Virginia Tech will enter the Duke game with several
players starting for the first time this season. Some depth chart moves were
made because of injuries, while others were made based on performance during the
NC State game.
At split end, wide receivers coach Tony Ball will start
David Clowney over Josh Hyman. Hyman was the fulltime starter at split end last
season, but Clowney was moved from flanker during the preseason and closed the
gap quickly. Hyman did not catch a pass during the NC State game, while Clowney
had three receptions for 30 yards and the game winning touchdown.
Also at split end, Josh Morgan is listed as questionable
for the Duke game. Morgan strained a muscle on his lower right leg in practice
this week, and was originally listed as “out” for the Duke game. However he
made impressive progress throughout the week and has been upgraded to
Bryan Stinespring has decided to go with Reggie Butler
over Brandon Gore at left guard against the Blue Devils. Butler started the
first five games of 2004 at left guard before being overtaken by Jason Murphy.
Both Butler and Gore are likely to see a lot of playing time against Duke.
At defensive tackle, r-senior Tim Sandidge will get his
first start since the Insight Bowl in December 2003. Sandidge came off the bench
to relieve an injured Carlton Powell against NC State and performed very well,
posting four tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack. Powell is listed as
probable with an ankle sprain.
Noland Burchette will get the start at defensive end over
Chris Ellis. Ellis beat out Burchette for the starting position in preseason
practices, despite the fact Burchette started every game last season. Burchette
outplayed Ellis against NC State (it was Burchette who planted NC State QB Jay
Davis in the end zone grass in the fourth quarter), so Burchette will get the
start against Duke. At the other defensive end position, Darryl Tapp is listed
as probable with a groin injury. His injury could mean more playing time for
r-freshman Orion Martin and playing time for true freshman William Wall.
Suite and Club Seat Holders to be
Seated in Other Areas of Lane Stadium
West Side Suite and Indoor Club seat holders were notified
by mail this week that their seats will not be ready for the first two home
games against Ohio and Georgia Tech. The letter was sent on September 7, and it
informed ticket holders of the stadium situation and also included replacement
The letter stated, “The majority of the suite tickets
(roughly two-thirds per suite) will be relocated to the West Stands Outdoor Club
area with the remaining suite tickets located in the East Stands. The Indoor
Club patrons will be assigned locations in the East Stands, South Zone Club and
some outside the West Press Tower.”
The status of the suites and indoor club seats for the
remainder of the season remains in question. The letter went on to say that
another letter will be sent on or around October 1 that will outline future
availability for the remainder of the season.
At this point, no plans for refunds have been given
because it has yet to be determined when the expansion will be fully completed.
The letter did express willingness to provide refunds but would not commit to
specifics at this time.
Virginia Tech-NC State Garners Record
TV Ratings for ESPN2
The Virginia Tech-NC State game this past Sunday night was
the highest rated and most watched college football game in the history of
A total of 2,197,808 households viewed the game, good for
a 2.47 household rating. It was the eighth highest rated broadcast ever for
ESPN2 for any sport, and the fifth most viewed broadcast on ESPN2 for any sport.
The record audience watched the Hokies defeat the Wolfpack
20-16 to avenge Tech’s only ACC loss of the 2004 season.