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   Welcome to TSLMail #250 - Friday, October 27, 2006    
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Hokies Strong on the Road in Recent Years

by Chris Coleman,

After last night’s whipping of #10 Clemson, Virginia Tech will get the weekend off and then begin preparations on Monday for their trip to Coral Gables and the Orange Bowl, where they will meet the Miami Hurricanes. Last week’s TSLMail focused on Virginia Tech’s record at home against teams with winning records since 2001. This week we’ll see how the Hokies have done on the road since 2001 against winning teams. In the following text, the final record of the teams discussed is included in square brackets [].

Since 2001, Virginia Tech is 7-6 in road games against teams that went on to finish the season with a winning record. That includes the loss at Boston College this year, as the Eagles will finish the season with a winning mark.

From 2001-2003, Virginia Tech was just 1-5 on the road against winning teams. (The only win came in 2002 at Boston College [9-4] when the Hokies knocked off the Eagles 28-23.) Every loss in that span was by double digits, with the exception of the 2003 Pitt game, which Tech dropped 31-28.

In 2001, the only team with a winning record that the Hokies played on the road was Pitt [7-5]. Tech was coming off a home loss to Syracuse that saw their National Championship hopes shattered, and they went to Heinz Field not ready to play. The result was a 38-7 drubbing at the hands of the Panthers.

As noted above, the Hokies beat Boston College on the road in 2002. The only other winning team Tech played on the road that year was Miami [12-1], and the Hokies lost to the Hurricanes 56-45 in a surprisingly high scoring game.

In 2003, Virginia Tech was absolutely dreadful on the road against good teams. Everyone remembers the Meltdown in Morgantown. The Hokies went on the road to West Virginia [8-5] and got thoroughly dominated at the line of scrimmage, and lost 28-7.

After rallying to beat Miami at home, Virginia Tech took a road trip to Pittsburgh [8-5]. The Hokies were leading the Panthers until the final minutes but finally succumbed to Rod Rutherford and Larry Fitzgerald. At the end of the year, as the Hokies were tanking their season, they added insult to injury by losing to UVA [8-5] by two touchdowns, 35-21 on the road.

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Virginia Tech was a very poor team on the road from 2001-2003, but that all changed in 2004 and 2005, when the Hokies didn’t lose a single road game.

In 2004, Virginia Tech beat three winning teams on the road while on their way to winning the ACC Championship. The first win was on a Thursday night against Georgia Tech [7-5], when Bryan Randall helped bring the Hokies back in the fourth quarter. VT went on to win 34-20 after trailing for almost the entire game.

Tech also went on the road and beat UNC in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels [6-6, 6-5 in the regular season] had a great offense that year, but a bad defense against the run. Mike Imoh broke the Virginia Tech single game record for rushing yards when he ran for 243 yards that day, as the Hokies won 27-24.

The last road win that year was the sweetest. Virginia Tech went into the Orange Bowl and defeated the Miami Hurricanes [9-3] for the ACC Championship. The Tech defense dominated the entire game and Bryan Randall threw the winning touchdown pass to Eddie Royal in the 16-10 victory.

Last season the Hokies knocked off NC State [7-5], West Virginia [11-1] and UVA [7-5] on the road. NC State was the season opener, and the Hokies had to scratch and claw their way to a 20-16 victory.

Virginia Tech traveled to Morgantown on October 1 and handed the Mountaineers their first and only loss of the season, 34-17. WVU has not lost a game since that day. Marcus Vick had a nearly perfect performance, arguably his best day as a Virginia Tech football player.

In November the Hokies traveled to Charlottesville, where talks of a brewing upset were in the air, as Virginia Tech was coming off a 27-7 loss to Miami at home. Those talks ended early, and Cedric Humes and Branden Ore both went over 100 yards rushing on the day in Virginia Tech’s 52-14 victory.

The Hokies have lost their only road game against a winning team this year. The Hokies were beaten 22-3 in Chestnut Hill by Boston College, but have since rallied to win two home games against Southern Miss and Clemson.

Virginia Tech isn’t likely to be intimidated by playing in the Orange Bowl. Many current players were on the 2004 team that knocked off the ‘Canes in Coral Gables. In fact, Virginia Tech has won at Miami on three occasions.

The first time came in 1996. Miami was trailing 14-7 and driving for the tying touchdown, but Tech's Keion Carpenter came up with an interception that he returned 100 yards for a touchdown. Tech won again in Coral Cables in their next trip, when a gutsy, injured Al Clark beat Miami in overtime 27-20.

Will the Hokies be 8-6 against winning teams on the road after next week, or will they drop to 7-7? Tune in on Saturday, November 4 at 8 pm on ABC to find out. 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

Underdog Hokies Bite Tigers 24-7

October 27, 2006
Blacksburg, VA -- Branden Ore was right. Thursday night proved who is the best running back in the ACC, and it is non other than Ore himself. Ore went over 200 yards rushing for the second consecutive game as Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-2) pulled off a major upset of the #10 Clemson Tigers (7-2, 4-2) 24-7 in Lane Stadium on Thursday night.

The Story at Sumter
October 26, 2006
Last week, Sumter (S.C.) offensive line recruit Kyle Nunn reportedly de-committed from Virginia Tech in order to make official visits to other schools. At the same time, it was reported that Kendrick Pressley, an athlete recruit out of the same high school, had committed to the Hokies this summer. caught up with Sumter Head Coach Paul Sorrells for the latest on both situations.

Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 9
October 26, 2006
It's Bstreet's BCS, Week 9, and college football is prepping for the home stretch. Bstreet has man-love for Ohio State. It's the lull before the storm for wvu and Louisville. The ACC and the SEC are still all mixed up, and how 'bout those Rutgers Scarlet Knights? I said HOW 'BOUT THOSE RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS?!?!

Ovens Has Great Visit
October 26, 2006
6-2, 220-pound linebacker standout Hunter Ovens made his official visit to Virginia Tech last weekend. The Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota, FL) star, who rated his experience in Blacksburg a “nine or a 10,” discussed the trip as well as his outstanding senior season.

Davis to Visit UVa This Weekend?
October 26, 2006
Ed Davis, a standout junior power forward recruit out of Benedictine High School (Richmond, VA), may make another unofficial visit to UVa this weekend. Davis, who has been to UVa several times already, currently has the Cavs in his top five. He discusses the possible visit, his upcoming junior season and names a top five.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Clemson (and Others)
October 25, 2006
The Hokies' biggest game of the year is here as the ACC's best team, the Clemson Tigers, rolls into Lane Stadium for a Thursday night game. The atmosphere should be wild as Virginia Tech tries to knock off the #11 Tigers. Clemson leads the ACC in virtually every offensive and defensive category, and the Hokies will unquestionably have their hands full. However, Tech is coming off their best game of the season, having demolished a good Southern Miss squad, so anything can happen, especially on a Thursday night in Blacksburg.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Clemson
October 25, 2006
Potentially the biggest game in the ACC this season will be played Thursday night in Blacksburg as the ACC's best team to date, the Clemson Tigers, visits Lane Stadium. A lot is riding on this game as both teams must win to keep their hopes for a division title intact. Clemson must keep pace with Boston College, who owns the tiebreaker advantage, and the Hokies must keep up with Georgia Tech, who also owns the tiebreaker head-to-head. The atmosphere should be incredible, and the underdog Hokies will be fired up after playing their best game of the season against Southern Miss last week.

D.J. Thomas' Dream Came True
October 25, 2006
Patrick Henry (Ashland, VA) senior D.J. Thomas verbally committed to Virginia Tech in August, but it was not for the 2007 class. The standout tailback/defensive back acknowledged then that he would have to attend prep school before getting to Blacksburg. Two months making this decision, he remains excited and is looking forward to his future as a Hokie.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Clemson
October 24, 2006
Virginia Tech played their best football game of the season on Saturday night when they knocked off Southern Miss 36-6. The Hokies improved in some important parts of the game, like running the football and putting pressure on the quarterback. But if the Hokies hope to beat the Clemson Tigers on Thursday night, the Southern Miss game will have to quickly become their second best game of the year.

Southern Miss Game Analysis: Hokies Hit Their Stride
October 24, 2006
Well, that was more like it. Reeling from consecutive losses and a performance at Boston College that was disappointing on several levels, the Hokies resorted to classic Virginia Tech football and rebounded with a 36-6 whipping of Southern Mississippi. With Clemson and Miami on the horizon, the Hokies not only needed to win, but they needed to play well to set up for the stretch run. And play well they did.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/23/06
October 24, 2006
Monday night's guests were long-time equipment manager Lester Karlin -- don't laugh, his segment was pretty interesting -- athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer.

Final Stretch for Jamar Jackson
October 24, 2006
Jamar Jackson’s decision seems to get more and more complicated. After enjoying each of his first four official visits – to Boston College, Louisville, N.C. State and Virginia Tech, respectively - the 6-4, 230-pound Varina (VA) star had another good experience this past weekend. And he has one more visit remaining before he plans to make a decision.

Monday Thoughts: The Southern Miss Game
October 23, 2006
Losing this one was out of the question. That wouldn't do, not with Clemson and Miami next on the docket. Lose this one, and the Hokies were staring down the barrel of a 4-5 record after nine games. A losing record nine games into the season? The last time that happened was 1992, and that's not a time or a place the Hokies want to return to.

Miami Game Time Announced
October 23, 2006
Virginia Tech announced on Monday afternoon that the Hokies' game with the Miami Hurricanes on November 4 will be televised by ABC at 8 pm. Brent Musburger will be the play-by-play announcer, while Bob Davie will serve as color analyst.
Also: Hokie Men's Basketball Team Picked Sixth in ACC.

VT Still in Contention with Smith
October 23, 2006
For the second time, Jay Smith did not make a previously scheduled official visit to Virginia Tech. The Hokies continue to be prime competitors for TSL's number three overall recruit in the state, however, and a decision could come in the near future.

Bourbonstreet's ACC Capsule: Week 9
October 23, 2006
Florida State is in sole possession of last place in the ACC Atlantic Division. (You may take a break and re-read that sentence, if you enjoy that sort of thing.) Wake rebounded to knock off NC State. Clemson's got a biggie at VT, if they want to fend off BC for the Atlantic title. VT's got a biggie against Clemson, if the Hokies want to stay above .500 in the Coastal. VT/Clemson is big this week, but so is Miami/GT. Hey, the ACC may be having a (cue the talking heads) "down" year, but here at TSL, we kind of like the mayhem. It makes things interesting, and Bstreet takes a look back and a look ahead in the ACC.

Hokies Run Over Southern Miss, Await Clemson
October 22, 2006
Blacksburg, VA -- After two consecutive ACC losses against Georgia Tech and Boston College, the Hokies welcomed Southern Miss into Lane Stadium on Saturday night, and promptly dismissed them with a 36-6 thrashing. The Hokies improve to 5-2 on the season, and remain 2-2 in ACC play. Southern Miss drops to 4-3.

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Southern Miss (and Others)
October 20, 2006
Virginia Tech is badly in need of a victory after the disappointing performance in Chestnut Hill last week. Much has been made of the personal fouls, turnovers, bickering between players, and ESPN commentary, but now is the time for the team to come together. Normally a non-conference game for homecoming has little effect on the season other than the rankings, but Southern Miss has now become a critical game, and the team will either pull apart or come together after this game. I expect to see a fired up Hokie squad on Saturday night and I believe we will see a rejuvenated Virginia Tech team give their best effort.
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