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   Welcome to TSLMail #251 - Friday, November 3, 2006    
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Hokie Wins in the OB Have Been Classic Battles

by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech has played some classic games with Miami in the Orange Bowl. The Hokies have won three times in Coral Gables, beginning in 1996, and all three have been nail biters that went down to the wire. As a fan, it’s impossible to decide which of those games was the most exciting. If you don’t remember the games, or if you just want to bring back some old memories, we’ll recap the games for you in this week’s TSLMail.

In 1996, the game had Big East championship implications. Virginia Tech entered the game ranked #21 in the nation at 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the Big East. Miami was 6-2, with a perfect 4-0 record in Big East play. The Hurricanes were ranked #18 in the country at the time.

Miami had lost their previous two games in the Orange Bowl, but both were out of conference games to Florida State and East Carolina. They were still very much in the picture for an Alliance Bowl. So were the Hokies, whose only Big East loss had come to Syracuse in late September.

The teams combined for a lot of yards, but not a lot of points. Jim Druckenmiller threw for 202 yards during the game, while Miami quarterbacks Scott Covington and Ryan Clement combined for 340 yards. The Hokies struck first on a one yard Ken Oxendine touchdown run in the first quarter. Oxendine ran for 89 yards on 19 carries during the game.

Miami answered later in the first quarter when Clement found Chris Jones in the end zone for a two yard touchdown pass to tie the game at seven. Things got off to a fast start, but neither team scored again until Druckenmiller hit Michael Stuewe with a 13 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to make it 14-7, Hokies.

As Miami drove to tie the game in the fourth quarter, Keion Carpenter stepped in front of Covington’s 4th and 4 pass on the goal line and returned it 100 yards for the game clinching touchdown with 1:54 remaining. Victors by the score of 21-7, the Hokies won the remainder of their games and went on to play Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

In 1998, Virginia Tech traveled to the Orange Bowl in September. Both teams were 2-0 heading into the game, and the Hokies were ranked #21 in the nation. Most people thought the game would be close, and as it turned out, it was the first overtime game in Virginia Tech history.

The Hokies were going against a future NFL All-Pro team at the Miami skill positions: WR Reggie Wayne, WR Santana Moss and RB Edgerrin James. All of those players had big games, but the Hokies managed to win nonetheless.

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Things didn’t look good in the second quarter, when Scott Covington touchdown passes to Wayne and Moss put Miami up 13-3 (one extra point attempt was no good). But the Hokies rallied. Late in the second quarter, Al Clark found fullback Cullen Hawkins for a 14 yard touchdown to make the score 13-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter, Clark led the team back down the field and scrambled in from 13 yards out, giving the Hokies a 17-13 lead. But Miami wasn’t done. Covington hit Reggie Wayne on an 84 yard touchdown to put the ‘Canes back up 20-17. Shayne Graham later hit a 19 yard field goal to tie the game at 20, but Graham missed a 35 yarder that would have ended the game late in regulation.

In overtime, Al Clark threw a 24 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ricky Hall to take a 27-20 lead. Tech’s defense shut the door on Miami’s possession, recording back to back sacks and then deflecting the ‘Canes' last heave to the end zone. The Hokies went on to go 9-3 with a 38-7 Music City Bowl victory over Alabama.

Perhaps Tech’s most memorable trip to the Orange Bowl was the 2004 game. The Hurricanes and Hokies were playing for the ACC Championship in their first year in the expanded conference. Miami was favored in the game, but Virginia Tech fans felt very good about their chances.

The Hokies took an early lead in the second quarter behind Bryan Randall’s three yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff King to cap a 10 play, 80 yard drive. Miami’s only touchdown came in the second quarter after they blocked a Virginia Tech punt. The Hurricanes had to drive just 15 yards for the touchdown to tie the game at seven.

Brandon Pace drilled a 45 yard field goal with four seconds left in the first half to give the Hokies a 10-7 lead going into halftime. Miami answered in the third quarter with a field goal of their own to tie the game at 10.

The game, and the ACC Championship, was decided in the fourth quarter. True freshman Eddie Royal came up with two big plays in the fourth quarter to beat Miami. First, he returned a punt from the Tech 42 yard line to the Miami 39. And on the very next play, he beat Miami All-American cornerback and future NFL first round draft pick Antrel Rolle on a crossing pattern. Randall hit him perfectly, and Royal took it in from 39 yards out.

Miami blocked the extra point, so the Hokies were clinging to a 16-10 lead with 11:29 remaining. But the Tech defense shut down the Miami offense all day long. The Hurricanes never made it past their own 32 yard line the rest of the game, and the Hokies batted down three passes in a row at the line of scrimmage on Miami's last possession to seal the victory.

How will the 2006 game compare to those classics of the past? We’ll find out on Saturday night. Join us at Champs Sportsbar in Blacksburg to watch the game!

TSL Completes Free Content Week

All week long, all the content on has been free, to give non-subscribers a taste of the great subscription content on TSL. The following articles, which are usually pay content, were free this week:

Tyrod Taylor OK; Ready for Stretch Run - November 3, 2006
TSL Recruiting Report from "SportsBeat With Mike Harris", for 11/1/06 - November 2, 2006
Josh Oglesby's Unofficial Visit to Virginia Tech - November 2, 2006
Evans Once Again Surpasses 2,000 - November 1, 2006
Clemson Game Analysis: Perfect Plan Comes Together - October 31, 2006
4-Star LB/S Ready to Set More Visits? - October 31, 2006
Phoebus Standout Lists Two on Top - October 31, 2006
Monday Thoughts: The Clemson Game - October 30, 2006
DT Tribbey Excelling in Senior Season - October 30, 2006

That's a ton of great content, and that's just one week's worth. We hope that this free look at our content has convinced you that a subscription to's TSL Pass content is well worth it. TSL Pass is only $4.99 per month, or $49.99 per year (two months free), and only $24.99 per year for Virginia Tech students. Click here to subscribe.

TSL's Will Stewart is going to jail November 14th

Message from's Will Stewart: I'm participating in a Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Lock-up event on Tuesday, November 14th. I'll be thrown into a maximum security jail (cleverly disguised as a Comfort Inn), and the only way I can get out is to raise $5,000 "bail" for MDA. I'm counting on you, TSL's readers and subscribers, to donate enough money to get me out.

This is a fundraiser, of course, and it's unlike anything TSL has ever done before. TSL has gotten so huge over the years, that with the number of people we reach, raising money for charitable causes should be easy. We really think that TSL's vast, generous readership can make a lot of difference in the community, and this is your chance to prove us right. If this is successful, and we think it will be, we may participate in other fundraisers in the future.

It's very simple: just click on the link below to make a donation and help me get out of jail that day. Every dollar donated by TSL's readership through the link below will be collected together and credited to my "bail" ('s donation to the MDA) and will be used to help LOCAL MDA families. This particular lockup event is to benefit the Radford/Dublin/Pulaski area.

Here are some other notes and details:

  • The link below enables you to donate via credit card only (VISA, MC, AMEX, and Discover). Please see instructions below to donate by check.
  • All donations are tax deductible (by you, not me or as a charitable contribution.
  • My bail goal of $5,000 is very modest, and the TSL faithful should be able to donate much, much more than that. If every TSL reader donates just $10 ... holy smokes, that would be a lot of money.
  • For details on what your donation will be used for, see the "What Your Money Will Buy" button located at the link below. There are also links for "MDA Local Services" and the "MDA Website".

To donate by check: Make checks payable to "MDA" and mail to:

MDA Lockup
P.O. Box 3472
Radford, VA 24143-3472

Checks must arrive by November 13th in order for me to have them in my possession when I go to the Comfort Inn -- er, jail -- the next day.

To donate by credit card: Click below.

Please contribute, even if it's a small amount – individuals, consider donating $25 or more, and businesses, please consider donating $100 or more.

When I walk into jail on November 14th, I want it to be as the top donor in this lockup event, and the money won't be donated in my name; it will be donated in the name of the community.

Contribute Here to Will's Bail 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

Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Miami (and Others)

November 3, 2006
The storyline for the Miami game this year will be the renewed running game of the Hokies led by Brandon Ore going against the best rushing defense in the country. The Hurricanes have not allowed 100 yards rushing to a team this year and Ore is coming off consecutive 200+ yard games. If the Hokies can have any success running the ball against the Canes, then expect a Virginia Tech victory.

Taylor OK; Ready for Stretch Run
November 3, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: In last week’s win over Heritage, Hampton’s (VA) five-star quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a knee injury when he was tackled out-of-bounds. The 6-2, 200-pound signal caller had an MRI done earlier this week and the results came back yesterday. The diagnosis?...all clear.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech at Miami
November 2, 2006
Two former Big East rivals square off in the Orange Bowl on Saturday night in prime time on ABC, as Virginia Tech seeks revenge for last year's debacle in Blacksburg. Ironically several games in the ACC and Big East will be bigger this weekend in terms of conference championships, but most eyes in the nation will be interested in the Miami vs. Virginia Tech matchup. Thursday night's game with Louisville hosting West Virginia is the most important game of the weekend and two ACC games kick off at 7:00 with conference championships on the line -- Boston College at Wake Forest and Georgia Tech at N.C. State -- but the Hokies vs. Canes game will likely get the most attention from the national audience.

Bourbonstreet's Championship Series (b-streetC.S.): Week 10
November 2, 2006
The last regular-season month of college football season is here (sniff, sob, they grow up so fast), and it gets started with a bang tonight, as WVU and Louisville throw down to settle the Big East BCS bid issue (but don't discount the Scarlet Knights, who are also undefeated and have a little round-robin going with the Cards and Eers this month). All that and more in Bstreet's latest BCS entry.

TSL Recruiting Report from "SportsBeat With Mike Harris", for 11/1/06
November 2, 2006
FREE FEATURE: On last night's show, Mike Harris and Chris Horne discussed Friday's game pitting Fork Union versus Hargrave (including one-time Tech recruiting target Jarrell Miller and 2006 VT signee Ladi Ajiboye, among others). Mike and Chris talked about the two programs and how Hargrave has taken the reigns as the top in-state prep school in terms of getting prospects.UVa’s latest commitment, OL Landon Bradley out of Conway, SC was also covered. (MP3 format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.0 MB, 20:19)

Josh Oglesby's Unofficial Visit to Virginia Tech
November 2, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: Last Thursday night, Garner (N.C.) running back recruit Josh Oglesby was in Blacksburg for Virginia Tech’s win over Clemson. It was Oglesby’s first time experiencing a Tech home game in person. The 5-11, 205-pound prospect details his entire experience, which went very well.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Miami
November 1, 2006
The Miami game is big every year. When the upcoming football schedule is announced each winter, one of the first things that many of us do is look for the Miami game and circle it. Who do the Hokies play before Miami? Who do they play after? Does either team have a bye week before the game? Does that give either team an advantage? Well, the time has finally come. There aren't National Championship implications like last season, but there's a lot of pride on the line in this one.

Evans Once Again Surpasses 2,000
November 1, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: With a 230-yard rushing performance in Warren Central’s (Indianapolis, IN) 49-0 win over Franklin Central last Friday, 6-1, 215-pound running back Darren Evans went over the 2,000-yard mark for the third consecutive season. He now has over 7,000 yards rushing in his illustrious high school career and is looking to continue his success and help his team capture a fourth consecutive state championship.

Clemson Game Analysis: Perfect Plan Comes Together
October 31, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: While walking out of Lane stadium among the thousands of cheering Virginia Tech fans, I was reminded of an expression made famous by "The A-Team" and used around offices when things go especially well. "I love it when a plan comes together" generally accompanies a bunch of smiles and a few high fives for everyone involved. On Thursday night, the plan definitely came together for the Hokies, in all phases of the game, as they rolled the favored and 10th ranked Clemson Tigers 24-7.

4-Star LB/S Ready to Set More Visits?
October 31, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: Coffeyville Community College (KS) linebacker/safety prospect Larry Asante has taken one official visit (Iowa State), set two others (Kansas State and Nebraska), and, with more and more schools showing interest, may be close to setting another. Could the 6-1 ½, 215-pound prospect be saving those final two official visit spots for schools closer to his home state of Virginia?

Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/30/06
October 31, 2006
Monday night's show included new defensive backs coach and former Hokie player Torrian Gray, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer.

Phoebus Standout Lists Two on Top
October 31, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: Phoebus (Hampton, VA) offensive line standout Maurice Hampton puts two schools at the top of his list right now. Both programs are from the ACC, with one being in the state of Virginia and the other from outside the state. The 6-3, 275-pound Hampton lists his favorites and discusses why they are on top.

Monday Thoughts: The Clemson Game
October 30, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit put forth the theory during Thursday night's broadcast of VT's win over Clemson that the Tigers were emotionally spent from their previous win over Georgia Tech and weren't putting forth their best effort. Herbstreit may have a point there, but it doesn't matter. This game goes down in the books as a win over a top ten team, and it gives the Hokies some confidence heading into a critical road matchup with Miami this Saturday.

Bourbonstreet's ACC Capsule: Week 10
October 30, 2006
New and improved, with the current ACC standings, a look back at last week's games, and Bstreet-speak that is ... slightly less obtuse. You talked, we listened, and here's the result: Bstreet looks at Week 10 in the ACC. Read it and rate it.

DT Tribbey Excelling in Senior Season
October 30, 2006
FREE ARTICLE: Making a college decision has not been number one on Bud Tribbey's mind lately. The 6-1, 288-pound Varina (VA) standout has listed Syracuse and Virginia Tech as his favorites since the summer, but no decision has come. Instead, the talented defensive tackle is focused on his senior season -- one that has been excellent so far.

Hokies Back in the Rankings
October 30, 2006
After their 24-7 drubbing of the Clemson Tigers last Thursday night, the Hokies find themselves back in the top 25 after a brief hiatus. There are currently five ACC teams ranked in the top 25, but none are ranked in the top 15.
Also: Ore Among Nation's Best Rushers; Shuman Out With Knee Injury; ACC Coastal Division is Georgia Tech's to Lose; Free TSL Pass Content This Week; TSL's Will Stewart Participating in MDA Lockup Fund Raiser.

Hokies Surprise All But a Few
October 27, 2006
Gotta hand it to Phil Martin. In Wednesday's projections article, Phil was one of the few prognosticators -- and the only one here at TSL -- who picked the Hokies to beat Clemson. Phil does most or all of his projections by computer, and when he emailed the article in, he wrote, "As much as I tried, the computer model still picked the Hokies. I have to admit that I was surprised by that outcome." Yeah, Phil, so was Clemson.
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