Virginia Tech Game Notes
Virginia Tech and North Carolina State will be meeting on the gridiron for the 48th time in a series that dates back to 1900.
• Tech leads the series 25-18-4. The two schools have met just eight times in football since the end of the 1964 season.
• Last year, the Hokies took care of business at home on Senior Day, winning 38-10. In 2005, the Hokies opened the season with a 20-16 win over the Wolfpack at Carter- Finley Stadium in Raleigh.
• NC State held on for a 17-16 win in 2004 when Tech kicker Brandon Pace's 43-yard field goal sailed wide right as time expired. It was Tech's lone ACC loss as the Hokies went on to win eight straight en route to an ACC title.
• The Tech-NCSU series has featured 37 games that were decided by 14 points or less, including 29 meetings where the final margin was seven points or less.
• Six of the last eight games in the series have been decided by four points or less, including State's 17-16 win at Blacksburg in 2004 and Tech's 20-16 win at Raleigh in 2005.
• The Hokies won 12 of the first 17 games in the series from 1900 to 1923, with one of the games ending in a tie. The Wolfpack posted eight wins in a 13-game stretch starting in 1924. That stretch also included one tie game. Tech holds a slim 8-6-2 edge in games played since 1952.
• Tech has a 8-2-2 record against the Wolfpack at home and is just 3-8-1 at NC State and is 14-8-1 at neutral sites.
• The two schools have played 23 games at neutral sites, including the 1986 Peach Bowl, which the Hokies won 25-24 on a last-second field goal. That was the first bowl win in school history for the Hokies.
• Tech and North Carolina State were charter members of the Southern Conference in 1921 and met in football as conference foes 16 times before the Wolfpack left the league with six other schools in 1953 to form the ACC. The ‘Pack edged the Hokies in Southern Conference meetings, 8-7-1.
TAKING ON THE TAR HEEL STATE
Virginia Tech is in a unique situation this season as it's the only team in the country that will play all five FBS teams from North Carolina.
• Tech already beat East Carolina on Sept. 18, plays at NC State this week, hosts Wake Forest on Oct. 16 and then hosts Duke on Oct. 23, and travels to North Carolina on Nov. 13. ACC HISTORY
Virginia Tech is an impressive 39-10 in conference games since joining the ACC in 2004, including a 20-5 mark in road games.
• Two of the Hokies' five road losses are to Boston College with the other three coming at the hands of Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech.
WHAT'S A HOKIE?
That's the most often-asked question regarding Virginia Tech athletics. The answer leads all the way back to 1896 when Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College changed its name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
With the change came the necessity for writing a new cheer and a contest for such a purpose was held by the student body. Senior O.M. Stull won first prize for his "Old Hokie" yell which still is used today.
Later, when asked if "Hokie" had any special meaning, Stull explained the words he used had no hidden or symbolic meaning, but had been thought up in an effort to get attention. Hokie soon became a nickname for all Tech teams and for those people loyal to Tech athletics.
SEVENTEEN BOWLS IN A ROW
With its Chick-fil-A Bowl appearance last year, Tech is now one of only three teams to go to 17 bowls in the past 17 seasons. The other two are Florida State and Florida.
CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY
Tech has been a consistent winner since the mid-90s, winning an average of 9.6 games per year during the current streak of 17 straight seasons capped by bowl appearances. Since the beginning of the 1995 season, only Florida (157) and Ohio State (155) have won more games than Tech (148).
Tech has scored in a school record 193 straight football games, beginning with a win over Miami on Sept. 23, 1995. The streak began after a 16-0 loss to Cincinnati in 1995.
• The previous school record was 66 straight games (1970-76).
• During its current streak, Tech has scored 13 or more points in all but seven games.
A STAFF WITH STAYING POWER
Head coach Frank Beamer, in his 24th year at Tech, has had the top four men on his staff in Blacksburg since starting in 1997.
• Associate head coach Billy Hite has been at Tech since 1978, well before Beamer arrived. His 33 consecutive years on the same staff make him the "Dean" of assistant coaches at the FBS level. In fact, Joe Paterno, the head coach at Penn State (45th year), is the only coach of any title who has been at the same school for more consecutive years than Hite.
• Defensive coordinator Bud Foster came with Beamer from Murray State in 1987 and took over the defense in 1995.
• Bryan Stinespring joined the staff as a full-time assistant in 1993 and took over as offensive coordinator in 2002.
• Recruiting coordinator Jim Cavanaugh has been on the staff since 1996.
• Additionally, defensive line coach Charley Wiles is in his 15th year in Blacksburg.
• The entire 10-man staff has been at Virginia Tech alone a combined 148 years. Beamer has had this staff intact since the start of the 2007 season as this staff is in its fourth year together.
PLAYING THE BEST
Since 1999 Virginia Tech has gone up against some of the best teams in the country each year, whether it's scheduled regular-season games, or bowl contests. In that 11-year span, Tech has faced a team that finished in the final AP Top 5 in nine of those seasons and in 10 games total. Five of those 10 teams went on to win the national championship that season.
Virginia Tech Coaching Quotables
I'm really proud of our football team to go up to Boston College and beat a good football team. I thought we play exceptionally hard, I thought we hung in there, did things well, and even though we didn't get some touchdowns there in the red zone we didn't give up the ball. We got points, got fields goals, and that's a good thing.
There were several offensive plays where ten guys are good and one guy misses a block or blocks the wrong guy or we have a foul. I think offensively when you do that, the play doesn't look very good, but I think we're close to being doing things well offensively we just have to get all eleven doing it consistently right and our guys want to.
We're going to work hard this week and get ready to play what I think is a really, really good football team, NC State. They're just fast. They're fast on defense; they're fast on offense. Russell Wilson makes them go and they're really an exceptional football team that's playing with a lot of confidence and playing fast, and we're going to have to have a great week to prepare for them.
Do you feel pretty good about getting Ryan Williams back for this weekend?
Well, we'll see, we'll announce that on Thursday that's the way we do it in the ACC so we'll see.
About using a four-man rotation at defensive end after seeing J.R. Collins and James Gayle this past weekend:
Yeah, I think those guys are getting better and better. James Gayle plays extremely hard and made some big plays up there at Boston College, so I was extremely pleased with those guys and they'll continue to rotate.
Are you surprised about the consistency issues on offense or do you think this is all part of the process?
We've done some good things offensively, and the big thing is we scored points this game and we left points out there. We did take care of the football and kick field goals, and one place where we replaced people was in the offensive line and that's where you need the most experience, but I think we're very close to being consistently good.
Nate Irving for N.C. State:
He's a great football player, and he's like the rest of that crowd over there they're flying around and playing good defense and getting after folks. Not only is he a good player, I would bet he's a great leader for them.
About running the ball about 80 perfect of the time in the red zone, is that too much or is it part of execution?
I think it depends on the defense is doing and you take all those things into consideration. We've been a good red zone team in the past and I think we'll be a good red zone team in the future, we just have to get all eleven on the same page.
We're getting ready to play a team that's really hot, really very efficient, very fast, very well-coached. a tremendous challenge for our football team.
Frank, there's a lot made of NC State's offense, the way they're playing. Their defense, at least from a yardage standpoint, probably held Georgia Tech in check as well as anybody has in a while. What were your impressions of their defense?
I'm very impressed. I think they're faster. I think they're really flying around. I think Nate Irving coming back is probably not only from a playing standpoint, probably a leadership standpoint, means a lot to that defense. I think they've got an impressive football team. Very, very impressive football team.
It would seem your own defense has started to turn things up a bit. Is that just a matter of getting some game experience under their belts?
We played better. Last six quarters we played better. Getting ready to face an offense that's been very, very efficient, kind of certainly different from a quarterback's ability to run than we faced last week. We have a different challenge here this week.
Coach, NC State was not picked to finish high in the conference by the media. You can say that while the media doesn't know what they're talking about sometimes, what did we miss? What are they doing so much better this year that makes them 4-0?
I think they added a couple of guys to their defense that's really helped them. I think getting a linebacker back like Irving really helps them. I think their freshman running back, Greene to go with Haynes, that really helps them.
Then they had the quarterback.
I think they did a good job coaching, but I think they've added some people. They had a lot of injuries last year. A lot of the people played. Now those people are back, plus some of the injury guys are back. They've got a good combination going right now.
Virginia Tech Depth Chart