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   Welcome to TSLMail #302 - Friday, October 26, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News


Coming Back from a Crushing Loss
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Last night Virginia Tech dropped a very tough game to Boston College in Lane Stadium. The Hokies had the game firmly in control, leading 10-0 with the ball at BC's 31 yard line with 6:01 remaining in the game. BC's offense and talented quarterback Matt Ryan had been completely shut down all night, and it looked like Tech had the game in the bag.

Obviously it didn't turn out that way, as Matt Ryan led the Eagles on two late touchdown drives, aided by a recovered onside kick. Ryan's winning touchdown pass to Andre Callender came with 11 seconds remaining in the game, and served as a dagger into the hearts of the Tech team, as well as the shocked Hokie Nation in attendance.

It certainly wasn't the only heartbreaking loss in recent memory, although it was possibly the most heartbreaking.

Back in 2001, Virginia Tech hosted #1 Miami in the final regular season game. That Miami team is considered by many to be the most talented college football team in history, and the Hokies played them down to the wire.

Miami jumped out to a 20-3 halftime lead, and it certainly looked like they had Tech dead in the water at Lane Stadium. However, the Hokies rallied in the second half, led by true freshman running back Kevin Jones, who finished the game with 160 yards on the ground. Tech cut the lead to 20-10, but then fell behind 26-10 after two Miami field goals.

However, the Hokies gradually whittled away at that lead, and Eric Green's blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown by Brandon Manning in the fourth quarter made the score 26-24. However, Ernest Wilford dropped a wide open pass in the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt, and Tech couldn't gut out the victory.

The Hokies had three tough losses in 2002. Pitt came to down and knocked off the undefeated Hokies 28-21. It was a tough loss to swallow, because Tech had a 21-7 lead. However a personal foul penalty on Ronyell Whitaker after the Hokies had stopped Pitt on third down gave the Panthers new life, and they completed the comeback.

Unfortunately for Tech, that was just the beginning. The next week, the Hokies traveled to the Carrier Dome where they lost to a bad Syracuse team 50-42 in triple overtime. The loss was particularly depressing because Bryan Randall threw for 504 yards and Ernest Wilford had 279 receiving yards and four touchdowns. However, the defense couldn't stop Syracuse all night, and Randall threw an interception in the end zone to end the game.

Tech got West Virginia at home on a Wednesday night the next week, but lost yet again, this time 21-18. The Hokies were driving at the end of the game, and could have settled for a field goal attempt to force overtime, but Randall threw an interception in the end zone to end the game for the second straight week.

Tech responded to the WVU loss by beating Virginia, and after losing to Miami, won their bowl game against Air Force. The Hokies kept playing hard in 2002, but injuries on defense and an inexperienced quarterback limited them down the stretch.

The 31-28 loss to Pitt in 2003 derailed the team down the stretch. After a huge win over #2 Miami, the Hokies lost to Pitt on the road with less than a minute to play. Kevin Jones set the school record (at the time) with 241 yard rushing at four touchdowns, but Marcus Vick threw two interceptions, and the quarterback controversy between him and Bryan Randall was in full swing.

The Hokies responded poorly to the loss. The next week they traveled to lowly Temple and escaped with a 24-23 overtime win, thanks to a missed extra point. They closed out the regular season with losses to Boston College and Virginia, and then lost to Cal 52-49 in the Insight Bowl. That team totally tanked down the stretch, with the defense playing selfish football.

The 2004 Hokies had an early setback to NC State, losing 17-16 in Blacksburg. Bryan Randall was sacked 10 times, but managed to lead the Hokies on a potential game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. However, Brandon Pace's 43-yard field goal attempt was just a few feet wide right as time expired.

That 2004 Tech team was the polar opposite of the 2003 team. The 2004 Hokies, led by senior quarterback Bryan Randall and a suffocating defense, did not lose for the remainder of the regular season. They went on to win the ACC in their inaugural season, and earned a berth in the Sugar Bowl.

It takes a lucky and talented football team to go undefeated, and almost every team has to deal with at least one loss a season, even the really good ones. How they deal with the tough losses is generally the difference between a good season (2004) and a not-so-good season (2003).

The Hokies have suffered their first heartbreaking loss of the 2007 season (LSU wasn't heartbreaking, it was just a whipping). How they respond to this adversity will determine their legacy as the years go by.

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week

Late Rally Downs Tech, Keeps BC Undefeated

October 26, 2007
#8 Virginia Tech suffered a heartbreaking loss to #2 Boston College on Thursday night, falling 14-10 on a Matt Ryan touchdown pass with 11 seconds remaining in the game. The Eagles scored both of their touchdowns in the final 2:11 of the game, with Ryan leading the comeback. The Hokies fell to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC with the loss. BC remains undefeated.
more

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 10/24/07
October 25, 2007
It was the night before the big game, all through the house, Chris Coleman and Len Martez talked about BC. They discussed VT's QB situation, Brett Warren and Cody Grimm subbing for Vince Hall and Cam Martin, and how big of a game this is in the ACC and in the nation (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.9 MB, 12:11).
more

Top DE Taylor Updates Recruitment
October 25, 2007
Virginia Tech will be one of the official visit destinations for 6-6, 215-pound Beaufort (S.C.) defensive end Devin Taylor. Taylor, who is one of Virginia Tech's top remaining targets at the defensive end position, has at least three other schools that he may take official visits to, but it appears Tech will get the first shot to impress.
more

Barber Discusses Virginia Tech Decision
October 24, 2007
Edison (Alexandria, VA) senior wide receiver/defensive back prospect Ben Barber decided last week to make a verbal commitment to Virginia Tech. The 6-0, 200-pound prospect wants to go to Virginia Tech - where his older brother, Willie Pile, played - but there still may be some questions in terms of when he can enroll.
more

Keys to the Game, Matchups, and Game Projection: Boston College
October 24, 2007
The #2 ranked Boston College Eagles travel to Blacksburg to face the #8 ranked Hokies in potentially the biggest Thursday night game in ESPNís history. The nation will be watching to see if yet another highly-ranked team will fall. Virginia Tech will be looking to maintain the momentum gained once the ACC season started in a game with huge importance to both teams. Can the Hokies gain revenge for last yearís 22-3 loss, or will BC continue their surprising season?
more

Davis Has Impressed at QB
October 24, 2007
As Ocean Lakes' (Virginia Beach, VA) starting quarterback, 6-5, 215-pound Marcus Davis has performed very well, leading the Dolphins to a 6-2 record this season. Having tallied close to 1,800 total yards of offense so far, his performance has caused some college coaches to consider giving him a look at quarterback on the next level.
more

Tyrod Taylor a Game-Time Decision
October 24, 2007
With just one day until the much anticipated battle with Boston College, Tyrod Taylor is still a game time decision for Thursday night. He has been getting work since preparation for the Eagles began this past weekend, but Frank Beamer and his staff are playing things close to the vest when it comes to the quarterback situation.
Also: Grimm to Start for Cam Martin; Hokie Men's Basketball Picked 10th in ACC
more

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
October 23, 2007
The Boston College offense is led by quarterback Matt Ryan, one of the top signal callers in the nation. Generally BC employs a balanced, grinding type of offense. But with new head coach Jeff Jadogzinski, a former NFL offensive coordinator, and new offensive coordinator Steve Logan, they are now a pass-first offense.
more

Via Enjoying Senior Season
October 23, 2007
Northeast Guilford (McLeansville, N.C.) offensive lineman/defensive end Michael Via had been to Blacksburg for a Virginia Tech football game many times before, so heading there for the season opener versus East Carolina wasn't a new experience. What was new, though, was the fact that he entered Lane Stadium as a Virginia Tech football commitment.
more

Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/22/07
October 23, 2007
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night's show featured equipment manager Lester Karlin, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. The gripping topics up for discussion were uniform color, moving the kickoff time 7 minutes, and what size pantyhose offensive linemen wear (and where to buy them).
more

Monday Thoughts: The Stretch Run
October 22, 2007
The table has been set, and it's time for the story of the 2007 Hokie football season to write itself. This season has been a roller coaster, and although the path has taken turns we didn't foresee, the result is what we anticipated: a 6-1 record and a wide-open shot at the ACC championship. Virginia Tech is right where they want to be as the last five weeks of the season begin.
more

Around the ACC: Week 8
October 22, 2007
There are still three teams undefeated in ACC play, but after this Thursday night, there will only be two. The Coastal Division is down to Virginia and Virginia Tech, with Miami holding on to some slim hope. Boston College is the frontrunner in the Atlantic, with Wake Forest close behind. It's crunch time in the ACC, starting Thursday night.
more

Ocean Lakes' Dunn Scores Another Major Offer
October 22, 2007
One of the rising in-state prospects in the 2008 recruiting class, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) wide receiver Randall Dunn had picked up official offers from Virginia, Connecticut, Northern Illinois and Ohio entering last week. Last Thursday, the 6-3, 212-pound Dunn added another major offer to the fold.
more

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 10/17/07
October 19, 2007
On Wednesday night's show Chris and Len got together and talked about Tyrod Taylor's injury, Sean Glennon's performance against Duke, and the great game by Brett Warren in Vince Hall's absence (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.5 MB, 14:47).
more
 
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