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   Welcome to TSLMail #307 - Friday, November 30, 2007    
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   Tech Sports News

Tech's Defensive All-Americans Under Bud Foster
by Chris Coleman,

Everyone marvels at the job Bud Foster does with Virginia Tech's defense every year. The success that Virginia Tech's defense has had over the years is apparent when you look at the All-American lists. This year is no different.

On Thursday, it was announced that Brandon Flowers and Xavier Adibi were named First Team All-Americans by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Both players had great seasons, and although Flowers didn't even make First Team All-ACC, he is still a First Team All-American.

Adibi leads the team with 99 tackles on the season. He has 11 tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception this season. He has turned into a complete football player. Flowers, who is only a junior, made 72 tackles, including seven tackles for loss, from his boundary corner position. He has five interceptions and has broken up seven other passes.

The All-American tradition for Bud Foster's defense began back in 1995. Since then, at least one Tech defensive player has earned an All-American honor every year except once. In 2004, there were no All-Americans on Tech's defense, although there were a few future ones.

Cornell Brown and J.C.Price set the precedent back in 1995. They anchored a Tech defense that finished first in the nation in rushing defense. The Hokies used that defense to win their first Big East Championship and earn a berth in the Sugar Bowl, where they beat Texas 28-10.

Brown earned Consensus All-American honors that year, while Price garnered Third Team status from the Associated Press. Price was a senior, but Brown returned in 1996 and was named First Team All-American by Walter Camp and Second Team by the AP, despite missing three games.

The 1997 Tech defense wasn't nearly as good as the previous units, but they had some star power. Rover Pierson Prioleau was named Third Team All-American by The Sporting News. He is still in the NFL today, with the Washington Redskins.

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Corey Moore was First Team All-American in 1998 and followed that up with a monster 1999 campaign. In 1999, he was a Unanimous All-American, and also earned the Nagurski and Lombardi Awards. Moore posted 18 sacks that year and led Virginia Tech to the National Championship game against Florida State in the Sugar Bowl. He kept alive the Virginia Tech tradition of great defensive ends.

Other Hokie defenders who earned various All-American honors in 1999 were Jamel Smith, John Engelberger and Anthony Midget. Engelberger currently plays defensive end for the Denver Broncos.

The Tech defense lost eight starters after 1999, but one of the three returning starters stepped up in 2000. Linebacker Ben Taylor had a great season, helping reload the Tech defense. The Hokies finished 11-1 that year with a win in the Gator Bowl over Clemson, and Taylor was Third Team All-American by the AP.

Taylor followed that up by earning Second Team honors from the AP and Football News in 2001, as well as Third Team honors from The Sporting News. Defensive tackle David Pugh was a Third Team All-American according to The Sporting News, while cornerback Ronyell Whitaker earned Third Team honors from the AP.

Tech's 2002 defense was nothing to write home about late in the season, but senior free safety Willie Pile did earn Second Team All-American honors from The Sporting News. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall was a Second Team All-American by The Sporting News in 2003, giving Tech's defense just two All-Americans in those seasons.

In 2004, the Hokies had no All-Americans, despite their ACC Championship and berth in the Sugar Bowl. However that team did feature future All-Americans Jimmy Williams, Darryl Tapp and Xavier Adibi.

Williams was a Unanimous All-American in 2005, although he arguably had a better season in 2004. Defensive end Darryl Tapp earned First Team recognition from the American Football Coaches Association, and Second Team honors from the AP. Tapp is currently with the Seattle Seahawks, while Jimmy Williams plays for the Atlanta Falcons.

The only All-American on Tech's 2006 defense was Brandon Flowers. He was named a Third Team All-American by the AP. If Flowers returns for his senior season, he'll have a chance to earn All-American honors for three straight seasons, which would be an amazing accomplishment.

Believe it or not, Vince Hall has never earned All-American honors. Since he missed four games recovering from wrist surgery this year, it's doubtful he'll get any recognition this year either.

BC: The New Pitt? Let's Hope Not.
by Will Stewart,

What have the Boston College Eagles done that no other ACC team has done? Post a winning record against the Hokies, that's what.

Since entering the ACC in 2005, BC is 2-1 against the Hokies. (If you go back to the 2003 season, Tech's last in the Big East, BC is 3-1 against the Hokies, including a 2-1 record in Lane Stadium.)

Two other teams, FSU and NC State, are 1-1, but no other ACC team has come close to sniffing a winning record -- or even a .500 record -- against Tech. Here are Tech's records against ACC teams since entering the league in 2004.

Virginia Tech's ACC Record
Opponent VT Record Home Away Neutral
BC 1-2 1-1 0-1 n/a
Clemson 2-0 1-0 1-0 n/a
Duke 4-0 2-0 2-0 n/a
Florida State 1-1 1-0 n/a 0-1
Georgia Tech 3-1 1-1 2-0 n/a
Maryland 2-0 1-0 1-0 n/a
Miami 3-1 1-1 2-0 n/a
UNC 4-0 2-0 2-0 n/a
NC State 1-1 0-1 1-0 n/a
Virginia 4-0 2-0 2-0 n/a
Wake Forest 2-0 n/a 2-0 n/a
Totals 27-6 12-4 15-1 0-1

BC is fast becoming to the Hokies what Pittsburgh was in the Big East days: Kryptonite. The Pittsburgh Panthers, despite posting a ho-hum 24-16 overall record from 2001-2003, went a squeaky-clean 3-0 against Tech over that same time period ... 3-0 (1.000) against the Hokies ... 21-16 (.567) against everyone else.

Pittsburgh's inexplicable dominance of Tech in the later days of the old Big East was maddening, and if Boston College wins Saturday, they, too will post three straight wins over the Hokies, and Tech fans will find it equally maddening.

An aside: A quick look at the table shows you that Tech's record against BC, NC State, and FSU is 3-4, but against the rest of the ACC, it's a rock-solid 24-2. Six of Tech's 11 ACC opponents are still looking for their first win against the Hokies. And that 15-1 conference road record continues to be one of the most astounding stats in college football, if you ask me.

TSL Offering Orange Bowl Travel Packages ... IF the Hokies Win This Weekend

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Special "Hokie Games" Offer for TSL Readers

Hokie Games 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.

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.

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Keys to the Game, Matchups to Watch, and Game Projection: The ACC Championship Game

November 30, 2007
Ever since Matt Ryan performed the much-publicized miracle comeback on a rainy, dreary Thursday night in late October, Virginia Tech fans and players have been looking for revenge. The Hokies get their second chance this Saturday against BC in the third annual ACC Championship Game. Many changes have occurred for both teams since that game, so what should we expect this time?

Taylor Reflects on Senior Season, Prepares for VT

November 29, 2007
Though his senior season is over, Myrtle Beach (S.C.) senior linebacker and Virginia Tech commit Bruce Taylor still has much to look forward to on the gridiron. The 6-3, 230-pound prospect, a 4-star recruit, has been selected to play in the North Carolina/South Carolina Shrine Bowl next month and also will play in the ESPN All-American Game on January 4th.

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 11/28/07
November 29, 2007
Wednesday, Chris Coleman and Len Martez talked about the UVa game, covering topics like the improvement of the VT O-line, Eddie Royal's big game, and Branden Ore playing his best football of the season (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 2.9 MB, 12:35).

Poor Outside Shooting Leads to Loss at Penn State
November 29, 2007
Virginia Tech had a poor shooting night from the outside, and as a result lost to Penn State 66-61 on the road on Wednesday night. The Hokies had numerous open looks from the outside, but couldn't connect, and the Nittany Lions pulled out the win. Tech drops to 2-3 on the season with the loss, while Penn State improves to 3-3.

Football Game Preview: ACC Championship Game
November 28, 2007
Virginia Tech has a chance to accomplish two things this Saturday. First, and most important, they get a chance to win the ACC Championship for the second time since entering the conference in 2004. Secondly, they get a chance to avenge their 14-10 home loss to Boston College back in October. The revenge factor is overrated in college football, but playing for an ACC Championship is not. This one should be a great game.

10 Things I Learned Against Virginia Tech
November 28, 2007
Once again, we bring you content from the other side of the rivalry. JHoo, who provided us with the same feature last year, returns with "10 Things I Learned Against Virginia Tech," courtesy of

Virginia Football Game Analysis: Surging Hokies Pull Away in the 4th
November 28, 2007
The hype machine was out in full force for this one. The state of Virginia had never hosted a football game of this magnitude. Both teams were hot with each coming off woodshed beatings of the once-proud Miami Hurricanes. Both teams were resilient -- the Hoos finding a way to win five games by two points or less, and the Hokies rebounding to play their best football after a gut-wrenching home loss to Boston College. And both teams knew they had to win this one to achieve their preseason goal of playing in the ACC Championship Game.

Tucker Set for Visit to VT
November 28, 2007
6-2, 275-pound defensive lineman recruit Dwight Tucker plans to make his first official visit next weekend, when he will travel to Blacksburg to visit Virginia Tech. It will be the Oviedo (FL) star's first ever experience at Virginia Tech, which has been hot on his recruiting trail since extending a scholarship offer this summer.

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Penn State
November 27, 2007
The Virginia Tech basketball team will travel north to take on Penn State and Geary Claxton in the 2007 ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night. Last year the Hokies beat Iowa in this event, and the year before lost to Ohio State. They'll be looking to improve to 2-1 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games when they play the Nittany Lions.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 11/26/07
November 27, 2007
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Monday night's guests were offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer. The coaches reviewed the big win over Virginia and updated fans on the injury/sickness status of Tyrod Taylor, Ed Wang, Ryan Shuman, and Greg Boone, among other things.

Ryan Williams Eyeing Early January Decision
November 27, 2007
5-10, 205-pound senior running back Ryan Williams, a 4-star prospect out of Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA), was recently selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 5th, 2008. Williams, one of the top remaining uncommitted players in the state, has also made some headway on the recruiting front.

Monday Thoughts: Virginia
November 26, 2007
Ever since the Hokies flattened Georgia Tech in Atlanta on November 1st, I've been confident that VT was going to win out the rest of its regular season schedule. In each of their last three games, the Hokies have gotten off to a good start, then have either fallen behind or have been threatened. Each time, I've calmly waited for them to turn things around and pull away, and each time, they haven't disappointed. When it's late in the fourth quarter and you're taking a knee, then you've closed out well, and this team has learned how to close out.

2007 All-ACC Football Teams Announced
November 26, 2007
The 2007 All-ACC football teams were announced on Monday afternoon, and seven Virginia Tech players made the list. Some were clearly obvious, and some were a surprise.

Around the ACC: Week 13
November 26, 2007
The ACC race has been decided. Boston College and Virginia Tech will play in Jacksonville for the ACC Championship this Saturday. Other teams will have to wait for this game to conclude before they know their bowl destinations, though we do know that eight ACC teams are going bowling this season.

Another Major Program Interested in Davis
November 26, 2007
Another major Division 1A program is starting to show interest in Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) QB/ATH Marcus Davis. And, in what seems to be a growing trend among the schools involved, quarterback is the position this program is recruiting the 6-5, 215-pound standout to play.

Hokies Finish 1-2 in Alaska
November 25, 2007
Virginia Tech finished 1-2 in the Great Alaska Shootout over the Thanksgiving weekend, giving them an overall record of 2-2 on the season. After defeating Eastern Washington 69-52 in their first game, Tech dropped a heartbreaker to #22 Butler on Friday, losing 84-78 in overtime. Tech then dropped the third place game to #14 Gonzaga 82-64.

Hokies Beat Hoos, Win ACC Coastal Division
November 25, 2007
Book your trip to Jacksonville. Virginia Tech is the 2007 ACC Coastal Division Champion. The Hokies used a high powered passing game and a resurgent Branden Ore to defeat in-state rival UVA 33-21 in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon. The Hokies finished the regular season 10-2 overall, and 7-1 in the ACC. The Hoos dropped to 9-3 overall and 6-2 in ACC play.

Scouting Reports: Virginia Tech
November 23, 2007 presents pre-game analysis from the other perspective, the Virginia Cavaliers. Greg Waters, who writes for brings us scouting reports of the Virginia Tech offense and defense. What does the UVa side think of the Hokies, and what do they think are the keys to a Virginia victory?
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