-- Virginia Tech officials have been in contact with their counterparts at Duke as well as the ACC over concern about the impact Hurricane Ivan might have on Saturday's noon game here. Hokies Coach Frank Beamer on Tuesday expressed "concern."

"Rain isn't an issue, because we feel our field will be okay," Beamer said. "But if we had [severe] wind, with the construction [taking place outside Lane Stadium], boards blowing, cement, those things."

Any postponement would be to Sunday or Monday, a Tech spokesman said.

Last season, the Hokies scored a 35-19 victory over Texas A&M on Sept. 18 here during rainy, windy conditions from the fringes of Hurricane Isabel.

"And it didn't slow our fans down either," said Beamer, referring to the fact that only about 3,000 ticket holders didn't make it to the 65,115-seat stadium.

Beamer said Tech practices would include nothing to prepare for the rain, adding: "I don't know how you practice it exactly. . . . It's more important to practice well [and then] play the elements at the time they come."

However, the day before the Texas A&M game, the quarterbacks practiced throwing balls that had been dunked in water.

"I don't know if it helped or not," said Bryan Randall, who completed 9 of 13 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown with one interception. "But we'll probably do the same thing this Friday. . . . As long as you can grip [the ball], you'll be okay."

Important Numbers

Quarterback Sean Glennon and wide receiver-kick returner Eddie Royal, the highly regarded freshmen from Westfield High, have not shied from taking special numbers at Tech.

Glennon was given the No. 7 worn by the Michael Vick, who helped lift the Hokies to the national championship game as a redshirt freshman during the 1999 season. Royal has the No. 4 worn by cornerback-returner DeAngelo Hall, who had an exceptional career at Tech before opting to leave with a year of eligibility remaining and was chosen by the Atlanta Falcons with the eighth pick in the NFL draft in April.

"There's no replacing Michael Vick," said Glennon, whose first collegiate pass went for a 34-yard touchdown Saturday against Western Michigan. "But I wore [number seven] my whole life, and the coaches offered it to me."

Said Royal, who scored touchdowns on a reverse and pass reception Saturday and is the main punt and kickoff returner: "I wear [number four] in honor of DeAngelo Hall. I looked up to him. . . . I saw the jersey, and it felt like the right fit for me. I wanted to step in and be that playmaker -- and thought a great start would be wearing number four."

Only four numbers are retired at Tech: 84 (wide receiver Carroll Dale), 10 (defensive back Frank Loria), 78 (defensive lineman Bruce Smith) and 73 (center Jim Pyne). Starting in 2002, Tech decided to retire jerseys rather than numbers. Vick, Coach Frank Beamer (25) and defensive lineman Cornell Brown (58) have had their jerseys retired.

Devil of an Injury

Duke will be without senior defensive lineman Phillip Alexander, who had 6.5 quarterback sacks and 18.5 tackles for losses last season but suffered a broken leg during Saturday's 22-20 loss to Connecticut.

Eddie Royal, a freshman wide receiver and kick returner from Westfield High, wears same number as former star DeAngelo Hall, now with Atlanta Falcons.