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|Tech Sports News|
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com
Almost completely lost in the hubbub over VT losing the Insight Bowl is the records that were broken that day by Hokie football players. Let's take a look at the records that were broken "with an asterisk," and those that weren't.
What do I mean by "with an asterisk"? That refers to two things: (1) until the 2002 season, bowl statistics didn't count, so any VT season or career records didn't include bowl games; and (2) VT didn't play more than 11 regular season games until 2002.
Up until last year, season records were all set with an 11-game schedule, but in the last two seasons, VT has played more than 11 regular season games, and the bowl game has also counted. In 2002, Tech played 14 games (13 games plus a bowl game), and in 2003, they played 13 games (12 games plus a bowl game).
This is not to diminish the accomplishments of players who set season or career records with the benefit of the extra games. It's just a statistical note. It's more impressive to me personally when a player breaks a record without the benefit of the extra games, though I will certainly honor any records set "by the rules."
Enough babbling. Let's take a look.
With an Asterisk: With 8 catches for 110 yards against Cal, Ernest Wilford broke his one-year-old record for catches in a season. Wilford finished with 55 receptions on the season, breaking the record of 51 that he set last year. Wilford's record comes with an asterisk ... sort of.
While his 55 catches occurred in 13 games, breaking his record of 51 set in 14 games last year, former tight end Mike Burnop held the record for years, with 46 catches in 11 games in 1971. Wilford required more than 11 games to beat Burnop last year, and this year, he "only" had 41 catches after 11 games. So, while Ernest is the man in the record books, and deservedly so, Burnop can always kid that Wilford never really beat his record.
With an Asterisk: With his punt return for a TD, DeAngelo Hall tied a season record and broke a career record ... with an asterisk.
The punt return was Hall's third punt return TD of the year, tying the season record set by former greats Frank Loria (in 1966) and Andre Davis (in 2000). To do it, Hall needed the benefit of the bowl game that Loria and Davis didn't have, hence the asterisk.
Hall broke the career record for punt return TD's with five, a record that Loria and Davis both held at four. Hall had two punt returns last year (against Arkansas State and Rutgers) and three this year (two against Syracuse and one against Cal). But again, Hall's record-breaker came in a bowl game, so he gets an asterisk.
Just for fun, I broke it down by number of returns for Loria, Davis, and Hall, and here's how it looks.
Check it out: one more punt return than Davis, one more punt return for a TD. Asterisk, indeed.
But one record Hall has where he doesn't get an asterisk is punt return TDs in a game. He had two against Syracuse this year, the first time a Hokie has had two in a game.
In case you're wondering, Hall narrowly missed punt return yardage records for a game (he had 155 against Syracuse; the record is 164, Antonio Freeman vs. Pitt, 1994), season (he had 487 yards; the record is 510 by Ricky Hall in 1999), and career (he had 839; the record is 872, by Davis).
Without an Asterisk: With 153 yards rushing against Cal, Kevin Jones extended his single-season rushing record to an impressive 1,647 yards. And KJ's record does not come with an asterisk, because he broke the old record, set by Cyrus Lawrence (1,403 in 1981) in 11 games. After 11 games this year, KJ had 1,419 yards, so no asterisk for him.
Bowl Game Records Broken
Among other records, I'm sure, here are the ones broken in the bowl game.
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|TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week|
Of Schemes and Such
Hokie Women Pull Away From Wake, 70-59
Small Pleasures: The Insight Bowl
Hokie Women Top Furman, 83-70
Pirates Down Hokies, 74-67
2003 Insight Bowl: California 52, Virginia Tech 49
2003 Insight Bowl Preview: VT vs. California
Hokies Crush William and Mary, 80-54
Hokies Down Pesky Towson, 74-67
VT Recruiting War Room #10: Defense
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