When: 10-22, 7:30
Where: Touchdown City.
Stadium: Mountaineer Field
Last Week: Rutgers
Returning Starters: 8
Last Week: Syracuse
Returning Starters: 18
Last Meeting: 2002
Frank Beamer has been Virginia Tech's head coach for just 16 seasons, but that puts him fourth on the current tenure list. Only Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden, and Fisher DeBerry have been thier positions longer than Beamer.
Although West Virginia's spread offense is designed to use multiple receivers, the Mountaineer attack has again been ground based in 2003. WVU has actually had more players rush the ball (10) than catch a pass (9). Wide receivers have caught just 42 passes in WVU's six games this year.
THIS IS A RECORD-ING
Against Rutgers, defensive back Brian King set the WVU career pass break up record by batting away a Ryan Hart pass from his free safety position. King now has 40 PBUs in his career.
Up next on the record list is linebacker Grant Wiley, who needs just one more tackle behind the line of scrimmage to break James Davis' career record of tackles for loss.
Beamer has noted several times that the experience and maturity his team gained last year has been a big factor in their success in 2003. That shows in a number of areas, but perhpas the most telling statistic is in penalty yardage. Tech simply doesn't beat themselves - they are averaging only 49.3 yards in penalties this year. That's the lowest in the conference.
In contrast, WVU is being flagged for 72.3 yards per game. Think the Mountaineers can afford to give up more than twenty free yards to Tech?
All season long we've noted an amazing number of records that have hovered around the .500 mark. This week, it's WVU's night game mark. Since 190, the Mountaineers are 40-39-3 in night contests. The Mountaineers are also 17-17-1 on ESPN.
TIGHT END ALERT
Fifty-seve of the last 64 passes caught by Virginia Tech tight ends have prodcued first downs. The Hokies use their tight ends in a number of third down situations, and frequently try to get them down the middle of field behind linebackers concentrating on Tech's running game.
Tech's media release uses a variety of stats concerning the Big East conference, but carefully skews them by noting that some records only cover the Big East since it went to round-robin play, while others include all Big East contests since the conference's formation in 1991. Pick one or the other, but leave the spin doctoring out of it.