News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Thursday, November 11, 2004
by Chris James, TechSideline.com

Football Notes: Vince Fuller Injury Update

Yet again, the Hokies found themselves right in the middle of a conference championship race at the beginning of November. This time however, they are going to be in the middle of the conference championship race until at least November 18, which hasnít been the case the past few years.

One of the reasons the Hokies have been able to play so well this late into the season is the lack of injuries. Free safety Vincent Fuller sustained a shoulder injury against UNC this past weekend, and he is listed as questionable for the Maryland game. Besides the injury to Xavier Adibi, Fullerís injury is probably the most significant that Tech has had all year. Immediately following the UNC game, Fullerís status was listed as doubtful for the Maryland game. However, his injury had improved dramatically by Monday and his status was upgraded to questionable. If Fuller continues to show the same improvement, there is a good chance that he will play against Maryland. If Fuller is unable to play, Mike Daniels will start in his place.

The Virginia Tech defense has continues its stellar play. The Hokies continue to rank in the top 10 nationally in total defense, coming in 8th in total defense with 277.67 yards per game. That stat also ranks 3rd in the ACC.

Rushing defense took a bit of a hit against UNC, as Chad Scott became the first running back this season to rush for over 100 yards against Tech. The Hokiesí run defense ranks 33rd nationally and 5th in the ACC at 121.4 yards per game.

The Hokies have been dominant against the pass this season, which generally isnít the case in Blacksburg. Thus far, Tech ranks 5th nationally and 2nd in the ACC in pass defense, giving up 156.22 yards per game. In pass efficiency defense, Tech ranks 9th nationally and 2nd in the ACC.

And in the most important defensive stat of them all, the Hokies continue to do well, ranking 8th nationally and 3rd in the ACC in scoring defense. Tech gives up only 13.89 points per game.

In other football news, the J.V. football team will face off against Hargrave Military Academy on Friday, November 12 in Blacksburg. The game has been moved from Lane Stadium to the practice field to in order to keep the playing surface on Worsham Field in good condition for the ESPN Thursday night tilt with Maryland. The practice field is located behind Jamerson Athletic Center. The game kicks off at 1 pm and is open to the public. Admission is free to all ages.


ACC Announces 2005 Football Matchups

They didn't announce the dates yet (that will happen later, probably in a couple months), but on Wednesday the ACC announced the conference matchups for the 2005 football season.

With Boston College's entry into the league, the Hokies will be dropping Wake Forest from next year's schedule and playing the Eagles instead. BC will be Tech's "primary crossover" opponent, meaning that they are the one team in the opposite division from VT that the Hokies will play every year, alternating home and away.

Beginning next season, the ACC will play in two six-team divisions - Atlantic and Coastal. Teams will play all five opponents in their division, plus one primary crossover opponent every year and two rotating opponents from the opposite division. The divisional champions will meet in the league's inaugural football championship game scheduled to be held at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, December 3, 2005.

2005 ACC Football Conference Matchups

Division

Team

Home Games

Away Games

Atlantic

Boston College

Florida State
NC State
Virginia
Wake Forest

at Clemson
at Maryland
at North Carolina
at Virginia Tech

Clemson

Boston College
Duke
Florida State
Miami

at Georgia Tech
at Maryland
at NC State
at Wake Forest

Florida State

Maryland
Miami
NC Sate
Wake Forest

at Boston College
at Clemson
at Duke
at Virginia

Maryland

Boston College
Clemson
Virginia
Virginia Tech

at Florida State
at North Carolina
at NC State
at Wake Forest

NC State

Clemson
Maryland
North Carolina
Virginia Tech

at Boston College
at Florida State
at Georgia Tech
at Wake Forest

Wake Forest

Clemson
Maryland
Miami
NC State

at Boston College
at Duke
at Florida State
at Georgia Tech

Coastal

Duke

Florida State
Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest

at Clemson
at Miami
at North Carolina
at Virginia

Georgia Tech

Clemson
North Carolina
NC State
Wake Forest

at Duke
at Miami
at Virginia
at Virginia Tech

Miami

Duke
Georgia Tech
North Carolina
Virginia

at Clemson
at Florida State
at Virginia Tech
at Wake Forest

North Carolina

Boston College
Duke
Maryland
Virginia

at Georgia Tech
at Miami
at NC State
at Virginia Tech

Virginia

Duke
Florida State
Georgia Tech
Virginia Tech

at Boston College
at Maryland
at Miami
at North Carolina

Virginia Tech

Boston College
Georgia Tech
Miami
North Carolina

at Duke
at Maryland
at NC State
at Virginia



Menís Basketball Wins Exhibition

The Hokie menís basketball team defeated the EA Sports All-Stars on Monday night in overtime by the score of 75-73. The Hokies opened up the game in explosive fashion, with true freshman Deron Washington throwing down a couple of monster dunks to help Tech take a 28-7 lead. The Hokies got sloppy and lost some focus after that, but managed to hold on for the victory.

No one was really certain which starting lineup Seth Greenberg would use, but he decided to go with the following: Zabian Dowdell at point guard, Jamon Gordon at shooting guard, Carlos Dixon at small forward, Deron Washington at power forward and Coleman Collins at center. While that lineup is small down low, it will also be one of the most athletic groups that the Hokies have ever had. And in case you didnít notice, that starting lineup consists of 3 sophomores and a freshman.

Speaking of freshmen, highly touted point guard Marquie Cooke played quite well for Tech in his first collegiate action. Cooke is the highest rated recruit the Hokies have signed since Dell Curry, and his debut indicated as much. Cooke led Tech in scoring with 15 points, showed good poise and court sense, and hit some clutch shots for the Hokies during the course of the game.

Cooke wasnít the only freshman that looked good for Tech on Monday night. In fact, he didnít even start the game, but fellow freshman Deron Washington did and he showed why. Washington had 10 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 assist and 0 turnovers in 27 minutes in his first action as a Hokie. A very solid outing to say the least.

Unfortunately, the news is not all good for Tech. Junior guard Markus Sailes, who started every game for Tech a year ago, has been sidelined with a foot injury. The extent of the injury is not known at this time. If the bone scan reveals a break, then Sailes could be out for a long time. However, he could be back by the season opener if the injury is only a bruise. Sailes was not projected to start this season, but is a strong candidate for a lot of playing time off the bench.

The Hokies will travel to Washington, DC this Saturday for a scrimmage with the Georgetown Hoyas. Tech won both meetings against Georgetown a year ago. The Hokies open the 2004-2005 season on Friday, November 19 against Loyola (MD) at 7pm at Cassell Coliseum.


Womenís Soccer Makes NCAA's

The Virginia Tech Womenís Soccer team recently completed ACC play, and for the first time in school history will play in the NCAA Tournament. The Hokies finished 11-8 overall and posted a 4-5 mark in ACC competition. While that was only good enough to finish 7th in a 10 team league, 8 of those 10 teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The only ACC teams to not make the NCAA tournament were Miami and NC State.

To demonstrate how much the Hokies have improved under coach Kelly Cagle, consider the fact that Techís overall record in the Big East was 5-12, and the Big East isnít anywhere near the same level as the ACC. Tech has almost as many wins in one year in the ACC as they did in 4 years of Big East play. That shows outstanding improvement in just one season, and Kelly Cagle looks to have the program going in the right direction.

The Hokies will take on William & Mary on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 6:30 pm in the first round of the tournament in Chapel Hill, NC. The winner will advance to take on the winner of the North Carolina-Campbell matchup on Saturday.


Menís Soccer Eliminated from ACC Tourney

The menís soccer team recently completed their inaugural season in the ACC, falling to Wake Forest 1-0 in overtime in the ACC tournament Wednesday. Wake Forest was the #1 seed in the tournament and the fifth-ranked team nationally. The Hokies were able to hang with the #5 team by playing great defense, but it wasnít enough to pull off the win.

The ACC race was pretty tight in menís soccer this season, with 5 of the 8 teams getting 4 or more conference wins. Wake Forest managed to grab the #1 seed in the ACC tournament by finishing 5-2 in conference play. Virginia Tech, who finished in a last place tie with Clemson, went 2-5 in conference play. However, those 2 wins were big ones, coming against then #1 Duke and then #2 Virginia. It was the first time in school history that Tech has beaten UVA in soccer. It was also the first time in school history that a Virginia Tech team in any sport has beaten the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the nation in the same season.

So while the season as a whole didnít end on a good note for the Hokies, they did show that they could compete at the ACC level and that the future is bright.



          

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