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   Welcome to TSLMail #301 - Friday, October 19, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

The ACC on Thursday Night

Virginia Tech is arguably the king of Thursday night football on ESPN or ESPN2. The Hokies have played on Thursday night 15 times dating back to 1994, and they boast one of the top records in the ACC for Thursday night games.

Since playing West Virginia on a Thursday in 1994, Virginia Tech has slowly developed into one of ESPN's favorites for Thursday night games. Tech has played at least two Thursday night games per year since joining the ACC in 2004. They have a 5-1 record in that span, and a 13-2 overall record dating back to 1994. Here is how they stack up with the rest of the ACC teams that have played on Thursday.

ACC on Thursday Nights
Team Record Pct.

Wake Forest

3-0 1.000


12-1 .923

Virginia Tech

13-2 .867

NC State

7-5 .583


3-2 .600

Florida State

4-4 .500


5-5 .500


1-1 .500

Georgia Tech

9-10 .474


5-7 .417

Boston College

4-6 .400


1-7 .143

First off, throw out Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have played just once since 1998 on a Thursday on ESPN or ESPN2. That was last week, when they knocked off Florida State.

With that, the most popular Thursday night teams are Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Miami. The Yellow Jackets haven't quite had the same success as the Hokies and 'Canes on Thursdays. They are also a hard luck team on Thursday nights, having lost two overtime games, as well as three other games by three points each.

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Miami and Virginia Tech have always had the most success on Thursday nights. The two teams have combined for 25 wins, including eight wins over ranked teams. The Hokies most recent Thursday win over a ranked team was against #10 Clemson last season. Miami beat #20 Texas A&M earlier this season.

Believe it or not, Duke has had two Thursday night games, both televised by ESPN. The Blue Devils knocked off Army 43-7 at home in 1994. Remember, that was the season the Blue Devils finished 8-3 in the regular season and went to the Hall of Fame Bowl. Duke lost their last two games of the season by a combined two points, otherwise they would have finished second in the ACC behind Florida State.

You probably believe that not only does Virginia Tech get a lot of Thursday night games, but that all of those games are rated very high. That's not true. In fact, Tech has played in just three of the 20 highest rated ACC Thursday night games on ESPN/ESPN2.

An important note about the following table: it only includes data for teams that were in the ACC when they played on Thursday night on ESPN/ESPN2, so all the Thursday night games the Hokies played when Tech was in the Big East were not eligible to be included in the table.

Highest Rated Thursday Night ACC Games
Rank Year Opponents Rating
1 1995

Virginia vs. Florida State

2 1994

Georgia Tech vs. Arizona

3 1991

Virginia vs. Georgia Tech

4 1998

Virginia vs. Auburn

5 2005

Virginia Tech vs. Boston College

6 2002

Florida State vs. Louisville

7 2004

Louisville vs. Miami

8 2007

West Virginia vs. Maryland

9 1997

Auburn vs. Virginia

10 2006

Florida State vs. NC State

11 1995

Maryland vs. Georgia Tech

12 1995

North Carolina vs. Louisville

13 2005

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland

14 1999

Virginia Tech vs. Clemson

15 1999

Maryland vs. Georgia Tech

16 1997

North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech

17 1998

Georgia Tech vs. Clemson

18 2003

Virginia vs. Georgia Tech

19 2007

Texas A&M vs. Miami

20 2004

Florida State vs. NC State


Virginia Tech shows up just once in the top 10, with their game against BC in 2005. Their 2005 game against Maryland is also on the list. The Hokies were getting a lot of hype at that point in the 2005 season as the #3 team in the nation behind USC and Texas, which helps explain why more people than usual were tuning in. Tech's 1999 game against Clemson was also highly rated.

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I bet you didn't expect to see Virginia's name in three of the four highest rated Thursday night games, did you? I didn't either. Games featuring the Hoos take up four spots overall in the top nine games, and five spots overall in the top 20.

Next Thursday night, Virginia Tech will knock heads with Boston College in Lane Stadium. BC will be ranked at least #2 in the nation (with #2 USF losing to Rutgers last night), and the Hokies could possibly be in the Top 10 at that point. At the very least, Tech will be around #11 or #12. I wouldn't bet money against that game making the list above. There should be a lot of people watching. 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

2007 TSL Midseason Awards

October 18, 2007
The Hokies have played seven games, which is a little more than half of their 12-game schedule. However, since we're in the middle of a bye week, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at the first seven games and give our midseason awards.

Top DE Recruit Having Big Senior Season
October 18, 2007
6-2, 245-pound defensive end Everett Dawkins has turned in an excellent senior season so far, having racked up 74 tackles including 17 tackles-for-loss and five sacks in helping Bynes (Duncan, S.C.) to an 8-0 record. Besides those impressive stats, Dawkins also has 23 "big plays" and 62 "execution points" for head coach Chris Miller.

Odom Thriving at Hargrave
October 18, 2007
A Washington Post honorable mention all-metro performer his senior season at Osbourn Park (Manassas, VA), linebacker Quillie Odom impressed head coach Robert Prunty greatly upon arriving at Hargrave Military Academy in August. Prunty placed the 6-2, 225-pound Odom at middle linebacker, the position the Virginia Tech 2007 signee has started at all season long.

Duke Game Analysis: Hokies Coming Together
October 17, 2007
Once again, the Hokie Nation descended upon the heart of ACC country and took over Tobacco Road. They were not disappointed, as the Hokie football team took care of business on the gridiron, easily defeating Duke 43-14 in Durham. It was a convincing victory against an improved Duke program, but this was more than a just another win against a lower-tier opponent. It started at Clemson and continued on Saturday -- this team is starting to come together and get things in order. There are still some key issues to resolve (and some injuries and illnesses to overcome), but it looks like these Hokies are ready to make some noise just in time for the ACC stretch run.

Countdown to Signing Day: '08 Class Almost Complete?
October 17, 2007
The latest edition of "Countdown to Signing Day" tackles several issues, including a look at the new NCAA academics standards for Division 1 recruits and where the Tech coaches may focus their attention from now until Signing Day. Virginia Tech has landed 20 verbal commitments including three key in-state verbals last month alone. In total, Virginia Tech has landed 15 commitments from the state of Virginia, 14 of which have made TSL's Preseason Top 30 list.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/15/07
October 16, 2007
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night's show featured defensive line coach Charley Wiles, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. The guests reviewed the win over Duke, looked ahead to Boston College, and updated Hokie fans on the status of Cam Martin (mono) and Tyrod Taylor (high ankle sprain).

Ocean Lakes Sleeper up to 4 Offers
October 16, 2007
One of the more intriguing prospects in the state of Virginia's 2008 football recruiting class is a player who originally only thought of himself as a basketball player. That is until Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) head coach Jim Prince helped convince Randall Dunn to play football last season. Foreshadowing things to come, the 6-3 Dunn returned a kick-off 80 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball last season.

Monday Thoughts: Duke
October 15, 2007
As the old saying goes, rumors of Sean Glennon's demise were greatly exaggerated. Virginia Tech's games against Duke have been lopsided affairs, often boring, but Saturday's 43-14 victory was full of intrigue, most of it on the offensive side of the ball. Tyrod Taylor's injury and Glennon's sharp work in relief has Hokie fans scratching their heads, wondering what comes next. I don't have the answer to that question, but I do have some thoughts on the game.

Vince Hall Out, Cam Martin Questionable for BC
October 15, 2007
When Vince Hall broke his wrist against Clemson, it was said that his return for the Boston College game would be a best-case scenario. Apparently that won't happen, as Hall has been ruled out for the huge Thursday night game against the Eagles on October 25, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Around the ACC: Week 7
October 15, 2007
After another week of play, there are still three teams in the ACC without a conference loss, and the race for each division is starting to clear up. The Hokies are co-leaders with UVa in the Coastal Division, and Tech's off week is coming at a very good time.

Gee Setting Visits to VT
October 15, 2007
Led by primary recruiter Charley Wiles, Virginia Tech's coaching staff stays in consistent contact with Nassau Community College (Long Island, N.Y.) defensive end recruit Mike Gee. Gee, a 6-1, 245-pound prospect, still feels the same about Virginia Tech, the school with which he signed back in February of 2006.

Taylor in a Cast, Questionable for BC Game
October 14, 2007
Virginia Tech trainer Mike Goforth was quoted on Sunday saying that starting VT QB Tyrod Taylor's injured ankle has been put in a cast. The cast will be on until Saturday, and Taylor is listed as questionable for the Boston College game Thursday, October 25th.

Hokies Brush Aside Duke, Await Boston College
October 14, 2007
#12 Virginia Tech used an offensive boost from an unexpected source to down the Duke Blue Devils 43-14 in Durham on Saturday afternoon. Sean Glennon stepped in for the injured Tyrod Taylor early in the second quarter and had a big game, helping the Hokies get the win. Tech improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC with the win, and are now bowl eligible for the 15th straight season.

Highland Springs Notes
October 12, 2007
Off to a 5-0 start to the 2007 season, the Highland Springs Springers are ranked #1 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Top 10 Poll heading into tonight's contest versus Armstrong. Virginia Tech commit Antoine Hopkins, a senior defensive lineman/offensive guard, has helped lead the way on both sides of the ball for head coach Scott Burton.

Men's Basketball Begins Practice Today
October 12, 2007
Fresh off an appearance in the NCAA tournament, the 2007-08 Virginia Tech men's basketball team begins practice this afternoon at 5pm. The Hokies lost five seniors off last year's team, and their lineup will look a lot different this season. However, thanks to a highly-touted recruiting class, Tech has plenty of young talent to work with.
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