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   Welcome to TSLMail #143 - Friday, September 17, 2004    
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   Tech Sports News

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Despite Ivan, Hokies Ready to Kick Off Historic Game
by Chris James,

Saturday’s contest with Duke will be an historic moment in the history of Virginia Tech athletics. Finally, after 50 years, the Hokies are home. Saturday will mark Virginia Tech’s first ever football game as a member of the ACC. As a memento, the Virginia Tech athletic department will be handing out special commemorative wooden coins to fans at the game. The coin features the Hokie Bird on the front and VT's "ACC Inaugural Season" logo on the back. The wooden coins are replicas of the coin used during the coin toss of Virginia Tech’s first ACC game. The first 5,000 students at the game will also receive free inaugural season T-shirts.

The Virginia Tech athletic department has also announced changes to “The Walk”, beginning with the Duke game on Saturday. For the remainder of the 2004 season, all home games that begin at either 12 noon or 1 pm will feature a shortened version of the walk. For these games, the team buses will now travel up Spring Road just past Lane Stadium. The team will be dropped off near the Will Call booth and walk up to their normal entry point at the Jamerson Center. All games with a 3:30 pm or later start will feature the full version of “The Walk”, with the team being dropped off at the corner of the South End Zone and the team walking the full length of the west side of Lane Stadium to the Jamerson Center.

Saturday’s football game at Lane Stadium is a major day in the history of Virginia Tech athletics. However, there will be another reason why Tech fans will remember this day for many years to come.

Hurricane Ivan continues to pose major threats to many football games on Saturday, including the Hokies’ battle with Duke. While the storm won’t be anywhere near hurricane force by the time it reaches Blacksburg, there is no doubt that it will dump a lot of rain over southwest Virginia. Lots of rain means a slippery surface obviously, and a slippery surface usually cuts into the speed advantage of the faster team, so there should be a little concern if you are a Tech fan. If nothing else, Ivan will provide ample opportunity to continue to work the kinks out of a so-far struggling running game. For the latest forecast of Hurricane Ivan's track, click here, and for the weather forecast, click here.

For those of you who are good at remembering certain dates, you will probably remember that last year’s Texas A&M game, during which the remnants of Hurricane Isabel made a wet and windy day of tailgating and football, was on September 18th. The 2004 Duke game is also scheduled on September 18th. What is it with hurricanes beginning with the letter “I” and Tech football games scheduled for September 18th?

Getting back to the game itself, Saturday will mark the 12th meeting between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Duke Blue Devils, with Duke holding a 7-4 edge in the series. That figure looks to change soon, as the Hokies enter the ACC and the teams meet every year.

Probably the most interesting stat of the Tech-Duke series is that Duke once held a commanding 7-1 edge in the series. However from 1982-84, the Hokies beat the Blue Devils 3 times in a row to make the overall number 7-4 in favor of the Blue Devils.

Despite the football history of the two schools, as well as their close proximity to each other, it is somewhat surprising that Tech and Duke haven’t locked horns on the gridiron on more occasions. As far as the other North Carolina schools go, the Hokies have played NC State 44 times, UNC 27 times, and Wake Forest 32 times. Tech has even played Florida State 31 times, but there really isn’t much history between the Hokies and the Blue Devils. For more information on the Tech-Duke series, see this link to TSL Mail #124.

Backup OL Gets Snaps Against WMU and Plays Well

The headlines about Tech's big win over Western Michigan last Saturday all centered on Bryan Randall, Eddie Royal, the freshman receivers, the shutout and Sean Glennon. But something more subtle and just as important happened: VT's backup offensive linemen got some experience.

You know those guys: LT Brandon Gore, LG Jason Murphy, C Danny McGrath, RG Mike Parham, and RT Brandon Frye. You should know the names at least, but you can be forgiven if you don't know their numbers, since many of them have played very little or not at all in seasons past, and none of them played against USC in the season opener.

Against Western Michigan, though, the backup left side of the line – Gore (#77) and Murphy (#72) came in with 9:17 remaining in the third quarter, and the Hokies leading 28-0. They played all 9 plays of that series, which ended in a 3-yard TD pass from Randall to John Kinzer.

On Tech's next offensive possession, which started with 2:57 to go in the third, McGrath (#69), Parham (#50), and Frye (#74) all came in. They played in that series (a 4-play, 48-yard TD drive) and the majority of the fourth quarter. With 2:25 to go in the game, Carroll (#57) subbed in for Parham and played the last four plays of the game.

Here's the breakdown of offensive snaps (special teams snaps not included) for the offensive line, according to the depth chart in hokiesports the newspaper:

Snaps from Scrimmage for VT OL, WMU Game







Jimmy Martin


Brandon Gore



Reggie Butler


Jason Murphy



Will Montgomery


Danny McGrath



James Miller


Mike Parham
Tripp Carroll



Jon Dunn


Brandon Frye


Essentially, the left side starters played about 36 snaps, and the backups played 27 snaps. The center and right side starters played 45 snaps, and the backups played 18 snaps. With the backups in the game, the Hokies scored three straight TDs on drives of 9, 4, and 9 plays, so there was no drop off in production with the backup OL in the game.

What's also encouraging is how high many of the backups graded out. According to hokiesports the newspaper, three of the backups graded out higher than 80 percent: Murphy (85%), McGrath (91%, highest on the line), and Frye (83%). Among the starters, Martin (80%) and Montgomery (87%) also graded out at 80 percent or higher.

The newspaper doesn't list OL grades when a player grades below 80 percent, so we don't know how the other players graded. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Duke Game Preview
by Jeff Ouellet, 9/16/04, 11:10 am
After the biggest numerical win in the Beamer era, the Hokies turn their attention towards their first conference game against the Duke Blue Devils (0-2). It will be a monumental day for the Hokie Nation, as VT participates in its first ever revenue sport ACC event. Although it won’t be the most exciting game Lane Stadium has hosted, it may very well be the most significant. Participating in the ACC truly is special.
in Football

by Jim Alderson, 9/15/04, 3:20 pm
A Virginia Tech football team that had been amassing losses at a rate far too frequent for both its own well-being and the mental health of its fans discovered the sure-fire cure for excessive losing. The ‘When all else fails, schedule a MAC team’ strategy worked like a charm. Western Michigan strode onto the field at Lane Stadium last Saturday professing some rather modest goals. The Broncos desired to score, a rather basic element of football that had eluded them in their previous two battles with the Hokies. It didn’t happen.
in TSL Pass

Tech Talk Tuesday Archive, September 14, 2004 (Audio)
by, 9/15/04, 10:05 am
This week, the Tech Talk Tuesday gang reviews the Western Michigan game, previews the Duke game, and talks to VT recruiting coordinator and whips/rovers coach Jim Cavanaugh. In the second hour,'s Chris Horne talks recruiting, discussing Elan Lewis, Victor "Macho" Harris, Greg Boone, and more.
in TSL Pass

NC State Game Scheduled for Noon
by Stefan Adams,, 9/15/04, 12:45 am
The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced that the game scheduled between the North Carolina State University Wolfpack and the Virginia Tech Hokies will begin at noon on September 25. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and will be the fifth nationally televised game scheduled thus far for the Hokies.
in News and Notes

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes
by Phil Noftsinger, 9/14/04, 11:55 am
Bill Roth said that while everyone expected that Coach Foster would be very happy with his defense’s performance against Western Michigan, he apparently wasn’t very happy with their performance in practice Monday. Coach Foster confirmed that Monday was not a very good practice, indicating that the team may have started feeling good about themselves and didn’t execute as well. After seeing a few missed assignments, half way through practice Coach Foster gathered the troops and started practice drills over from the top. Foster said that "we had a few letdowns last year, and we aren’t going to let that happen this year."
in Hokie Hotline Notes

Western Michigan Game Analysis
by Will Stewart,, 9/13/04, 11:55 pm
Saturday's romp over Western Michigan was about all you could ask for. The Hokies came out with intensity, maintained that intensity for 60 minutes, and dominated all phases of the game. They got valuable playing time for a young receiver corps, the backup offensive linemen, and the second-string quarterback. No one suffered a major injury, and with a 63-0 victory, the Hokies hope that they have set the tone for a successful 2004 football season.
in TSL Pass

Virginia Tech 63, Western Michigan 0
Youth is Served on Record-Setting Day

by Will Stewart,, 9/11/04, 11:55 pm
Blacksburg, VA -- Controlling all aspects of the game, Virginia Tech got six touchdowns from five different true or redshirt freshmen and shut out Western Michigan 63-0. The margin of victory was the largest of any Frank Beamer-coached Hokie football team, and the shutout was the third straight for the Hokies over WMU, the first time VT has shut out the same team three times in a row in the modern era (post-WWII) of college football.
in Football

National Basketball Prospect Rankings by Position for 2005 (Preseason)
by Hoop Alliance, 9/10/04, 3:40 pm
Courtesy of Hoop Alliance, brings you a preseason ranking by position of the top men's basketball recruiting prospects for 2005 nationwide. This list follows up our preseason ranking of the top 200 players overall.
in Basketball Recruiting

Preseason Top 30 In-State Recruits:
Harris and Lewis Still 1-2

by Chris Horne, 9/10/04, 12:00 pm
Depth. If there is one word to describe the 2005 class, depth is it. This class not only boasts a strong top 10, but a really solid top 30. Seventeen players are rated as 3-star prospects in the Pre-Season Top 30 along with four 4-stars and one 5-star. Several prospects who are assigned 2-star ratings have the ability to raise their rating with a good 2004 season. So far, 25 in-state prospects have committed to Division I-A programs. This number will grow easily above 30 once all of the prospects have made decisions.
in Football Recruiting

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