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|TSLMail #359- December 5, 2008||
VT Hokie News
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Rich Tandler attended Virginia Tech in the mid 1970's and was immediately hooked on Hokie football. Rich has written the definitive history of the Virginia Tech program, from the standpoint that matters the most: what happened on the field.
The name of the book is Hokie Games, and it 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.
From the Hokie Games site: 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.
Rich Tandler is also making a special offer for TSL readers: pre-order your copy now, and you'll get free shipping, and Rich will personally autograph your copy.To take advantage of this special offer, click here
Note that when you're checking out, you need to enter the promo code "TSL" in the appropriate box.
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|Tech Sports News|
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.
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.
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.
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