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TSLMail #349- September 26, 2008    
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 Tech Sports News

Hokies Look to Add to OOC BCS Resume
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech has a chance to make a statement on Saturday night when they take on Nebraska in Lincoln. They are playing a team with a national reputation from another BCS conference. The Hokies have struggled in those types of games recently, but this is a big chance to grab a win that would be similar to the victory at Texas A&M in 2002.

The following table lists each out-of-conference BCS team the Hokies have played since 1998, the first year of the BCS. Virginia, Clemson and Florida State are included as out-of-conference teams before ACC expansion, with West Virginia an out-of-conference team after ACC expansion. The results include bowl games.

Virginia Tech vs. BCS Opponents
Since 1998
Year Opponent Result
1998 Clemson 37-0 W
1998 Virginia 36-32 L
1998 Alabama 38-7 W
1999 Clemson 31-11 W
1999 Virginia 31-7 W
1999 Florida State 46-29 L
2000 Virginia 42-21 W
2000 Clemson 41-20 W
2001 Virginia 31-17 W
2001 Florida State 31-17 L
2002 LSU 26-8 W
2002 Texas A&M 13-3 W
2002 Virginia 21-9 W
2003 Texas A&M 35-19 W
2003 Virginia 35-21 L
2003 Cal 52-49 L
2004 USC 24-13 L
2004 West Virginia 19-13 W
2004 Auburn 16-13 L
2005 West Virginia 34-17 W
2005 Louisville 35-24 W
2006 Cincinnati 29-13 W
2006 Georgia 31-24 L
2007 LSU 48-7 L
2007 Kansas 24-21 L

The Hokies are 15-10 against out-of-conference BCS opponents since 1998. Tech has had some great wins over the years, such as routing Alabama in the Music City Bowl, and beating LSU and Texas A&M in 2002. However, wins over teams with their type of reputation have been harder to find recently.

Since 2003, Virginia Tech's record has been 5-7 against out-of-conference BCS teams. Tech's 10-3 mark from 1998 through 2002 was outstanding, with two of the three losses coming to Florida State in bowl games. However, the last few years haven't been as successful against quality out-of-conference competition, despite the success the Hokies have had in the ACC.

Let's take a look at the individual wins and losses over the past few years. Tech's five wins have come against a Texas A&M team that finished 4-8, and four Big East teams. The Hokies knocked off West Virginia twice, in 2004 and 2005, beat Louisville in the Gator Bowl, and defeated Cincinnati in 2006.

All four of those wins over Big East teams were against bowl teams. West Virginia made the Gator Bowl in 2004 and won the Sugar Bowl in 2005. In fact, Tech's 34-17 win in Morgantown in 2005 was WVU's only loss of the season. The win over Louisville came in the Gator Bowl, and the Cardinals were 9-2 heading into that game. The 2006 victory over Cincinnati was a better one than people think, as the Bearcats went 8-5 and earned a trip to the International Bowl.

So the Hokies have knocked off some solid out-of-conference teams in recent years. However, let's be realistic. None of those teams were as talented as Virginia Tech. None of them were even matchups, and none of them carry the national respect of some of the opponents Tech knocked off in the past.

VT Snowman Table Runner, $31.99Tech's out-of-conference losses since 2003 came against Virginia, Cal, USC, Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Kansas. It's probably fair to throw out the losses to UVA and Cal in 2003, as that season was an anomaly. Instead, let's focus on the last five teams on that list. Each of those losses occurred from 2004-2007.

The Hokies were only run off the field once, against LSU. Those other four losses were very good games, and they could have gone either way. So what was the common denominator in all four losses? Tech couldn't produce enough offensively to win the game.

In those last five losses against BCS conference opponents, Tech averaged just 262.6 yards per game, and a measly 15.6 points per game. Back-to-back performances against two SEC teams (189 yards vs. Georgia, 149 yards vs. LSU) were particularly bad.

On Saturday, the Hokies will be facing a defense that is nowhere as good as the last five out-of-conference BCS teams that beat Tech. Nebraska's defense was bad last year, and looks average this year. The Hokies will have a chance to put some points on the board, and whether they take advantage could be the difference between victory and defeat. 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

ACC Weekend Football Preview: Week 5

September 26, 2008
Chris Miller is back this week to preview this weekend's ACC action. Florida State has a big matchup with Colorado, while UNC and Miami meet in a key Coastal Division showdown.

TSL Poll: Who's Going to Win Hokies vs. Huskers?
September 26, 2008
TSL Nation (like that take on "Hokie Nation"?) isn’t happy with me and Chris Coleman. We both picked the Hokies to drop a tough game in Lincoln this weekend, and you responded by voting the game preview a 4.0, where it landed with a resounding thud. So sound off --what do you think is going to happen this Saturday? To vote, head over to our blog section by clicking here. Anyone can vote, so tell us your opinion!

2010 Class: Rockbridge County OL Caleb Farris
September 26, 2008
Rockbridge County High School has had its share of college-level football players over the years, so it is not a huge surprise that the Wildcats boast one of the top linemen in the state of Virginia's 2010 class. 6-4, 295-pound offensive lineman Caleb Farris, a starter on the varsity level since his freshman year, has caught the attention of many college coaches.

The Latest on Javanti Sparrow
September 26, 2008
6-1, 185-pound Western Branch (Chesapeake, VA) defensive back/wide receiver Javanti Sparrow is coming off of an unofficial visit to North Carolina, a school that has been seriously recruiting the talented speedster. Sparrow, who may want to end his recruitment sooner rather than later, also has plans to visit two other ACC programs and he will do so within the next month or so.

TSL Audio: The Jerry Miller Show, 9/23/08
September 25, 2008
The topics of discussion between Jerry Miller and Chris Coleman this week were the UNC game, the VT offense, and the upcoming Nebraska game. The Jerry Miller Show appears on The Sports Addict Radio Network every afternoon from 1:00-3:00 pm in Blacksburg (1430 AM), Charlottesville (840 AM), and Bluefield (1050 AM), and from 2:00-4:00 in Martinsville (1160 AM) (WMA format, 3.0 MB, 12:54).

Steward Awaits First 1A Offer
September 25, 2008
Kellam (Virginia Beach, VA) senior Hunter Steward has yet to receive a scholarship offer from a Division 1A program, but film on the 6-7, 300-pound prospect should go out soon according to Knights head coach Chris DeWitt. Steward, an offensive tackle and defensive tackle, is a native Canadian whose family moved to Virginia Beach earlier this year.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Nebraska
September 24, 2008
We spend a lot of time talking about how ACC schools do against out-of-conference opponents. This past weekend was very good. This week Virginia Tech gets a chance to do their share, as they travel to Lincoln for a primetime game against Nebraska on ABC.

VT Recruiting Notes
September 24, 2008
In addition to taking a look at some of the top performances of Tech's 2009 commitments from last week, check out the latest on two of Tech's 2008 signees, wide receiver D.J. Coles and running back Tony Gregory. Coles and Gregory are prepping at Fork Union Military Academy, so check out what postgraduate head coach John Shuman had to say about both prospects and the possibility that they could enroll at Tech in January of 2009.

UNC Game Analysis: Tough Hokies Grind it Out Over Heels
September 23, 2008
"Hang in there; keep playing hard and something good will happen for you!" How many times have we heard Frank Beamer repeat those words game after game, season after season? Saturday's game had to be very gratifying for a coach that saw his young squad do just that. Trailing by 14 points without any tempo or rhythm on offense, the Hokies kept fighting and pulled off the second biggest 2nd half comeback in Frank Beamer's 22 years as head coach of the Hokies.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 9/22/08
September 23, 2008
Monday night's guests were defensive coordinator Bud Foster, broadcaster Sean McDonough, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer.

Class of 2010: FUMA OL Shuman Holds 7 Offers
September 23, 2008
Fork Union Military Academy postgraduate football coach John Shuman boasts one of the top 2010 class prospects in the state of Virginia - it is his son, Mark, who actually plays for the prep program under head coach Mickey Sullivan. The 6-7, 270-pound junior has already enjoyed quite a bit of success this month, both on the field and on the recruiting trail.

2010 PG Spradling Visits UVa, Virginia Tech
September 23, 2008
Shawnee Mission South (Overland Park, KS) point guard Will Spradling followed through with his plans to visit Virginia and Virginia Tech late last week, checking out the in-state ACC programs on Thursday and Friday. The 6-2, 150-pound junior still has not been offered by either program, but one of the two programs plans to take a much closer look in the coming weeks.

Monday Thoughts: North Carolina
September 22, 2008
Going into this game, nothing would have surprised me, from a UNC blowout, to a close game, to a big win by the Hokies. Turns out we saw elements of all three Saturday, as penalties and turnovers once again led a Butch Davis-coached team to lose to a Frank Beamer-coached team.

Hopper Showing Offensive Skills in 2008
September 22, 2008
For a player nominated as a preseason first-team all-state defensive back by, Seventy-First (Fayetteville, N.C.) star senior James Hopper sure is doing well on the offensive side of the ball. The 5-10, 180-pound Virginia Tech commitment has totaled 327 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground in four games, averaging almost eight yards per carry.

Around the ACC: Week 4
September 22, 2008
Now that was a nice weekend for the ACC! NC State knocked off East Carolina in Raleigh, Miami pounded Texas A&M in College Station, and Georgia Tech spanked an SEC team in Atlanta. That's easily the best weekend the ACC has had in quite some time. There were also big games in Chapel Hill and Tallahassee that helped sort out the ACC pecking order.

Hokies Survive UNC, Win 20-17
September 20, 2008
Chapel Hill, NC - Virginia Tech scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to knock off a fired up North Carolina team 20-17 in Chapel Hill on Saturday afternoon. The win puts the Hokies at 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. Tech also now holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over two teams in the Coastal Division, Georgia Tech and UNC.

ACC Weekend Football Preview: Week 4
September 19, 2008
This is another big week of ACC football. Virginia Tech and UNC square off in a huge game in the Coastal Division, while Wake Forest and Florida State will battle for a share of the Atlantic Division lead. Miami can also make a statement for the ACC by knocking off Texas A&M on the road.
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