August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules


We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

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January 04, 2008

The Kansas Jayhawks Are Your 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl Champions!!

MIAMI, Fla. - In a game that saw a role reversal of sorts, the Kansas Jayhawks silenced the critics as they triumphed over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2008 FEDEX Orange Bowl by a score of 24-21.

Virginia Tech is known for their stout defense and outstanding special teams, but tonight it was the Jayhawks turn to show off in those two areas. Kansas recorded three interceptions on defense, but were even better on special teams converting on a fake punt pass as well as blocking a crucial field goal.

"Our special teams were overlooked," said Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino. "From the outside, the media just didn't pick up on the type of success that we've had on special teams."

Coming into the game all of the talk was about Kansas' offense versus Virginia Tech's defense, but that wasn't the case when the players took the field as the Jayhawks defense, behind Orange Bowl MVP Aqib Talib, wreaked havoc on both Hokie signal callers. Talib made the biggest play of the game in the first quarter as he intercepted Tyrod Taylor's pass and returned it 60 yards for the game's opening score.

We saw a lot of outs on film," said Talib, "and Coach had us in the call where I was able to jump any route. So I just kind of slowed down in my back‑pedal and he ran the out; and the quarterback was a little late on the throw and he threw me the ball."

The one bright spot for Virginia Tech was its rushing attack as Branden Ore had only his second 100-yard rushing performance of the season accumulating 116 yards on 23 carries, but because of the fourth quarter deficit the Hokies had to go away from their ground attack and put in the air, playing right into the Jayhawks hands.

The Hokies gave some hope to the fans when they cut the Kansas lead to only three points with three minutes remaining, but the Jayhawks recovered the onside kick and a couple first downs later, they had the victory.

Jayhawks quarterback Todd Reesing needed only two words to describe Kansas' remarkable run this season and almost flawless record of 12-1. "It's ecstasy."

January 03, 2008

Virginia Tech Gets Another Shot

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth-and-one at the Tech 22-yard line, Kansas decided to go for it, but was unsuccessful as the Hokies batted the ball out of the air, giving themselves another opportunity to try and put together a scoring drive as Tech still trails 24-14 with a little over five minutes remaining in the game.

Huge Mistake by Tech Gives KU 24-14 Lead

MIAMI, Fla. - Tech's defense had been outstanding in the second half, but it was the offense that turned the ball over on a Sean Glennon interception resulting in an easy one-play touchdown drive as KU quarterback Todd Reesing ran it in from two yards out to give the Jayhawks a 24-14 lead with a little under 11 minutes remaining in the game.

Another Three-and-Out for Kansas

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech's defense has continued their strong second half performance as they forced another three-and-out from the Jayhawks offense. All of the momentum is on Virginia Tech's side, so we'll just have to wait and see if Tech can turn that into points and possibly their first lead of the game on this next possession.

Trick Play Helps Jayhawks, But Hokies Defense Stands Strong

MIAMI, Fla. - On fourth down at midfield, KU coach Mark Mangino out-Beamered Tech coach Frank Beamer as the Jayhawks went for a fake punt pass which was successfully converted. On the very next play, KU quarterback Todd Reesing threw a bullet to receiver Dexton Fields putting the ball at the Tech one-yard line. However, penalties killed the Jayhawks as they garnered a personal foul penalty and then a holding penatly on back-to-back plays giving them a second and goal all the way back at the Tech 29.

Reesing then threw a perfect pass, but right to a Virginia Tech defender as the Hokies seem to have figured out this potent Jayhawks offense here in the second half. The Jayhawks still hold a slim 17-14 lead, though, as the third quarter has come to an end with Virginia Tech driving.

Crazy Play Results in Huge Gain for Hokies But Kansas Responds with Blocked Field Goal

MIAMI, Fla. - After Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon threw a prayer up to Eddie Royal causing the ball to bounce around, Virginia Tech tight end Greg Boone took the ball off of the bodies of Royal and two Kansas defenders resulting in an unprecedented catch and another huge play for the Hokies early on in the second half.

However, the Jayhawks special teams came up with a huge play as they blocked the short field goal attempt by Jud Dunlevy to maintain their 17-14 lead.

Momentum Has Definitely Shifted the Hokies Way

MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech defensive tackle Carlton Powell slammed Todd Reesing to the ground for a sack and Vince Hall nailed running back Jake Sharp well short of the first on third down as the Hokies seem like a completely different team after the second half whistle. We'll have to see what adjustments Mangino and the Jayhawks now try to make as the Hokies look like the more confident team out there now.

Hokies Come Out Strong in Second Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After the Hokies defense stood strong and forced a punt, Eddie Royal pitched the punt return to Justin Harper and on the reverse, Harper returned it 84 yards for the touchdown as Virginia Tech closed the gap to 17-14 and sent all the momentum to the boys in the orange and maroon. Let's see if this is the spark that gets the Hokies up and playing like their true selves. Kansas and quarterback Todd Ressing need to respond now as the crowd which is heavily favored towards the Hokies is starting to get louder and louder.

Hokies Get on the Scoreboard Right Before Half

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went up 17-0 on a Todd Reesing touchdown pass, the Hokies drove down the field and running back Branden Ore capped it off with a one-yard touchdown run to cut the Jayhawks lead to 17-7 with under two minutes left in the second quarter. The Jayhawks ran the clock out and now hold the 10-point advantage as both teams head into the locker room for halftime.

Both offenses seem to be a step faster than the defenses, but Kansas has two interceptions resulting in two scores while Tech has yet to force a turnover; thus the advantage for the Jayhawks on the scoreboard as we enter halftime.

Kansas ' Defense, Not Virginia Tech, Looks Strong Early On

MIAMI, Fla. - After intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon on the first play of the second quarter, the Kansas Jayhawks worked their way into field goal range and Scott Webb converted a 32-yard field goal to give Kansas a 10-0 lead.

Kansas Dodges Bullet

MIAMI, Fla. - After Kansas went on top 7-0 in the Orange Bowl, Virginia Tech drove down the field behind quarterback Sean Glennon, but Jud Dunlevy missed a 48-yard field goal which the Jayhawks returned back to their own 39-yard line.

Kansas Strikes First

MIAMI, Fla. - Kansas All-American Aqib Talib made the first huge play of the game intercepting Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor and returning it for a touchdown to put the Jayhawks up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.

Virginia Tech Fans Are Out in Force

MIAMI, Fla. - The Orange Bowl has just kicked off and you can definitely tell that the Hokies outnumber the Jayhawks in terms of fans. A huge storyline coming into this game was whether or not Virginia Tech middle linebacker Vince Hall would play after sustaining a knee injury in a team event. Well, on the first Kansas possession Hall made his name known making tackle after tackle and showing no ill effects from the knee injury that made him questionable to play in the game.

December 01, 2007

Tech Goes Up

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Eddie Royal's __-yard touchdown reception from Sean Glennon - Glennon's third scoring pass of the game - has the Hokies up seven, 23-16, with 7:12 left to play in Jacksonville.

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Fifteen Minutes to Miami

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - After a scoreless 3rd quarter that saw just 91 yards of combined offense for both teams, the ACC Championship game will be decided by the final quarter with the score still tied 16-16.

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Halftime in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - It's been a back and forth half in Jacksonville, and it ends the way it started: tied up, at 16-16.

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First downs proving key

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan and BC have been moving the ball all game, but it's been a differential on third down that has kept the game close.

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Tech Ties It Up

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Another Sean Glennon touchdown, an ACC Championship game record, tied the game up heading into halftime.

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Ryan TD, but Beamerball picks up 3

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan might not be the fastest quarterback in the country, and not even the fastest on the field today, but he may be the toughest. Ryan's 16-yard touchdown scramble through several Tech defenders was his second rushing touchdown on the season.

Continue reading "Ryan TD, but Beamerball picks up 3" »

Tech Strikes Back

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Virginia Tech got back within three points, 10-7, thanks to a 5-yard fade from Sean Glennon to Josh Morgan, his second touchdown in an ACC Championship game.

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Finally, a field goal for BC

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Steve Aponavicius connected on his second field goal attempt from 37 yards after a 43-yard BC drive that included a scrambling play by Matt Ryan to convert a fourth down.

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Silva Steal

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - In what looked more like a basketball steal than a play on the football field, BC safety Jamie Silva stole the ball out of quarterback Tyrod Taylor's hands and returned it for a slam dunk 51-yards into the end zone.

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Beamerball Strikes Early

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Matt Ryan completed five of his first seven to drive BC down to the Tech 18 yard line, but BC's kicking woes continued with a blocked Steve Aponavicius kick. Beamerball struck again, with Nekos Brown blocking his second career kick.

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Orange Bowl berth at stake in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - Five weeks ago, Boston College's Matt Ryan broke the hearts of Hokie Nation with two touchdowns in the final 4:11 of a rain-soaked game in Blacksburg, Va.

Fast forward to sunny Jacksonville, Fl. today and the same two teams are back for a rematch in the ACC Championship game.

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October 26, 2007

Boston College Avoids Jinx of BCS #2, Wins 14-10

BLACKSBURG, Va – For 56 minutes of the game between Boston College and Virginia Tech Matt Ryan looked less than Heisman worthy.  But with 4:16 on the game clock and his team down 10 points he engineered two touchdown drives to steal a victory from the Hokies in Lane Stadium.

“Wow! How about that guys?” said Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski of the victory. “It was something else. Probably the best win I’ve ever been around.”

Tech took the lead in the second quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sean Glennon to Eddie Royal.  The Hokies added a field goal in the third to stretch the lead to 10.

The game looked all but locked up in the fourth quarter when Tech’s D.J. Parker picked off Ryan with six minutes left to play.  But the Eagles would not go away and on their next possession Ryan drove his team 92 yards for the score.

Continue reading "Boston College Avoids Jinx of BCS #2, Wins 14-10" »

October 25, 2007

Ryan Wills BC Past Hokies in Final Seconds

BLACKSBURG, Va - Down two scores with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Boston College’s Matt Ryan picked the right time to start playing like a Heisman candidate.  First he engineered a two minute, 92-yard touchdown drive to bring the Eagles to within three points. BC recovered an onsides kick attempt and Ryan went back to work.  Like clockwork he continuously put the ball in his receivers’ hands for first downs, punctuating the game with a third down touchdown pass to Andre Callender with just eleven seconds on the clock.

Final Score: Boston College 14, Virginia Tech 10

More on this game after the post-game press conference.

Penalty Leads To Another Hokie Score

BLACKSBURG, Va – A questionable pass interference call at the five-yard-line negated an interception by Boston College’s Jamie Silva. Both he and Virginia Tech’s Josh Morgan battled on the ground while the ball was in flight, but it was unclear who initiated the contact.

Tech capitalized on the play by moving into field goal range and trusting Jud Dunlevy’s leg to a 44-yard field goal.  The kick was true and the Hokies go up by a score of 10 to 0.

Scoring Drive: 5 plays, 55 yds, 44yd FG, TOP 3:14

Puntfest 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va – The first half offensive struggles for Boston College continue into the second as the Eagles turn the ball over on their opening possession. Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers dove in front of a Matt Ryan pass, intercepting the ball at the BC 42-yard line.

Tech could not capitalize on the opportunity and went three and out on its next possession. From there neither team has been able to mount much offense.  It’s been a battle of field position all night with both sides accounting for 14 punts so far.

On a side note, the rains have subsided considerably to a light mist.  The field itself appears to be in good shape.

Fumbled Snap  Leads To Missed Opportunity

BLACKSBURG, Va – Boston College squandered a fumble recovery in Tech territory by attempting to go for it on fourth and 15.  Coach Jeff Jagodzinski rolled the dice and came up short as the Tech defenders burst through the line, forcing Matt Ryan to throw the ball away.  Had the Eagles elected to kick, Steve Aponavicius would have been called on to kick a 41-yard field goal.  His career long is 45 yards.

The Hokies go into the half leading by a score of 7 to 0.  This snaps a 53-game steak for Boston College of scoring in the first half.

Halfitme Stats

  • VT – Glennon: 7-12, 66 yds, TD
  • BC – Ryan: 9-21, 54 yds


  • VT – Ore: 9 att, 58 yds
  • BC – Whitworth: 3 att, 18 yds


  • VT – Royal: 2, 29 yds, TD
  • BC – Loyte: 2, 8 yds

Hokies Strike First

BLACKSBURG, Va –   Just when it looked like Virginia Tech’s offensive line issues were settled, lineman Ryan Shuman went down in the second quarter with a leg injury.  On the very next play quarterback Sean Glennon was sacked while attempting to hand the ball off.

Instead of folding under the pressure, Glennon responded by connecting with former Westfield High School teammate Eddie Royal for an eight yard touchdown.  Royal dragged a foot as he stretched his body over the left sideline to make the catch.  Officials conferred before signaling the score.  Replay did not provide enough evidence to overturn the call.

The Hokies are 120-29-1 under Frank Beamer when scoring first.

Scoring Drive: 16 plays, 91 yards, TOP 7:13
VT 7
BC 0

Noise Not A Factor?

BLACKSBURG, Va – Boston College Coach Jeff Jagodzinski claimed that the noise would not be a factor in tonight’s game.  Still, the Eagles were forced to burn a timeout on its first possession to avoid a delay of game penalty.

Despite torrential rain, the stands look about 95% full.  Nearly everyone in the stands is sporting some sort of wet weather gear with the majority of them in bright orange.

Neither team has been able to get much going to far with Virginia Tech punting twice and Boston College nearly having passes intercepted on both of it’s drives.

Continue reading "Noise Not A Factor?" »

Glennon Starts For The Hokies Amidst Downpour

BLACKSBURG, Va - The rains are still coming down as both teams take the field.  Virginia Tech doesn’t think that field conditions will be an issue tonight.  Worsham Field consists of 4,600 4x4 foot trays sodded with Bermuda grass above an asphalt surface.  Irrigation lines and a vacuum surface beneath the field can shuttle away up to 16 inches of water per hour.  The system has been proven in worse conditions, holding up well in the 2003 matchup against Texas A&M during Hurricane Isabel.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Sean Glennon led the Hokies’ first drive of the game, filling in for the injured freshman Tyrod Taylor.  Tech gained fouryards before going three and out.

Glennon started all of 2006 for the Hokies and was the starter at the beginning of this season before being pulled in week two against LSU.

In limited action this season Glennon has completed 48 of 76 passes for 583 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

BCS Battle in Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va – The Hokies play host to the Eagles tonight in a waterlogged Lane Stadium.  The rains have been coming down for the past 24 hours and it doesn’t look like things will dry up any time soon.

Boston College (7-0, 3-0 ACC) comes in ranked no. 2 in the BCS while Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0 ACC) sits at no. 8.

Traditionally, the Hokies have owned Thursday night games on ESPN, racking up 13 wins in 15 appearances. Boston College accounts for the two losses, including last year’s 3-22 debacle in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Virginia Tech leads the series all-time with nine victories in 13 games.

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September 09, 2007

Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Defense was supposed to be the story in Saturday night's matchup between LSU and Virginia Tech.

It ended up being only half of the story... the LSU half.

Continue reading "Tigers trounce Hokies at home, 48-7" »

Fans begin to empty as Tigers go up, 41-7

BATON ROUGE, La. - Keiland Williams' second touchdown of the night has begun to send Tiger fans out of the Tiger Stadium and into heavy, post-game traffic.

Williams' 32-yard scamper gave him a new career high of 126 rushing yards. His previous high was a 107-yard performance against Notre Dame in January's Sugar Bowl.

Also setting career highs so far tonight for the Tigers: Matt Flynn with 218 passing yards, Jacob Hester with 81 rushing yards and Brandon LaFell with 125 receiving yards.

September 08, 2007

Not so fast, Hokies...

BATON ROUGE, La. - Just when it looked like Virginia Tech would build some momentum toward a possible comeback, LSU countered with a 6-play, 76-yard drive to push its lead to 34-7 with 2:10 left in the third quarter.

LSU backup quarterback Ryan Perrilloux replaced Matt Flynn for one play on the drive and completed a 34-yard pass to wide receiver Early Doucet for the score. The pass was Perrilloux's second touchdown throw of his career.

Hokies finally put points on board

BATON ROUGE, La. - Virginia Tech avoided a shutout by engineering an 8-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

The touchdown was the first points the LSU defense has allowed since the second quarter of January's 41-14 Sugar Bowl win against Notre Dame.

With 4:38 remaining in the third quarter, LSU is up on Virginia Tech, 27-7.

Flynn injured?

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU quarterback Matt Flynn appears to have mildly injured his right ankle on the Tigers' first drive of the second half.

The injury doesn't appear to be too serious, as Flynn took the snaps on eight of LSU's 10 plays on the drive. Sophomore quarterback took the snaps on the other two plays of the drive, which ended in a 27-yard field goal by Colt David that put LSU up 27-0.

Flynn is up and walking on the sidelines, giving no impression that he is done for the game.

Williams highsteps into endzone

BATON ROUGE, La. - One play and 15 seconds.

That's how long it took for things to officially get ugly in Tiger Stadium. LSU running back Keiland Williams took a pitch from Matt Flynn 67 yards into the north endzone and put the Tigers up 24-0 in the process. With LSU's first-half performance tonight and USC being idle this week, LSU as the No. 1 team in the nation seems like it could be a reality come Monday.

Glennon's interception leads to Tigers' field goal

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU safety Craig Steltz picked off Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon's pass to give the Tigers possession for the fourth time in the first quarter. After a short drive, LSU opened the second quarter with a Colt David field goal. Tigers still ahead, 17-0.

Tigers look impressive on opening drive

BATON ROUGE, La. - LSU opens the game with a 10-play, 87-yard drive that ate 4:14 off the clock. Running back Jacob Hester scored on a 3-yard run, putting the Tigers on top of the Hokies, 7-0.

Rain doesn't damper spirits in Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, La. - A light drizzle has begun to fall from the skies here at Tiger Stadium but as the weather conditions have worsened, the excitement surrounding tonight's contest has increased drastically.

Two Virginia natives skydived into Tiger Stadium about 15 minutes before kickoff, one flying with a Virginia Tech flag while the other descended onto the field with tonight's game ball.

The LSU marching band has taken the field to perform its usual pregame set. In addition to the normal routine, the LSU band performed Virginia Tech's alma mater as a tribute to the lives lost in April's shootings in Blacksburg, Va.

It is believed to be the first time the LSU marching band has performed an opponent's alma mater in Tiger Stadium.

Beamer, Miles tweak lineups

BATON ROUGE, La. - Both LSU coach Les Miles and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer have made last-minute lineup changes for tonight's top-10 matchup.

For the Hokies, split end Justin Harper will start in place of split end Josh Morgan.

On the other side, the Tigers will start Charles Alexander at defensive tackle and Kirston Pittman at defense end. Alexander and Pittman replace Marlon Favorite and Rahim Alem in the starting lineup.

About an hour before kickoff, Tiger Stadium is already starting to fill. The LSU marching band has just entered the stadium, exciting the already rabid LSU student section even more.

September 01, 2007

Virginia Tech Wins, 17-7

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It wasn't pretty, but it'll do.

The Hokies limit East Carolina to 119 yards in the air, Sean Glennon throws for 245 yards and a touchdown, and Virginia Tech battles through an emotional home opener, taking a 17-7 win over the visiting East Carolina Pirates.

Continue reading "Virginia Tech Wins, 17-7" »


BLACKSBURG, Va. - With 2:31 left in the game, the Hokie Nation can finally breath a sigh of relief.

Patrick Pinkney's pass on fourth down goes incomplete, Virginia Tech takes over at its own 36, and with a 10-point lead, it's time for Virginia Tech to run out the clock.

Continue reading "BUH-Bye" »

More Important Than It Seems

BLACKSBURG, Va. - One of the most important drives of the day for Virginia Tech just ended with a 25-yard punt by Brent Bowden from the 34-yard line.

It may not have put points on the board, but East Carolina's gameplan is history.

Continue reading "More Important Than It Seems" »

A Little Bit More Like It

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It took 46 minutes and 53 seconds, ladies and gentlemen, but Virginia Tech has its first offensive touchdown of the 2007 season. A 21-yard pass from Sean Glennon to tight end Sam Wheeler and a successful point after by Jud Dunlevy, and it's 17-7 Hokies.

Continue reading "A Little Bit More Like It" »

Fifteen Minutes Of Game

BLACKSBURG, Va. - As the Lane Stadium crowd does the "Hokie Pokey" at the end of the third quarter, it's still a 10-7 game.

Do I spot some white knuckles on those hands that are going in and out and being shaken all about?

Continue reading "Fifteen Minutes Of Game" »

More Of The Same

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Halftime adjustments? What halftime adjustments?

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The Sights Of Saturday Morning

While we have a moment or two, here's a little bit of a look at what pregame looks like in Blacksburg.

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Halftime In Blacksburg

BLACKSBURG, Va. - We've got a ballgame on our hands, ladies and gentlemen.

As the ECU Marching Pirates serenade us with "Good Golly, Miss Molly," there are probably more than a few folks saying, "Good Golly" at the game Virginia Tech finds itself in. The Hokies lead 10-7 at halftime, with the only offensive touchdown belonging to the Pirates.

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Mucho Macho

They've gone and done it now. Brett Clay throws an interception to Victor "Macho" Harris, Harris runs it back from the 17, and dives into the end zone to make it 9-7 Tech, 10-7 after a Jud Dunlevy PAT.

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Pirates Power Through

BLACKSBURG, Va. - East Carolina leads, 7-3, as Chris Johnson finds the end zone on a two-yard plunge 37 seconds into the second quarter.

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Close So Far

BLACKSBURG, Va. - One quarter is in the books, and Virginia Tech leads, 3-0. The Pirates are driving, though, at the Virginia Tech 14-yard line as the second quarter begins.

Continue reading "Close So Far" »

One For One

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It's 3-0 Hokies on the first career attempt by senior kicker Jud Dunleavy, capping a 14-play drive by the Hokies that lasted about six minutes.

Continue reading "One For One" »

Well Grounded

With a first-time starter under center against the pick-happy Hokie defense, it would appear that Skip Holtz is looking to limit the opportunities to Virginia Tech to add to its best-in-the-nation interception total since 2000.1

Continue reading "Well Grounded" »

The Bird Is Back

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Good morning from Lane Stadium. In half an hour's time on Worsham Field, the No. 9 Virginia Tech Hokies open their season against the Pirates of East Carolina University.

And yes, it is a football game that's being played here today.

Continue reading "The Bird Is Back" »


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