A service of TechSideline.com

Hokies in the Coastal Driver's Seat
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #457, November 5, 2010

Thursday night's win against Georgia Tech was a critical one, basically eliminating the Yellow Jackets from the Coastal Division race (technically, GT isn't mathematically eliminated) and reducing it to a three-team contest between Virginia Tech, Miami, and North Carolina. If things break the Hokies' way this weekend, the race could be all but over.

Here are the Coastal Division standings after last night's game, plus remaining ACC games for each team:

Team ACC Record Remaining ACC Games
11/6 11/13 11/20 11/27
VT 5-0 -- @UNC @Miami Virginia
Miami 3-2 Maryland @GT VT --
UNC 2-2 @FSU VT NC State Duke
GT 3-3 -- Miami Duke --
Virginia 1-3 @Duke Maryland @BC @VT
Duke 0-4 Virginia BC @GT UNC

Duke is eliminated, of course, and Virginia could technically finish 5-3, but it's not likely. Georgia Tech could win a 5-3 tiebreaker, but that's only slightly more likely than Virginia tearing off four straight wins -- in other words, not very.

That reduces the Coastal to a three-team race between VT, Miami, and UNC. This is the biggest development from last night's game, that GT is now a distant fourth, unlikely to make a run to the front.

Virginia Tech's road games against Miami and UNC are huge to the Coastal Division race, but of equal importance is the Hokies' season-ending game against Virginia in Lane Stadium. The Cavaliers have beaten the Hokies just once since the 1998 season, and the possibility of a Virginia victory in Blacksburg is small. The Hokies have to take care of business, but an ACC record of at least 6-2 is all but in the bag.

That means that neither UNC and Miami can lose another game, if they want to stay in the race. Both must beat Virginia Tech and finish 6-2, or find themselves (at best) scoreboard-watching on November 7th, hoping for UVa to beat the Hokies.

So how about this weekend? North Carolina travels to Florida State, where most betting lines have the Seminoles as 10-1/2 point favorites. Lose in Tally, and the Tar Heels are in the same position Georgia Tech finds themselves in: three losses and all but gone.

Miami hosts Maryland in Coral Gables this weekend. Don't laugh; the Terps could win this one. The Hurricanes haven't been impressive this season, getting physically beaten at Virginia, and Miami just found out that they'll be without starting quarterback Jacory Harris for the next two games (Maryland, @GT), and he might not be back for the Virginia Tech game.

That means the Canes will play true freshman QB Stephen Morris against a Maryland defense that ranks 26th in the nation in total defense (320.4 ypg) and 27th in scoring defense (19.8 pgg). The Maryland offense is getting it done with smoke and mirrors, ranking 94th in total offense (323.8 ypg) but 37th in scoring (31.5 ppg).

The Terrapins are 3-1 in the ACC and are still in the thick of the Atlantic Division race, so they'll go down to Miami with a purpose. The Canes don't strike us as a team with a lot of heart, but you never know how teams will respond to adversity, especially when playing at home.

So the big Coastal Division games this weekend for Hokie fans to keep an eye on are Maryland at Miami (noon, ESPNU) and UNC at Florida State (3:30 PM, ABC). If both of those break the Hokies' way, Virginia Tech's Coastal title hopes will be turbocharged coming out of the weekend, with a nearly-insurmountable three-game lead over everyone else.

In the Atlantic, in addition to one-loss teams FSU and Maryland playing Coastal foes, fellow one-loss team NC State travels to Clemson (noon, ACC Network). The Atlantic rep to Charlotte will be one of those three teams.

Wilson Shoots Up the Kickoff Return Standings

With last night's 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, David Wilson is the only FBS football player to have two kickoff return TDs on the season.

Wilson also took a big leap up the kickoff return rankings. Going into last night's game, he was ranked #54 in the nation at 24.47 yards per return. Wilson now has 16 returns for 457 yards, which is 28.56 yards per return. That vaults him up to #10 in the nation as of this moment.


Virginia Tech Snowman Wreath

VT holiday wreath with plush snowmen. Approximately 20"
   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week
Friday Q&A: November 5, 2010
November 5, 2010
We are just one week away from the start of basketball season, and our coverage starts today with a hoops Q&A. Tech has major frontcourt depth issues to worry about this year, and we'll get our first look at the Hokies next Friday.

Goins Leads Manchester Into Huge Game
November 5, 2010
A day after Virginia Tech's big win over conference rival Georgia Tech, future Hokies offensive lineman Jake Goins will lead the Manchester Lancers (Midlothian, VA) against Dominion district foe L.C. Bird, in what is without question the biggest game of the season. With a win tonight, Goins and company would be in position for a Dominion district title and a playoff berth.

Wild Finish Pushes Hokies Past Georgia Tech
November 5, 2010
Virginia Tech got three touchdowns from their offense, one from their special teams and two critical redzone interceptions in a 28-21 victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday night. The Hokies are 7-2 on the year and 5-0 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets are now 5-4, with a 3-3 mark in conference play. They have been effectively knocked out of contention in the Coastal Division thanks to the wild finish in Blacksburg.

Show Time
November 4, 2010
I'm sure you've noticed that Chris Coleman and I have been a little quiet this week. We usually like to provide a little something-something every day, be it a pay article or a freebie, but since posting the game preview Tuesday afternoon, neither of us have had anything to say. Sometimes, there isn't anything to say, and it's just time to play football.

Thourogood Update: UF Now In The Picture
November 3, 2010
Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) quarterback/athlete Lafonte Thourogood has taken official visits to Virginia Tech and West Virginia with, at this point, one of those two schools likely to be his college choice. But the 6-2, 215-pound senior has not yet narrowed his list down to just those programs, and he is considering official visits to one or two SEC schools.

UVa Makes Push For Hughes
November 2, 2010
Travis Hughes made his fourth official visit this past weekend, when he traveled to the University of Virginia. Virginia, which defeated Miami on Saturday, impressed the Kempsville (Virginia Beach, VA) star linebacker/running back, who figures to have a tough decision to make in the coming months.

2010 Football Game Preview: #20 Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech
November 2, 2010
It hasn't been a year for entertaining home games, but the Hokies will finally get one on Thursday night when Georgia Tech rolls in with their triple option attack. The Yellow Jackets have not been eliminated from the Coastal Division race, but one more loss will ensure that they are done. You can expect a spirited game from the visitors, and the Hokies will look to inch one step closer to their fourth Coastal Division crown.

Tech Talk Live Notes for 11/1/10
November 2, 2010
Monday night's guests were athletic director Jim Weaver, head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg, director of strength and conditioning Dr. Mike Gentry, and head football coach Frank Beamer.

VT Stops By FUMA
November 1, 2010
Fork Union Military Academy's (VA) postgraduate football squad has reeled off six straight wins and now looks forward to its season finale this Friday, when the team takes on rival Hargrave Military Academy. Virginia Tech will be one of the schools represented at Hargrave this Friday night, evaluating prospects from both squads.

Taylor the Key to History Repeating
November 1, 2010
In the summer of 2006, in front of a crowd of family and friends at Crabber's Restaurant in Hampton, Tyrod Taylor committed to Virginia Tech. Taylor wouldn't arrive in Blacksburg until a year later, and a lot of games have come and gone since then. But starting Thursday night on ESPN against Georgia Tech, Tyrod will have the opportunity to cement his legacy in Blacksburg. Statistically, he's already one of Tech's greatest, but he can take that final step and become legendary by carrying the Hokies to an ACC championship over the next month.

Hargrave FB Recruiting Notes
October 29, 2010
Virginia Tech's coaches are on the recruiting trail and Hargrave Military Academy (Chatham, VA) was one of their stops on Thursday. HMA postgraduate head coach Troy Davis took some time to discuss Virginia Tech 2010 recruit Justin Taylor as well as which other prospects the staff may be evaluating.

   TSLMail is a trademark of TechSideline.com - Copyright © 2010 - All Rights Reserved
   To unsubscribe from this email, reply with the word "UNSUBSCRIBE" in the subject.