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   Welcome to TSLMail #296 - Friday, September 14, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Hokie Stats Read Like a Horror Novel

It's only two weeks into the college football season, and the Hokies have already played arguably the best team in the nation in LSU, and another likely bowl bound team in East Carolina. Statistically, Virginia Tech hasn't been impressive in either game. In fact, they rank near the bottom of the nation in nearly every category you can think of.

2007 VT Football Statistics
(2 games)
Category Stat National Rank

Rushing Offense

52 ypg 107

Passing Offense

161.5 ypg 97

Total Offense

213.5 ypg 110

Scoring Offense

12 ppg 112

Rushing Defense

219.5 ypg 102

Passing Defense

210 ypg 55

Total Defense

429.5 ypg 94

Scoring Defense

27.5 ppg 77

Tackles for Loss

3.5 per game 108

Sacks Allowed

3.5 per game 104

It's not surprising that Virginia Tech's struggling offense is so bad. They have gone up against one great defense (LSU) and another defense with a very good front seven (East Carolina). The most surprising thing on the list above is Tech's defensive statistics.

How many times do you see Bud Foster's defenses giving up an average of 429.5 yards per game? How many times do you see them rank #102 nationally in rushing defense? They are still #55 in pass defense, but that is a very bad mark for the unit that finished #1 in pass defense a year ago.

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Even more depressing? Tech's defensive line isn't getting any penetration into the backfield. The Hokies are just #108 in tackles for loss, with seven on the season. The Hokies' leader in tackles for loss is Brandon Flowers, who has three of the team's seven total tackles for loss. Xavier Adibi has two, one of which was a sack, and Chris Ellis has one, which was a sack. The only non-sack tackle for loss on the season by a member of Tech's defensive line was by backup defensive tackle John Graves against LSU.

The good news is that those stats will get better in the next few weeks. Ohio, William & Mary and UNC won't present the type of defenses that the Hokies faced in ECU and LSU, and Tech's defense won't be down forever. As a side note, the Hokies are ranked in the top 50 in just one major stat. Tech is 10th nationally in net punting, with a 40.5 yard average.

Tech vs. The MAC

Virginia Tech's next opponent, Ohio, is a member of the MAC. The Hokies are no strangers to MAC teams, having beaten up on quite a few of them throughout the years, including Ohio back in 2005. Here is a look at how Tech has fared against MAC teams since 1993.

Tech vs. The MAC, 1993-Present
Year Opponent Score Result

Bowling Green









Miami (OH)






Western Michigan






Western Michigan






Western Michigan






Kent State



Note that Marshall and UCF are no longer in the MAC. However when the Hokies played them in 2002 and 2003, they were members of the MAC. When Tech faced UCF in 2001, the Golden Knights were an independent.

In the Beamer Bowl Era, Virginia Tech is 11-1 against MAC teams. No MAC opponent has really challenged the Hokies since Miami University upset Tech in Lane Stadium back in 1997 by the score of 24-17. Akron gave Tech a game in the Rubber Bowl in the remnants of Hurricane Fran in 1996, but other than that, the Hokies generally steamroll MAC teams.

Tech's last three games against MAC foes have been shutouts. That's one shutout per year, going back to 2004. Tech didn't get much offense against Kent State last season, but the defense did manage to pitch a shutout. In fact, five of the Hokies' last seven games against MAC opponents have been shutouts.

Western Michigan in particular has been a favorite whipping boy for Frank Beamer's Hokies. The Broncos have not scored on Tech in their three meetings since 2001. They lost in Blacksburg 31-0 in 2001, were downed 30-0 in Kalamazoo in 2002, and got hammered in Blacksburg again 63-0 in 2004. The Hokies face the Broncos again on September 11, 2010.

Saturday's game with Ohio is a very important game, despite the Bobcats' conference affiliation. They are a solid team, and the Hokies will be starting true freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor for the first time. If Bud Foster's defense can pitch their fourth consecutive shutout of a MAC foe, then they'd go a long way towards getting their defensive edge back. 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

Fuller's Success Continues Into Senior Season

September 14, 2007
Austin Fuller and the rest of Richlands' (VA) senior class certainly are used to winning. The class has contributed to the team's 32 consecutive regular season win streak, a streak they hope to continue tonight versus an undefeated Abington Falcons squad. The Blue Tornados (3-0) are coming off a hard-fought victory over Powell Valley last Friday.

Keys to the Game and Game Prediction: Ohio
September 13, 2007
Virginia Tech is licking its wounds as the Hokies try to regroup from the bayou bashing received at the hands of the LSU Tigers. Lots of questions need to be answered as Tech returns to the friendly confines of Lane Stadium to face a solid Ohio Bobcats team. Will Tyrod Taylor provide the answer to a dormant offense? Can the Hokies find a running game? Was the defensive performance in Baton Rouge an aberration or do more fundamental issues exist? The Hokie Nation is looking for answers, and the game with Ohio has taken on surprising importance for a football team that appears to be in search of an identity.

Mammoth OL/DL Talks Recruiting
September 13, 2007
New Hanover (Wilmington, N.C.) offensive tackle/defensive tackle Nick Becton remains quiet in terms of naming any favorite schools, but he has been on a few unofficial visits this month. The 6-6, 290-pound prospect remains a hot commodity for Division 1A programs including Alabama, Clemson, Maryland, N.C. State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, among others.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 9/12/07
September 13, 2007
Wednesday, Chris Coleman and Len Martez talked about the surprising breakdown of the VT defense against LSU, the play of Tyrod Taylor, and how the Hokies are going to break Taylor in over the upcoming three-game stretch at home. (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.1 MB, 13:08).

3-Star Center Set for Second Official Visit
September 12, 2007
A native of Nigeria, Frank Ben-Eze entered Bishop O'Connell High School (Arlington, VA) one year ago. A 6-10, 225-pound center, Ben-Eze had only been playing basketball since the age of 15, so he certainly was raw as a junior last season. He has improved since his arrival, though, and is now up to four scholarship offers according to Bishop O'Connell head coach Joe Wootten.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Ohio
September 12, 2007
The Hokies will look to get their season back on track this Saturday in Lane Stadium when the undefeated Ohio Bobcats come to town. Tech beat Ohio 45-0 in Blacksburg back in 2005, but the Bobcats have improved a lot since then under Frank Solich. The Hokies will get their best shot on Saturday.

Massie Has Set Two Official Visits
September 12, 2007
September has been a busy month for 6-7, 330-pound senior Bobby Massie. Liberty Christian Academy's (Lynchburg, VA) talented right tackle/nose guard has spoken with a handful of college coaches and has been able to set two official visits. He also has helped his team to a 2-0 start to the 2007 season.

LSU Game Analysis: Tigers Work Hokies Over
September 11, 2007
When I started writing for this site three years ago, I knew there would come a time when I eventually would have to write about a blowout game that went the wrong way. Well, Saturday it happened. On a hot, muggy Louisiana night, the sound of that locomotive heard for miles was not the local train heading through Baton Rouge.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/10/07
September 11, 2007
Monday night's guests were defensive coordinator Bud Foster, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. Foster and Beamer talked about the whipping Tech took at LSU, and Weaver informed Tech fans that a controversial band cheer is going bye-bye.

Oviedo Star DL Sets First Official Visit
September 11, 2007
Oviedo (FL) star defensive lineman Dwight Tucker will likely make his official visits after his senior season is completed. The 6-2, 275-pound prospect recently scheduled his first official trip, which will come in the month of December. Which program will he visit?

Monday Thoughts: The LSU Game
September 10, 2007
It takes a full season to tell the story of a team. You don't really know what you've got until it's all over and you can sift through the ashes, or the confetti, if you're lucky. Having said that, there are chapters in a book where a lot more happens than in other chapters, and the Hokie coaches, fans, and players just experienced that. Chapter 2: LSU.

'09 Preview: Patrick Henry (Ashland)
September 10, 2007
Patrick Henry High School in Ashland, Virginia, has produced its share of Division 1A talent over the years. Most recently, former Patriots star D.J. Thomas (who is currently at Hargrave) signed with Virginia Tech in February of 2007. For the 2009 class, assistant coach Scott Brown boasts at least two potential Division 1A targets.

Tyrod Taylor to Start on Saturday
September 10, 2007
Frank Beamer has named true freshman Tyrod Taylor as Virginia Tech's starting quarterback against Ohio this Saturday. Taylor will be the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Virginia Tech in the Frank Beamer era. He is already one of just a handful to see playing time in his first year.

Around the ACC: Week 2
September 10, 2007
Saturday was perhaps the worst day in recent memory for the ACC. The conference lost three important out-of-conference matchups with BCS conference teams, and UNC also lost to East Carolina. Miami and Virginia Tech were crushed by their high-profile opponents. The ACC is proving to be a bad football conference so far in 2007.

Hokies Taken Behind the Woodshed in Baton Rouge
September 9, 2007
#2 LSU handed Frank Beamer his worst loss ever at Virginia Tech, crushing the #9 Hokies 48-7 on Saturday night. Not only did Tech lose badly, the defense played poorly and the coaching staff burned the redshirt of Tyrod Taylor, which could lead to a possible quarterback controversy in Blacksburg.

Wang Discusses Decision
September 7, 2007
It took the length of Saturday's game versus East Carolina for 6-2, 293-pound David Wang to accept a scholarship offer from Virginia Tech. Wang, a junior offensive lineman/defensive lineman out of Stone Bridge (Ashburn, VA), is Virginia Tech's first verbal commitment for the 2009 recruiting class.

Freeman Closing in on Final 10
September 7, 2007
As 6-6, 270-pound Pelion (S.C.) offensive lineman Dalton Freeman heads into what will be his first official visit this weekend, he still has yet to narrow his list of schools. Schools are jockeying for position in hopes of landing in Freeman's top 10, which should come out in the next week or two.
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