QB Bryan Randall

2003 Statistics

Coach: Frank Beamer
125-74-2, 17 years
2003 Record: 8-5
UCF WON 49-28
at Rutgers WON 48-22
at West Virginia LOST 7-28
at Pittsburgh LOST 28-31
at Temple WON 24-23
at Virginia LOST 21-35
California LOST 49-52

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

If Robert Lewis Stevenson were alive today, he'd certainly be a Hokie fan. Only the author of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" could appreciate the macabre transformation of the Virginia Tech football team each November. In 2001, one could argue the talent wasn't there. In 2002, one could argue the defensive injuries were to blame. But there are no excuses for the full-scale collapse of the Hokie defense in 2003. This was an experienced, healthy defense that completely fell apart. Why does this team perform so well in September and October, but so poorly in November? Perhaps only Stevenson could conjure an answer.

But this isn't high school English, it's a football preview. And it's Beamer and Foster that will rewrite the ending in '04. There's no better time, as the Hokies are starting fresh in a new conference. In addition, the schedule is in their favor, as they get N.C. State, UVa, and Maryland at home, without even having to play FSU. That's the good news. The bad news is that VT lost it's most talented players in virtually every unit. For the first time in five years, the Hokies enter the season without a bona-fide superstar on its roster. This will help the Hokies in the long run, as the blue collar 'lunch-pail' ethic needs to return to Blacksburg if the Hokies are to remain an elite team.

2004 for the Hokies starts with a bang, as they face the co-national champion USC Trojans in the Kickoff Classic. At least it will effectively be a home game at Fed-Ex field and it's not being played in November. But four of their last five are versus preseason Top 25 teams, so November looks as gloomy for these wild turkeys as for their recent predecessors. The worst statistical dimension we can discern is how VT allowed opposing offenses to score progressively more as each successive quarter passed in '03. With a still-developing passing attack, the Hokies will again not be a come-from-behind specialist. A 6-6 mark is not out of the question, but expect more from the man who seems to effortlessly reload just when all looks to be most grim. Those of us who have underestimated Frank Beamer in the past have more often than not paid for such oversights, so look for this squad to win a few they shouldn't, and lose a few just the same.

Projected 2004 record: 7-5
QB - 4.5 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 2.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Bryan Randall, 245-150-10, 1996 yds., 15 TD

Rushing: Bryan Randall, 82 att., 404 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Justin Hamilton, 23 rec., 282 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Bryan Randall, 5 TD, 30 pts.

Punting: Vinnie Burns, 57 punts, 39.8 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Jimmy Williams, 114 tot., 63 solo, 4 TFL

Sacks: Jonathan Lewis, 4 sacks. Kevin Lewis, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Eric Green, 3 for 166 yds.

Kickoff Returns:
Mike Imoh, 18 ret., 30.5 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Mike Imoh, 1 ret., 3.0 avg.


WR Justin Hamilton
OFFENSE: Ernest Wilford-WR, Jake Grove-C, Jacob Gibson-OG, Keith Willis-TE, Doug Easlick-FB, Chris Shreve-WR, Carter Warley-K, Kevin Jones-RB (NFL), Marcus Vick-QB (suspended)
DEFENSE: Nathaniel Adibi-DE, Cols Colas-DE, Vegas Robinson-ILB, Michael Crawford-ROV, Garnell Wilds-CB, DeAngelo Hall-CB (NFL)

If there is one position group where the Hokies return talent and experience, it's at quarterback. Unfortunately, that's also one of their problems. The Brian Randall-Marcus Vick quarterback dance wasn't particularly successful in '03, ranking 82nd in all of I-A. Randall exhibited all the tools but was never really given a chance to be the leader, for he never knew when he would be replaced. Vick ultimately never played well enough or consistent enough to earn the starting job. So who's the starter? Beamer will reward Randall's hard work and focus. So 2004 begins like 2003, with Randall as the starter and Vick's participation as QB a game day decision. Vick will spend some time at wide receiver, since it worked well in the Insight Bowl, but don't look for that to become a full-time position.

Running Back
How do you replace a back as great as Lee Suggs? With Kevin Jones. How do you replace Kevin Jones? You can, but not quickly. However, if there's one thing the Hokies classically know how to do, it's run the ball, and Cedric Humes will join the long list of solid, often-great Hokie TBs. His 6.0 YPC was actually better than Jones'. Humes doesn't quite have Jones' talent, but he's fast, tough, and experienced. He's had some fumble problems. As the primary back in VT's offense, he should rush for 1,000 yds. The Hokies are very high on early-enrollee George Bell, who will see time as back up. But Jones wasn't the only loss out of the backfield. Doug Easlick was a rock-solid FB who could create big holes and occasionally catch a pass. The Hokies return no FB with real experience. Look to sophomore John Kinzer to win this job. As a converted TE, he has the hands for this position's frequent use as a swing-pass dimension.

Wide Receiver
The Hokies lost their key player from this group. Juniors Justin Hamilton and Chris Clifton are the likely candidates, but when Vick is QB, he seems to favor All-Big East sprinter David Clowney. When this unit doesn't produce, though, Beamer will have little choice but to get Vick on the receiving end of passes. This unit will have many early balls thrown there way so the new running attack can have breathing room, so we will find out quickly who's who in the Hokie routes.

Offensive Line
The Hokies lost their key player from this group, too, at center. The good news for the Hokies, however, is that they return a lot of experienced players on each side of the center. The offensive line performed solidly last year, plowing for a team average of 5.3 ypc (and ranking the running game 17th in the nation), and giving up a paltry 13 sacks. Sophomore Tripp Caroll could move into the center position, but this will be a cohesive unit with lots of experience playing together. The Hokies are in good shape here.

In two years as offensive coordinator, Brian Stinespring opened up the playbook and the VT offense became more than just a running team (still, just a run-to-pass ratio of five-to-three). However, there were playmakers who allowed him to do this. When Randall is firmly entrenched as the starting QB, and if they are without an emerging breakaway player, the Hokies will have no choice but to go back to the simpler days of power running. But considering the success they've had with this format over the years, and considering their offensive line should be their strength, that's not such a bad thing. If nothing else, a plodding ball-control offense will keep the Hokie defense off the field, which would be the most important team accomplishment, if achieved.


QB Marcus Vick


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Bryan Randall-Sr (6-0, 222) ..
FB John Kinzer-Fr (6-2, 246) Mike Perlozzo-Jr (5-8, 213)
TB Cedric Humes-Jr (6-1, 230) Mike Imoh-Jr (5-7, 196)
George Bell-Fr (5-10, 226)
WR Chris Clifton-Jr (6-4, 205) Robert Palmer-So (6-1, 210)
David Clowney-So (6-1, 178)
WR Justin Hamilton-Jr (6-3, 219) Josh Hyman-Fr (5-11, 191)
Richard Johnson-Sr (5-10, 187)
TE Jeff King-Jr (6-5, 256) Jared Mazzetta-Sr (6-4, 259)
OT Jimmy Martin-Jr (6-5, 289) ..
OG Reggie Butler-Jr (6-6, 339) Brandon Gore-So (6-5, 351)
C Will Montgomery-Jr (6-3, 298) Tripp Carroll-Fr (6-4, 325)
OG James Miller-Sr (6-6, 299) Jason Murphy-Jr (6-2, 301)
OT Jon Dunn-Sr (6-7, 341) Brandon Frye-So (6-4, 290)
K Brandon Pace-So (5-10, 199) John Hedge-Fr (5-9, 177)
  Mike Perlozzo....Pur-LAH-zo
Mike Imoh....EEE-moh
Jared Mazzetta....muh-ZEH-tah



Defensive Line
In 2003, the Hokie defensive line was vulnerable in only two areas; up the middle and around the outside. Quite frankly, this was the worst performing DL the Hokies have seen in long time. And they lost their two best players, which is often a blessing in disguise. All have proper size and quickness - brothers Jonathan and Kevin Lewis return in the middle, as Darryl Tapp and Jim Davis take the ends. The Lewis brothers must get more defensive line penetration. This used to be Hokie trademark (remember Corey Moore?) but this rarely happened in 2003. Tapp's potential is there to flow once, well…tapped, now that he's starting.

The failure of this squad to get off blocks, fill holes, and make tackles was the most glaring problem for the Hokie defense. It often looked like they didn't even know where they were supposed to be on the field. Did we mention another mixed blessing, that they lost their best LB from this unit? Brandon Manning and Mikal Baquee are the most experienced returners, but that doesn't mean they won't be pushed for starting positions. Redshirt freshman Xavier Adibi is creating a buzz, and will likely evolve into the playmaker for the Hokies front-seven. He'd better, because no one else has shown that ability.

Defensive Back
You guessed it - ever-solid D'Angelo Hall skipped 2004, his senior season. Still, there remains some experience from their 80th-ranked pass-efficiency defense. If they aren't forced to cover for the underperforming front-seven, they have a good shot at marginally successful containment. The good news is that with the exception of USC, there aren't a lot of high-powered passing attacks on the Hokie schedule. Vince Fuller and Eric Green are good corners, and one of them will likely move from field CB to take Hall's position at boundary CB. Green has returned INTs for success, so Hall is replaced this way, at least. Jimmy Williams is a sure tackler and genuine building-block for things back here. This crew would be wise to keep the play in front of itself with this weak front-seven, breaking on the ball only when needed. Beamer must measure success back here through preventing big plays, not INTs as much.

This is a difficult call. You want to believe in this system, but how can you rationalize what happened at that end of 2003? When Bud Foster's defenses are playing together, and everyone is performing well, they are as tough as any team in the country. But the defensive performances last year against Pitt, WVU, Temple, UVa, and Cal were embarrassing, and even the coaches seemed lost. Foster needs to get this unit back on track in a fundamental way, or the Hokies debut in the ACC will be ugly. We expect a mix of stunts in pass-pressure, but expect such creativity to leave DBs in too many one-on-one scenarios early.


FS Jimmy Williams


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Darryl Tapp-Jr (6-1, 264) Jim Davis-Sr (6-3, 276)
DT Kevin Lewis-Sr (6-1, 288) Kory Robertson-Fr (6-2, 317)
DT Jonathan Lewis-Jr (6-1, 300) Tim Sandidge-Jr (6-1, 304)
DE Noland Burchette-So (6-2, 245) Chris Ellis-Fr (6-4, 257)
ILB Xavier Adibi-Fr (6-3, 229) Blake Warren-Jr (6-3, 246)
ILB Mikal Baaqee-Sr (5-10, 225) Vince Hall-Fr (6-0, 237)
OLB Brandon Manning-Sr (6-0, 220) James Anderson-Jr (6-2, 222
Aaron Rouse-So (6-3, 210)
CB Eric Green-Sr (6-0, 197) Brian McPherson-So (5-10, 189)
CB Jimmy Williams-Jr (6-3, 213) Roland Minor-Fr (6-0, 196)
ROV James Griffin-Sr (6-1, 198) Cary Wade-So (5-10, 179)
FS Vincent Fuller-Sr (6-1, 184) Mike Daniels-Sr (6-0, 212)
P Vinnie Burns-Sr (5-11, 202) Nic Schmitt-So (6-2, 260)
Noland Burchette....bur-CHET
Xavier Adibi....ZAY-vee-ur uh-DEE-bee
Mikal Baaqee....meh-KELL BAA-kee




There was no "Pride and Joy" in this element of VT's famed special teams in 2004. Brandon Pace, who handled kickoff duties last year, is penciled in as place kicker. But Nick Schmitt will compete for the job in spring. The Hokies need a dependable kicker, period.

Capable of booming a 60 yarder, Senior Vinnie Burns is a solid kicker. But even he has problems during critical games. His experience should benefit all. The net punting results have been adequate, and they will only improve with defensive depth hungry to prove itself.

Return Game
If there's one bright spot, it's in the return game. Yes, yes…they lost their best return man (Hall), but Mike Imoh's 29+ yard per return put him 3rd in the country for kickoff returns. If he can handle punts without fumbling, he might get that job too. And this does not even mention their kick-blocking potential.


The Hokies complicated their offensive package this spring, and the adjustments (so far) have resulted in the poor QB play. Both Randall and Vick were slow to pick up the new material. Vick made some plays with his feet to keep drives alive, but both guys struggled to find open receivers. Depth has been tapped in the run game, as starter Cedric Humes went down with a lower leg injury in the first scrimmage. He should be healthy, so his absence allowed youngsters to see more reps. The injury really opened the door for true frosh George Bell. Bell, who enrolled early at VT, is a top five (RB) recruit with great power and explosion. We'll see him quite a bit if/as Humes' injury persists. Two young receivers who will see the field are true freshmen Justin Harper and Josh Morgan. QB Marcus Vick, TB Mike Imoh, and WR Brenden Hill were all convicted of misdemeanor charges this spring. Imoh will miss the first three games. Marcus Vick has been arrested on a second violation and is now suspended for the complete 2004 season. He has stated he will return in 2005 assuming he meets certain requirements.

Defense was in the spotlight this spring. We saw more of a team-oriented group, much different from how they ended it (in the Insight Bowl) last year. Darryl Tapp was the spring MVP with his astounding play from the "rush" end position. He, and fellow DE Jim Davis, made it difficult for the offensive line to establish any ground. They will be one of the better tandems in the conference. The young LBs have lived up to their recruiting hype, as Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall turned in solid spring showings. This bodes well - look for Hall to push Baaqee all year. ROV James Griffin and CB Eric Green highlighted the play in the secondary with supreme coverage against the pass. They are up to bat first with USC in D.C., so a replacement for Hall has to come quick, or else.

Kicking is still up in the air, with Pace and Hedge going neck and neck. If we had to give the nod today, it would go to Hedge. The real surprise has been the punting of sophomore Nic Schmitt. Having booted a couple of punts 55 yards or greater in scrimmages, he now holds the edge over incumbent punter Vinnie Burns.

WR Justin Harper (fr)
FB George Bell (fr)
LB Vince Hall (rsf)