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|Welcome to TSLMail #200 - Friday, November 4, 2005||
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|Tech Sports News|
VT-Miami: The Quarterbacks Tell the Tale
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com
Whatís the difference between Virginia Tech and Miami? The defenses are certainly similar, ranked one and two in the nation. Both teams have a number of athletic receivers who can make plays. Both have an All-ACC caliber tight end. The biggest difference between the two teams is the quarterback position, and you will probably see this factor into the final score of the game on Saturday night.
Marcus Vick is a junior who has been in the VT system for awhile, despite missing a season due to a suspension. He is a talented, savvy quarterback who plays his best in big games such as this. Kyle Wright is a young sophomore who is seeing his first extensive playing time in his first season as a starter. He has talent, but this season he has racked up many of his ten touchdown passes against inferior competition such as Duke and Temple. Against the better teams on Miamiís schedule, he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns.
Itís unfair to put this game on Wrightís shoulders, but he will likely have to win the game for Miami with his arm. The only Miami quarterback to beat Virginia Tech since 1994 is Ken Dorsey. Miami has had some good quarterbacks since 1995, but good never got it done against Tech. You had to be great, and Dorsey was. Kyle Wright is talented, but he is not yet great at this point.
The game will come down to Marcus Vick and Kyle Wright, and while Tech quarterbacks generally donít throw for as many yards as Miamiís quarterbacks, they are more efficient, with the notable exception of the 2001 game. Take a look at this chart, which compares quarterback performances in every VT/Miami game dating back to 1995.
Note that only the top passer for each team was listed. The Hokies played two quarterbacks in 2000 and 2003, and Miami played two in 1996 and 1999, but only the quarterback with the best stats was included.
First of all, take a look at how many interceptions Miami quarterbacks have thrown against Virginia Tech through the years, especially the past two years. Brock Berlin threw three interceptions and zero touchdowns in 2003 and 2004, while Marcus Vick and Bryan Randall combined for three touchdowns and zero interceptions in those two years.
Letís take a closer look at Ken Dorsey compared to the other Miami quarterbacks. Dorsey was never that great against Tech from a completion percentage standpoint, but he did throw six touchdown passes and just one interception in his three years as a starter. The rest of the Miami starters since 1995 have combined for five touchdown passes and seven interceptions. And thatís not counting Scott Covingtonís two interceptions coming off the bench in 1996, one of which was returned 100 yards for a touchdown by Keion Carpenter, or the interception Dorsey threw in relief of Kenny Kelly in 1999.
Meanwhile Virginia Techís starting quarterbacks have combined for eight touchdown passes and six interceptions against Miami since 1995. Take out Grant Noelís four interception performance in 2001, and the ratio increases to eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
To take it a step further, Miami starting quarterbacks have only thrown two touchdown passes in the five games played in Lane Stadium since 1995. In that span they have thrown five interceptions. Throw in backup Ken Dorseyís interception in 1999, and thatís six. Not a very good ratio. History doesnít look good for Kyle Wright.
The performance of the quarterbacks will go a long way in determining the outcome of Saturday nightís game. With Marcus Vick currently ranking second in the nation in passing efficiency and Kyle Wright ranking 44th, combined with the home crowd of Lane Stadium, youíve got to like Virginia Techís chances.
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