Rain shortens Tech practice
San Fran Chronicles
December 28, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO - The rains and bad weather which have plagued the West Coast of late continued Saturday, forcing the Hokies to shorten their "Wednesday" practice at Laney College in Oakland in preparation for the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl against Air Force on New Year's Eve.

It rained sporadically during the early and middle portions of Tech's practice before coming down in sheets toward the end of the practice. Tech head coach Frank Beamer shortened the practice by canceling a team period in which the first- and second-team offenses and defenses go against each other. Beamer instead had the team finish practice with the offense and defense going against the scout teams.

On the injury front, Tech suffered two during Saturday's practice. Justin Hamilton, a redshirt freshman wide receiver, sprained his left ankle midway through the practice, and defensive tackle Jimmy Williams, the junior-college transfer from Pasadena [Calif.] City College, rolled his ankle near the end of practice. Both are listed as questionable for the game.

Beamer said his team got a good wake-up call Saturday when UVa pummeled West Virginia in the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte earlier in the day. A lot of Tech's players watched the first half of that game - in which UVa jumped out to a 28-10 halftime lead - before boarding buses and heading to practice.

"West Virginia was disappointed about not going to the other bowl [the Gator] and they couldn't get over it," Beamer said. "It's all about how you think about it and approach it.

"I know this, we'd better be ready to play. All we have to do is turn on the video and see how hard Air Force plays. If our players can't see that, then we're not as smart as I think we are. Air Force plays hard and I respect the heck out of them for that."

Tech's players have the rest of Saturday afternoon and evening as free time. The team will practice Sunday and then go to the bowl pep rally Sunday evening.