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   Welcome to TSLMail #246 - Friday, September 29, 2006    
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Hokies Not a Come-From-Behind Team

by Chris Coleman,

Want some more things to think about before Saturday's game with Georgia Tech? Perusing the game notes released by will reveal some interesting information.

There has been a lot of discussion on the message boards this week about how important it will be for the Hokies to get out to an early lead against Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech's offense isn't built to be a comeback offense. This has virtually always been the case under Frank Beamer.

The Hokies found themselves losing to Cincinnati last week at the end of the third quarter. Their comeback victory was just the ninth time that Virginia Tech has rallied to win a game that they were losing at the start of the fourth quarter under Frank Beamer. The Hokies are 9-60 since 1987 when they didn't have the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In fact, the Hokies have a losing record under Beamer when trailing at the end of the first quarter (24-35-2) and trailing at halftime (17-52). The Virginia Tech offense simply isn't build to play from behind, especially this season, with a new starting quarterback and an inexperienced offensive line.

Speaking of comeback wins, everybody remembers the comeback against UVA in 1995. The Hokies trailed 29-14 after the third quarter, but came back to win 36-29. It was the greatest comeback in Tech history, not only because of the opponent, but because the Hokies just don't do it very often. In fact, Tech has never comeback to win a game by more than 15 points under Beamer, so that UVA game was literally the biggest comeback by Virginia Tech.

The Hokies have also come back to win two games that they trailed by 14 points. The first was at Syracuse in 2000, when the Orange had Tech down 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. But the Hokies rallied behind Michael Vick and won 22-14.

During the 2004 season, Virginia Tech also rallied from a 14 point deficit against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets had the Hokies down 14-0 in the second quarter, but VT rallied, mostly in the fourth quarter, to win 34-20. Those are the three biggest comebacks at Virginia Tech under Frank Beamer.

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Another incentive to score first is Virginia Tech's record when their opponent scores first. The Hokies are just 39-50-1 when their opponents get on the scoreboard before Tech.

A statistic that could be just as important to watch is the running game. Georgia Tech will try to establish the run against Virginia Tech, because it is almost impossible to beat the Hokies if you don't have some balance in your offense. The Hokies will try to run the ball as well, and which team is most successful could decide who wins the game.

In games where Virginia Tech out-rushes their opponent under Beamer, the Hokies are 133-27-2. So if Branden Ore has a big game on Saturday, you can pretty much count on the Hokies picking up their fifth victory of the season and becoming a major player in the ACC race.

But if Georgia Tech outduels Virginia Tech on the ground, then we'll have a bad sign. The Hokies are just 16-52 under Frank Beamer when they have been out-rushed by the opposition.

So at the end of the third quarter, take a look at the scoreboard in the North end zone of Lane Stadium. If the Hokies are leading on the scoreboard, as well as the rushing yardage column, then chances are they are going to win the game. But if Georgia Tech has the advantage, it will be tough for VT to come back.

Other Interesting Facts from the Game Notes

  • VT has won 35 of its last 36 games in the month of September, dating back to 1997 (the only loss: NC State in 2004).

  • Virginia Tech currently has the 14th-longest active scoring streak in NCAA Division I-A football, standing at 139 games. The last time the Hokies were shutout was against Cincinnati in 1995 (16-0).

  • The Hokies' closest calls in the scoring streak were against UNC in the 1997 Gator Bowl (42-3 loss), at Pittsburgh in 2001 (38-7), at WVU in 2003 (28-7), and against Miami at home last year (27-7). Tech has scored 13 or more points in every other game in the scoring streak.

  • The Hokies have won 25 straight games when scoring first.

  • In the 1990s, VT led the nation in blocked kicks. Since the year 2000, however, the Hokies are third with 36 blocked kicks, behind NC STate (41) and Texas (44).

  • The Hokies have the most interceptions since the start of the 2000 season, with 127. USC (the Trojans, not the Gamecocks) are a distant second with 113.

  • Since the start of the 2004 season, Tech has allowed the fewest offensive touchdowns in the nation (35). Alabama is second with 40. 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

TB Oglesby Enjoying Great Senior Season

September 29, 2006
Tech recruit Josh Oglesby has been playing tailback for Garner High School (N.C.) this season, a good move for him considering that is the position he is being recruited to play for the Hokies. The 5-11, 205-pound recruit, a fullback last season in Garner's power-I offense, has helped his squad to a 5-1 record in 2006.

TSL Recruiting Report from "Tech Beat With Mike Harris", for 9/27/06
September 28, 2006
On this week's "Tech Beat With Mike Harris", TSL's Chris Coleman made his first appearance of the season. Harris and Coleman talked Virginia Tech recruiting, as well as how the Hokies' season has gone so far. They also take a short look at the Georgia Tech game. (MP3 format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 6.3 MB, 34.55).

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech
September 28, 2006
The "real" season begins, as Virginia Tech will receive a huge challenge from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday. The Rambling Wreck will be looking to avenge a 51-7 humiliation last year in Blacksburg, while the Hokies will see if the momentum gained from the second half comeback against Cincinnati can carry forward to this game. Both teams have had their ups and downs so far this year, but both are still undefeated in the ACC and looking to take control in the ACC Coastal Division. This one should be a slobberknocker, with a great deal at stake.

Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 5
September 28, 2006
This week's big matchups: #1 Ohio State at Iowa, Florida at Alabama, Oregon vs. Arizona State, and Texas vs. Sam Houston State (featuring VT transfer wide receiver Michael Malone!). BStreet gives us his thoughts on the VT/GT game, as well.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech
September 27, 2006
It's been a tough week for Virginia Tech football. David Clowney went down with an emergency appendectomy during the middle of the week leading to the Cincinnati game. Then the Hokies found themselves trailing Cincinnati at the end of the third quarter. Saturday night, starters Josh Morgan and Chris Ellis were arrested in downtown Blacksburg, leading to their suspension for this weekend's game, and yet another outcry about Tech's problems off the field. All of that, combined with the anticipation of the biggest game of the year, is making this week drag by very slowly. Can we just play football already?

Powell Sets Two More Visits
September 27, 2006
Four-star defensive tackle Tydreke Powell had previously set an official visit to Penn State for the weekend of October 14th. He has now set two more official visits and hopes to pinpoint his five official visit destinations in the near future. Powell reveals which programs he has set official visits with as well as where Virginia Tech stands in his recruitment.

Cincinnati Game Analysis: Bearcats Challenge Hokies
September 26, 2006
It was time to step up. After three easy victories against inferior competition, the Cincinnati Bearcats came to town with the best team the Hokies had faced so far this season. If the Hokies didn't believe that before the game, they certainly did by the end of the third quarter. Having played very little in the fourth quarter all season, Tech's first unit found themselves very much on the field this time around, in the middle of a dogfight, with the outcome of the game squarely in the balance. Challenged for the first time, it was time to step up. And step up they did. With a dominating fourth quarter outburst on both sides of the ball, the Hokies erased a one point deficit and pulled away to a 29-13 victory over the underrated Bearcats.

Drager Leading Tough TJHS Squad
September 26, 2006
Thomas Jefferson High School (Jefferson City, PA) is one of the top teams in the state and is off to a 4-0 start to the 2006 season. Tech recruit Chris Drager, a three-star prospect who plays tight end and defensive end, has helped his team to the undefeated record with five touchdown receptions so far this season.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/25/06
September 26, 2006
Tonight's first-hour guests were a little different: quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain and strength coach Mike Gentry joined Bill Roth from 7:00 to 8:00. They were followed by Coach Beamer. O'Cain discussed the QB position and the offense, Gentry gave the strength and conditioning perspective on players, and Beamer talked about Cincinnati and looked ahead to Georgia Tech.

Tech Recruit has Outstanding Official Visit
September 26, 2006
Lincoln County (Lincolnton, GA) star Brandon Barden, who committed to Virginia Tech while on an unofficial visit in the spring, headed back to Blacksburg this past weekend for an official visit. The visit went great for the 6-5, 220-pound tight end and he plans to return for this Saturday's game versus Georgia Tech.

Monday Thoughts: The Cincinnati Game
September 25, 2006
It appears that at least a few players on the Hokie football team don't get the message. Four games into the 2006 season, the Hokie coaching staff is still stamping out fires related to player behavior, both on and off the field. Monday, the coaching staff had to hand out a couple of suspensions to key players. Pay attention fellas: mess up, and you sit. Well yes and no. The message has been a little mixed so far, but Monday's suspension of Chris Ellis and Josh Morgan was the right move.

Bourbonstreet's ACC Capsule: Week 5
September 25, 2006
NC State blew out the blowtorch that was warming up Chuck Amato's seat by knocking off Boston College and turning new QB Daniel Evans into a hero, Clemson gave UNC's John Bunting a good hard shove towards the unemployment line, Wake Forest kept on winning, and Virginia's season took a bad turn with a whipping at Georgia Tech. This week, four teams in the league are off, and there are only two conference matchups: UVa at Duke and GT at VT. One is on ABC this Saturday. The other is not.

Countdown to Signing Day: Big Weekend for VT
September 25, 2006
The first edition of the's Countdown to Signing Day for the 2007 recruiting class comes the week of what will be the first big official visit weekend for the Hokies...and maybe the biggest overall. This weekend, the staff expects to host some talented uncommitted recruits including 4-star ATH Gerald Jones, 4-star WR Jay Smith, 3-star DE Jamar Jackson and DT Bud Tribbey. Five-star QB Tyrod Taylor headlines the committed players in town on official visits, with many more expected to be in unofficially as well.

Ellis, Morgan Suspended for Georgia Tech
September 25, 2006
Wide receiver Josh Morgan and defensive end Chris Ellis have been suspended for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech, according to a press release by this morning. They were suspended for a violation of team rules, and Frank Beamer stated that he would have no further comment on the suspensions.

Cincinnati Gives Tech a Much-Needed Smack in the Mouth
September 23, 2006
In the wake of the Hokies' narrower than expected win over the Cincinnati Bearcats, I heard a consistent comment from the pool of fans whose opinions I respect: "Tech needed a game like this." I agree. Cincinnati gave Virginia Tech what the Hokies needed: a good, sharp smack in the mouth. Tech battled back, learned a lot, and continues to develop as a team.

Hokies, Ore Run Past Cincinnati 29-13
September 23, 2006
#10 Virginia Tech overcame a lackluster first half to knock off the visiting Cincinnati Bearcats 29-13 on Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium. The Hokies found themselves down 10-5 at halftime, but they rode the legs of Branden Ore to victory in the second half. The win takes Tech to 4-0 overall, and they remain 2-0 in the ACC. Cincinnati drops to 1-3 on the season.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Cincinnati (and Others)
September 22, 2006
Last week Virginia Tech unleashed the vertical passing game in dismantling an overmatched Duke Blue Devil squad 36-0. Sean Glennon passed for over 300 yards and the Hokie defense completely shut down the Duke offense. Cincinnati comes to town this week after playing Ohio State tough for three quarters and leading for much of the first half. The Bearcats bring the most athletic and aggressive defense to face Virginia Tech to date, so the Hokies need to be ready.
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