Three starting offensive linemen return along with the entire front seven on defense. Ends Nathaniel Adibi and Cols Colas combined for 34 tackles behind the line and 18 sacks in 2002. Cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Garnell Wilds accounted for nine interceptions between them — Wilds had five in just four starts. Hall will dabble some at wide receiver and is one of the nation's most dangerous return specialists.
Efficiency expert: Bryan Randall finished last season ranked 10th nationally in passing efficiency.
Mr. Touchdown: Lee Suggs departs Virginia Tech having scored in his last 27 straight games, an NCAA record.
The big four-oh: Virginia Tech's 2002 outgoing seniors are the first 40-win class in school history.
2002 results: 10–4 (3–4 Big East)
Bowl Game: beat Air Force 20-13 in San Francisco Bowl
Returning starters: 8 offense, 9 defense, both kickers
A. 30 UCF
S. 6 James Madison
S. 18 Texas A&M
S. 27 Connecticut
O. 4 at Rutgers
O. 11 Syracuse
O. 22 at West Virginia
N. 1 Miami
N. 8 at Pittsburgh
N. 15 at Temple
N. 22 Boston College
N. 29 at Virginia
Schedule Analysis: Texas A&M stands out as the only true challenge in Virginia Tech's first six games, but the second half of the year gets dicey. Trips to West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Virginia will be tough, and a home date with Miami may determine the Big East title.
Final Word: Virginia Tech is loaded with experience and has some explosive talent on offense. The Hokies were lit up by a hot Miami team at the end of last year, but otherwise played fairly well on defense. The early schedule allows Virginia Tech to build some momentum for their tough stretch drive. Frank Beamer needs to figure out how to get the two-quarterback system to work for his team to avoid any distractions. The fans will want Marcus Vick, but Randall has proven to be an effective signal-caller. A Big East title is not out of the realm of possibility.
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