No Early Exits
N.C. State and Va. Tech have played five times since 1986, and the average margin of victory is 2.8 points. Included was a 13-13 tie in 1992. In the 44 times the schools have met, the margin of victory has been 14 points or less 35 times and seven points or less 27 times. Tech holds a 23-17-4 lead in the series.
Few teams are able to match Tech in special teams, but State is one. The Wolfpack already has scored a touchdown off a blocked punt this season, against Richmond. Since the start of the 1998 season, it has blocked 46 kicks: 29 punts, 13 field goals and 4 extra points. State set a school record last season with 10 blocks, eight on punts.
Wolfpack junior tailback T.A. McLendon rushed for 94 yards last week against Ohio State after missing the season opener because of a hamstring strain. With 15 yards, he will break into the school's top 10 in career rushing. He has gained 805 of his 1,803 career yards after breaking a tackle.
Tech defensive end Darryl Tapp leads the ACC in sacks with 3.5. State's first-year starter at quarterback, junior Jay Davis, completed 12 of 24 passes last week against Ohio State, including a 26-yarder for a touchdown in the final 90 seconds of a 22-14 loss. But he was intercepted three times and sacked three times.
Hokies walk-on freshman Jared Develli (Park View) has produced 10 touchbacks on his 19 kickoffs in three games. He had six last week against Duke.
O or D
Tech quarterback Bryan Randall is second in the conference in total offense with an average of 239.7 yards in three games. His per-play average is nearly seven yards. State leads the country in total defense (152-yard average) after finishing 89th last season.
Tech freshman split end Josh Hyman has averaged 21.1 yards on nine catches. . . .Tech had 10 touchdowns on returns last season; State had nine. . . . With 128 yards, Randall will become Tech's career leader in total offense. . . . Seven of the 10 passes Tech's tight ends have caught this season have resulted in first downs.
-- Ken Denlinger