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|Welcome to TSLMail #193 - Friday, September 16, 2005||
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The Hokies have played many MAC teams throughout the Beamer Bowl Era and will welcome Ohio to Lane Stadium on Saturday for the third meeting between the two schools. The Hokies are 2-0 all-time against the Bobcats, winning 37-29 in Blacksburg in 1971, and 53-21 in Athens in 1972. This is expected to be another blowout victory for Tech. Let’s take a look at the other games against MAC opponents during the Beamer Bowl Era.
In 1993, the Hokies opened the season at home against Bowling Green. Tech got off to a slow start in the game, trailing 7-0 when Bowling Green returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown. VT took a 14-10 lead into halftime. The Hokies came out strong in the 2nd half, scoring on three consecutive possessions. Tech led by the score of 33-10 before Bowling Green scored a touchdown on the final play of the game to make a final margin on 33-16.
The Hokies beat the Akron Zips 77-27 in Lane Stadium in 1995. It was the highest scoring game in the history of both Akron and Virginia Tech. The Hokies had 638 yards of total offense as the Hokies ran all over the Zips. Ken Oxendine and Al Clark each ran for over 100 yards, and neither player even started for the Hokies at the time.
Virginia Tech traveled to Akron to open the 1996 season, and this game was much different from 1995. Akron came ready to play, while the Hokies left their game back in Blacksburg. VT still managed to pull out a victory, 21-18, behind the running of true freshman Shyrone Stith, but the game was much closer than anyone expected.
In the most notorious MAC game in Virginia Tech history, Miami University (of Ohio, not Florida) defeated the Hokies 24-17 in Blacksburg on Homecoming in 1997. Miami blocked two Tech kicks, recovered two fumbles and faked a field goal for a touchdown in the upset. Beamerball was Beamerballed as the Hokies suffered their first loss of the 1997 season.
The Hokies opened the 2000 season facing a familiar foe…the Akron Zips. Virginia Tech was breaking in a new defense and the Akron offense put up a lot of yards, but the more talented Hokies easily recorded the victory 52-23. The Hokies put up 549 yards of total offense behind sophomore sensation Michael Vick, who passed for 186 yards and rushed for 102 yards in the win.
VT played Western Michigan in the second game of the 2001 season. The Broncos were coming off a 9-3 season, and some expected them to give the Hokies a game. However VT easily dispatched the overmatched MAC West school 31-0. Kevin Jones had ten carries for 75 yards, while the Tech defense held the Broncos to just 166 yards of total offense.
In 2002, the Hokies hosted Marshall and All-American quarterback Byron Leftwich. Marshall was looking to establish their name on a national level, but the Hokies would have none of it as they blew out the Thundering Herd 47-21. Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones rushed for over 100 yards in the victory. Leftwich passed for over 400 yards, but much of that came in the fourth quarter after the game was decided.
VT traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan later in the year for a rematch with Western Michigan. VT shut out the Broncos again, this time by the score of 30-0. Tech got off to a tough start, but scored two touchdowns in the final 1:41 of the second quarter to take a 16-0 lead into halftime. Lee Suggs scored on a 28 yard shovel pass and Alex Markogiannakis returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown.
The Hokies kicked off the 2003 season with a 49-28 victory over Central Florida. VT, normally known for running the football, put on a passing display that day, with Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick combining for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Kevin Jones ran for 83 yards on 22 carries.
Tech welcomed Western Michigan back to Lane Stadium in 2004 and shut the Broncos out for the third time in a row, this time to the tune of 63-0. In three games since 2001, Western Michigan has never scored on the Hokies. They came close in 2004, but Jim Davis blocked a field goal attempt to preserve the shutout. VT outscored Western Michigan 124-0 in three games.
The MAC has been able to score some noticeable upsets throughout the years, but only once in the Beamer Bowl Era has that come against the Hokies. Tech's record against MAC teams in the Beamer Bowl Era is 9-1, with an aggregate score of 420-157 (an average of 42-16).
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