Defense in for double dose of Hokies running backs

After two huge wins the Owls (3-4, 1-1) will now travel down to Blacksburg, Va. to try to shock the world… again. The giant they are facing is the No. 3 Virginia Tech Hokies. Don’t

After two huge wins the Owls (3-4, 1-1) will now travel down to Blacksburg, Va. to try to shock the world… again.

The giant they are facing is the No. 3 Virginia Tech Hokies.

Don’t forget that fifth-year head coach Bobby Wallace’s first victory came during Homecoming weekend at Blacksburg against the Hokies then ranked No. 10; in the form of a 28-24 win in 1998.

For history to repeat itself the Owls must keep building on the momentum of two straight wins against Syracuse and Connecticut.

“They are obviously excited about the opportunity to play Virginia Tech, and realize what a challenge it is,” Wallace said.

“We’ve just tried to get better each week. We’re a senior football team. We had two seniors take charge of the game for us in Danny Klecko on defense and Tarnardo Sharps on offense.”

Indeed they did.

Sharps ran for 223 yards on 35 carries (both career highs) and a score. That was Sharps fifth 100-yard rushing game this season, and the fourteenth of his illustrious career.

He now ranks ninth nationally with 125.29 yards per game.

Klecko, last week’s Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Week, had a monster game, finally breaking through double teams to tie a school record of four sacks in a game.

Klecko also set career high’s with 12 tackles and five tackles for loss.

Starting the Connecticut game off right was Big East Co-Special Team’s Player of the Week Makonnen Fenton, who gave the Temple offense good field position against the number one rushing defense.

“They are not going to let you run the football, so that puts pressure on the defensive backs,” Wallace said.

“I think those guys are so athletic and good that it allows them to stop the run.”

The Hokies are also very athletic at the running back position.

Their two-headed monster is led by Big East Offensive Player of the Week senior Lee Suggs and Cardinal O’Hara product, a Kevin Jones.

Suggs missed all of last season when he suffered a torn ACL in the first game.

He has come back strong averaging 111.6 yards per game and 11 touchdowns.

Last week in his last Homecoming game Suggs ran for 197 yards and two scores, one being a tremendous 42 yard scamper.

The Rutger’s game last week marked the third time this year that Suggs and his backfield mate Jones both ran for 100 yards.

Jones, a local from Chester Pa., was the Big East Rookie of the Year last season filling in for Suggs, and the Hokies have found enough touches for him and his talented running mate.

Suggs, the man who now wears the number seven for the Hokies, had a game like the former number seven, Michael Vick, (who’s now playing for the Atlanta Falcons) when he ran for 171 yards and three scores against Marshall.

Last year in a 35-0 win for Virginia Tech at Veterans Stadium, Jones came home to run for 155 yards and two scores.

Wallace is aware of the dynamic duo he is facing this week.

“They are two of the best running backs I have seen, ever. They’ve got size and strength and speed,” Wallace said.

“They are fresh.”

Shocking the world again is possible for this up-and-coming Owls squad, who have their eyes on a winning season.

A win this Saturday would show the world they have arrived.

Matt Sitkoff can be reached at

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