Marshall), their defense (1994 WVU, 1998 BC, 1999 Clemson), their special teams (2000 ECU), and their stars (1999 Clemson, 2000 WVU, 2002 Texas A&M).
Very few Top 25 teams will play consistently on Thursday nights on ESPN, but the Hokies have averaged once a year over the last decade and have used the Thursday night broadcasts to bring national attention to their football team and help build their program.
This week, 2005 prospect Ed Wang pulled the trigger on a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech. Wang, who plays tight end and defensive end for Stone Bridge High School in Virginia, becomes the first verbal commitment for the 2005 recruiting class. He is a 6-5, 260 pound player who runs a 4.8 in the 40.
Hermitage LB Andrew Bowman has set his first official visit – with Virginia Tech for the first or second week in December. UVA, Tennessee, and Purdue are other schools likely to get official visits.
Virginia Tech is looking good, really good, for Lake Taylor linebacker/running back Purnell Sturdivant. Sturdivant mentioned he "might commit to Virginia Tech," however will wait to decide at the end of his senior season. At 5-11, 225 pounds, Sturdivant could play a number of positions, offensively and defensively, for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech is in the mix for two top OL prospects – Eastern Regional (Voorhees, NJ) Phil Trautwein and Spring Valley (Columbia, SC) Leon Hart. Both players are seriously considering the Hokies for an official visit.
Number one on LB Hugh D’Imperio’s list is Virginia Tech. D’Imperio has not set any official visits, but likes the Virginia Tech program and the fact that they are in the ACC.
Three more Hargrave players have received offers – DL/OL Brandon Setzer, DB Brandon Flowers, and LB Antonio Reynolds. Reynolds signed with Miami (FL) out of high school but ended up at Hargrave following an academic snafu.
Finally, quarterback Jordan Steffy (Conestoga Valley, PA) lists Maryland, Michigan State, and VT as his favorites. He will take an official visit to Purdue on the weekend on 10/11/03 and will definitely visit VT and Michigan State.
Top PG prospect Marquie Cooke is on the VT campus this weekend, and strong rumors are swirling that he will commit to VT within the next week. He may still visit Clemson even if the visit goes well, but no doubt head coach Seth Greenberg is hoping for a commitment.
For updates and information on all these players and more, subscribe to TechSideline Pass. Information on how to subscribe follows.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Heroes and Goats
Texas A&M Preview
Hokie Hotline Notes
All the Same, I'd Rather VT be Playing
A Call to Challenge
Sweet September Wins
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