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  TSLMail #359- December 5, 2008    
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 Tech Sports News

Hokies Need to Throw to Beat BC
by Chris Coleman,

Virginia Tech and Boston College have met four times since October 12, 2006. Tomorrow's meeting in the ACC Championship Game will be the fifth meeting in just over two years. Each of the last four meetings has had one common theme: Virginia Tech struggled with their traditional running game.

Here is a look at how Virginia Tech's running backs have fared against BC recently. The column on the right is rushing yardage for the entire team, including quarterbacks and receivers.

VT Running Backs vs. Boston College
Date Carries Yards Touchdowns Team Rushing

Oct. 12, 2006

19 71 0 33

Oct. 25, 2007

22 99 0 116

Dec. 1, 2007

20 62 0 98

Oct. 18, 2008

23 40 0 150
Total/Average 84 272 0 99.25

Tech's tailbacks have been completely shut down by Boston College over the last couple of years. The one exception was the first meeting in 2007, when Branden Ore had 20 carries for 97 yards.

The last two meetings have been particularly bad. Tech's tailbacks averaged about three yards per carry in the ACC Championship Game last year, and less than two yards per carry in the first meeting of 2008. In each game, Tyrod Taylor's rushing numbers made the box score look better, but the fact of the matter is that the Hokies' running game is getting completely stuffed by BC's mammoth front seven.

Just based on the last few meetings, it appears the Hokies have better success running the ball against BC with a smaller running back who has a quick first step. Branden Ore didn't exactly put up huge numbers against the Eagles, but his quick first step in the backfield helped him quite a bit.

Darren Evans, on the other hand, is a different type of runner. He is a downhill runner who is not effective when the defensive line gets penetration. He needs the offensive line to create some space and he needs to get a full head of steam when he reaches the second level. When that happened against Maryland, we saw what type of numbers he is capable of putting up. However, he's not going to have the luxury of space against the BC defense. Evans was held to 27 yards on 17 carries on October 18.

Because the Hokies haven't been able to run the ball, whether or not they've beaten the Eagles in the past four meetings has come down to the passing game. Tech has been able to throw the ball effectively once, in last year's ACC Championship Game. In they other three meetings, they didn't throw it particularly well, and they lost.

Here's a game-by-game look at the Tech passing game against the Eagles since 2006.

VT Passing Game vs. BC
Date Comp. Att. Yards TD INT

Oct. 12, 2006

23 34 148 0 2

Oct. 25, 2007

15 25 149 1 0

Dec. 1, 2007

21 33 202 3 1

Oct. 18, 2008

12 27 90 0 1


71 119 589 4 4

As you can see, Sean Glennon had a rough game in Chestnut Hill back in 2006. However, he rallied to put together back-to-back solid performances in 2007. He was named MVP of the 2007 ACC Championship Game when he threw three touchdown passes against the Eagles.

In 2008, Tyrod Taylor was the starter against BC, and he struggled, though he didn't get any help from his receivers. The Hokies lost by five. It seems as if the Tech-BC games are coming down to how well Virginia Tech's quarterback plays. The Eagles have gotten great play from Matt Ryan, and not-so-great play from Chris Crane. Even with Crane playing poorly in the last meeting, BC still won the game.

Based on that information, it looks like the 2008 ACC Championship Game is going to be on the shoulders of Tyrod Taylor. The good news is that Sean Glennon struggled in his first game against BC, but played well against the Eagles afterwards. Taylor will be hoping for the same turnaround on Saturday.

More good news is that Taylor is coming off the best game of his career against Virginia. He looked sharp rolling out as well as throwing from the pocket. The Hokies will likely try to get Taylor on the edge quite a bit against BC and give him run/pass options. If he can have a balanced game with his arm and legs like he did against UVA, then Tech will have a good shot to knock off the Eagles in the ACC Championship Game for the second straight year. 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
Telvion Clark Discusses VT Experience
December 4, 2008
Granby (Norfolk, VA) senior linebacker Telvion Clark will suit up for the Virginia Tech Hokies next season, and last weekend he enjoyed a taste of what's to come. The 6-1, 208-pound prospect's visit for the Virginia game was his first ever experience at a Virginia Tech regular season game.

Key Issues Holding Back the Hokies
December 4, 2008
Virginia Tech's basketball team is seven games into the season, and their record is currently 4-3. They have lost three games by a total of seven points. Part of that is bad luck. However, this team has some serious issues right now that need to get straightened out before they cost the Hokies anymore games.

ACC Bowl Picture Clearing Up
December 4, 2008
The Hokies have yet to play the ACC Championship Game, but if you want to go ahead and start planning your New Year's holiday trip, it appears Tech's bowl options are down to two. The Orange Bowl and the Music City Bowl are Tech's most likely bowl destinations this year.

Football Game Preview: ACC Championship Game
December 3, 2008
Virginia Tech will meet Boston College on Saturday for the fourth time since October 25, 2007. For the second year in a row, the teams will square off for the ACC Championship and a berth in the Orange Bowl. BC won the regular season meeting last year, but Tech was victorious in the ACC Championship Game. The Hokies are hoping it will be a repeat in 2008.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 12/2/08
December 3, 2008
As the Hokies prepare for Saturday's ACC Championship Game, offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring, athletics director Jim Weaver and head coach Frank Beamer were the guests on Tuesday night's Hokie Hotline.

VT One of Four Finalists for Newsome
December 3, 2008
Kevin Newsome, Virginia Tech's clear top 2009 class target at the quarterback position, was in Blacksburg last weekend on an official visit to Tech. Tech is one of four schools still in contention for the 6-3, 205-pound prospect, a Chesapeake native who played for Hargrave Military Academy this season.

Virginia Game Analysis: Defensive Adjustments and Ball Control Offense Key Big Win
December 2, 2008
Another Tech / UVa game is in the books and the Commonwealth Cup stays in Blacksburg. This one was a little strange, a little dicey, but fun to watch. Five different players took snaps at the QB position and none of that switching around was due to injury. Strange indeed. In the end, it was the Hokies who prevailed and the win vaulted them into the ACC Championship game for the third time in the last four years.

Five Hokies Named to 2008 All-ACC Football Teams
December 2, 2008
The ACC released the 2008 All-Conference teams on Monday, and several Hokies made the cut. Tech only had one first team All-ACC player, but several others made second team or honorable mention.

Around the ACC: Week 14
December 2, 2008
The regular season is now complete, and Boston College will face Virginia Tech for the ACC Championship in Tampa on Saturday in a rematch from last year's title game. In other big conference news, the ACC went 3-1 against the SEC this week. The wins came against Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Georgia, three bowl-eligible teams.

Quick Take with Leon Mackey
December 2, 2008
Hargrave Military Academy held its annual Winter Workout - an event for its football players to show off their skills in front of college coaches - yesterday, but prior to the event caught up with 6-5, 255-pound defensive end recruit Leon Mackey for the latest on his recruitment.

Last Second Shot Beats Hokies, Again
December 2, 2008
Virginia Tech lost another close contest on Monday night, this time falling to #22 Wisconsin 74-72 in Cassell Coliseum. The Hokies tied the game on a three-pointer from A.D. Vassallo with seven seconds remaining, but the Badgers won it on a pull up jumper from point guard Trevon Hughes with 0.9 seconds left. Tech falls to 4-3 on the year with the loss.

Big-Time DL Picks Hokies
December 1, 2008
DeAntre Rhodes has been one of the most productive players in the state of Virginia each of the past two seasons, earning second-team all-state honors on offense and defense as a junior and turning in an even more impressive senior season according to Varina (VA) coaches. The 6-3, 280-pound senior, a projected defensive lineman on the college level, has decided to take his talents to Virginia Tech next season.

Monday Thoughts: Virginia
December 1, 2008
What a strange game. It's unusual to see a team dominate play like the Hokies did, turn it over just once, and yet win by just three points in a contest where the outcome was in doubt with less than three minutes to go. It was one of VT's better offensive efforts of the season, but failures in the red zone and some crafty coaching by the Virginia staff kept it close. In the end, Tech got what they needed, and for the fourth time in five years, the Hokies will play a single game for the ACC championship.

Basketball Game Preview: Wisconsin
December 1, 2008
There is no such thing as a must-win game this early in the season. However, having missed out on two quality wins against Xavier and Seton Hall in Puerto Rico, the Hokies need to get something done against a good team in their out-of-conference schedule. They'll have their chance on Monday night, when Wisconsin visits Cassell Coliseum in the first game of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Hokies Beat Hoos, Win Coastal Division
November 29, 2008
Blacksburg, VA - A fourth quarter field goal from Dustin Keys gave the Hokies a 17-14 win over Virginia, and sent Virginia Tech back to the ACC Championship Game for the third time in four years. Tech finished the regular season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the ACC. They'll face Boston College next Saturday in Tampa. Virginia finished 5-7 and will not go bowling.
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