News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Tuesday, September 21, 2004
by Chris James, TechSideline.com

Adibi to Return This Season?

Justin Ditmore reported on Channel 10 News in Roanoke Monday evening that r-freshman linebacker Xavier Adibi, who suffered a detached bicep tendon against USC, could possibly return sometime in November. Adibi, who was regarded as being out for the season following surgery to repair the injury, has made remarkable progress according to trainer Mike Goforth, and is pushing the medical staff to allow him to return this season.

While Goforth said that the Tech training staff is in uncharted waters regarding this type of injury, there is definitely a chance that Adibi could return. Because of that possibility, Adibi began to work out with the team during practice on Monday in order to keep his legs in playing shape (per Beamerball.com).


WVU Game Time Announced

Much to the disappointment of Hokie fans, the Virginia Tech Athletic Department announced on Monday that the West Virginia game on October 2 will be at 12 noon and will be televised by ESPN. With the increasing bitter blood in the escalating rivalry between Tech and WVU, to go along with ESPNís love affair with night games at Virginia Tech, it is somewhat surprising that the game was slated for an early start.

The Hokies and ĎNeers have a history of hooking up for some nighttime slugfests in the past 10 years. The first ever Thursday night ESPN game broadcast from Lane Stadium took place on September 22, 1994. The Hokies crushed the ĎNeers 34-6. It was an historic night, as it was also Techís 100th victory in Lane Stadium.

Fast forward to 1999. True, this wasnít a real night game in that it started at 3:30 in the afternoon and was televised by CBS. Being a November game, the 2nd half was played under the lights of Mountaineer Field, and the television audience tuning in that evening saw Tech kicker Shayne Graham kick a game winning 44 yard field goal that preserved the Hokiesí undefeated season and propel the Hokies to the Sugar Bowl to play for the National Championship.

The 2000 season saw ESPN return to Blacksburg to once again to telecast the WVU game on a Thursday night. Tech was undefeated at the time, with visions of a National Championship once again dancing in their heads. However, just like 1999, WVU tried to put a kink in Techís plans. Going into the halftime break, the Mountaineers led 14-7. The 3rd quarter saw Andre Davis unleash one of greatest performances in Lane Stadium history. Davis scored a touchdown on a reverse, scored another on a deep bomb from quarterback Michael Vick, and took a punt to the house as the Hokies came back to rout WVU 48-20.

In 2002, ESPN once again returned to Blacksburg to telecast a weeknight Tech-WVU game, this time on a Wednesday night. The Hokies were reeling after losing two straight games and being knocked from the National Championship race, and desperately wanted to get back in the win column. It was a controversial game, as Lee Suggs appeared to crack the end zone on a short run, but the officials ruled him down before he broke the plane. Bryan Randall threw an interception in the end zone with seconds left, and WVU escaped Blacksburg with a 21-18 win.

2003 saw the Hokies travel to Morgantown for a Thursday night game. We all remember what happenedÖthe Hokies didnít show up mentally, committed penalty after penalty, turned the ball over, and got run over by Quincy Wilson. WVU blew out the Hokies 28-7.

Tech looks to return the favor in 2004. Despite the starting time, expect to see a war in Lane Stadium on October 2.


An Early Look at the ACC Race

Speaking of wars, the battle for the ACC crown will start heating up this weekend. One of two teams (VT and NC State) will put themselves into position to make a run for a very strong finish in the standings, and one of two preseason top 20 teams will be virtually eliminated from contention for the ACC crown (FSU and Clemson).

For Virginia Tech and NC State, both teams were predicted to battle it out with Maryland, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest for spots 5-9 in the conference race. The game Saturday in Blacksburg could go a long way in determining the season for the Hokies. A win could jumpstart Tech to a good conference season, but a loss would really hurt in the ACC standings with home tilts with Maryland and Virginia left, to go along with trips to Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami. Some might consider this to be a must win for the young Hokies.

Last year Clemson got off to a rough start, topped off with loss to Wake Forest in which the Tigers were thoroughly dominated. Then Clemson did the unthinkable and dominated Florida State, went undefeated the rest of the season, and whipped Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. There were high expectations this year, and the Tigers have again disappointed in a 1-2 start. Quite frankly, they are lucky they are not 0-3, as there was a very questionable pass interference call late in their come from behind win over Wake Forest.

However, the Tigers did win over Wake, and they stand at a crossroads. They are 1-1 in conference play after losing to Georgia Tech in their 2nd game. They got smacked by Texas A&M this past weekend. How will they respond? Donít look for Tommy Bowden to pull out the same magic that he found last year against his pops. FSU isnít exactly happy after losing a heartbreaker at Miami, and the ĎNoles arenít going to start 0-2 in the ACC. With upcoming games against Virginia, Maryland, NC State and Miami, Clemson faces a tough road could very well be done in the race for the ACC championship after this Saturday.

Speaking of Clemson being put out of the ACC race early on, that scenario canít but help the Hokies. Tech doesnít play Clemson or FSU this year, and seeing those teams lose as many ACC contests as possible will help the Hokies. Tech can control the games they play in, but they canít control how Clemson and FSU fare. If the Hokies beat NC State this weekend, that puts them one game up in the loss column on the Wolfpack, and they'll be two games up on the FSU/Clemson loser, and one game up on the FSU/Clemson winner.

For a look at the current ACC standings, see this this link



          

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