October 29, 2011
Tech-Duke notes and quotes
By Jimmy Robertson

Weiss makes his debut: Tech kicker Cody Journell missed the Duke game because of an injured right quadriceps muscle, and that left the kicking duties in the hands of senior Tyler Weiss, a redshirt senior from Spotsylvania, Va., who saw the first game action of his Tech career. In fact, the game marked just the second in which Weiss has made the dress squad.

“It feels good,” Weiss said. “I was glad to have a chance to get out there. I wasn’t that nervous. As I was warming up, it kind of set in, and I was good after that.”

Weiss, who kicked for a year at Murray State before transferring to Tech, made all of his extra-point attempts. He missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt toward the end of the first half.

“I thought he was okay,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “He just pushed the one, and we had some pressure off the corner there, so I don’t know if that affected him or not.

“He’s a good kicker. It was close between him and Cody in the preseason. I ended up going with Cody, but I have a lot of faith in Tyler.”

In Weiss’ year at Murray State, he made 7 of 10 field-goal attempts and all 32 of his extra-point attempts. He finished that season as the team’s second-leading scorer.

Following his freshman season in 2007, he transferred to Tech and sat out the 2008 season while meeting the NCAA’s residency requirements. Then he sat for two more years after coming up short in winning the kicking job.

“It’s been a little frustrating,” Weiss said. “I went through a little injury last year, and I’m getting older. But I keep working at it.”

Journell should return for the Hokies’ game at Georgia Tech following the off week.

Tough day for Branthover: Tech punter Michael Branthover booted a 75-yard punt in the second half – tied for the second-longest punt in school history – but struggled for most of the day.

The freshman averaged just 37 yards per punt on six punts and placed just one inside the 20. He mishit two punts, and those went for 22 and 19 yards in the second half. Still, Beamer remains confident in the young man.

“We’re not going to change punters,” Beamer said. “The kid is talented. He’s just got to work on getting his drop consistent. But he’s got the leg. I think it’s a simple deal here. But I’m not going to change punters.”

Wilson continues his run: Tech tailback David Wilson finished with 148 yards rushing on 23 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. The performance marked the eighth time in nine games that the junior from Danville, Va., has eclipsed the 100-yard mark. He leads the ACC with 1,185 yards rushing.

Wilson is averaging 6.3 yards per carry, which would tie the Tech single-season record held by André Kendrick (1999). He’s also on pace to break the Tech single-season rushing mark of 1,655 yards held by Ryan Williams (2009).

Wilson is averaging 21 carries a game, but he’s not really interested in carrying the ball any less. Or taking any time off, for that matter.

“This off week is going to benefit us, but I’m going to be anxious to get back on the field,” Wilson said. “Eleven days is a long time. It seems long enough on Monday. I’ll be anxious to get back and get on the field. I’m feeling pretty healthy.”

Whitley leads interception parade: Tech’s defense intercepted Duke quarterback Sean Renfree on three occasions, bringing its total to 13 interceptions on the season.

Safety Eddie Whitley registered his second interception of the season and the fourth of his career when he picked off the pass of Duke’s Sean Renfree on the first series of the game.

Cris Hill, a redshirt senior from Richmond, Va., started for the third time this season, as Tech opened the game in its nickel package, and Hill recorded his first career interception.

Finally, Rivers, making the start in place of the injured Bruce Taylor – his first start since the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl – recorded the first interception of his career when he picked off a Renfree pass with less than a minute remaining to seal the game.

Martin gets his first: Reserve tight end Eric Martin scored his first collegiate touchdown when he hauled in a 2-yard scoring pass from quarterback Logan Thomas in the first quarter. Martin’s touchdown gave the Hokies a 7-0 lead.

Martin, a redshirt sophomore from Woodbridge, Va., had missed the previous four games with a shoulder injury suffered in the Marshall victory.

Martin’s catch marked just the second of his career. He hauled in a 15-yard reception in that Marshall game earlier this season.

Oglesby gets best of Duke again: Tech tailback Josh Oglesby likes playing against the Duke Blue Devils. The native of Garner, N.C., which isn’t far from Durham, scored on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter that gave the Hokies a 14-7 lead.

Oglesby rushed for 59 yards and two touchdowns in Tech’s win in Durham two years ago. Three of his eight career touchdowns have come against the Blue Devils.

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