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   Welcome to TSLMail #243 - Friday, September 8, 2006    
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Hokie QBs Fare Well in Their First Road Starts Under Beamer

by Chris Coleman,

It's been well documented that Sean Glennon will make his first road start against UNC on Saturday at noon. Most believe that he will do well, as Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring will likely stick to a very conservative game plan and try to win the game on the ground.

Since 1988, eight different Virginia Tech quarterbacks have had to go through their first road test under Frank Beamer, and the results have varied.

First Road Starts for Beamer's QBs
Year Name Cmp-Att (Pct) Yds TDs INTs Opp, Result
1988 Will Furrer 17-36 (47.2%) 116 0 2 Clemson (L, 40-7)
1992 Maurice DeShazo 7-18 (38.9%) 98 0 2 ECU (L, 20-27)
1995 Jim Druckenmiller 15-27 (55.5%) 312 1 1 Pitt (W, 26-16)
1997 Al Clark 7-10 (70%) 147 2 1 Rutgers (W, 59-19)
1999 Michael Vick 7-9 (77.8%) 222 1 0 Virginia (W, 31-7)
2001 Grant Noel 17-22 (77.3%) 164 4 0 Rutgers (W, 50-0)
2002 Bryan Randall 10-11 (90.9%) 119 0 0 Tx. A&M (W, 13-3)
2005 Marcus Vick 10-21 (47.6%) 108 1 0 NC State (W, 20-16)
Totals:  90-154 (63.2%) 1286 9 6 6-2-0 (75%)

Overall, new Tech quarterbacks have fared very well in their first road starts, with the exception of Will Furrer and Maurice DeShazo. Each quarterback since Jim Druckenmiller has completed over half of his passes, with the exception of Marcus Vick in 2005. No quarterback has thrown more than one interception since DeShazo.

In fact, Al Clark was the last Tech quarterback to throw an interception in his first road start. Bryan Randall probably had the toughest draw of each of the quarterbacks, facing Texas A&M in Kyle Field. But the Hokies stuck with a conservative game plan, and Randall completed all but one pass and did not throw an interception. Not bad for the then true sophomore.

Marcus Vick would probably argue that his first road start was tougher than Randall's. He faced three first round NFL draft picks on NC State's defense. His completion percentage was slightly less than 50%, but he had a critical touchdown pass and he did not turn the ball over.

Three of Tech's last four starters have had tough road openers. Michael Vick's first road start came against instate rival Virginia, and he dominated the UVA defense that day. Only Grant Noel faced a cupcake (Rutgers), and he responded by throwing four touchdown passes and no interceptions.

The Hokies haven't lost a road game in which their quarterback was making his first start since East Carolina knocked off Tech and Maurice DeShazo back in 1992. The Pirates won the game 30-27, so Maurice DeShazo's poor performance was the final nail in Tech's coffin. Actually, it might have been all the nails.

Jim Druckenmiller, Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick all had to overcome adversity to lead their team to wins in their first road start. Druckenmiller faced Pitt on the road the week after the Hokies upset Miami in Blacksburg. Tech didn't play very well in the first half, and the Panthers got out to a 9-0 lead at halftime. But Druckenmiller rallied the team in the second half, and the Hokies won 26-16.

Bryan Randall wasn't asked to do too much in College Station in 2002. The offense consisted of a lot of short passes, and he did not turn the ball over. But still, it was a huge win for the Hokies, and Randall had to face one of the top defenses in the nation to boot.

At any rate, the defense that Glennon faces on Saturday will not be up to Texas A&M or NC State standards. It will more closely resemble the Pitt defense from 1995, or the UVA defense in 1999. Glennon should be fine if he plays within Tech's conservative game plan. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

The Latest on Four-Star WR/DB Mark Barnes

September 7, 2006
One school has edged out in front for 6-3, 195-pound WR/DB Mark Barnes, a four-star recruit out of Richland Northeast High School in Columbia (S.C.). Barnes discusses which program is out in front, if he has heard from Virginia Tech in the early part of September and how his senior season has gone so far.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: VT @ UNC
September 7, 2006
After easily dismissing the Northeastern Huskies, Virginia Tech begins the ACC season with a road trip to Chapel Hill. North Carolina began the season with considerable optimism, but an opening loss to Rutgers 21-16 and the Hokies coming to town has dimmed the hopes of many UNC fans already. Virginia Tech fans had few questions answered with the "vanilla" game plan used in drubbing 1-AA Northeastern 38-0, but much optimism exists in the Hokie camp. So what should Tech fans expect this week from North Carolina?

2008 Target: RB Williams Lands First Two Offers
September 7, 2006
September 1st was not only the date college coaches could begin calling 2007 class recruits on a weekly basis, but it was also the date that juniors could start receiving scholarship offers. In what is no surprise, Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA) running back Ryan Williams considered to be one of the top in-state recruits in the 2008 class picked up his first two offers yesterday.

Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 2
September 7, 2006
Week 2 has arrived, and it brings some movement in the Bstreet Championship Series rankings, which differ greatly, in some instances, from the polls. Check out what Bstreet thinks of Florida State, Miami, and Notre Dame. And in the BstreetCS, the #1 versus #2 matchup this weekend is flipped from the way everyone else sees it.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech at North Carolina
September 6, 2006
After opening against a D-1AA opponent, it's still difficult to gauge exactly where the Hokies are right now. The 38-0 trouncing of Northeastern is in the past, and this week Virginia Tech must go on the road to face an ACC opponent -- The North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Latest on Varina's Davon Morgan
September 6, 2006
In Monday night's 13-9 loss to Gar-Field, Varina quarterback/safety Davon Morgan suffered a leg injury. Yesterday, Varina assistant Blanda Wolfe reported that Davon had a broken ankle and would be out at least 4-6 weeks depending on if the injury required surgery or not. Today, there is further news on the 6-0, 188-pound Virginia Tech recruit.

Tyrod Taylor's Off-Season/Preseason Video
September 5, 2006
TSL Pass subscribers will want to check out the most recent video clips added to the recruiting card of five-star quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Taylor, who earned a spot in the Elite 11 camp, had a tremendous off-season and looked very good in a preseason jamboree scrimmage outing against Salem and Booker T. Washington.

Hokies Rise in Polls
September 5, 2006
The USA Today Coaches' Poll and A.P. Poll were released on Tuesday afternoon, and Virginia Tech moved up in each set of rankings. The Hokies are #14 in the nation by USA Today and #16 by the A.P. They are the second highest ranked team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Bourbonstreet's ACC Capsule: Week 2
September 5, 2006
Bstreet brings you his unique take on the ACC for week two. This week, the conference has three in-conference games (BC-Clemson, Duke-Wake, and VT-UNC). Out of conference, the opponents are all lightweights, with the exception of Virginia hosting an improved Wyoming team.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/4/06
September 5, 2006
Monday's Hokie Hotline featured running backs coach Billy Hite, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. Hite and Beamer looked back on the Northeastern game and looked ahead to UNC, while Weaver discussed the slow entry into Lane Stadium last Saturday.

Northeastern Game Analysis: The Type of Game Tech Needed
September 5, 2006
With a large number of players seeing action for the first time in their careers, Virginia Tech eased into the 2006 football season, coasting to a 38-0 victory over Northeastern. Lining up against a Division 1-AA opponent coming off a 2-9 season, a rout was anticipated and the Hokies delivered one. No, it wasn't the crushing performance that many expected, and that left some wondering if there may be some trouble on the Hokie horizon.

A Decision Coming Soon for Smith?
September 5, 2006
According to his father Mordecai, Jay Smith may be looking to make a decision sometime soon. The top receiver in the state of Virginia, Smith, a four-star prospect, had wanted to make a commitment by October 26th his birthday. Could a decision come earlier than the late October date?

Monday Thoughts: The Northeastern Game
September 4, 2006
Jim Weaver's going to get grilled on tonight's Hokie Hotline concerning the huge traffic jam into Lane Stadium on Saturday. Nearly every gate into Lane was backed up, and a large number of fans missed the run out of the tunnel, and also missed kickoff, due to slow entry into the gates. We've got thoughts on that, the personal foul calls on Xavier Adibi (right), and more in "Monday Thoughts."

Hokies Land Another Top '07 Recruit!
September 4, 2006
Virginia Tech men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg continues to roll on in the 2007 recruiting class. This past weekend, the Hokies head coach scored a verbal commitment from Malcolm Delaney, a 6-3, 170-pound combo guard out of Towson Catholic (Baltimore, MD). Greenberg, who now has four commits for the 2007 class, was a major reason why Delaney committed.

Glennon Tops in the ACC in Passing Efficiency
September 4, 2006
After his impressive outing against Northeastern, Sean Glennon has the highest pass efficiency rating in the ACC and the third highest in the nation. After completing 15 of 18 passes for 222 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception, Glennon's passing efficiency is 230.82. Tennessee's Erik Ainge leads the nation at 274.38.
Also: Royal and Frye Doubtful for Saturday; Champs Sportsbar to Host TSL Game Watching Party.

Hokies' Spotty Effort Raises Some Concerns; Time Will Tell
September 3, 2006
With expectations of a blowout along the lines of Arkansas State-2002, and predictions of 56-0, 63-7 (yours truly), and even 70-0 making the rounds on the message boards, Virginia Tech's somewhat lackluster 38-0 win over Northeastern raised some Hokie eyebrows. Tech has been known to crush good 1-AA teams, and the Huskies were billed as a very, very bad 1-AA team, so a win that saw the Hokies sputter at times is cause for concern on the part of many.

Hokies Win Opener 38-0
September 2, 2006
As expected, Virginia Tech dispatched Northeastern with relative ease on Saturday afternoon, winning their season opener in Lane Stadium 38-0. The Hokies were sloppy at times, but managed to get out to a big lead and coast to the easy win.

ACC Roundtable
September 1, 2006
TSL's panel of, um, experts (it's really hard to say that with a straight face) teamed up with a duo of experts (ditto) from to answer a handful of questions about the upcoming ACC football season. Read about our expectations for Reggie Ball, which coaches are on the hot seat, who's going to win the ACC's Coastal and Atlantic Divisions, and more. It's a Hokie and Hoo perspective on the ACC.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Northeastern (and Others)
September 1, 2006
While Northeastern is not likely to provide much of a test for the Hokies, at least the team will get a chance to hit someone else after an excellent preseason of scrimmaging themselves. Basically, this game serves as little more than another scrimmage, but a lot of questions can begin to be answered as numerous players will have their first chance to perform before a raucous Lane Stadium crowd. Is Sean Glennon the answer at quarterback? Will Branden Ore be the next great Hokie back? How will the offensive line perform? Will this year's defense be as dominant as last year's? These questions and many more will begin to be answered on Saturday.
more Preseason Top 30 In-State Recruits for 2007
September 1, 2006
This class certainly seems to be a deep one, with over 40 players having received at least one Division 1A scholarship offer. This class boasts a number of very solid prospects, and in some respects this has been one of the toughest classes to rank. One thing is for sure -- the state of Virginia continues to produce quality talent.

Preseason Check-in: TE Recruit Brandon Barden
September 1, 2006
The 2005 season was a dream one for Brandon Barden and the Lincoln County High School varsity football squad. After losing three straight games to start the season, Lincoln County reeled off 12 straight wins and captured a state championship. Barden, who began the season at tight end/wide receiver, moved back to quarterback in game four and was a big reason for his team's success.
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