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   Welcome to TSLMail #295 - Friday, September 7, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

(SEC) 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 ....

#16 Virginia Tech (2-0) 26, #14 Louisiana State (0-1) 6
September 1, 2002, Blacksburg, Virginia

This was Tech's last (and only) meeting with LSU. The win was a springboard to an 8-0 start to the season for the Hokies.

Lane Stadium -- A rout of a weak opponent can often leave more questions than answers in its wake, and this was the case in the aftermath of Virginia Tech's 63-7 win over Arkansas State six days ago. At least two question marks surrounding the Hokies turned into exclamation points today during their 26-8 thumping of Southeastern Conference power Louisiana State.

A Tech defensive front that was depleted by graduation came through its first test with flying colors. They held LSU to a mere 80 yards rushing and controlled the potent Tiger offense.

Controlling things on the offensive side of the ball was quarterback Bryan Randall. Grant Noel started the game but left after two series. "Grant's knee was bothering him some," said coach Frank Beamer.

Noel's passing -- two for five for 18 yards -- probably was bothering Beamer some.

Randall didn't compile a stat line that was dazzling by comparison. He was five of nine for 47 yards, but the Hokie offense came to life when he took the helm. On Randall's second series Tech put together a six-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a two-yard run by Kevin Jones to put the Hokies in the lead to stay.

Then Justin Hamilton made a big play when he blocked an LSU punt, giving Virginia Tech possession at the Tigers 29. Soon after that Lee Suggs scored on a six-yard run and the Hokies led the defending SEC champs 14-0 with 12:58 left in the second quarter.

Unlike the quarterback position and the defense, there were no questions surrounding Tech's running backs and Suggs and Jones demonstrated why. The two combined for 161 of their team's 166 rushing yards. Suggs gained 91 and a pair of touchdowns on 22 carries while Jones picked up 70 and the one touchdown on 14 attempts.

"We kind of wore them down up front," said Suggs.

The story of the game was nicely tied up in one neat package on the setup for Tech's final score. The defense did its part by taking the ball away from LSU on an interception by linebacker Vegas Robinson. He returned the ball eight yards to the Tech 42. A few plays later Jones took a pitch from Randall, headed to his right, eluded what appeared to be a sure tackle and cut back to the left. He broke into the open and dashed 34 yards to the LSU two. Suggs toted the rock over from there to make it 24-0.

Virginia Tech (2-2) 23, Auburn (0-3-1) 16
October 4, 1975, Auburn, Alabama

The SEC is loaded with intimidating venues. The '72 Hokies went into one of them in 1975 and came out with a stunning win.

Jordan-Hare Stadium -- There were heroes aplenty for Virginia Tech in the Hokies' 23-16 win over Auburn.

Quarterback Phil Rogers ran Tech's wishbone offense well and rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown. Roscoe Coles ran for 130 yards including an 89-yard scamper for a TD early in the second half, putting Tech in the lead to stay. End Steve Galloway caught three of Rogers' four pass completions for 55 yards and a touchdown.

A gang of about a half dozen Hokie defenders, however, made the biggest play of the day. In the end -- 37 seconds from the end, to be precise -- the game was won when a gang of Hokie defenders capped a dramatic goal line stand by running Tiger quarterback Clyde Baumgartner out of bounds at the four on a fourth and goal play. That preserved Tech's seven-point lead and after two kneel downs, the game was over.

The Hokies trailed 10-9 at halftime. After Neil O'Donoghue kicked a 53-yard field goal for Auburn, Tech embarked on an 80-yard touchdown drive. The Hokies faced two fourth-down situations during the advance. They converted the first on their own when Paul Adams got three yards on fourth and one at the Tech 42. Later in the drive they tried a field goal on fourth and five at the Tiger 36. The attempt was blocked, but Auburn was offside. The five yard penalty gave the Gobblers a first down.

A few plays later Rogers fired a touchdown pass to Galloway, who was all alone in the end zone. The conversion went awry when the snap went through the holder's hands and Tech led 6-3.

Auburn got a second-quarter touchdown when fullback Kenny Burks rumbled in from six yards out. A 31-yard Wayne Latimer field goal pulled the Hokies to within a point at intermission.

Coles' long dash came on the second play of the third quarter. He was gracious in spreading around the credit.

"It was perfect execution," said Coles. "The blocking out front cut off the pursuit and Adams cut out the safety."

The Tigers' response was a 47-yard O'Donoghue field goal, but Tech took control with a 78-yard drive to Rogers' eight-yard run. Latimer converted and Tech was up by ten at 23-13 at the end of the third period.

Another O'Donoghue field goal made it 23-16 and set the stage for the final drama. Baumgartner led the Tigers from their own 20 to a first and goal at the five. Two running plays gained nothing and Baumgartner then threw an incompletion before his final, futile scramble.


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
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  • 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

Scouting Report and Game Prediction: LSU

September 6, 2007
Offensively, LSU relies primarily on a power running game and play-action passing. The Tigers will often use three wide receivers and a single back or a fullback with two wide. LSU will run the option at times, but generally the running game stays fairly basic. The Tigers did hire Gary Crowton as offensive coordinator from Oregon, so some spread concepts may have trickled into LSU's offensive schemes.

Tech in Top Two for Gilbert
September 6, 2007
Monacan (Richmond, VA) offensive tackle Justin Gilbert has taken some time away from the recruiting process over the past few weeks, choosing instead to focus on his senior season, which begins tomorrow night versus Mills Godwin. A decision likely isn't too far off for the 6-5, 280-pound prospect, though, and two schools currently top his list.

Keys to the Game and Matchups to Watch: LSU
September 6, 2007
At long last LSU will get their rematch with the Hokies in Baton Rouge. The Tigers have looked for revenge for their 26-8 loss in 2002 for quite some time. All of those players are gone, but their fans have certainly not forgotten. A national audience will be watching as these two defensive powerhouses square off in the first huge game with national title implications. However, the key to this game will likely be the performance of the offenses.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 9/5/07
September 6, 2007
Wednesday evening, Chris Coleman and Len Martez talked about VT's offensive effort on Saturday, and they discussed how offensive improvement is needed for the Hokies to be a top ten fixture in college football (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.2 MB, 13:26).

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech at LSU
September 5, 2007
This is the game Virginia Tech fans have been waiting for all summer. Sure, everybody was happy to play East Carolina last week and get the season started. However, Saturday's game against LSU has drawn the most attention and created the most discussion on the message boards. Tech fans are looking forward to this one, and if the Hokies can pull it out, it would be huge for the program.

VT Commit Taylor Off to Terrific Start
September 5, 2007
One of Virginia Tech's most prized recruits of the 2008 class, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) linebacker Bruce Taylor has not been completely healthy each of his past two seasons...especially his junior season. But, in what is good news for the Myrtle Beach squad and bad news for everyone else, the 6-3, 230-pound prospect is feeling much, much better two games into his senior season.

Minor Academically Ineligible, Done for the Season
September 5, 2007
Roland Minor's quest to become academically eligible for the 2007 football season has been unsuccessful, and the cornerback's Virginia Tech football career is over. Head coach Frank Beamer announced at yesterday's weekly press conference that Minor was ineligible for the season, and since he was to be a redshirt senior, that ends his VT career prematurely.

ECU Game Analysis: Inconsistent Hokies Will Look to Improve
September 4, 2007
Emotion is a vital part of football. Teams look to channel that emotion during practice and preparation each week and then release it during the game. For the Virginia Tech football team, the build-up of emotion usually reaches its peak during that walk down the tunnel with "Enter Sandman" vibrating throughout the stadium and the charge onto the field to the roar of 66,000 screaming Hokie fans.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/3/07
September 4, 2007
Monday night's guests were running backs coach Billy Hite, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. The trio discussed Tech's win over ECU last Saturday and previewed this week's huge matchup with LSU in Baton Rouge.

A New Favorite for Davis?
September 4, 2007
6-5, 215-pound Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star Marcus Davis did indeed make an unofficial visit to the University of Florida this past Saturday. The multi-talented athlete, rated the #6 overall prospect in the state in's Preseason Top 30, came away very impressed with the 2006 National Champions.

Monday Thoughts: The East Carolina Game
September 3, 2007
Saturday was an emotional day for the Hokie Nation, and fortunately, the Virginia Tech football team, coaches and fans got through it with a victory. ECU is a good, well-coached team that will make some noise in Conference USA -- they might even win it -- and they threw the Hokies a couple of curves that slowed Tech down. In the end, VT got a win, and though there are reasons for concern, getting the W was the end result.

Hokie Basketball Goes 3-0 in Canada
September 3, 2007
The Virginia Tech men's basketball team traveled to Windsor, Ontario over the weekend to play three exhibition games against Canadian teams. The Hokies went 3-0, defeating host University of Windsor twice and the London All-Stars once. It was a great chance for Tech's young team to get some real playing experience.

Around the ACC: Week 1
September 3, 2007
Week 1 of college football is in the books. Well, almost. We've still got the Bowden Bowl coming up tonight that will help shake out the Atlantic Division. The other 10 ACC teams played on Saturday, and the results were mixed. Some performed well, and others showed why the ACC is considered one of the worst BCS conference. This is the first of our weekly team-by-team look around the ACC.

Hopkins Discusses Decision
September 3, 2007
Highland Springs (VA) defensive lineman Antoine Hopkins was all set to make official visits before making a commitment. The 6-2, 265-pound prospect was in no rush in the recruiting process and wanted to take a look at his options, which included scholarship offers from Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech and heavy interest from Tennessee. One day about two weeks ago, his mindset changed.

Two More Commitments for Virginia Tech!
September 1, 2007
Virginia Tech continued its holiday weekend recruiting success - it landed Goochland (VA) WR/ATH D.J. Coles on Friday - into the weekend, picking up two more verbal commitments earlier today. Today, Virginia Tech added commitment #19 for the 2008 recruiting class and got a jumpstart on the 2009 class as well.

Hokies Knock Off Determined Pirates 17-7
September 1, 2007
Blacksburg, VA--Virginia Tech overcame a feisty East Carolina team to win their season opener 17-7 in front of a packed house in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies were not sharp offensively or defensively, but the Pirates didn't have the offensive firepower to beat them. Tech is now 1-0 on the season, and ECU is 0-1.

Hokies Land Big-Time In-State Commit!
August 31, 2007
Virginia Tech has landed its 13th in-state commitment - the 18th overall - for the 2008 recruiting class, and it comes from a prospect rated in TSL's Preseason Top 10. Even better, the commitment is being recruited to play wide receiver, which is a key position of need for the Hokies.
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