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   Welcome to TSLMail #294 - Friday, August 31, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

(Still More) 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 (6-1) 27, East Carolina (3-3) 20

October 15, 1994, Greenville, North Carolina

Tech linebacker Ken Brown forced a fumble that was returned for the Hokies’ first score and his interception in the dying minutes saved Tech’s win.

Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium—Virginia Tech linebacker Ken Brown’s interception of an East Carolina pass in the closing minutes clinched the Hokies’ 27-20 win over the Pirates.

This was a tense, back and forth contest for almost the entire 60 minutes. In the first three minutes of play Brown got the Hokies going when he got his hand on the ball, separating it from the grasp of tailback Junior Smith. Lawrence Lewis scooped up the bouncing ball and was gone. Following Lewis’ 60-yard scoring return Ryan Williams missed the extra point. The miss set the stage for a series of lead changes.

The Pirates answered with a drive to a one-yard touchdown blast by Damon Wilson. Their PAT was successful, giving them a 7-6 lead with 2:45 left in the first quarter.

The pattern continued. The Hokies’ Tommy Edwards scored from seven yards out and East Carolina immediately came back and rolled 80 yards to retake the lead at 14-13. Williams hit two field goals to push Tech back into the lead by five. In the third quarter Pirate quarterback Marcus Crandell tossed the ball up for grabs in the end zone and Larry Shannon, his 6-6 freshman receiver, grabbed it for six points. They tried the same play to the other side for a two-point conversion, but Crandell misfired and the try was no good. ECU led 20-19.

The margin of Williams’ earlier missed PAT held until late in the third. Quarterback Maurice DeShazo kept Tech’s go-ahead drive alive when he converted a third and nine from the East Carolina with a 21-yard toss to Jermaine Holmes. Offensive coordinator Gary Tranquill then called DeShazo’s number twice in a row. The first quarterback draw went to the nine and DeShazo scored on the second one. The QB followed it up with a pass for a two-point conversion and Tech led 27-20.

The scoring was finished but the suspense was not. The Hokies got a scare when Crandell completed a pass to the Tech 10, but a holding call wiped out the 24-yard gain. Crandell kept firing as East Carolina touched up the Hokie defense for 419 total yards on the day. Tech couldn’t breathe easy, though, until Brown picked off Crandell’s fiftieth attempt of the game.

Virginia Tech (1-0) 21, Wake Forest (0-1) 20

September 8, 1984, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Hokies opened up the 1984 season solid style, going on the road to beat a pretty good Wake Forest team. Bill Dooley’s Tech team used this game was a springboard to an 8-4 mark with an Independence Bowl appearance.

Groves Stadium—Virginia Tech’s Eddie Hunter ran five yards for a touchdown with 2:08 left to play and that, along with Don Wade’s extra point, gave the Hokies a 21-20 win over Wake Forest.

The Demon Deacons had a chance to steal the win on the last play of the game, but Doug Illing’s 40-yard field goal attempt was just wide and Tech celebrated the win.

The Tech defense set up the Hokies’ first score. In the first quarter Demon Deacon quarterback Jamie Harris went back to pass. Defensive end Jesse Penn smacked him from the blind side and the ball popped loose. Tech’s Bryan Burleigh recovered the fumble at the WFU 12.

Maurice Williams bolted for nine yards on the next play and quarterback Mark Cox went up the middle for three yards and the touchdown, making it 7-0.

Later in the first quarter a Cox pitchout went awry and Wake recovered the ball at the Tech 30. That set up an Illing field goal and it was 7-3 after 15 minutes of play.

In the second quarter a 22-yard Williams run was the key gain on a 52-yard touchdown drive. Cox again went three yards for the score, this time to the outside on an option keeper.

With just under four minutes left in the half the Demon Deacons got their initial first down of the game and moved to another Illing field goal to make it 14-6 at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to Wake. They tore off touchdown drives of 84 and 80 yards to take a 20-14 lead early in the fourth period.

The Demon Deacons had a chance to make it very difficult for Tech to come back, but Illing missed a 34-yard field goal attempt with about seven minutes left.

Given life, the Tech offense started to move. The drive was built on the passing of Cox and the running of Williams. On second and goal at the five Hunter broke a couple of tackles as he scampered around right end and into the end zone. Wade’s kick gave the Hokies the lead and everyone then watched as Illing’s final try drifted about a foot too far to the right.


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's Preseason Top 30

August 31, 2007
There aren't many changes from the Pre-Summer Top 30 to the Preseason Top 30, but there are a few. The Top 10, led by Maury offensive tackle Vinston Painter in the #1 spot, remains the same, however, heading into what promises to be an interesting 2007 season.

The Run for 32 - Final Pre-Race Update
August 31, 2007
The big day is finally upon us. After three months of recruiting, raising money and days and days of training, "The Run For 32" race team is set. All said, the team has 150 members who have raised over 13,000 dollars for the scholarship portion of the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. Thanks to everyone who donated for their support.

Scouting Report and Game Prediction: East Carolina
August 30, 2007
With starter Rob Kass (#14, 6-4 247, r-So., 5.10) suspended for this game, ECU will go with two untested quarterbacks, Brett Clay (#11, 5-11 201, r-So., 4.63) and Patrick Pinkney (#15, 6-0 198, r-Jr., 4.68). Both Clay and Pinkney provide mobility, but Kass had clearly won the QB battle with a strong arm and good pocket presence.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: ECU
August 30, 2007
Finally, football season has arrived and Virginia Tech will open with the most emotional opener in Hokie history. Lots of storylines surround this game with ESPN College Gameday visiting Blacksburg and covering the pre-game ceremonies which will draw a national audience. The initial entrance of the team to "Enter Sandman" is always an uplifting event, but no entrance will ever mean as much as this year's trip through the tunnel.

Boyd, Davenport Headline Phoebus '09 Class
August 30, 2007
Defending Group AAA, Division 5 state champions, the Phoebus Phantoms open their 2007 season tomorrow night in a big-time match-up versus Maury. Head coach Bill Dee will certainly miss departed seniors such as OL Maurice Hampton (Maryland) and FB Haroon Brown (Maryland), but he returns a host of talented players led by top 2009 class prospects QB Tajh Boyd and DL/OL Dominik Davenport.

Photo Gallery: Images from 2007 Fall Practice
August 30, 2007
As game day approaches, we thought you would like to see a few images from fall practice, so we bring you a gallery of images of players new and old. This photo gallery was shot during the August 11 scrimmage in Lane Stadium and consists of 55 photos, including the one at right, showing Jason Worilds returning a fumble for a touchdown.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 8/29/07
August 30, 2007
Wednesday evening, Len and TSL's Chris Coleman talked about what makes a powerhouse program (are the Hokies a "powerhouse"?), the offensive line, which games on the VT schedule are trap games, the development of Tyrod Taylor, and VT's predicted record for this season. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.6 MB, 15:25).

Stonewall Jackson Notes: Williams Sets First Official
August 29, 2007
Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA) running back Ryan Williams, one of the top remaining uncommitted prospects in the East, has set his first official visit. No others have been set at this time, but he does plan on making all five official visits before coming to a decision. Stonewall Jackson head coach Loren Johnson provided the latest on the talented 4-star recruit.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina
August 29, 2007
It's been a long, tough offseason for Tech fans. First there was the second half collapse against Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Then there was April 16. Then there was Michael Vick and his dog fighting. It hasn't been a pretty 2007. Like everybody else, I'm ready for some football.

Painter Likely to be in Blacksburg on Saturday
August 29, 2007
Not too much has changed in the recruitment of 6-6, 315-pound Maury (Norfolk, VA) offensive tackle Vinston Painter. The 4-star big man, who narrowed his list to five schools earlier this summer, continues to take his time in his recruiting process and is not expected to make a decision for quite some time. But recruiting season will swing back into high gear in just a few days, as college coaches are allowed to make phones calls beginning on September 1st.

4-Star WR Sets First Official Visit
August 29, 2007
6-3, 180-pound wide receiver Deion Walker has made some headway in his decision making process. Though he does not plan to make a commitment until December at the earliest, the 4-star Christchurch (VA) product could release a final 12 in the very near future. He has also set one of his official visits.

Plans Set for Saturday
August 29, 2007
The Hokies held their first regular Tuesday press conference to talk about Saturday's game against ECU. A number of topics were covered, including the schedule of pre-game ceremonies for the April 16th tragedy, which true freshmen will dress for the game, and whether or not Tyrod Taylor will play. We've got all that information for you, plus other news that has come out so far this week.
more Welcomes New Sponsor "The Colosseum"
August 28, 2007 is pleased to welcome aboard a new sponsor: The Colosseum, A Luxury Sports Condominium Hotel. The Colosseum is planned for Blacksburg's South Main Street at Dowdy Drive. Slated for completion in the summer of 2009, The Colosseum will be a high-end luxury condominium/hotel/conference center. Built of concrete and steel, and loaded with state of the art connectivity, it will be the first of its kind built in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 8/27/07
August 28, 2007
Monday night's Hokie Hotline featured offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. The discussions included information on which true freshmen will play and which will redshirt, a minor change to the future football schedules, and game day information for this Saturday.

Catching up with VT Commit Eddie Whitley
August 28, 2007
Butler (Matthews, N.C.) senior defensive back Eddie Whitley, a Virginia Tech commit, may have to sit out his senior season due to a torn ACL he suffered in June, but that doesn't mean he is staying away from football. In fact, he is hoping to be around the game as much as possible to compensate for the lost season.

2007 ACC Game-by-Game Predictions
August 27, 2007
TSL's Chris Coleman painstakingly went over the entire 2007 ACC football schedule and predicted every game. We posted his predictions here, plus the results, so you can make fun of him when he's wrong or (let's be fair) bow down in homage when he is right.

Barber Updates Recruitment
August 27, 2007
Edison (Alexandria, VA) wide receiver Ben Barber has made unofficial visits to Maryland, Penn State, Virginia and Virginia Tech this offseason. He certainly has been thinking about recruiting, but for now he is giving most of his attention to his team and his senior season. After finishing as the runner-up in the AAA Division 5 state playoffs last season, Barber and his teammates put in a tremendous amount of work in preparing for this season.

Top Junior Target Visits ACC Program
August 27, 2007
As the Virginia men's basketball coaching staff prepares for a busy September with respect to 2008 class recruiting, head coach Dave Leito and company got a jump on the 2009 class by hosting talented Ravenscroft School (Raleigh, N.C.) center Ryan Kelly this past Saturday. The 6-9, 190-pound Kelly, who had received a scholarship offer from Virginia prior to the trip, enjoyed the experience.
more Announces a New Feature: TSL Blogs
August 27, 2007 is pleased to announce a new feature on the site, just in time for football season: TSL Blogs. The blogs will feature a handful of our best writers and columnists, scribbling down their thoughts on a variety of topics in informal fashion. The blogs will fill in the gap between our planned front page content and the wild and woolly message boards.

Scrimmage Report: Offensive Line Makes Some Progress, Taylor Shows Flashes
August 24, 2007
The Hokies completed their third and final scrimmage of the preseason on Friday afternoon in Lane Stadium. Tech played two 12 minute quarters, and also worked on the two minute drill. They will begin preparation for East Carolina on Monday.

Chris Coleman's Bold 2007 ACC (and VT) Predictions
August 24, 2007
With the season rapidly approaching, it's finally time for me to join everyone else and make my picks for the ACC this season. Today I'll reveal my projected ACC standings, complete with bowl projections. On Monday, you'll get to see my picks for every single game involving an ACC team this year.
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