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   Welcome to TSLMail #197 - Friday, October 14, 2005    
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A Look into the VT Passing Record Book
by Chris Coleman,

If you can get your hands on a copy of the 2005 Virginia Tech football media guide, flip to the records section and check out some of the statistics you see in front of you. The Hokies have had some good quarterbacks over the years, but Virginia Tech has never been known as a pass-happy school. Nevertheless, there have been some interesting passing stats posted since 1952 (thatís as far back as the media guide goes), and this TSLMail will point some of them out.

For the first amazing statistic, letís begin with Virginia Techís starting quarterback in 1952 and 1953, Johnny Dean. Dean had a career touchdown-to-interception ratio of 2 to 23Öthat is not a typo. Not exactly All-American numbers. He also completed less than 50% of his passes. Check out the overall numbers for those two seasons for Dean:

Year Player Comp-Att Yards TDs INTs
1952 Johnny Dean 62-136 878 2 17
1953 Johnny Dean 26-62 314 0 6

The truly amazing thing about those statistics is not how horrible they were, but the fact that the Hokies actually managed to win some games. VT went 5-6 in 1952 and 5-5 in 1953. In those two years, the Hokies lost a total of five games by seven points or less. How much do you want to bet that some Johnny Dean interceptions played a major factor in all of those losses?

Billy Holsclaw passed for 1,013 yards in 1958. He was Virginia Techís first quarterback to throw for over 1,000 yards in a season. He would also be the only Virginia Tech quarterback to throw for that many yards until Don Strock in 1971, meaning that just one Tech quarterback in 19 years (1952-1970) passed for over 1,000 yards. Remember, the coaches in that time period were Frank Moseley and Jerry Claiborne, whose teams were never known as aerial juggernauts.

Another eyebrow raiser is the number of passes that Tech quarterbacks completed. No Hokie signal caller completed more than 70 passes in a season until Don Strock. Billy Holsclaw completed exactly 70 in 1958. Billy Cranwell, Techís leading passer in 1954, completed all of 18 passes (out of 37 attempts).

The Hokies made up for lost time when new head coach Charlie Coffey arrived in 1971. He brought with him a modern passing game and had a future NFL quarterback in Don Strock to run it. Coffey never won a lot of games (12 in three seasons), but Strock did complete a lot of passes. From a yardage standpoint, Strock had the two best seasons of any Tech quarterback. Take a look at these numbers:

Year Player Comp-Att Yards TDs INTs
1971 Don Strock 195-356 2,577 12 19
1972 Don Strock 228-427 3,243 16 27

While he did complete a lot of passes and put up a lot of yards, Strock still was able to find the time to throw 47 passes to the opposing team during his career (46 in the years listed above, one more in a previous season). His 47 career interceptions ranks first (or last, depending on how you look at it) on Virginia Techís all time list. Will Furrer tried to put a scare into Strock by throwing 46 career picks, but he couldnít quite pull it off. Nice try by Will, who was a four-year starter, so he had a lot of opportunities to throw interceptions. Strock only started for two seasons, making his record all the more impressive (or unimpressive, depending on your point of view again).

After Strock graduated following the 1972 season, Charlie Coffey only stuck around for one more year. With his departure, the Hokies didnít have another 1,000 yard passer until Steve Casey accomplished the feat for three consecutive seasons, 1979-1981. The Hokies have had a 1,000 yard passer every season since 1986, with the exception of 1989, when injuries forced the Hokies to play three quarterbacks: Furrer (589 yards), Cam Young (543 yards) and Rodd Wooten (413 yards) season.

Earlier we touched on Johnny Deanís touchdown-to-interception ratio in 1952 and 1953. Letís go to the opposite end of the spectrum and take a look at the best ratios in Virginia Tech history.

In 1996, Jim Druckenmiller threw 17 touchdown passes and just five interceptions, good for a 3.4-to-1 ratio. Al Clark had a very good mark in 1997, throwing ten touchdowns and just three picks, a 3.33-to-1 ratio. Maurice DeShazo was a little better than three-to-one in 1993, with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Thus far, Marcus Vick has them all beat with a five-to-one ratio. If Vick keeps this pace up (and assuming VT makes the ACC Championship game, which is certainly not a lock) he will have 20 touchdown passes and just four interceptions heading into the bowl game.

There havenít been a lot of touchdown passes throughout the years at Virginia Tech. Bryan Randall threw 21 in 13 games in 2004 on his way to ACC Player of the Year honors, and Maurice DeShazo threw 22 in 11 games in 1993. And believe it or not, those are the only two players to throw more than 20 touchdowns in a season for the Hokies. Will Furrer threw 19 touchdowns in 1990, a mark that stands third on Techís all-time list.

As a comparison, look at the final passing statistics across the NCAA in 2004. 31 of the top 99 rated quarterbacks threw for 20 or more touchdowns during the season. Without looking up the stats for any other season, letís just say that about 30 quarterbacks per year throw for 20 or more touchdowns. And to think that only two VT quarterbacks have done it since 1952? Thatís an indicator of the run-first approach favored by Frank Moseley, Jerry Claiborne, Bill Dooley, and Frank Beamer, the four coaches who account for 46 of the 53 seasons spanning 1952-2004.

Marcus Vick has only started for half a season, but he is already moving up in Techís all-time rankings. Vick has thrown for 1,518 yards in his career, which is good for 14th best in Tech history. Assuming that Vick will throw for another 1,000 yards this year, he will rank 12th at the end of the season. If he throws for another 2,000 yards during his senior year, he will rank fifth in Tech history, just behind Maurice DeShazo, but in front of Jim Druckenmiller.

Vick is off to a good start in touchdown passes as well. He has ten on the season and 12 for his career. If he throws another ten this season, and 20 next season as a senior, he will finish his career with 42 touchdown passes. That would rank him fourth on Techís all-time list, behind only Randall, DeShazo and Furrer.

And thatís after missing an entire season because of his suspension. Had Vick played and started in 2004 (not to start another Randall vs. Vick debate, but Vick probably would have started over Randall in 2004), he would be a candidate to break just about every passing record in Tech history.

Operation Provide Classroom Comfort

The Virginia Tech Iraqi Outreach Committee has initiated a program called "Operation Provide Classroom Comfort". The program originally began in 2003 by Major Mark Sherkey and his Field Artillery battery (C/1-377 th FA) in Iraq. The goal of the project is to rebuild schools, transform classrooms into learning environments and provide teachers and students with the tools to facilitate learning.

In the original program, over 2,500 pounds of school supplies were provided for over 2,000 Iraqi students. As words spread about the program, the project continued to grow. Help came in from 26 states. Because of the help that was provided, Maj. Sherkeyís unit was able to develop a good relationship with the local villages.

With the help of Virginia Tech, the project has been reborn. The Virginia Tech Iraqi Outreach Committee was formed on April 28, 2005 and began to plan the effort. With the help of Hokie fans, their goals can be met.

The project will run from October 22 through November 5. There will be a venue for collection at Wal-Mart in Christiansburg, VA for this time period. There will also be seven collection points at Lane Stadium at the Boston College game on Thursday, October 27.

You can help Operation Provide Classroom Comfort by doing any of the following:

  • Visit the display at the Christiansburg Wal-Mart and purchase a pre-packaged school supply kit for $10.
  • Bring any of the requested school supplies to the Boston College game on October 27. Requested supplies include notebook paper or pads (no spiral), pens, pencils, colored pencils, colored markers, sharpeners, glue and basic art supplies.
  • Writing a check. Checks can be written to:

Virginia Tech Foundation
Attention: Operation Provide Classroom Comfort
2000 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0354

To find out more information about Operation Provide Classroom Comfort, visit their website. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week
TSL Audio: "Tech Beat with Mike Harris" Interview With Will Stewart
October 14, 2005
In addition to the usual TSL Recruiting Report Wednesday night (already posted Thursday), TSL general manager Will Stewart appeared on "Tech Beat With Mike Harris" and discussed a wide variety of topics with Mike, including whether VT should extend their recruiting area, whether VT has that "championship look", what it will take to make it to Pasadena, and more. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.7 MB, 24:27)

Beamer's New Deal Will Keep the Hokie Express Rolling
October 14, 2005
Frank Beamer's new contract with VT looks like a winner all the way around. Jim Weaver locked Beamer up for seven years for a price that is reasonable now and will be a bargain in just a few years. The assistants are getting a boost, and the all-important continuity, not just in coaching but in all other aspects of the Virginia Tech program, will be maintained.

Beamer, Virginia Tech Finalize New Contract
October 13, 2005
Virginia Tech announced Thursday afternoon that head coach Frank Beamer has agreed to a new 7-year contract that will keep him at the school through at least 2012. The contract includes an option for three more years beyond that and guarantees Beamer compensation of over 2 million dollars per year, with additional unspecified incentives.

Sergio Render Returns to Blacksburg
October 13, 2005
Offensive lineman Sergio Render has achieved the necessary test scores to enroll at Virginia Tech and will be returning to Blacksburg on Friday morning. Render was making a big splash at right guard in August practices before the NCAA Clearinghouse ruled that he was not academically eligible.
Also: Bristol Motor Speedway Offer Still on the Table? Hokies Begin Basketball Practice Friday.
more Recruiting Report from "Tech Beat With Mike Harris"
October 13, 2005
Chris Horne and Mike Harris go over all the latest Hokie recruiting news, including Aaron Brown's commitment to VT, Alex Stadler's commitment to Alabama, and TSL's preseason Top 30 rankings. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.6 MB, 23:22)

A Midseason Look, Part 1
October 13, 2005
The season is halfway over, and let's just come out and say it: things couldnít possibly have gone any better for Virginia Tech so far. Okay, maybe both USC and Texas could have lost, boosting the Hokies into #1 in the polls, but other than that, the quibbles are minor. Here's a two-part look at what's gone well (a lot), what hasn't gone well (a little), what the keys to success have been, and what the keys to continuing success are.

New Interest for Mario Edwards
October 13, 2005
6-1, 180-pound Westlake (Atlanta, GA) defensive back has seen the interest in him pick up over the past month, with Maryland and Purdue showing heavy interest. Edwards, who has received scholarship offers from Baylor, Mississippi State, Tulane and Virginia Tech, names the two schools currently at the top of his list. Have the latest schools changed his favorites?
more Top 30 In-State Recruits (Preseason List)
October 12, 2005
The server change threw us a little behind in releasing our preseason ranking of the Top 30 in-state recruits, but better late than never -- here's our list of the cream of the crop in the state of Virginia.

Minor Down to 4?
October 12, 2005
Varina (VA) tailback Brandon Minor, rated as 4-star prospect and the #7 overall prospect in the state by, appears to have narrowed his list of schools to four. Last weekend, he made his first official visit and it was to the University of Tennessee. Tennessee is one of the finalists.

Photo Gallery: Virginia Tech vs. Marshall
October 12, 2005
Another photo gallery so big and bold that we had to serve it up in two parts. Check out a hundred photos from the game, from loads of Marcus Vick shots to lots of Branden Ore, to some great pics of Vince Hall's fumble return for a TD. Jonathan Lewis (right) is PUMPED up, so log on and take a look.

Eckerson Sets Visits to UVA, VT
October 12, 2005
6-6, 265-pound offensive tackle prospect Hutch Eckerson has set official visits to Virginia and Virginia Tech, respectively. Now up to five official offers, the Lumberton (N.C.) standout is anxiously awaiting these and other official visits in order to figure out where he's going to be next year.

Marshall Game Analysis: Sleepy Hokies Wake Up, Crush Marshall
October 11, 2005
The Hokies came out a little flat Saturday against Marshall, and the Herd went against type and turned into a running team for 30 minutes. Marshall went right up the gut for 131 first-half rushing yards, and that statistic, plus the star-making turn by Branden Ore at tailback, were the stories of the game. But when the second half opened, Tech turned on the jets and left the Thundering Herd far in the rear-view mirror. Like the Talking Heads once said, "same as it ever was."

D-Mac to Reschedule LSU Visit?
October 11, 2005
4-star standout Damon McDaniel, who is one of the top wide receivers in the country, had been scheduled to take an official visit to LSU this weekend. According to Landstown head coach Chris Beatty, the 6-0, 195-pound star may reschedule the trip for later this month.

Advanced Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/10/05
October 11, 2005
Monday nightís Hokie Hotline featured athletic director Jim Weaver, offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and head coach Frank Beamer. Conversation centered around a new athletic facility, the performance of Marcus Vick, and where the team stands at the half-way point of the season.

Humes Suffers Fractured Arm
October 10, 2005
Senior tailback Cedric Humes suffered a fractured right arm in the second quarter of Virginia Techís 41-14 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd on Saturday. Humes had surgery on Sunday morning to have a plate inserted in the arm, but reports were mixed as to how long he would be out.
Also: Vick 3rd nationally in pass efficiency; Virginia Tech defense still among nation's best.

Hokies Shake off Doldrums, Pound Thundering Herd 41-14
October 8, 2005
Blacksburg, VA -- Virginia Tech overcame a sluggish first half to crush Marshall 41-14, scoring 20 third quarter points to blow open a game that was 14-7 at half time. Hokie tailback Branden Ore, subbing for the injured Cedric Humes, gained 146 yards on just 19 carries, including 115 second half yards, to lead the Hokies to the win.

Basketball Recruiting Profiles: Noah States and Patrick Patterson
October 7, 2005
Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville Virginia already has a Virginia Tech basketball connection, and Noah States is giving thoughtful consideration to adding his name to the program, although he still has two years remaining before his arrival into any college is trumpeted. Junior Chris Tucker has added frontcourt depth for the Hokies during his first two seasons in Blacksburg after a stellar career at Lord Botetourt, and 6-7,175-pound 2007 frontcourt prospect Noah States has an intimate familiarity with the school, campus and basketball program.

A Gym Rat's Notebook: Got My Mojo Working
October 7, 2005
Ahh yes, the dawn of October that many a sports fan considers amongst their favorite months. College football has once again eagerly arrived and is reaching the midpoint of their season. Major league baseball is embarking on another round of playoffs that hopefully can provide the excitement of last season. And the NBA has watched its various teams largely complete the summer overhauls of their franchises and training camps have kicked off, with an early November start of the season.
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