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   Welcome to TSLMail #193 - Friday, September 16, 2005    
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Hokies Find Akron, WMU, etc. to be MAC-alicious
by Chris Coleman,

The Hokies have played many MAC teams throughout the Beamer Bowl Era and will welcome Ohio to Lane Stadium on Saturday for the third meeting between the two schools. The Hokies are 2-0 all-time against the Bobcats, winning 37-29 in Blacksburg in 1971, and 53-21 in Athens in 1972. This is expected to be another blowout victory for Tech. Let’s take a look at the other games against MAC opponents during the Beamer Bowl Era.

In 1993, the Hokies opened the season at home against Bowling Green. Tech got off to a slow start in the game, trailing 7-0 when Bowling Green returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown. VT took a 14-10 lead into halftime. The Hokies came out strong in the 2nd half, scoring on three consecutive possessions. Tech led by the score of 33-10 before Bowling Green scored a touchdown on the final play of the game to make a final margin on 33-16.

The Hokies beat the Akron Zips 77-27 in Lane Stadium in 1995. It was the highest scoring game in the history of both Akron and Virginia Tech. The Hokies had 638 yards of total offense as the Hokies ran all over the Zips. Ken Oxendine and Al Clark each ran for over 100 yards, and neither player even started for the Hokies at the time.

Virginia Tech traveled to Akron to open the 1996 season, and this game was much different from 1995. Akron came ready to play, while the Hokies left their game back in Blacksburg. VT still managed to pull out a victory, 21-18, behind the running of true freshman Shyrone Stith, but the game was much closer than anyone expected.

In the most notorious MAC game in Virginia Tech history, Miami University (of Ohio, not Florida) defeated the Hokies 24-17 in Blacksburg on Homecoming in 1997. Miami blocked two Tech kicks, recovered two fumbles and faked a field goal for a touchdown in the upset. Beamerball was Beamerballed as the Hokies suffered their first loss of the 1997 season.

The Hokies opened the 2000 season facing a familiar foe…the Akron Zips. Virginia Tech was breaking in a new defense and the Akron offense put up a lot of yards, but the more talented Hokies easily recorded the victory 52-23. The Hokies put up 549 yards of total offense behind sophomore sensation Michael Vick, who passed for 186 yards and rushed for 102 yards in the win.

VT played Western Michigan in the second game of the 2001 season. The Broncos were coming off a 9-3 season, and some expected them to give the Hokies a game. However VT easily dispatched the overmatched MAC West school 31-0. Kevin Jones had ten carries for 75 yards, while the Tech defense held the Broncos to just 166 yards of total offense.

In 2002, the Hokies hosted Marshall and All-American quarterback Byron Leftwich. Marshall was looking to establish their name on a national level, but the Hokies would have none of it as they blew out the Thundering Herd 47-21. Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones rushed for over 100 yards in the victory. Leftwich passed for over 400 yards, but much of that came in the fourth quarter after the game was decided.

VT traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan later in the year for a rematch with Western Michigan. VT shut out the Broncos again, this time by the score of 30-0. Tech got off to a tough start, but scored two touchdowns in the final 1:41 of the second quarter to take a 16-0 lead into halftime. Lee Suggs scored on a 28 yard shovel pass and Alex Markogiannakis returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown.

The Hokies kicked off the 2003 season with a 49-28 victory over Central Florida. VT, normally known for running the football, put on a passing display that day, with Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick combining for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Kevin Jones ran for 83 yards on 22 carries.

Tech welcomed Western Michigan back to Lane Stadium in 2004 and shut the Broncos out for the third time in a row, this time to the tune of 63-0. In three games since 2001, Western Michigan has never scored on the Hokies. They came close in 2004, but Jim Davis blocked a field goal attempt to preserve the shutout. VT outscored Western Michigan 124-0 in three games.

The MAC has been able to score some noticeable upsets throughout the years, but only once in the Beamer Bowl Era has that come against the Hokies. Tech's record against MAC teams in the Beamer Bowl Era is 9-1, with an aggregate score of 420-157 (an average of 42-16). Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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Keys to the Game: Ohio
September 15, 2005
With two important in-conference road victories secured, the Hokies return to the friendly confines of Lane Stadium this week to meet the Ohio Bobcats out of the MAC. The Bobcats are coming off their own impressive home opener with a hard fought victory last week over the Pittsburgh Panthers in overtime.

Luckett Ready for First Official
September 15, 2005
Image: Zach Luckett6-3, 205-pound Holy Spirit (Absecon, N.J.) star Zach Luckett will make his first official visit this weekend. It may be the most important and, possibly, the only official visit he takes in his recruiting process. Where will one of the best athletes on the East coast head this weekend?
more Launches Redesigned Site
September 15, 2005 has rolled out a major revamp designed to improve navigation, make it easier to manage your TSL account, and introduce monthly auto-billing for subscribers. Read on for a description of the changes here at TSL, as concisely as we can describe them – which isn't easy, given how much has changed.

Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Ohio
September 14, 2005
The fourth-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies look to move to 3-0 on the season when they host the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium. The Hokies are coming off a 45-0 rout of the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, while the Bobcats are sky high after knocking off defending Big East Champion Pitt 16-10 on Friday night.

Photo Gallery: Virginia Tech vs. Duke
September 14, 2005
A noon kickoff, sunny skies, and a small, cozy stadium ... the perfect setup for some killer game photos. TSL brings you 50 great photos from Virginia Tech's visit to Duke, a 45-0 win for the Hokies. See all of the Tech touchdowns, plus the first pics anywhere of Branden Ore, George Bell, Macho Harris, Jeremy Gilchrist, and Cory Holt (at right) in action.

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/12/05
September 13, 2005
Monday night’s Hokie Hotline featured athletic director Jim Weaver, defensive coordinator Bud Foster and head coach Frank Beamer. Weaver gave more details about West side expansion delays, Foster talked about the defensive performance against Duke, and Beamer discussed a variety of subjects.

Duke Game Analysis: Another Day at the Office for Focused Hokies
September 12, 2005
With the fans looking closely for a letdown, the Hokies played hard, set a defensive record in holding Duke to 35 yards, and opened up the offense a little bit in coasting to a 45-0 victory. Two games into the season, the Hokies are evolving and progressing in their drive for their second straight ACC championship.

Hokies Back in Top Five
September 12, 2005
After just the second full weekend of college football, the Virginia Tech Hokies find themselves ranked in the top five in both major football polls. The Hokies are ranked fourth in the AP Poll and are tied with Tennessee for fourth in the Coaches’ Poll.
Also: Other ACC Teams Fare Well in the Polls, GT Game Time Set for 3:30 on ABC

Lane Stadium Expansion Construction Pictures
September 12, 2005
These pictures, taken Sunday, September 11th by message board poster HokieDevil, show the continued progress on expansion. The exterior of the expansion has made great strides since our last photo gallery, and lights have been installed on the East stands. For more of HokieDevil's documentation of West side expansion, see his web site tracking the project.

Hokies Set School Record, Blank Duke 45-0
September 10, 2005
Durham, NC -- Virginia Tech dominated Duke defensively, holding the Blue Devils to a VT school record 35 yards of total offense, and Marcus Vick threw three touchdown passes to propel the Hokies to an easy 45-0 victory in Durham. Three different receivers caught TD passes, George Bell and Branden Ore scored their first collegiate rushing touchdowns, and Roland Minor returned an interception 23 yards for a TD to account for the Hokie touchdowns.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech at Duke
September 10, 2005
Last week’s Virginia Tech – N.C. State game went basically as predicted with the game tied 13-13 going into the fourth quarter and the outcome decided by a big touchdown pass from Marcus Vick to David Clowney. The fake punt was a surprise and Brandon Pace missed a late field goal, or my prediction would have been right on the nose.

Hokies Making Lineup Changes
September 9, 2005
Virginia Tech will enter the Duke game with several players starting for the first time this season. Some depth chart moves were made because of injuries, while others were made based on performance during the NC State game.
Also: West Side Suite and Club Seat Holders to be Seated Elsewhere, VT-NC State Garners Record TV Ratings for ESPN2

Matchups to Watch: VT vs. Duke
September 9, 2005
Before addressing the Duke game, I want to take a brief look back at the N.C. State game and how the critical match-ups identified helped determine the outcome of the game. Last week’s game with N.C. State had a number of intriguing match-ups to watch. I identified three key areas that I believed to be critical to the outcome in the game: (1) the pass rush and penetration off the edge (from the defensive ends); (2) using slot receivers (the inside receiver in a two-wide formation) and tight ends over the middle; and (3) the vertical passing game. In retrospect, all three aspects were clearly part of the game plan for each of the teams.

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