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News Nuggets, 09.19.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Hokie masses defy Isabel to watch Tech blow down Aggies


09.18.03: QB's status still uncertain as Cornhuskers loom for Southern Miss... .. Good deeds net big honor for Tulane's Moore... .. Blazers-'Cocks battle set for delayed telecast... .. More...
09.17.03: Surgery on Blazers assistant coach turns up malignancy... .. Bearcats basketball player cleared of charges... .. D'Angelo's status unknown for Huskers visit... .. More...
09.16.03: USM turns self in for basketball infractions... .. Green Wave's game at Texas selected for national telecast... .. Famed Blazers assistant coach has surgery... .. Tulane grabs two-thirds of league's awards... .. More...
09.15.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad and the ugly... .. Frogs hop higher in polls despite idle weekend... .. AP and USA Today/ESPN Polls... .. More...
09.14.03: Conference USA rings up profitable Saturday against BCS foes... .. More...
09.13.03: Madison lost for season as injury toll rises in Texas Christian backfield... .. Staff 'fixture', air horn guru gets props at Southern Miss... .. More...
09.12.03: After two emotional weeks, can Miami's Berlin relax?... .. Frogs coach to strum and croon for fans... .. Fundraiser in the works for former Louisville hoops star... .. More...
09.11.03: Billikens old-timers to be managed by Herzog... .. Injuries sideline TCU quarterback, running back... .. Professional wrestling barreling toward Minges Coliseum... .. NCAA sentences Fresno State to four years... .. More...
09.10.03: Fowler, Corso and Herbstreit to set up shop at West Point... .. Surprising Deacs roll towards Boilermakers... .. Charlotte hoops recruit postpones enrolling... .. More...
09.09.03: Wave, Bulldogs rekindle century-old rivalry... .. Horned Frogs hop higher in polls... .. Tigers devour two of league's three weekly awards... .. More...

BLACKSBURG — With rain and wind from the outskirts of Hurricane Isabel soaking through parkas and bending back umbrellas, there seemed a thousand better places to be than outside with soggy fried chicken and cold barbecue.

Then again, Virginia Tech was playing football. And before the night was over, the Hokies made the stormy experience worthwhile with a 35-19 win over visiting Texas A&M.

All 65,115 seats at Lane Stadium were sold out for Thursday night's game against the Aggies as Tech fans streamed into Blacksburg, maroon and orange flags waving from their cars in firm defiance of the storm. Hours before kickoff, a few hundred fans held down tents in the parking lot outside the stadium and huddled underneath, holding back the rain with sub sandwiches and beer. By kickoff, most seats in the stadium were filled.

``I was here in 1995 when it was 20-below and the wind blowing 30 miles an hour,'' said Bradley McCall, 25, an insurance salesman from Roanoke who has missed only two games in 10 years. ``When the Hokies are playing, I'll be here no matter what.''

Lee Wagstaff left his dairy farm in Clarksville about 100 miles away on the North Carolina border at about 1 p.m. Thursday, leaving 250 head of cattle and his wife deep in Isabel's path. ``My wife's been calling me on the cell phone all day,'' Wagstaff, 43, said with an embarrassed laugh. ``The power's been off.''

Why wasn't Wagstaff at home protecting his farm? ``Hey, it's a Tech ballgame, man!''

Before the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, winds in Blacksburg were blowing at 20 to 30 mph, with gusts expected to reach 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Fans filtered into the stadium under orange and maroon ponchos, reluctantly handing their umbrellas over to security staff, who banned them from the stadium because they block the view of the game.

Isabel barreled up the East Coast Thursday night, coming ashore in North Carolina earlier in the day and then chugging through Virginia. The Category 2 storm left more than one million electric customers without power in the state.

Even at the periphery of the storm in Blacksburg, the wind howled and sheets of rain soaked the ground. ``We want to face Isabel head on,'' Stacy Nolen, 23, screamed with the wind
blowing against her face.

Concussion sidelines USM's D'Angelo for month

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss Head Coach Jeff Bower announced Thursday that the Golden Eagles will be without starting quarterback Micky D'Angelo for at least a month. Bower said D'Angelo will go through a two-week period of no exertion and will be held out of contact for a month. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound quarterback from Long Beach, Miss., also will be evaluated again by doctors in 1-2 weeks.

D'Angelo, who had started the first three games of the season, suffered a concussion in the first half of Saturday's 23-6 win over Memphis. Bower said that backup Dustin Almond, who played the entire second half against Memphis, will move into the starting role, while freshman Damion Carter also will move to the backup role.

"You just do what you would do with any position," Bower said. "You move people up and prepare them to play the game."

The news comes just a week before the Golden Eagles nationally-televised home contest against Nebraska, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at M.M. Roberts Stadium. Southern Miss completed the first week of preparation for the Huskers and will resume practice Sunday after taking two days off.

The Golden Eagles' game plan will remain the same in preparation for No. 15 Nebraska. "We have to stop the run, take care of the football and do better in the kicking game," Bower said.

Bower also said that freshman receiver Anthony Perine sprained an ankle on Thursday and will be evaluated further. Defensive end Terrell Paul and offensive lineman Travis Cooley also were out of practice, recovering from knee injuries. Bower wasn't sure when the two players would be able to return to the field.

B.C. coach asks students to cool it when Canes come to town

BOSTON — Boston College football coach Tom O'Brien has written an open letter to the campus newspaper, asking fans to behave at the Miami game Saturday even though the second-ranked Hurricanes are leaving the Big East.

``Our goal as a football team is to be champions in the classroom and the community as well as on the field and we expect our fans to be champions, too,'' he wrote in the letter to The Heights, a weekly that publishes on Wednesdays. ``Cheer with class, be supportive at all times and send a message to everyone watching ... that BC is a special place with even more special people.''

Miami has accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic Coast Conference along with No. 8 Virginia Tech, meaning the Big East's two best football schools will be leaving after the season. Originally, the ACC courted Miami, Boston College and Syracuse, but last-minute political maneuvering left BC and Syracuse out.

Without the two schools, the Big East could have to fight to retain its Bowl Championship Series bid and the television revenues that go with it. There has even been speculation that the league would disband as a football conference, forcing Boston College to find another conference or play as an independent.

But O'Brien said that none of that is Miami's fault. ``Miami made their decision to do what's best for Miami,'' he said Monday on a conference call of Big East coaches. ``You know, that's what Boston College would have done, what's best for Boston College.''

O'Brien has written similar letters before big games in the past. But there is extra attention on this week's game because of the conference shuffling. ``We're going to act with class,'' he said in the call. ``There should not be any animosity at all over what went on in the summer.''

O'Brien noted that the game will be on national television in prime time; the Eagles have Miami to thank for making in a marquee game. He asked the fans to show up early and be ready to cheer when the cameras begin rolling. ``We get to showcase our football team and our student body and our fans,'' O'Brien said. ``We're going to do it the right way.''

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2003 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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