Friday, January 01, 2010
Chick-fil-A Bowl notebook: Hill, Hosley replace Virgil
Virginia Tech stories
- Hokies start fresh at offense
- Hokies' athletic director requested 'night off'
- Virginia Tech fans need new tailgate tradition
Blog: Andy Bitter
- Better know a ’13 opponent: Miami
- HS coach Jim Cantafio on QB Andrew Ford: An ‘A-plus kid in every aspect of his life’
- Better know a ’13 opponent: Boston College
- Join the Hokie football conversation on Andy's blog
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ATLANTA -- Redshirt sophomore Cris Hill drew the start at boundary cornerback for Virginia Tech in Thursday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Hill and freshman Jayron Hosley had been battling for the spot since Dec. 23, when senior Stephan Virgil was declared academically ineligible for the contest against Tennessee.
Virgil had been playing Hokies' field corner position, but the Hokies moved junior Rock Carmichael from his normal boundary spot to the field for Thursday's game.
It was the second career start for Hill. The 5-foot-11, 183-pound Richmond, Va., native started the Sept. 12 game against Marshall. That was the first two straight games that Virgil missed after injuring his left knee against Alabama in the season opener.
Hosley, whose primary duties have come as Tech's No. 1 punt returner, had been hoping to land his first college start.
The Delray Beach, Fla., native did get his share of playing time along with Hill.
Hokies junior cornerback Rock Carmichael said he and the rest of the secondary were disappointed for Virgil, who watched the game from the Georgia Dome stands.
During pregame warmups, Virgil stood near the lower grandstand railing and leaned over and talked with some of his teammates, including Hosley.
"It was tough for all the defensive backs," Carmichael said earlier in the week.
"The seniors are the leaders in that room for us. I talked to him the other day and he just told me that it's my time now. He said he wishes he knew the UVa game [Nov. 28 regular-season finale] was going to be his last game, because he misses it already."
Checking out NFL
Tech standout defensive end Jason Worilds has sent in his paperwork to the NFL draft advisory committee, according to Tech coach Frank Beamer's Web site.
Worilds, a junior, has been named a second-team All-ACC performer the past two years, amassing 28 tackles for loss and 12 12 sacks during that span.
Two weeks ago, Worilds indicated he was going to finish his career at Tech. Obviously, he has changed his mind since and thinking about entering April's draft as an underclassman.
Big Suh fan
Tech guard Sergio Render said Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh would have been at the top of his Heisman Trophy ballot if he'd had a vote.
"Honestly, yeah," said Render, who saw a lot of Suh in Tech's 16-15 win in Blacksburg on Sept. 19. "A D-tackle that gets 12 sacks and leads the team in tackling, I would have gave him the Heisman.
"He literally dominated. I watched when they played Texas [in the Big 12 title game] and he almost won the game himself with 4 12 sacks in one game. A lot of people don't get that in a season."
Pops defends son
Volunteers coach Lane Kiffin has stirred up plenty of controversy in Knoxville, but his father sees him a bit differently.
"Some people that don't know Lane Kiffin might think, 'Well, he's a little bit arrogant,' " Vols defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. "If he was a jerk, I'd still love him ... but I wouldn't necessarily come to work for the guy, OK? He's a pretty good guy or I wouldn't be here."
No strangers here
The bowl marked the third time that Tech has played in Atlanta this season. The Hokies lost 34-24 to Alabama in the Sept. 5 CFA Kickoff game, and lost 28-23 to Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Oct. 17.
When is the last time the Hokies have travelled to play in the same city three times in one season? Try 1962 ... in Roanoke.
That year, Tech played games against George Washington, Virginia and VMI at the old Victory Stadium.
Tech also played three times in Roanoke in 1961, 1958, 1948, 1945 and 1914.
The game marked Render's fourth bowl start. Tight end Greg Boone and free safety Kam Chancellor made their third straight bowl starts. ... Tech's roster included 18 players who started last season's Orange Bowl. ... Of the 69 players on Tech's dress roster, 48 will have eligibility to return next season. ... Junior place-kicker Chris Hazley dressed for the first time in his Tech career for a game.