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   Welcome to TSLMail #245 - Friday, September 22, 2006    
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   Tech Sports News

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Hokies' Offensive Plays, Time of Possession Way Down

by Chris Coleman,

The new clock rules in college football have been popular items for discussion on the message boards since the beginning of the season. The NCAA took it upon themselves to try and shorten games during the offseason. The new rules have definitely had an effect on the number of plays in a game.

Last season, the Hokies averaged 71.7 offensive plays per game. This season, that average is down to 54.7, which is a dramatic difference, especially in the stats column. Virginia Tech has averaged 341.3 yards per game this season. How would they be doing with an extra 17 plays per game? The numbers might surprise you.

The Hokies finished the Northeastern game with 382 yards of total offense and averaged 7.1 yards per play. If you tack on another 17 plays in that game, and the Hokies averaged 7.1 yards on each of those plays, that's an extra 121 yards of total offense, meaning Tech would have finished the Northeastern game with 503 yards.

The Virginia Tech offense finished the UNC game with their lowest total offense output of the season, with 224 yards. They averaged 4.7 yards per play against the Tar Heels. Adding another 17 plays, at a 4.7 yards per play averaged, would have netted the Hokies 304 yards of total offense against the Tar Heels. That's not great, but it's not terrible either.

The Hokies enjoyed their most productive offensive day against the Duke Blue Devils. They racked up 418 yards of total offense and averaged an even seven yards per play. 17 more plays could have added another 119 yards of offense to Tech's total, upping the final number to 537 yards. That's a good day for any team, no matter the level of opposition. Remember, in 2005 the Hokies had just 382 yards of total offense against the Blue Devils.

You can't blame all of Tech's diminished production on the new clock rules, though. Another stat to keep in mind is time of possession. Last season, the Hokies kept the ball an average of 32:17 per game, and they lost the time of possession battle in just two of their 13 games. They have already beaten that number in 2006, being beaten in time of possession in all three games so far this season.

The Hokies are keeping the ball an average of just 24:44 in 2006, almost eight minutes less per game than 2005. That is also making a big impact on offensive output and number of offensive plays.

Part of the time of possession problem is the lack of a running game. The Hokies generally have a strong running game that can move the chains and pick up first downs, but not this year. Branden Ore has been very good, but the offensive line has been inconsistent and there is no good option behind Ore at this point.

As the year moves on, as the offensive line improves and the running game gets better, look for time of possession to go up.

Flyover for the Cincinnati Game

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is proud to announce that, barring weather or operational factors, the Doolittle Raiders from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota will conduct a military aircraft flyover during the National Anthem prior to the Virginia Tech vs Cincinnati game. The B-1B Lancer is a high-speed, long-range strategic bomber that has contributed significantly to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in the War on Terror. The aircraft is 146 feet long, has a variable wing span of 79-137 feet and a top speed of 1.2 Mach at sea level.

The flyover aircraft will be piloted by Major Scott Wurzburger, a graduate of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets from the Class of 1994. Also on board will be Colonel Jerry Plourde, the 28th Operations Group Commander. Colonel Plourde's son Ryan will be on the field during the pre-game show as the Executive Officer of Charlie Company. 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

Clowney Out for Cincinnati

September 22, 2006
Virginia Tech wide receiver David Clowney will miss this weekend's game against Cincinnati, and possibly even more time, due to an emergency appendectomy that was performed on Thursday evening.
Also: Cheeseman To Tailback, Grove To Be Honored, Set Up in Blacksburg

Class of '08: Highland Springs
September 22, 2006
Highland Springs typically has one of the more talented high school football programs in the state, having produced a number of players rated among the state's top 30 prospects in the past several years. Highland Springs' class of 2008 promises to be no different, as Head Coach Scott Burton boasts five potential Division 1 recruits.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: VT vs. Cincinnati
September 21, 2006
The 36-0 romp over Duke began to answer more questions about the Hokie offense this year, as Tech opened up the vertical passing game and Sean Glennon had his first 300 yard passing day. Bud Foster's defense was as stingy as ever and shut down the Blue Devils' offense, recording the Hokies' second shutout of the season. Should we expect more of the same as the Cincinnati Bearcats come to town this Saturday?

Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 4
September 21, 2006
After last weekend's unusually large number of big games, there was a lot of movement in the top 10, as well as the Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.). Also, Bourbonstreet gives his grades for Virginia Tech through the first three games of the season.

TSL Recruiting Report from "Tech Beat With Mike Harris", for 9/20/06
September 21, 2006
"Tech Beat With Mike Harris" has returned for the 2006-2007 academic year, and so has the " Recruiting Report" segment of the show, with TSL's Chris Horne. Chris and Mike kick off our TSL Audio offerings with discussions of -- what else? -- VT football recruiting. (MP3 format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 4.0 MB, 22:35).

VT in Contention with Top Oklahoma Prospect
September 21, 2006
A do-everything player for Millwood (Oklahoma City, OK), four-star prospect Gerald Jones is the starting quarterback and starting strong safety for his team. Not only does he play the entire game (played in about 100 plays in Millwood's last game), but he gets the job done. After accounting for close to 3,000 yards of total offense last season as a junior, the senior star has accounted for 800 yards of total offense in Millwood's first three games. Playmaking ability, athleticism and versatility are reasons why Jones has offers from top Division 1 programs including Virginia Tech.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati
September 20, 2006
A few weeks ago, I quoted Jim Weaver and referred to Cincinnati as "an equity conference opponent." Then I couldn't help but laugh. It's a few weeks later now, and I'm not making fun of the Big East, as they've pretty much smacked the ACC around in most of the head-to-head meetings thus far. The Hokies have a chance to save some face for the conference on Saturday when they host the Cincinnati Bearcats.

Highland Springs Star Hill Down to 7
September 20, 2006
Highland Springs (VA) star Cris Hill,'s #8 overall prospect in the state in the preseason rankings, has narrowed his list to seven schools. The 5-11, 175-pound cornerback/wide receiver recruit is focused on his senior season but may make two official visits during his senior season.

Duke Game Analysis: Unbeaten, Untied ... Untested
September 19, 2006
Progress made. Additional questions answered. More questions remain. And a little bit of controversy on the side. That is the best way to describe Virginia Tech's 36-0 blanking of the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday. It wasn't always pretty (in fact, at times it was a bit sloppy), but overall it was a good performance by the Hokies -- another one to build on.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/18/06
September 19, 2006
This week's Hokie Hotline featured defensive coordinator Bud Foster, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. Foster and Beamer talked about the status of the team and the Aaron Rouse situation, while Weaver discussed stadium entry and a change to the 2007 and 2008 football schedules.

4-Star DE to Visit VT
September 19, 2006
6-2, 225-pound defensive end/linebacker recruit Tony Tucker has been contemplating official visit destinations in recent weeks. The St. John's (Washington, D.C.) standout wants to make at least one official visit during his senior season, with the remaining four assuming he makes all five allotted official visits coming after his senior season.

Bourbonstreet's ACC Capsule: Week 4
September 19, 2006
The ACC had a bad week last week, going 4-4 out of conference, including embarrassing losses to Louisville (31-7 over Miami), Western Michigan (17-10 over Virginia), West Virginia (45-24 winners over Maryland), and Southern Miss (37-17 over NC State). Winners were BC over BYU (30-23), Wake over UConn (24-13), GT over Troy (35-20), and UNC over Furman (45-42). Bstreet assesses the league and looks ahead to this week's games.

Monday Thoughts: The Duke Game
September 18, 2006
The biggest story to come out of Saturday's game, other than the play of Sean Glennon, is the whopper of a hit that Aaron Rouse laid on Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. The hit brings up once again the subjects of dirty play, punishment for personal fouls, game suspensions, and the image of the VT football team.

Hokies and Yellow Jackets to Play at 3:30
September 18, 2006
ABC has picked up the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech game in Blacksburg on September 30 and will televise it at 3:30 p.m. The game will be a regional telecast, and will be the biggest ACC game of the day.
Also: Hokies Move Up in Polls, ACC Stats Update

Tribbey Sets First Visit
September 18, 2006
6-1, 288-pound Varina defensive tackle Bud Tribbey remains stagnant in terms of his decision-making process, with Syracuse and Virginia Tech still deadlocked at the top of his list. There is some new information, however. Bud has set one official visit for later this month and a new school may be trying to join the two leaders.

Glennon, Hokie Offense Make Strides
September 17, 2006
You knew this game was going to be different from the very first play from scrimmage, when the Hokies sent David Clowney deep and Sean Glennon reared back and completed a 60-yarder to the Duke five yard line. It was a shut-up-and-sit-down play call and execution from offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring and Glennon, both of whom came under criticism this past week for the lack of punch in the Hokie offense.

Hokies Shutout Duke, Win 36-0
September 16, 2006
#14 Virginia Tech rode a stingy defense and a much improved offense to a 36-0 victory over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium. The Hokies have now shutout Duke in two consecutive seasons. The win moves Tech to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. Duke drops to 0-3 and 0-2 in ACC play.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Duke (and Others)
September 15, 2006
Separation Saturday is upon us, with no less than seven games between ranked opponents. Virginia Tech will be looking to get some separation in the ACC Coastal Division race as well, as the Hokies will be hosting the hapless Duke Blue Devils. However, the Dukies should have beaten Wake Forest on the road last weekend and their defense could provide a good test for Tech's young offense.

The End of the Line for George Bell?
September 15, 2006
George Bell's career at Virginia Tech appears to be over. After a long, hard week, and in-depth conversations with running backs coach Billy Hite, Bell won't suit up for the Hokies this weekend, and he has to decide if he wants to continue to play football on two bad knees. It looks like we're very close to the end of a too-short career for a phenomenal football player and person whose life was drastically altered one day in his junior year in high school.

Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 3
September 15, 2006
Today we have another round of Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.), presented by Bourbonstreet. There are big changes in his top 10, and he also offers up his thoughts on the 2006 Hokies through two games.
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