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   Welcome to TSLMail #176 - Friday, May 20, 2005    
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   Tech Sports News

Play Kroger's Two-Minute Drill Football Game on TSL!

You've seen people talking about how many points they've scored in the "Kroger football game," and you've wondered, "What the heck are they talking about?"

They're talking about Kroger's "two-minute drill" football game. Just look for it skyscraper ads (the tall, skinny ads) throughout the site. If you don't see it, click Refresh until it appears, and then have at it. Choose from a variety of passing plays and hit your man downfield for the score.

TSL is proud to have Kroger® as a sponsor. Kroger® has been sponsoring Hokie athletics for years and has become a permanent fixture in VT athletics (whenever someone says, "You know what Coach Beamer says" on the message boards, someone else ALWAYS responds with, "Get your tailgate supplies at Kroger!")

Kroger®'s latest TSL ads, the ones that start out with the notation "Local Specials" are very cool -- when you click them, it takes you to a store locator, and once you locate a Kroger® store from the list, it loads your latest weekly specials. You can browse them all, sort them by category, etc.

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Kroger Store Locator

ACC Spring Football, Part 1
by Chris James,

Spring football has been wrapped up around the ACC since late April. For most of the league it just served as 15 practices to hone skills and develop young talent, but there were some position battles going on at some schools that will drag on into the fall. There are also some interesting observations when looking at the projected depth charts provided by the ACC Area Sports Journal.

For the next two TSLMails, we will take a look at how each of the 12 ACC teams are shaping up, post spring. This week, the first six teams, in alphabetical order.

Boston College

Boston College will begin their inaugural ACC season in 2005 with a lot of experienced players returning and what could possibly be the best offensive line in the ACC. The Eagles, who always field a very good offensive line, return all five starters for 2005. The leader up front is Jeremy Trueblood, a 6-9, 330 behemoth at left tackle. BC also redshirted senior quarterback Quinton Porter, a former starter, in 2004. All-Big East cornerback and kick returner Will Blackmon is being tried at wide receiver and flashed big play ability in the spring.

Defensively, Boston College returns five of their starting front seven, including all three linebackers. Former Virginia Tech recruiting target Brian Toal headlines this group. The best player on defense is senior defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. Kiwanuka is one of the best pass rushers in the country, and will likely be a preseason First Team All-ACC player.

Always solid, Boston College looks to be pretty good again this year. They will surprise some teams in the ACC with their physical play and make a bowl game yet again. However, watch out for their October 15 matchup with Wake Forest. The Deacons beat BC in 2003 and 2004.


Clemson returns 13 starters, including veterans such as quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, safety Jamaal Fudge and tailback Brandon Merriweather. However, the Tigers are going to look a lot different on the field this fall. Tommy Bowden brought in new coordinators for his offense and defense in the offseason, and has promised to keep his hands off the offensive, instead relying on new coordinator Rob Spence, hired from Toledo.

Clemson returns 7 starters on an offense that finished 110th nationally in total offense in 2004. However, they return their biggest playmakers, so Spence has something to work with. Whitehurst and Meriweather, as well as wideouts Curtis Baham and Chansi Stuckey, are all returning starters.

Defensively, Clemson looks to have an undersized front seven, as usual. The biggest starter along the defensive line weighs in at 280, and two of the Tigers’ linebackers go 217 and 205 respectively. The defense also took a hit when they lost All-Everything cornerback Justin Miller to the NFL.


2005 doesn’t look to be a very good year for Duke, who returns just 44 lettermen from 2004, and suffered through a rash of injuries in the spring. Like 2004, the 2005 Duke Blue Devils appear to be doomed by a bad offensive line and a lack of depth at every position. Head coach Ted Roof loses four starters on an already bad offensive line, and one of the projected starters for 2005, Demetrius Warrick, missed spring practice with an injury. To top it off, Duke is bringing in a new offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien. This will be Duke’s third offensive system in the past three years. Quarterback Mike Schneider returns, along with tailback Cedric Dargan, but they won’t have anyone to block for them.


Duke’s defense will probably be decent with six starters returning, but they don’t have much depth and will be on the field too long because of a bad offense. In all honesty, Duke will probably be lucky to win one game in the ACC this season.

Florida State

Florida State will be loaded with talent as usual, but to get back into the picture for the national championship, the Seminoles are going to have to start getting better quarterback play. Wyatt Sexton started a lot of 2005 and with the exception of a blowout win against Virginia looked like an average quarterback. He must improve and become a team leader. Tailback is outstanding with Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker. Receiver is a question mark, and the offensive line has a new coach in Mark McHale. Also, all three of the returning starters on the offensive line missed spring practice with injuries.

Defensively, FSU has possibly the best linebacking corps in the nation in Ernie Simms, Buster Davis and A.J. Nicholson. They also have a ton of depth at the position. The ‘Noles will start three seniors in the secondary, so they should be solid there. If they can get solid production from their defensive line, the FSU defense has a chance to be very, very good.

Georgia Tech

This spring was very important for Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey, who is trying to mold together some sort of an offensive line. The Yellow Jackets return their top three playmakers in quarterback Reggie Ball, tailback P.J. Daniels and wideout Calvin Johnson, but they don’t have much up front. Matt Rhodes and Brad Honeycutt return as starters, but GT has had to deal with injuries and a lack of depth. They will likely be starting a freshman and two sophomores this season. That problem will likely not solve itself before football season, so it’s something the coaching staff will have to learn to deal with this fall.

On the defensive side of the ball, GT looks to be very good. Perhaps the best in the ACC. They return their entire defense with the exception of safety James Butler, and this was a very good defense already.

What could be a very good season for the Yellow Jackets will likely be spoiled by inadequate offensive line performance and a tough schedule. They must travel to Auburn, Virginia Tech, Miami and Virginia.


Generally when teams have a slew of quarterbacks that they can choose from, things are looking good. However, it is a problem for Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen. All of the quarterbacks that he has to choose from are pretty equal, but at this point, none are very good. Sam Hollenbach is the starter coming out of spring football, over incumbent Joel Statham. Jordy Steffy is the most talented quarterback, but he is entering only his second year in the program, and spent the majority of the spring on the injured list.

The Maryland offense also lost starting tailback Josh Allen for all of 2005 with a knee injury he suffered in spring practice. The Terps return just one starter on the offensive line, and must replace outstanding kicker Nick Novak. Tight end Vernon Davis returns, but other than him there is little talent on offense at this point.

Defensively, the Terps return all three starters at linebacker, but only one starter apiece for the defensive line and secondary. D’Qwell Jackson is a great linebacker, and the defense will probably be solid despite the lack of returning starters. However, Maryland’s 2005 fortunes will hinge on their offense, and right now it doesn’t appear to be very good. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week

Hokie Hoops Quickly Building an ACC-Caliber Program
by Will Stewart,, 5/19/05, 2:30 pm
A look at the Virginia Tech basketball roster and the recruiting classes that the Hokies have put together for 2005 and 2006 leads one to quickly realize that the shallow bench that plagued the Hokies in their ACC debut this past year will quickly be a thing of the past. By the 2006-07 season two years from now, VT will go ten deep and will be able not just to rotate players in, but rotate players in who can score and contribute. This fall, thanks to a four-man 2005 recruiting class that yesterday added AD Vassallo, the Hokies will have 13 scholarship players for the first time since 2002-03, Ricky Stokes' last season as the head coach.
in TSL Pass

Hokies, Hoos Locking Down RT Top 25
by Chris James,, 5/18/05, 1:05 pm
When thinking about the hotspots of high school football talent in the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not initially come to mind. Florida, Texas and California, with their large populations, are regarded as the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. They each have enough players to support more than one big time program. Each of those states has more than one big time college football program within its borders, and those programs are maintained by in state talent.
in TSL Pass

Hokie Football Image Gallery: The 2003 Season
by, 5/17/05, 1:30 pm
There was much about VT's 2003 football season that was forgettable. The Hokies started out 6-0 and were ranked #3 in the nation when a 28-7 beating at the hands of the WVU Mountaineers started a slide down to an 8-5 finish, including a 52-49 loss to California in the Insight Bowl. TSL's Ivan Morozov chronicled much of the season, its highs and lows, and we bring you 47 photos from the 2003 football season. Next up: the 2004 football season, as soon as we can sift through our library of 448 images.
in TSL Pass

Dreaming of ACC-SEC Football Matchups
by Will Stewart,, 5/16/05, 4:40 pm
Here's a thought spurred by a message board conversation: Could the SEC and ACC leverage the 12th football game, starting in 2006, into a yearly ACC-versus-SEC bonanza that TV networks and sponsors would drool over? Sure, the 12th game is perceived by cynics like myself as leading to a regular diet of home games against D1-AA teams or D1-A cupcakes, but is there a sliver of hope that something more imaginative, and also lucrative, could come of it?
in TSL Columnists

TSL Content Survey Results
by Will Stewart,, 5/16/05, 12:05 am's recent content survey gave us a pretty good idea of the things you like, the things you don't like, and what you think about TSL's offerings. What did the readers think? Do you agree with what people said? Check out the responses and see if your thoughts are in line with everyone else's, or if you're out in left field by yourself.
in News and Notes
Related TSL Pass article:
TSL Content Survey Results: Subscriber Questions

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