Monday, August 25th, 1997

Stats from Scrimmage #3

The final Fall football scrimmage was held last Friday night at Lane Stadium, and unlike the scrimmage before it, this one was dominated by defense. Both units (first- and second-team) were ferocious. I attended the scrimmage with a handful of HokieCentral members and message board posters, and we were giggling with glee at the thought of siccing this crew of Hokie defenders on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

I assure you, Rutgers is not ready for the pack of wild dogs we saw Friday night. There were numerous bone-jarring hits, and both defensive units gang-tackled in droves. It's hard to say what they'll be able to do against Syracuse, but if they play this coming weekend like they played Friday night, Rutgers will impress me if they get the ball over midfield.

Here are the stats:

Highlights of Football Scrimmage #3 - 8/22/97

Shayne Graham 54 yard FG (Opie nails a long one!)

Special Teams
Marcus Gildersleeve 14-yard return of blocked punt for TD
(kick blocked by Loren Johnson)

Goal Line Work
Ken Oxendine 4-yard TD run

Rushing Leaders:
Nick Sorensen 11 carries 37 yards
Shyrone Stith 8 carries 27 yards
Ken Oxendine 9 carries 24 yards (1 TD during goal line period)

Al Clark 12 of 22 for 99 yards
Nick Sorensen 6 of 15 for 63 yards; 1 INT

Receiving Leaders:
Oxendine 3 catches for 25 yards
Angelo Harrison 3 catches for 24 yards
Marcus Parker 2 catches for 15 yards
Sean Sullivan 1 catch for 20 (longest catch of the scrimmage)

Defensive Leaders:
Cory Bird 8 tackles, 1 sack for -12 yards
Steve Tate 8 tackles, 2 TFL for - 2 yards, 1 sack for -3 yards
Ryan Smith 6 tackles, 1 sack for -5 yards
Jamel Smith 6 tackles, 2 TFL for -8 yards
Sean Ruffing 6 tackles
Ike Charlton 6 tackles, 1 sack for -7 yards (also a 31-yard kickoff return)
Larry Green interception

Jimmy Kibble 3 for a 39.7-yard average (38, 47, 34)

There - now you have a complete set of Fall scrimmage stats. Many thanks to "The Source" for sending these to me.

Dress rehearsal is over, folks. The real deal starts in just five days. If you want to know exactly how long it is until prime time, click on this link to check out Go VT's countdown clock.

Syracuse Serves Notice

Yesterday, the Syracuse Orangemen pounded the Wisconsin Badgers into the Meadowlands turf, beating them 34-0 in the latest Kickoff "Classic." And yes, those quotation marks are placed properly.

This is one of those games where you might ask the question, "Is Syracuse that good, or is Wisconsin that bad?" and the proper answer would be "yes." There was no UNC/Minnesota debacle for Syracuse this time. The Orangemen came out of the gate firing on all cylinders as they returned the opening kickoff for a score and never looked back.

We expected Donovan McNabb to look good, and he did. What was noteworthy about the Syracuse team performance were the stellar outings turned in by SU fullback Rob Konrad and the SU defense as a whole.

In all fairness, Wisconsin stinks. For reasons unbeknownst to those of us with brains and eyes, the Badgers are ranked #24 in the AP poll - for now, anyway. They showed a complete lack of ability to throw, catch, stop the run, and cover receivers, and they were appallingly slow. The power teams in the Big 10 will eat Wisconsin alive this year, unless they improve quickly.

Not to take anything away from Syracuse - the Orangemen looked to be in mid-season form, but they didn't show any tricks against Wisconsin that we haven't already seen. They stacked the line to stop the Wisconsin ground game (sound familiar?) and challenged the Badgers to throw. When Wisconsin displayed a complete lack of a passing game, it was all over but the crying.

This is a great victory for the Big East. Again, Wisconsin stinks, but the biased AP voters won't see it that way. What they'll see is something along the lines of "Wow! That Big East team crushed a team from our beloved Big 10!"


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