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   Tech Sports News

Broken Records
by Will Stewart,

Almost completely lost in the hubbub over VT losing the Insight Bowl is the records that were broken that day by Hokie football players. Let's take a look at the records that were broken "with an asterisk," and those that weren't.

What do I mean by "with an asterisk"? That refers to two things: (1) until the 2002 season, bowl statistics didn't count, so any VT season or career records didn't include bowl games; and (2) VT didn't play more than 11 regular season games until 2002.

Up until last year, season records were all set with an 11-game schedule, but in the last two seasons, VT has played more than 11 regular season games, and the bowl game has also counted. In 2002, Tech played 14 games (13 games plus a bowl game), and in 2003, they played 13 games (12 games plus a bowl game).

This is not to diminish the accomplishments of players who set season or career records with the benefit of the extra games. It's just a statistical note. It's more impressive to me personally when a player breaks a record without the benefit of the extra games, though I will certainly honor any records set "by the rules."

Enough babbling. Let's take a look.

With an Asterisk: With 8 catches for 110 yards against Cal, Ernest Wilford broke his one-year-old record for catches in a season. Wilford finished with 55 receptions on the season, breaking the record of 51 that he set last year. Wilford's record comes with an asterisk ... sort of.

While his 55 catches occurred in 13 games, breaking his record of 51 set in 14 games last year, former tight end Mike Burnop held the record for years, with 46 catches in 11 games in 1971. Wilford required more than 11 games to beat Burnop last year, and this year, he "only" had 41 catches after 11 games. So, while Ernest is the man in the record books, and deservedly so, Burnop can always kid that Wilford never really beat his record.

With an Asterisk: With his punt return for a TD, DeAngelo Hall tied a season record and broke a career record ... with an asterisk.

The punt return was Hall's third punt return TD of the year, tying the season record set by former greats Frank Loria (in 1966) and Andre Davis (in 2000). To do it, Hall needed the benefit of the bowl game that Loria and Davis didn't have, hence the asterisk.

Hall broke the career record for punt return TD's with five, a record that Loria and Davis both held at four. Hall had two punt returns last year (against Arkansas State and Rutgers) and three this year (two against Syracuse and one against Cal). But again, Hall's record-breaker came in a bowl game, so he gets an asterisk.

Just for fun, I broke it down by number of returns for Loria, Davis, and Hall, and here's how it looks.

Player Career Punt Returns Career TDs
Loria (1965-67) 61 4
Davis (1998-2001) 55 4
Hall (2001-03) 56 5

Check it out: one more punt return than Davis, one more punt return for a TD. Asterisk, indeed.

But one record Hall has where he doesn't get an asterisk is punt return TDs in a game. He had two against Syracuse this year, the first time a Hokie has had two in a game.

In case you're wondering, Hall narrowly missed punt return yardage records for a game (he had 155 against Syracuse; the record is 164, Antonio Freeman vs. Pitt, 1994), season (he had 487 yards; the record is 510 by Ricky Hall in 1999), and career (he had 839; the record is 872, by Davis).

Without an Asterisk: With 153 yards rushing against Cal, Kevin Jones extended his single-season rushing record to an impressive 1,647 yards. And KJ's record does not come with an asterisk, because he broke the old record, set by Cyrus Lawrence (1,403 in 1981) in 11 games. After 11 games this year, KJ had 1,419 yards, so no asterisk for him.

Bowl Game Records Broken

Among other records, I'm sure, here are the ones broken in the bowl game.

Category New Record Old Record
Rushing Yards 153, Kevin Jones 150, Ken Oxendine
(1996 Orange Bowl)
Passing Attempts 34 (tie), Bryan Randall 34, Jim Druckenmiller
(1995 Sugar Bowl)
Pass Completions 24, Bryan Randall 20, Erik Chapman
(1986 Peach Bowl)
Passing Yards 398, Bryan Randall 269, Grant Noel
(2001 Gator Bowl)
TD Passes 4, Bryan Randall 3, Jim Druckenmiller
(1996 Orange Bowl)
Receptions 8, Ernest Wilford 7, Andre Davis
(2001 Gator Bowl)
TD Receptions 2, Keith Willis 1, ten players
Total Offense 390, Bryan Randall
(398 passing, -8 rushing)
322, Michael Vick
(1999 Sugar Bowl)
Kickoff Return Yards 142, Mike Imoh 118, Richard Johnson
(2001 Gator Bowl)

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Wide Right: Scribbles -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
by Jeff Cockey, 1/1/04, 11:10 pm
Scribbles columns are fun to write, and hopefully to read, when the Hokies win the game, but Carter Warley and a defense that evidently didnít make the trip to Arizona has ruined it for us all. So what do I do? I have already taken the time and effort to scribble the game as I saw it, so should I throw it out or type it up?
in TSL Pass

Of Schemes and Such
by Jim Alderson, 12/30/03, 9:50 am
During the 1992 football season I sat in the stadium at Rutgers and watched the Scarlet Knights pull off a tremendous comeback, rallying to defeat Tech 50-49. It was a defining moment for the Virginia Tech football program under Frank Beamer, as a defense that had become increasingly porous finally collapsed. It also marked the last time Tech scored 49 points in a game and lost. When you hang seven touchdowns on the other guy you really ought to win.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Women Pull Away From Wake, 70-59
by Will Stewart,, 12/29/03, 11:05 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- The Virginia Tech women won the Lady Luck Classic holiday basketball tournament for the sixth time in a row, outscoring Wake Forest 13-2 in the last 2:23 of the game to blow open a tie contest into a double-digit win. Dawn Chriss led the way with 17 points, and Ieva Kublina added 15. Kerri Gardin turned in an impressive double-double, with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
in Women's Hoops

Small Pleasures: The Insight Bowl
by Kevin Cuddihy, 12/29/03, 2:20 pm
Hello and welcome to the Insight Bowl edition of Small Pleasures. Definitely not the way I wanted things to end up, but we go with what we're given and make the best of it. I still enjoyed the heck out of the season, had some great times with friends, and already am looking forward to the Hokies' first year in the ACC!
in Voice of the Fan

Hokie Women Top Furman, 83-70
by Will Stewart,, 12/29/03, 12:40 am
Blacksburg, VA -- The 15th-ranked Virginia Tech women's basketball team pulled away from Furman at the end of the first half and then cruised down the back stretch to victory, pushing their record to 9-0 with an 83-70 win in the first round of the annual Lady Luck Classic in Cassell Coliseum.
in Women's Hoops

Pirates Down Hokies, 74-67
by Will Stewart,, 12/28/03, 12:40 am
Norfolk, VA -- East Carolina broke Virginia Tech's four-game winning streak, pulling away in the last few minutes of a tightly-contested game in the Constant Center in Norfolk, Virginia. The Hokies were led by Brant Matthews with 21 points and Zabian Dowdell with 17.
in Men's Hoops

2003 Insight Bowl: California 52, Virginia Tech 49
by Will Stewart,, 12/27/03, 3:45 pm
Phoenix, AZ - California kicker Tyler Frederickson ended a wild shootout with a 35-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Golden Bears a 52-49 win over the Hokies in the 2003 Insight Bowl. Frederickson's kick ended a Tech comeback that saw the Hokies score two straight touchdowns to erase a 49-35 deficit and tie the game with 3:11 to go on a 52-yard punt return by DeAngelo Hall.
in Football

2003 Insight Bowl Preview: VT vs. California
by Jeff Ouellet, 12/24/03, 2:15 pm
After a season that started with much promise and great expectations, Virginia Tech finds itself not in the BCS, or even the Gator Bowl, but instead unranked and in the Insight Bowl against a 7-6 Cal team. There is no doubt that expectations for many of the players and coaches will go unfulfilled this season; however, the final chapter for this team may speak volumes as to the attitude and approach of future Hokie squads.
in Football

Hokies Crush William and Mary, 80-54
by Will Stewart,, 12/23/03, 11:50 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- Virginia Tech won their fourth in a row and broke a two-game losing streak to William and Mary, crushing the Tribe 80-54 in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies were led once again by Bryant Matthews, who scored 22 first-half points on his way to 32 for the game, the third time this season he has scored over 30 points.
in Men's Hoops

Hokies Down Pesky Towson, 74-67
by Will Stewart,, 12/20/03, 7:40 pm
Towson, MD -- Virginia Tech downed Towson 74-67 in a whistle-filled contest that saw five players foul out. The Hokies were led once again by Bryant Matthews, who overcame a poor first half to score a game-high 24 points. Guard Sean Harris, returning from an injury, chipped in 11 points, as did freshman Jamon Gordon.
in Men's Hoops

VT Recruiting War Room #10: Defense
by Chris Horne, 12/19/03, 2:40 pm
Virginia Tech has steamrolled through the past seven days, picking up five commitments with one more likely on the way today. Five players (including two on the defensive side of the ball) verbally committed to Tech during that span. West Charlotte (NC) cornerback Rod Council will announce on Friday between Virginia Tech and UVA, with Tech being the likely choice.
in TSL Pass

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