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|Welcome to TSLMail #202 - Friday, November 18, 2005||
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On many occasions the outcome of the annual Battle for the Commonwealth Cup has been decided by the play of the quarterbacks. Both UVA and Virginia Tech have won games on the arm of their quarterback during the series, and both teams have lost games because of turnovers by their quarterback. The Cavaliers have had some good quarterbacks through the years, but generally the Hokies come out on top in the battle of the signal callers.
Virginia Tech has won eight of the last 12 games and five of the last six. Going back to 1993, the first year of the Beamer Bowl Era, we see that when the Hokies have a good game from their quarterback, they generally beat Virginia.
The table above combines quarterbacksí stats if more than one quarterback played in the game for a team, but for the most part UVA-Tech games have been battles of starting quarterbacks.
The first time during the Beamer Bowl Era that the quarterbacks had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the game was in 1994. Maurice DeShazo was a senior quarterback who enjoyed a lot of success in 1993, but was struggling under new offensive coordinator Gary Tranquil in 1994. DeShazo had a good game from a percentage standpoint, but he threw five interceptions and the Hokies got blasted by almost three touchdowns.
In 1996 Virginia led at halftime, but senior quarterback Jim Druckenmiller rallied Tech in the second half for a big victory. Druckenmiller greatly outclassed UVA quarterbacks Tim Sherman and Aaron Brooks in this game. The Cavalier signal callers completed less than 40% of their passes, while Druckenmiller, who would be a first round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers the next April, played great in his final home game as a Hokie.
Unfortunately for the Hokies, Aaron Brooks would make up for his 1996 performance with big games in 1997 and 1998. In those two games, Brooks passed for 735 yards, threw seven touchdown passes and had just one interception. He was head-and-shoulders above Virginia Techís Al Clark, who never beat UVA in two years as a starter. While itís true the 1997 game was a blowout, the 1998 game most definitely came down to which team had the better quarterback. The Hoos did, and they won a tight game because of it. Clark threw a key interception for a touchdown to UVA linebacker Bryon Thweatt, while Brooks completed some incredible passes, including an 18-yard TD pass to Thomas Jones and a 47-yard TD pass to Ahmad Hawkins for UVA's last two scores.
In 1999 and 2000, we all know what happened. Michael Vick completed just 23 passes in those two games combined, but he still threw for 424 and two touchdowns without an interception. He was efficient and made a lot of big plays with his arm. In 1999 he threw for 222 yards on just seven completions (he only attempted nine passes for the game). The Hokies were better than Virginia at just about every position on the field in those two years, and Vickís presence made the games even more lopsided in Techís favor.
Now itís time to talk about a trend that has started the past two seasons. In 2003 and 2004, the winner of the Commonwealth Cup had a senior quarterback who was playing the final home game of his career. Matt Schaub, one of the most efficient college quarterbacks in the country, beat the Hokies 35-21 in 2003, with help from tight end Heath Miller, who caught 13 passes.
In 2004, ACC Player of the Year Bryan Randall was outstanding on his Senior Day, throwing two touchdown passes in the second half to lead the Hokies to a victory. Virginia jumped on top 7-0, but Randall and Tech outscored the Cavs 24-3 the rest of the way for a 24-10 victory.
While everyone knows that Marcus Vick will be the most talented quarterback on the field this Saturday, remember to be wary of those senior quarterbacks who are making their last start at home. They want to go out on top. Marques Hagans is the senior quarterback who will be honored on Senior Day on Saturday. He is a big time competitor who can beat you in a number of different ways. He is 0-1 as a starter against Virginia Tech, but heíll be looking to even that record with a victory on Saturday.
Since 1993, Virginia Tech has had three quarterbacks that finished their careers undefeated as starters against UVA. Michael Vick, Jim Druckenmiller and Grant Noel never lost to the Hoos in their careers, earning five of Techís eight wins since 1993. Bryan Randall was 2-1 in three years.
On the other side of the fence, Virginia has had only one quarterback since 1993 that beat the Hokies more than once as a starter, Aaron Brooks in 1997 and 1998. Al Clark, who started for Tech in 1997 and 1998, is the only Tech quarterback since 1993 who never beat UVA.
Christopher Barb. Chris (who won at Level 3) won a $50 gift certificate to Kroger, just for playing the Kroger "Pro Challenge" football game on our web site.
You can play Kroger's "Pro Challenge" football game for a chance to win $1,000.
Once you're at the Pro level, you can play and enter a sweepstakes drawing. First prize is $1,000 cash! Second prize is $250 cash! All Pro contestants have the same chance to win the cash prizes.
For playing at ANY level, you can enter a random drawing for a $50 gift card, with one card given away each week.
Get one of the ten highest scores, and you'll be given the chance to enter your initials, which are displayed at the beginning of every game.
How to play:
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