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   Tech Sports News

Hokie Fans: Thanks for the Support of Advance Auto Parts
by Will Stewart, is pleased to have Advance Auto Parts as a sponsor. Advance Auto Parts is the TSLMail sponsor, as you can see from their logo at the top of this mailing. The partnership between Advance Auto Parts (TSL's first-ever sponsor) and the web site has been a great one, and we thank you for supporting Advance Auto Parts and giving them great feedback.

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The VT/NC State Football Rivalry
by Will Stewart,

If you pick any Virginia Tech fan who is older than about 35 and say "NC State" to them in the context of football, one thought comes to mind: the 1986 Peach Bowl. For fans who followed VT football in 1986, Tech's 25-24 win over the Wolfpack in the 1986 Peach Bowl was the pinnacle of achievement for Hokie football at the time.

But VT and NCSU have played some other memorable games as well, and as a matter of fact, the two teams played a spirited, competitive four-game series from 1989-1992, with all four games decided by a touchdown or less.

Overall, the two teams have played 44 times, second-most of VT against any ACC school (behind Virginia), and the Hokies lead the series 23-17-4.

Let's run down the last five games.

1986: VT 25, NCSU 24 (The New Peach Bowl): Unfortunately, in the context of TSLMail, we really can't do this game justice. It's a game that deserves its own lengthy article, because it takes a long article to capture all the twists and turns of this dramatic contest.

This game was broadcast on the Mizzlou TV network and featured a rough-around-the-edges (that's putting it nicely) Lee Corso as the color analyst. The name of the game had changed from "The Peach Bowl" to "The New Peach Bowl" because the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce was sponsoring the game for the first time and wanted to differentiate it somehow. The game was played in old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, in open air on grass turf.

VT coach (and athletic director) Bill Dooley and the Hokies were in the midst of a bitter divorce, which is another topic in and of itself. The coach had resigned early in the year, effective at the end of the season, and as a matter of fact, was suing the university for $3.5 million over his dismissal as athletic director amidst NCAA investigations into recruiting violations.

Remarkably, the team stayed focused, riding the amazing leg of placekicker Chris Kinzer to an 8-2-1 regular season, which was later amended to 9-1-1 when Temple, who had defeated the Hokies 29-13, were found to have used an ineligible player in the person of Paul Palmer. (It was fair that the game was forfeited, because Palmer was the reason Temple won!)

Kinzer at one point made 17 field goals in a row in 1986, booting a game-tying field goal against South Carolina (a 27-27 deadlock) and a last-second game-winner against Kentucky (a 17-15 thriller). He finished a remarkable 22-of-27 on field goal tries, going 10 of 12 beyond 40 yards, which was good enough to get him named to many All-American teams.

To say that the 1986 Peach Bowl -- err, New Peach Bowl -- had drama is understating it. First Maurice Williams ran 77 yards on Tech's first offensive play, leading to a one-yard TD (7-0, VT). Then State blocked a VT punt and recovered it for a touchdown (7-7). Kinzer then kicked a 46-yard field goal (10-7, Tech).

NC State dominated the second and third quarters, putting up 14 straight points to take a 21-10 lead. The Hokies finally got back on the scoreboard with 33 seconds left in the third quarter, closing it to 21-16 on a 72-yard drive that featured a QB sneak for a first down on fourth and inches.

The Hokies struck again six minutes later, taking the lead 22-21 (a second straight 2-point conversion failed) on a pass from Erik Chapman to Steve Johnson. The score came after State QB Erik Kramer (the same one who later played in the NFL) fumbled the ball to the Hokies on the Tech 41.

With 7:12 to go, State wrestled the lead back on a 33-yard field goal by Mike Cofer, making it 24-22, Wolfpack.

After the Hokies failed to move the ball on offense and buried the Wolfpack at their own 14 yard line, State drove the ball deep into Tech territory on the strength of a 40-yard run by fullback Mal Crite and a fake punt. The fake punt appeared to be a back-breaker, giving the Pack a first down on the Tech 35 with less than three minutes to go.

Then came one of the best individual defensive stands ever seen. VT linebacker Jamel Agemy blitzed twice in a row, first on a running play and then on a pass play, registering two straight tackles for loss and single-handedly pushing State back to the 43-yard line.

After an incompletion, the Wolfpack punted into the end zone, and VT took over on their 20 yard line with just 1:53 remaining ... and if you remember Bill Dooley's offenses, that wasn't an encouraging setup.

But this VT team knew how to win, and they moved the ball to the Wolfpack 36 yard line, where they spent their last timeout and faced third and three with 38 seconds remaining. The Hokies ran a sweep to the right by Maurice Williams (not a surprise, if you're familiar with Dooley's playcalling), who was stuffed for a one-yard loss.

With Williams being tackled in bounds and the Hokies with no timeouts left, VT was in dire trouble. But Williams stayed down on the field with an injury that was more feigned than real, and the clock stopped with 27 seconds left.

"I got hit on the shin," Williams said after the game. "Then my leg cramped on me. I tried to get up, but the coaches on the sideline told me to just stay down." And indeed, if you have a tape of the game, you can see the VT coaches waving at Williams to stay on the turf.

With time bought by Williams lying on the field, the Hokies regrouped, and on fourth and three, Chapman hit Johnson for a first down on the Wolfpack 29 with 15 seconds left.

A 46-yard field goal was within Kinzer's range, but Dooley got greedy, and it almost cost Tech the ballgame. The Hokies threw deep on the next play, and Tech committed holding on the play, pushing Tech back to the 39 yard line, out of field goal range, with 11 seconds left.

Chapman dropped back again, and again he went deep. He lobbed the ball down the left sideline into the end zone, where an NC State defensive back interfered with VT's David Everett. With four seconds left to go, the refs moved the ball to the NC State 24 yard line, setting up a 40-yard field goal by Kinzer (college kickers used a two-inch tee for field goals back then, allowing them to kick the ball from six yards behind the line of scrimmage, instead of the modern-day seven yards).

NC State called a timeout to try to freeze Kinzer, but you can't freeze a man who already has ice water in his veins. Kinzer removed his helmet, calmly knelt on the field for the duration of the timeout, and then punched the ball straight down the middle. Hokies 25, NC State 24, and Virginia Tech had their first-ever bowl win.

That game was a great one, one of the best football games I've ever seen, and it left Corso repeating the old mantra "It was a shame either team had to lose this game." But the Hokies and Pack played some other good ones too, from 1989-1992 as mentioned above.

1989: VT 25, NCSU 23: This was the final game of the 1989 season for the Hokies, played in Raleigh, and Tech clinched their first winning season under Frank Beamer with a big road win over 5-point favorite NC State.

The Hokies had lost to Virginia 32-25 the week before to seriously damage their bowl chances, and they were down to their third string quarterback, Rodd Wooten. Will Furrer had been lost for the season to a knee injury in the fourth game, and backup Cam Young, with an iffy shoulder, was knocked out in the tenth game against UVa.

No matter. Wooten had played an impressive second half against UVa, leading a charge that almost saw the Hokies come back from a 24-0 half time deficit. He did well against State too, hitting 9 of 16 passes for 146 yards and one interception. The Hokies got a 55-yard interception return for a TD from senior cornerback Roger Brown and a combined 96 yards rushing from Tony Kennedy and true freshman Vaughn Hebron to get the win.

Midway through the third quarter, the Hokies scored to go up 20-16, and despite having over twenty minutes left in the game, Beamer went for two points. The Hokies got it, putting them up 22-16, and that two points proved to be the difference in the game. Tech went up 25-16 on a fourth-quarter field goal, then gave up a late TD for the final margin.

1990: VT 20, NSCU 16: The Hokies seemed to have NC State's number, knocking off the two-and-a-half-point favorite Pack in Blacksburg this time. State had Tech down 16-7 at half time, but the Hokies put together three long second-half drives to get the win.

First Will Furrer hit 6-5 basketball player-turned wideout John Rivers for a three-yard TD. The play was a fade route to Rivers that the Hokies used often in goal line situations. The TD capped a remarkable 16-play drive that included three interference penalties committed by NCSU defensive backs against Rivers.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Hokies topped that drive with a 17-play, 77-yard production that ended in a one-yard TD dive by Tony Kennedy. The play call was a risky one. Facing a fourth and goal from the State half-yard line, the Hokies, who were down 16-14, passed on the field goal and went for the TD. Kennedy made it and Tech went up 20-16, missing a two-point conversion. The Hokie D made the lead stand up.

Tech won the game despite being without offensive stars Jim Pyne and Vaughn Hebron, who were out with injuries.

1991: NCSU 7, VT 0: This loss was excruciating, because the Hokies had multiple chances to win this one, which was played in Raleigh. The Hokies turned the ball over seven times, including a record-tying five interceptions by Furrer.

Three of the turnovers came inside the State five yard line, and a fourth came inside the State 25 yard line, as the Hokies blew chance after chance and squandered a great effort by their defense.

To further add salt to the wound, State's lone touchdown came with one second left in the first half, on a broken-play pass attempt from the Tech 10 yard line.

Tech's Marcus Mickel fumbled a pass into the end zone, where State recovered it; Furrer threw a pass to Mickel that was intercepted in the end zone; after an NC State fumble on their 11-yard line, Tony Kennedy fumbled it right back inside the State 5; and on VT's last-ditch possession, they drove to the State 24-yard line, only to have Furrer throw his last interception to seal the loss.

All in all, a horrible day and one not worth remembering for Hokie fans.

1992: VT 13, NCSU 13: In the midst of what would turn out to be a nightmare 2-8-1 season, the Hokies played perhaps their best game of the year, battling No. 21 NC State to a standstill. Tech came into the game with a 2-3-0 record, having suffered fourth-quarter losses to ECU and Louisville.

Tech gave NCSU a good game, despite losing starting QB Maurice DeShazo to a second quarter injury, and despite having Vaughn Hebron and Bo Campbell miss the game with injuries. DeShazo was replaced by cult hero Treg Koel (remember him?), who went 9 of 14 for 109 yards, no interceptions, and a picture perfect 52-yard bomb Antonio Freeman for a TD. Koel's performance, compared to DeShazo's 1 of 5 for 11 yards, was so impressive that it sparked a QB controversy for a while.

Even more impressive was the Tech defense -- yes, the old wide tackle six even had good games in 1992 -- which held NC State to 0 third down conversions out of 12.

When Ryan Williams booted a 30-yard field goal with 1:21 left to put VT up 13-10, it looked like the Hokies would have a big Homecoming win. But State returned the kickoff to their 37 yard line, then hit pass plays of 19 and 17 yards that helped them move the ball to the Tech 20 yard line, where they called timeout with two seconds left and lined up for a 37-yard field goal.

State field goal kicker Scott Videtich had missed his two previous attempts, and as he kicked this one, VT safety Kirk Alexander got a hand on it. As 43,682 fans watched breathlessly, the ball fluttered towards the goal post ... and barely cleared the crossbar.

And for almost 12 years, NC State and Virginia Tech have waited to resolve that last tie game. The two teams will play Saturday, September 25th in Blacksburg. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Look Back on ACC Expansion? No Thanks
by Will Stewart,, 5/6/04, 9:35 am
In my office, over in the corner underneath a shoebox and an empty birthday party gift bag, I have a stack of old Roanoke Times sports sections. The stack is about four inches thick, has a hefty weight to it, and covers one topic: ACC expansion.
in TSL Pass

A Gym Rat's Notebook #16: The 5-8 Rule -- It's Finally Gone
by Elijah Kyle, 5/5/04, 9:40 am
With the NCAA finally implementing legislation last week that will address graduation rates for its member institutions, while also finally deep-sixing the controversial and problematic five-eight rule, Seth Greenberg and his staff can now chart a course that will not be paved with the uncertainty that has marked this year, where recruiting is concerned.
in TSL Pass

Rookie Diary #10: Adibi's a Steeler
by, 4/30/04, 11:15 am
Saturday I went to the spring game, where I was in the box area with the Monogram Club, and also we had some people up there from my major, so I was in two suites, going back and forth and watching the game. I was with my cousin, my girlfriend, Cols Colas, Franklin Bowser and Wayne Briggs, a couple ex-Hokies. We were just talking to people, chilling, watching the game. I was watching the draft some, but nothing too serious at that time.
in TSL Pass

Even After Spring Football Is Over, Questions Abound (Pt. 2)
by Will Stewart,, 4/29/04, 10:30 am
The favorite theme of spring football is answering questions. We asked some of those questions two days ago, in part 1 of this series, and here are some more questions for you to ponder this summer, as you wait for the 2004 football season. So grab a cup of coffee and sit with us as we ponder the mysteries of the Hokie football universe.
in TSL Pass

Not a Bad Way to Spend a Saturday

by Jim Alderson, 4/28/04, 9:45 am
The major rite of spring, at least for Tech fans, has gone into the books. Tech won. Specifically, the White team prevailed in what was not, and never is, a display of football that will have ESPN Classic clamoring for a tape. The Tech spring game is an extension of spring practice and is not a time when the staff pays much attention to game preparedness, and it shows. As pointed out in a story in the Lynchburg paper, beating me to it, the spring game is about the tailgating.
in TSL Columnists

Even After Spring Football Is Over, Questions Abound (Pt. 1)
by Will Stewart,, 4/27/04, 4:55 pm
The favorite theme of spring football is answering questions. A team comes into the spring with questions, and while some of them get answered, some of them don’t, and even worse, other questions are raised. Being a questionable person -- somehow I don't think that came out right -- I've got some questions of my own.
in TSL Pass

Spring Football 2004 Wrapup
by Jeff Ouellet, 4/26/04, 11:50 pm
College football coaches love to say that no two years are the same, and no two teams are the same. It logically follows, then, that every spring practice is also unique. When reflecting on this spring’s theme, I kept coming back to one idea: the Hornets were buzzing in Blacksburg.
in TSL Pass

Wide Right: Jordanitis
by Jeff Cockey, 4/26/04, 11:20 am
What a wicked draft this turned out to be. Round ended with the Super Bowl Champions taking Ben Watson, Tight End from Georgia (seems to me that Tom Brady would have been much more comfortable grabbing the ball from underneath Jake Grove’s hindquarters, butt – no pun intended - what do I know?) I am more than surprised by the goings on that I witnessed this weekend. A few of the highly touted players were passed over. Let me see if I can make sense of this.
in TSL Pass

Five Hokies Drafted

by Will Stewart,, 4/25/04, 11:45 pm
Five Hokies were chosen in this weekend's NFL Draft, tying for the second-most ever for Virginia Tech. DeAngelo Hall (#8 pick to Atlanta) and Kevin Jones (#30 to Detroit) were both first round selections, the first time two Tech players have ever been chosen in the first round. Other picks were Jake Grove (Oakland, 2nd round), Ernest Wilford (Jacksonville, 4th round), and Nathaniel Adibi (Pittsburgh, 5th round).
in News and Notes

White Team Shuts Out Maroon, 20-0

by Will Stewart,, 4/24/04, 11:55 pm
Blacksburg, VA - On a day where Marcus Vick and Bryan Randall produced similar passing numbers, Vick was the one who was able to lead his team into the end zone, and his White squad shut out Randall's Maroon squad 20-0. The crowd was estimated 30,000 on a beautiful, sunny day for football. Justin Hamilton and David Clowney each scored on short runs, and John Hedge had two field goals to account for the White team scoring.
in Football

Wide Right: Randoms

by Jeff Cockey, 4/23/04, 10:00 pm
Has anyone stopped to think about what the Maurice Clarett ruling might mean to us Hokies? The higher courts have stopped his ability to enter this year’s draft (for now at least), which means USC gets their big bad wide receiver dude back for the game against us at Fed-Ex Field. Is there any way we can have this not happen please, and yet still keep the NFL from turning into a place where students who can’t get into college hang out and make millions? Who’s working on this?
in Voice of the Fan

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