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   Welcome to TSLMail #292 - Friday, August 17, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Excerpts from the New VT Football Book Hokie Games

Rich Tandler attended Virginia Tech in the mid 1970's and was immediately hooked on Hokie football. Rich has written the definitive history of the Virginia Tech program, from the standpoint that matters the most: what happened on the field.

The name of the book is Hokie Games, and it recounts the score and key plays from every Virginia Tech football game played from the start of the 1945 season through the last game of the 2006 season. You can get old scores anywhere, but Hokie Games gives you the flow of the action and the important moments and players, not just a line with point totals and a date on it.

From the Hokie Games web site: Hokie Games is the most complete book ever written about any college sports team, ever. The first Hokie game you ever watched? It's in there. Forgotten classics? Got 'em all. Learn about or relive the '72 game when Don Strock lit up Houston for 527 yards in the air or the 1966 VMI game when Tommy Francisco got into the end zone six times. Remember watching a great game with your kid or your dad? You can relive it. Are the details of the '99 thriller at West Virginia, the one that featured Vick's jaw-dropping run and Graham's clutch kick that kept the national title chances alive a little fuzzy? Hokie Games brings back every detail.


For the next month in TSLMail, we'll be bringing you two excerpts a week from Hokie Games, enough to whet your appetite for this outstanding collection. Rich Tandler is also making a special offer for TSL readers: pre-order your copy now, and you'll get free shipping, and Rich will personally autograph your copy. To take advantage of this special offer, go to:

Note that when you're checking out, you need to enter the promo code "TSL" in the appropriate box.

Please allow six weeks for delivery, since this is a pre-order.

Now, on to the games ....

Virginia Tech (1-1) 20, Clemson (0-1) 14
September 13, 1986, Clemson, South Carolina

This was the second game of the ’86 season and it was a springboard to Tech’s Peach Bowl bid, which would up being the Hokies’ first-ever postseason win.

Memorial Stadium—Virginia Tech got some breaks and created many opportunities on its own to beat Clemson for the first time in 32 years by a score of 20-14.

An example of made opportunities came in the first quarter. Tech couldn’t crack the end zone on three tries from the Clemson one but the Hokie defense held, requiring the Tigers to punt from their six. Defensive end Victor Jones blew in almost untouched—so quickly he almost ran by the punter—and smothered the kick.

Teammate Mitch Dove was in the right place at the right time. He was standing in the end zone when the ball bounced into his arms for one of the easiest touchdowns anyone will ever score.

A 29-yard punt gave Clemson a short field to work with, and the Tigers tied it up at 7-7 on Terrence Flagler’s 13-yard touchdown run in the opening moments of the second period.

The Hokies responded immediately. Erik Chapman completed a 34-yard pass to wingback David Everett, sparking a drive that culminated in a 38-yard Chris Kinzer field goal. They held their 10-7 lead into intermission.

After halftime the Hokies went right to work increasing that lead. Driving 49 yards for a touchdown on their first possession, their key play was a 20-yard pass from Chapman to Myron Richardson. The score came on a five-yard pass from Chapman to tight end Steve Johnson, who got lost in coverage and was wide open.

Clemson responded to Tech’s TD with one of its own, driving 80 yards in 13 plays to a one-yard dive into the end zone by Kenny Flowers to make it 17-14 with 4:09 left in the third quarter.

Tech expanded its lead to six with a 31-yard Kinzer field goal, setting up a tense fourth quarter. Clemson had three possessions to try and come back. The Tigers’ best chance was their first one. They drove to the Hokie 20 where they faced fourth and six. Terrance Flagler was open near the first down marker, but dropped Rodney Williams’ pass. The ball went over to Tech on downs.

Clemson’s subsequent two possessions ended up in punts the Hokies got out of Death Valley very much alive.

Virginia Tech (3-2) 22, Duke (3-2) 21
October 9, 1982, Durham, North Carolina

Duke wasn’t half bad back then; they finished the ’82 season at 6-5. In fact, the Blue Devils had beaten Tech seven out of their eight previous meetings going into this game.

Wallace Wade Stadium—It was one of those moments so improbable that you couldn’t sell the script to Hollywood. It would be rejected as too farfetched even for fiction.

With 33 seconds left to play, Virginia Tech’s freshman quarterback, who had been benched earlier in the game, threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to a third-string wingback to pull Virginia Tech to within a point of Duke. The quarterback then flipped a two-point conversion to a tight end, giving the Hokies a 22-21 win over the Blue Devils in a game that the Hokies had trailed 21-0 in the second quarter.

Quarterback Todd Greenwood had been pulled after throwing a third-quarter interception deep in Duke territory. He reentered the game with 1:47 left to play with Duke holding a 21-14 lead. From the Duke 13, he completed four straight passes and the Hokies were perched at the Duke 49 with 42 seconds left to play.

The wingback, Allan Thomas, was in the lineup because of his speed. He took off down the sideline and Greenwood cranked up and let loose. It looked like Duke defender Bill Obremskey had a shot at intercepting the passor at least knocking it downbut he mistimed his leap and his wave at the ball found only air.

Thomas, who hadn’t had a ball thrown in his direction all year, hauled in the pass and dashed the rest of the way to the end zone. Greenwood found tight end Mike Shaw for the two-point conversion and a 22-21 Hokie lead.

Such a scenario is improbable under any circumstances; when you consider the scenario in the second quarter, with the Hokies down 21-0, it seemed impossible.

Duke QB Ben Bennett led TD drives of 87, 50, and 57 yards to give the Blue Devils what appeared to be a commanding lead. The Tech comeback started before halftime when a Duke fumble at the Blue Devil two set up a one-yard touchdown pass from Greenwood to Mike Shaw.

Tech had another shot early in the third quarter but Greenwood’s pass was intercepted. In came backup Mark Cox, who led an 80-yard TD drive. The payoff came on a 36-yard pass from Cox to Tony McKee.

Cox couldn’t generate much more offense. When the Hokies took over for their last chance, Tech coach Bill Dooley decided to go with Greenwood and stuck Thomas into the game at wingback.

Good call, coach.


Again, to take advantage of Rich's special offer to TSL readers (free shipping and an autographed copy of Hokie Games), go to:

Note that when you're checking out, you need to enter the promo code "TSL" in the appropriate box.

Please allow six weeks for delivery, since this is a pre-order. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

TechSideline Pass - Only $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year!

  • Feature Articles
  • Interviews with recruits
  • Editorials
  • Recruiting updates from Chris Horne, our in-house specialist
  • Recruiting prospect and class evaluations
  • A subscribers-only Recruiting message board (only accessible to subscribers)
  • A subscribers-only message board for general discussion

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

Countdown to Signing Day: Another Hot Summer for VT

August 16, 2007
Virginia Tech has once again enjoyed tremendous success before the start of the season, having already landed 17 verbal commitments. This latest edition of "Countdown to Signing Day" gives a comprehensive look at Virginia Tech's 2008 class, including a look at the successes as well as the remaining needs until Signing Day 2008.

2007 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Quarterbacks
August 16, 2007
Other than offensive line, quarterback is the biggest question for Virginia Tech's offense. Sean Glennon went through an up and down season last year, and many Tech fans voiced their displeasure in his performance. Some want him to be benched in favor of a more mobile quarterback. But if last Saturday's scrimmage proved anything, it proved that Sean Glennon is clearly Tech's starter, and the competition for the spot is over.

Alvarez Cleared by NCAA
August 16, 2007
True freshman offensive lineman William Alvarez enrolled at Tech last week and began practicing with the team, although he had not been fully qualified by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Today, the news is better: Alvarez has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse to participate in athletic activities this season. The offensive tackle from Woodbridge, VA is at Virginia Tech to stay.
Also: Matt Wright back in practice.

Dawkins' Recruitment has Taken Off
August 16, 2007
Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) defensive line star Everett Dawkins has enjoyed an outstanding late spring/summer time, landing offers from programs such as Florida State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. The 6-3, 245-pound standout, one of the hottest recruits in the Southeast, is a versatile and talented player for head coach Chris Miller.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 8/15/07
August 16, 2007
Chris Coleman and Len Martez covered a range of topics yesterday, including the quarterback depth chart, last Saturday's scrimmage, should fans be worried about special teams, Jason Worilds, and Xavier Boyce (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.9 MB, 11:55).

Football Update: Players Jockey for Playing Time
August 15, 2007
Virginia Tech conducted their first scrimmage of the season this past Saturday in Lane Stadium, and as expected, the depth chart has changed. Some players moved up, some moved down, and it looks like an unheralded true freshman could work his way into the two-deep.

2007 ACC Football Season Preview: Virginia
August 15, 2007
UVA went 5-7 last year with a very young offensive line and quarterback. The defense wasn't experienced either, but they still finished 17th nationally in total defense. That's a very good mark, but unfortunately for the Hoos, they offense was just 113th nationally in total offense. That ranked dead last in the ACC. To sum it up, the UVA offense was the worst in a conference of very bad offenses.

Landstown Star Makes Choice
August 15, 2007
A change of plans for Xavier Boyce meant for very good news for Virginia Tech, as the 6-4, 200-pound standout free safety recruit verbally committed to the Hokies earlier this afternoon. The Landstown (Virginia Beach, VA) product had considered waiting until the fall before making a commitment, but after talking it over with his high school coaches he decided to go ahead and pledge to Virginia Tech.

The Latest on DE Mike Gee
August 15, 2007
After a productive summer school, defensive end recruit Mike Gee is on track to graduate December from Nassau Community College (Long Island, N.Y.) in December of 2007. The 6-1, 245-pound Gee, who signed with Virginia Tech in February of 2006, is now focused on the upcoming season.

2007 Virginia Tech Football Season Preview: Tailbacks and Fullbacks
August 14, 2007
Last year, Virginia Tech had a big depth problem in the offensive backfield. Branden Ore was great, but he was worn down by the end of the season because he got so many carries. Kenny Lewis, Jr. was serviceable by the end of the season, but as a true freshman, couldn't come close to matching Ore's production. This year, things look a little better than last season.

Does Norview DL Have a Leader?
August 14, 2007
6-4, 290-pound Norview (Norfolk, VA) defensive lineman Klinton "Buddy" Ruff plans to take all five official visits before making a commitment. He plans to start making the officials beginning in the middle of September. Though he has not set any dates, he does know at least three schools that he wants to visit.

The Run for 32 -- Race Team and Donation Update
August 14, 2007
The countdown is on! While the Hokie football team is running to get in shape for the upcoming season, another team is running for the Hokies. We are less than a month away from "The Run For 32" race team's participation in the SunTrust Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon in Virginia Beach during Labor Day Weekend.

2007 ACC Football Season Preview: North Carolina
August 13, 2007
North Carolina was a struggling program under John Bunting, and they will struggle again in 2007. There is a major lack of talent in the program. UNC had no players drafted by the NFL in 2007, and just one in 2006. Over the past three drafts, they have had just four selections, and they have not had a player selected on the first day of the draft since 2002, when Julius Peppers and Ryan Sims were taken in the first round.

Hokie Defense, Part 3: Pressures and Pass Coverages
August 13, 2007
We all have heard the terms. It is nearly impossible to watch a football game on television without hearing the analyst mention "cover two" or "cover three" or "zone blitz" multiple times. Most post-game analysis articles that I have written over the years have referenced many of those terms as well. What are they and what do they mean?

Is Boyce Close to a Decision?
August 13, 2007
There have been rumblings that 6-4, 210-pound safety/wide receiver Xavier Boyce may be close to making a commitment. We decided to go straight to the source for the latest, and the Landstown (Virginia Beach, VA) star provided an update on where he is in his decision making process.

Scrimmage Report: Worilds Dominant, and Taylor Flashes Playmaking Ability
August 11, 2007
A good crowd gathered in the West Stands of Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon to watch Virginia Tech's first scrimmage of the season. Overall, it was a typical scrimmage. Play was ugly and ragged at times, there were a few too many penalties, and special teams needs to sharpen up a bit. But overall, it was a good starting point for Tech, and there were enough encouraging things on display to make you really wish September 1 would hurry up and get here.
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