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MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Western Carolina's Trey Morgan (right) bobbles and then intercepts a pass intended for Virginia Tech’s Demitri Knowles (left). It was one of two interceptions on the day thrown by Hokies senior quarterback Logan Thomas.
MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer heads towards the locker room after Virginia Tech’s 45-3 win over Western Carolina on Saturday. The Hokies’ crowd was officially announced at 61,355, ending a streak of consecutive sellouts that started in 1998.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
BLACKSBURG - A fourth quarter announcement that the attendance for Virginia Tech's home opener against Western Carolina was only 61,355 officially ended the third-longest active sellout streak in the country.
That's more than 4,000 less than capacity at the 65,632-seat Lane Stadium. The Hokies had sold out 93 straight home games, dating back to the 1998 Virginia game.
"I really thank the ones that were here," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "That thing was pretty well full. I know there were a few seats up there, but there's a lot of good Hokies here, and I appreciate the ones that showed up."
Virginia Tech's crowd was still bigger than the 58,502 that showed up for Virginia's game against No. 2 Oregon in Charlottesville, something Hokies running backs coach Shane Beamer couldn't pass up, offering thanks to Tech fans and taking a dig at rival UVa on Twitter.
"It wasn't a sellout but we still had the largest crowd in the state of VA today," he tweeted. "By far."
Video killed the radio star
Virginia Tech unveiled its new videoboard Saturday. The 4,275 square foot monitor is the 11th largest on-campus board in the country.
The Hokies had more involved graphics throughout the day, particularly during the pre-game starting lineup announcements, with each Tech player having pre-recorded a brief animated intro.
It wasn't all just for looks.
"I was watching it the whole time," linebacker Jack Tyler said. "It's nice for us, because we're not the NFL, we don't have iPads on the sideline, so if we ever have a problem, sometimes we can just go look up at the scoreboard. It's a lot easier now."
It wasn't without its glitches. The videoboard went out for a good portion of the third quarter.
"I remember looking over and going, ‘Oh, I guess HokieVision is a lot like Hokies [fans] getting blacked out [on TV] today,' " Tyler joked.
Cline gets time
Freshman tight end Kalvin Cline became the 10th true freshman to play this year for the Hokies, the most the school has had under Beamer. The previous high was nine in 2002.
Cline, an under-the-radar prospect from Florida who signed late in the process, didn't travel for the Alabama game and assumed he'd redshirt. But with Ryan Malleck out for the year with a shoulder injury, Tech used Cline quite a bit Saturday.
Cline gives the Hokies a long, athletic tight end that they lacked. He caught four balls for 46 yards, although he dropped what would have been a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
"He brings a bit of a mentality that, I'm not afraid of anything; I'm ready to go get it," quarterback Logan Thomas said. "That's the way he is, and we really appreciate that as older guys."
Both freshman cornerbacks continued to make plays for the Hokies.
Brandon Facyson notched his first career interception on the second play of the game, going low to snag a fluttering pass from Western Carolina's Eddie Sullivan.
Later in the quarter, Kendall Fuller tipped the pass that Detrick Bonner intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
Right guard Andrew Miller sprained his ankle in the first half and had his foot in a walking boot for the second half. X-rays were negative. Brent Benedict took his place. ... Tech got the second-team offensive line in late but did not play freshman tackles Wyatt Teller or Parker Osterloh, preserving their redshirts. ... Both A.J. Hughes and Hunter Windmuller had punts downed near the goal line. Hughes' was downed at the 1 in the first quarter; Windmuller's at the 2 in the fourth.
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