Friday, October 31, 2008

ACC Best of the Blogs: Week 9


BC All Access: No love for the running game
"So let's say we did turn heavily to the run against UNC. Take away 28 pass attempts from Crane and give those 28 plays to Haden and Harris. If the both kept their yard per carry averages (and obviously there would be fluctuations if this really occurred) Haden would have had 20 carries for 84 yards while Harris would have 20 carries for 80 yards. A combined 40 carries for 164 yards. The yardage is off the charts by any stretch of the imagination but i would have loved to see them on Sunday. This would have significantly cut down on Crane's workload and taken control of the game. Now I'm not saying that we would be this affective if we did run the ball 40 times, but we should have at least tried to get a running game going. Chris Crane throwing the ball 42 times in one game (especially against a defense that is known for turnovers) is simply unacceptable in my mind. I'd say its about time we get our own thunder and lightning going against Clemson next week."

BC Interruption: Toss Up: Boston College-Clemson
"Brian: I’m going with Boston College here. We’ve already been to 1 more ACC Championship Game than Clemson has already, and Clemson has to go through Boston College to win the Atlantic (something they haven’t been able to do in their last three tries). The Tigers have failed to win the Atlantic the last three years despite having the Atlantic all but served up to them on a platter – Florida State has been down, little Wake Forest has bubbled up, and Maryland has one winning season in their last four seasons. Besides, it’s downright comical to hear Tigers fans at the beginning of the season because they think their team is always ACC Championship and BCS National Championship Game bound. A lot of fans still living off of 1981."

Eagle in Atlanta: Talking through the QB situation Part 2
"Bringing this tangent back to Chris cannot start him on the idea that he is "due" or that he has gotten the turnovers out of his system or that he is highly unlikely to cough up the ball that many times again. He not due. No one is truly due. If due were probability, then he is just as due for another three INT day."


Block-C: Places to check out in Boston
"For those of you actually going up to Boston to catch the game, we’ve put together a list of some things to check out as Willy Mac went up there back in 2006. If you haven’t gone up to Boston for the game you should check it out sometime. Since there are a bunch of Tiger fans staying near or at Copley Square, most of the items we’ve put on this list are located close by there."


Dudespin: The Bowl Breakdown
"I realize it's premature to do this, but being much more superstitious about the election, I figured it can't hurt to peek ahead to whether Duke really has a chance at a bowl game, and if so, where. At 4-3, with winnable games left against Clemson, State, and Wake, and an outside chance against UNC, the path to 6-6 isn't unrealistic. But would Duke be selected for a bowl game at 6-6, since "bowl eligible" doesn't mean you get invited? And being a smaller school with not exactly a rich football history doesn't guarantee a large turnout, which perhaps is the most important factor to bowl game hosts."


Chant Rant: Don't expect the same old Bobby Dodd Stadium
""What'll ya have!" Maybe the best thing about the stadium is its neighbor across the freeway, The Varsity (the glowing neon lights at the lower left of the photo). For a pre-game meal -- and, what the hell, post-game pig out -- hit the "World's Largest Drive-In." It may be fast food, but it's light years from anything you'll get from a drive-thru window (it's worth a trip for the onion rings alone)."

Scalp 'Em: Belief In FSU Football?
"How many times has FSU done this in the past 6-7 years? They start off great, only to get to a point in the season where they blow up. Looking at the schedule, GT, Clemson, BC, Maryland and Florida… it’s as easy to go 4-1 as it is 1-4. So am I believer in FSU football? Not yet, I need more proof that the character of this team can hold up."

Tomahawk Nation: My opening thoughts on FSU's Hokie Knockout
"Yet, there is a serious problem. Ponder is taking a beating. 4 sacks on 19 pass attempts is a SEVENTEEN percent sack rate. That is pathetic. I like Trickett a lot, and it angers me that the cupboard was left so bare by the previous administration. It's pretty obvious that our offensive line recruits are not as talented as the young kids at UGA or UF. If you're going to start young kids, they need to be studs. We look like we have 6 tight ends playing at once. These guys looked slow out there, and we can't afford to have waifish linemen play slow."


The Legacy x4: UVA and Season Thoughts
"For the rest of the year we are playing with house money. No one expected us to be where we are today. We are gaining respect and our players are gaining experience. Remember, we are the youngest team in the ACC."


Turtle Soup: Survival! Terps Now 6-2!
"Not sure what was wrong with the defense today. It’s hard to believe a defense can play that great last week and then stink it up one week later, but they did come up big late and gave the offense a chance to win it, and they came through."

Turtle Waxing: Terps run between the rain drops
"The conditions were probably the worst Maryland will see all year on Saturday but they managed with the help of some key plays and a little luck to overcome the upset bid by N.C. State. I thought a quarterback like Russell Wilson would give the defense all kinds of problems because he has good mobility and can throw the ball with skill. Wilson isn't just a scrambler and if Tom O'Brien can assemble more talent around him Wilson could be an elite ACC quarterback for the next few years. A scary thought for Maryland fans."


All Canes: Ojomo: Under the radar three-star making plays
"Instead, Canes coaches are focusing on finding Miami-style kids and athletes who are a good fit for the program, instead of someone highly touted simply because a few websites say so. Shannon and staff are looking for diamond in the rough-types and kids with that intangible not measured by recruiting websites looking to make a buck and stir the pot."

Hall of Canes: Marve-lous
"But just as clearly, both are young, inexperienced on the college level and understandably inconsistent. I agree with Coach Randy Shannon's plan to play them both and get them ready, even if I disagreed with taking a hot Marve out of Saturday's win over Wake Forest with 5 minutes left and the Canes leading by only 6 points."


Carolina March: UNC 45, Boston College 24
"After a scary start, where Cam Sexton lost the ball to a pash rush on the second play of scrimmage to put the Eagles up 10-0, Carolina's defense posted three straight three-and-outs before beginning the interception party, giving the offense short fields for three scoring drives and then the lead. And when BC struck back to tie with 54 seconds left in the half, Sexton drove the team downfield with three passes to wrench the lead back - Carolina never trailed again, and the Eagles wouldn't score until the garbage time of the fourth quarter."

Tar Heel Fan: Make Of This What You Will
"I think Sexton is the guy unless he screws up in which case Yates, if healthy, will be the guy. Or he is going to use the hot hand whoever that might be. This is also a great position to be in since most teams have a drop off from one QB to the next. If Yates returns to form, that will not be the case at UNC."

Tar Heel Mania: FEI is My New Favorite Poll
"Even more interesting than UNC’s #3 ranking here is their #1 ranking in adjusted defensive efficiency. What this means is that the Tar Heels do a better job of disrupting the efficiency of opposing offenses better than any other defense in the nation. And this is in spite of an apparent allergy to blitzes and the frustrating 2-minute defense. That, my friends, is impressive."


Section Six: Looking Ahead To Duke
"In raw terms, it certainly appears as though the Blue Devils a lot better this season: from 117th in total offense last year to 98th in 2008, from 92nd in total defense to 52nd. And there's the winning record thing. Their performance on a per-play basis, however, tells a different story."

StateFans Nation: Next year’s 12th football game
"At the risk of over-stating the obvious - next year is a very important year for the NC State Football program and every single leader with any type of influence over the direction of the football program. Unless the Wolfpack can string together four consecutive wins to close out the 2008 season, the program is heading for a 4th losing season in the last five years - all under the ‘leadership’ of Athletics Director, Lee Fowler."

Yet Another...: College football should only be played on Thursdays and Saturdays
"Here's my feeling on the matter: College football should go back to 99% of its games being played on Saturday, with one game played on Thursday night. That's it. When you cram a week full of college football, the appeal of the sport is kind of lost. College football is a weekend event, something to look forward to. Your team plays and you keep an eye and ear out for how the other teams are faring throughout Saturday. And if your team is lucky enough to play on Thursday night, then by God it's a big deal, because there truly isn't any other team out there playing."


Good Ol' Blog: Questionable officiating went both ways?
"There were other examples provided, but I’ll stop there. I’m not going to argue that the officiating didn’t benefit Virginia in some key spots. Let’s just not pretend that Georgia Tech didn’t get some of their own breaks too on that front. I mean, it’s not every day that a coach gets a freakin’ penalty during the other team’s attempt to driving down the field for a game tying score."

From Old Virginia: On the Desirability of College Football Playoffs
"This argument waters down as the playoffs get larger and larger. By the time you get to the three-loss teams and the weaker two-loss teams, it's easy to say, "Shut up, you're pretty clearly not national-title caliber." But, the larger the playoff, the easier it is to get in and the more watered-down the regular season becomes."


College Game Balls: What’s Your Coach Going to be for Halloween?
"Joe Pa looks a little too much like a vampire right? That’s because its not a costume. How else can you explain his longevity and energy at 80, I mean 8000, years old."

Fire Bryan Stinespring: 7th Worst NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Offense
"As of Saturday morning, Virginia Tech's wide receivers had not caught a touchdown pass. That trend continued yesterday afternoon in our ten-point loss to the Florida State University Seminoles. That is pathetic. Let's be clear; we did not lose this game because of a rookie mistake by Eddie Whitley. We lost momentum, but we did not lose the game because of Whitley's play. And we did lose two quarterbacks in this game. Third-string QB Cory Holt was not quite ready to play at first, but threw a nice touchdown pass to tight-end Andre Smith."

Tech Sideline: Your FSU Eye in the Sky
The last two games have not been epic. But I for one am proud of how this team has scrapped the last 8 quarters. Not a moral victory mind you; those are reserved for all the worlds silver-medalists. That disclaimer issued, these last 8 quarters of Hokie football remind me of one of my favorite books. George Orwell of Animal Farm put it best when he once opined….”All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” So true.

Virginia Tech Fan: The Joy of Watching The Hokie Defense
"Football is an aggressive sport. It rewards teams that take the game to the opponent. Good teams are physical, fast, furious, and complex. Bud Foster regularly puts a defense on the field that is aggressive. Its also physical, fast, furious, and complex. I love the emphasis on speed, the tenacity of getting to the quarterback, the ‘8 men in the box’ mentality, the scheme that includes a rover and a whip. The Hokies on defense don’t want to control the opponent, they want to demolish. They want to confuse you, intimidate you, shock you, and demoralize you. I love that."


Old Gold and Blog: Bandwagon
"Smith summed it up as best as it can be. You either believe in 9-3, or “see ya.” Hopefully you will take this to heart. Sure, I expect some criticism for writing this, but I wouldn't write it if I didn't truly believe in this team. We've been there with this group of guys through the good times, now it's time to be there in the hard times."

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 9

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense (in honor of Halloween) is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let's Do Some Lines: Week 10

Once again, every home team is favored this week in the ACC. All lines are from Bodog, the official illegal online gambling site of furrer4heisman. My picks are in bold.

Miami +2 at Virginia
- Miami had some trouble stopping the run against Wake. This pick is based entirely off of 'gut feeling'.
Clemson +4.5 at BC
- Tigers' O-line doesn't stand a chance.
Duke +7.5 at Wake Forest
- The Deacs can't be THAT bad, can they?
Florida State +2 at Georgia Tech
- The Noles have established themselves as the best team in the ACC. Which, of course, means they'll lose by two touchdowns.

Other teams I like this week:

Oklahoma -22 vs. Nebraska
- The Huskers are slow.
Iowa +3 at Illinois
- The Hawks are 3-0 ATS on the road.
Air Force -8.5 at Army
- Yep, I'm betting on Air Force again.
Texas Tech +4 vs. Texas
- A night game in Lubbock. And if you've watched the lines/public bet numbers, you know Vegas wants you to bet on Texas.
Louisiana Tech +5 vs. Fresno State
- Fresno is 0-5 vs. the spread in its last five games and 0-4 vs. the spread in its last four games vs. LT.

How I did last week against the spread:

ACC: 5-1
Correct: Miami, UNC, Duke, UVa, FSU
Wrong: Maryland
Nation: 3-2
Correct: AFA, UConn, Texas Tech
Wrong: Purdue, Oklahoma

Year to Date:

ACC: 29-22-1
Nation: 24-19
Total: 53-41-1

Cory, meet Dave. Dave, Cory.

I refuse to hit the panic button over our quarterback situation. Not because I think either Tyrod or Glennon will be healthy by the Maryland game. No, far from it. I expect neither to be ready and I'm not at all hopeful for the Miami game.

No, I'm calm because I trust Cory Holt. He's a redshirt senior, so this is his fifth season in the Hokies' offense. I thought he played well against Florida State. He didn't freak out and make a mistake that cost us the game. He simply ran the offense to the best of his ability.

Holt has a decent arm and completed his first three passes, including a touchdown to Andre Smith, against FSU. He's more athletic than Glennon and was able to scramble out of the pocket when he needed to, although he did have one play where he held the ball too long and took a sack.

Also, we've been here before. In 2000, another fifth-year senior was called into action and performed admirably. Dave Meyer had experience in relief of Michael Vick in 1999 when Vick was injured in the first game of the season.

But in 2000, Meyer replaced an injured Vick during the Pittsburgh game and led the Hokies to a come-from-behind win. Tech was undermanned against a good Miami team the next week. After that, he was the quarterback for a win over UCF in which the Hokies attempted eight passes, again without Vick.

While Meyer's stats may not have been spectacular in his three games as Virginia Tech's quarterback, he was effective and was a leader as a fifth-year senior. For all you need to know about Meyer's career, click here and here to read an interview Will Stewart did with him shortly after his career was over.

I think Holt will do fine and think the Hokies will beat Maryland. The Miami game is a completely different story, but I think Holt is a good enough quarterback to manage the offense to a win next Thursday.

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 8

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Q&A with Tech Hoops

Since it's a bye week and basketball season is fast approaching, I thought I'd get a Q&A to get readers caught up on the hoops team before the season gets underway. The Hokies open the 2008-09 campaign Nov. 14 against Gardner-Webb, the same team that opened last season by beating Kentucky in Rupp.

Tech Hoops is your best stop for Hokie basketball news and opinion. Niemo from Tech Hoops was kind enough to answer a few questions about the basketball team.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. He attended every home basketball game during his 4 years at VT and has attended 94 straight VT football home games (every game since '94). He was honored during the final basketball game of his senior year as Tech's Super Fan of basketball. The Hokie Bird make the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

Niemo currently lives in NOVA and moonlights as the Senior Writer for

Q: What does it say about the coaching abilities of Seth Greenberg that he had such a young Hokie team on the verge of the NCAA Tournament last year?

It says that Seth is a fantastic defensive coach. He is able to instill his defensive philosophy in any team of his and get them defending at a high level. That is what has allowed VT to be so successful in an offensive minded conference.

Seth is also a great motivator and does a good job of getting his team hyped for every game. I think unc is the only ACC game last season where you can say the team was flat.

Finally, Greenberg is a strong in-game coach. He is able to make adjustments based on how the game is going. How many times was VT down early last year, but found a way to come back? I think he outcoaches a lot of guys in this league.

Q: I wasn't a big AD Vassallo fan until the end of last season and into the ACC and NIT tournaments when he really impressed me with his play and leadership. Is he ready to be the leader of this team as a senior this season?

Everyone always assumes the "senior(s)" have to be the team leaders, but much like I said with Deron last year, A.D. is simply not a "leader" other than by example. He is not going to be the verbal guy who pushes everyone and challenges everyone. That is going to be Malcolm Delaney. That is a tough role for a sophomore to fill, but considering he had to do it a lot last season, Malcolm seems ready.

Q: The Hokies will miss Deron Washington and will be looking for a slasher and a shut-down defender this year. Can Terrell Bell fill both roles? I have high expectations for the sophomore.

Terrell Bell, J.T. Thompson, and Dorenzo Hudson will be battling to fill Deron's minutes, but mostly J.T. and Terrell since Dorenzo is more of a 2 (shooting guard). J.T. and Terrell bring different qualities to the table. Both are very athletic, but J.T. is the better slasher and rebounder. Terrell is more of a spot-up shooter. On defense, Terrell is similar to Deron in that he has the quickness to guard a 2 or a 3. J.T. can guard a 3 or a 4 for sure. The question will be can he guard shooting guards. If so, I think Thompson will see more minutes because someone is going to have to guard the other team's 2 while A.D. is in. A.D.'s lack of quickness means he is more suited to guards 3's.

Q: Who is going to be Tech's point guard this year?

Malcolm Delaney is still the quarterback of this team, though they wanted him to play some more 2 this year. The reason I don't think he can is I'm still not sold on Hank Thorns. I'm not sure he is ACC-caliber. But VT didn't bring in any guards in this class, so that leaves Tech with only Delaney and Thorns as guys that can run the point. Thorns is the better defender but he really brings nothing to the offensive end while Delaney is a fantastic scorer and does hustle on D. I'd expect to see Delaney in there at point about 2/3s of the time and Thorns the rest. If Hudson (and/or Bell) develops at the shooting guard spot, that could really eat into Thorns's minutes.

Q: What kind of production can we expect out of freshman Victor Davila this year?

I am sure he will see minutes but how many, I'm not sure. He has an ACC-body already. A lot will depend on how Lewis Witcher and Cheick Diakite play. Jeff Allen, Davila, Witcher, and Diakite will be the guys getting the minutes at the low post spots. Obviously, Allen will play as much as he can and stay out of foul trouble. Witcher has the inside track right now on getting the most time at the other spot, so it is up to Davila to earn minutes away from him. Personally, I think he will get a good bit of time early to show what he can do, but see his minutes dwindle once ACC play starts unless he can surpass Diakite or Witcher.

Q: What are your expectations for this team? Where will they finish in the ACC and what kind of postseason do you expect?

I started at VT in '94. I saw us win the NIT in '95, go to the 2nd Round of the NCAA in '96, and the 2nd Round of the NCAA in '07. But I think this could be the best team the Hokies have had in the last 15 years. They have talent and depth, except in terms of ballhandling. The offense has looked much better from the end of last year into the preseason this year. We know the Hokies will play tough D, but if the offense can start looking un-Stinespring-like, look out. But the teams I mentioned above were very senior-laden. This squad might be a year or two away. The problem is they don't have Vassallo past this year.

The ACC Media picked Tech to finish 6th. I think that is the lowest VT could possibly finish in conference. More likely, I think the Hokies will finish 4th. VT could finish anywhere from 3rd to 6th in the regular season and will definitely earn a NCAA Tournament bid.

Week 10 ACC Handicapping

Going into Week 10

The Standings

Florida State (6-1, 3-1)
Maryland (6-2, 3-1)
Boston College (5-2, 2-2)
Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2)
Clemson (3-4, 1-3)
NC State (2-6, 0-4)
Virginia (5-3, 3-1)
Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2)
North Carolina (6-2, 2-2)
Miami (5-3, 2-2)
Virginia Tech (5-3, 2-2)
Duke (4-3, 1-2)

The Games

Week 10
Clemson at Boston College
Miami at Virginia
Duke at Wake Forest
Florida State at Georgia Tech
Bye Weeks

Week 11
Clemson at Florida State
Georgia Tech at North Carolina
NC State at Duke
Maryland at Virginia Tech
Virginia at Wake Forest
Notre Dame at Boston College
Bye Week

Week 12
Boston College at Florida State
Wake Forest at NC State
Virginia Tech at Miami
Duke at Clemson
North Carolina at Maryland
Bye Week

Week 13
Boston College at Wake Forest
Florida State at Maryland
Miami at Georgia Tech
Duke at Virginia Tech
Clemson at Virginia
NC State at North Carolina
Bye Week

Week 14
Maryland at Boston College
North Carolina at Duke
Virginia at Virginia Tech
Miami at NC State
Florida at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Georgia
South Carolina at Clemson
Vanderbilt at Wake Forest
Bye Week

The Teams
Division games in CAPS, Inter-Division games in lower case.


Florida State
Wins: NCSU, mia, vt
Losses: WF
Home: CU, BC
Away: UMD, gt
Analysis: Best raw talent of any team in the division...if Noles finish 6-2 and lose to GT, they should still win the division...two of three remaining division games are at home.

Wins: CU, WF, NCSU
Losses: uva
Home: FSU, unc
Away: BC, vt
Analysis: Jekyll and Hyde team of the ACC...all four remaining games are possible losses...already has tiebreak over Wake.

Boston College
Wins: NCSU, vt
Losses: gt, unc
Home: CU, UMD
Away: FSU, WF
Analysis: Play often depends on defense in the division...has already played its three Coastal teams.

Wake Forest
Wins: FSU, CU
Losses: UMD, mia
Home: BC, du, uva
Away: NCSU
Analysis: Has lost three of its last four...only two division games left...only Atlantic team with three home games left.


Wins: GT, UNC, umd
Losses: DU
Home: MIA, cu
Away: WF, VT
Analysis: Has won four consecutive games...toughest remaining games are on the road...already has tiebreaker over two contenders.

Georgia Tech
Wins: DU, bc, cu
Losses: VT, UVA
Home: MIA, fsu
Away: UNC
Analysis: UNC game is now an elimination game...must finish with better record than both UVA and VT...only contender with five conference games played.

North Carolina
Wins: MIA, bc
Losses: VT, UVA
Home: GT, ncsu
Away: DU, umd
Analysis: GT game is now an elimination game...must finish with better record than both UVA and VT...only one game remaining against a Coastal contender.

Wins: DU, wf
Losses: UNC, fsu
Home: VT
Away: UVA, GT, ncsu
Analysis: Biggest enigma among Coastal contenders...only contender with three road games...finishes season with two road games.

Virginia Tech
Wins: GT, UNC
Losses: bc, fsu
Home: DU, UVA, umd
Away: mia
Analysis: Already holds tiebreak against two contenders...only contender with three home games...not playing very well and is down to third-string QB...must win at MIA.

The Odds


Florida State: 3/1
Maryland: 10/3
Boston College: 4/1
Wake Forest: 8/1


Virginia: 4/1
Georgia Tech: 8/1
North Carolina: 4/1
Miami: 4/1
Virginia Tech: 8/1

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 7

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Road Trip No. 5: VT at FSU

Gobbler Country Road Trip No. 5
Football: Virginia Tech at Florida State
Doak Campbell Stadium
Tallahassee, Fla.

Miles Round Trip: 2,020
Total Dollars Spent: ~$300 ($200 in gas, $100 in food and drink, including a case of Yuengling on the way out of Florida)

What impressed me:
- Pensacola's beaches
- The ability of certain people in a certain branch of the armed forces to talk our way out of prison after a bar fight in Panama City Beach.
- The underrated tailgate scene at FSU
- The outside of Doak
- Cory Holt
- Zaxby's fried chicken.

What didn't impress me:
- The inside of Doak
- FSU fans/noise level
- Our offensive line
- Mobile, Ala.
- The ability of certain people in a certain branch of the armed forces to recover from the previous night and make it to a football game on time. I was able to wake up at 7 a.m. and I'm a civilian. You should be used to early wake up calls.

The famous McGuire's Pub in Pensacola.

Florida's finest beaches are in Pensacola.

Dr. James Andrews' new facility in Pensacola.

Hofbrau Haus in Panama City Beach.

In front of Doak.

Tailgating in Tallahassee.

Scoreboard at Doak.

Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Hokie contingent.

Chief Osceola and Renegade.

Spanish Fort, Ala., was on the East side of the Zaxby's/Cane's dividing line. Zaxby's is much better than Cane's and it's not even close.

USS Alabama in Mobile Bay.

Roberts Stadium at Southern Miss.

Roberts Stadium. This was as close as I could get. They lock it up pretty tight.

Week 10 ACC Preview

Week 10
Miami at Virginia, Noon on Raycom
Clemson at BC, 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
Duke at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m. on ESPN360
Florida State at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN
Bye: Maryland, UNC, NC State, Virginia Tech

This is a good week for the Hokies to have off. Obviously, there's the quarterback situation. Even with the bye week, it's looking very likely that Cory Holt will be the starter against Maryland. But, at least he has extra time to get settled in under center. The other reason is it allows the ACC craziness to continue while they watch in comfort from their own dorm rooms/apartments. You can't lose if you don't play!

If you're a fan of chaos, you're rooting for Miami and Georgia Tech this weekend.

Miami (2-2) at Virginia (3-1)

If UVa wins, it's in the drivers seat in the Coastal. If Miami wins, the division is suddenly as muddied as the Atlantic.

I think this game will tell us a lot about both teams. Miami has won three in a row, but the win over Wake doesn't look as impressive as it would have a week or so ago. The Hoos have won four in a row since losing to Duke by four touchdowns, including impressive wins against UNC and GT.

Clemson (1-3) at BC (2-2)

I actually think Clemson has a shot in this one. Bad Chris Crane reared his ugly head again the Tigers had an off week to let things calm down. You knew they wouldn't beat Georgia Tech after all the turmoil. And I think Dabo adding the Tiger Walk and emphasis on togetherness did more harm than good. He should have just let the kids play the first game and then started getting things together off the field.

Clemson needs a win to have a shot at going to a bowl. The Tigers have to go 4-1 in their last five games to do so. BC needs a win to have a shot at Tampa.

Duke (1-2) at Wake Forest (2-2)

It's a similar situation to the game above. The Devils need to win if they want to go to a bowl. Wake needs a win if it wants to keep its Tampa dreams alive.

BC and Wake can't win the Atlantic this weekend, but the two teams sure as hell can lose them.

Florida State (3-1) at Georgia Tech (3-2)

The Noles are suddenly looking like the best team in the conference. Which of course means they will lose this weekend in Atlanta. Florida State needs a win to stay in control of its own destiny while Georgia Tech needs a win to stay in the Coastal race.

The Yellow Jackets are still struggling with turnovers. They looked a lot better with Jaybo Shaw at QB and maybe they should try getting him back in there. They were a lot more efficient with him. Meanwhile, the Seminoles offense is starting to look pretty potent.

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 6

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week 9 ACC Power Poll

A promise is a promise.

Week 9
1. Florida State
2. Virginia
3. North Carolina
4. Maryland
5. Boston College
6. Georgia Tech
7. Miami
8. Duke
9. Wake Forest
10. Clemson
11. NC State
12. Virginia Tech


- Tech now has no where to go but up. The bye week couldn't have come at a better time.

- NC State is so close. I'm really rooting for the Pack at this point.

- BC stays ahead of Georgia Tech because its loss came on the road.

- I'd like to see Miami play at least one game that isn't in a monsoon so I can get a good read on them.

- Duke won on the road in the SEC, so it gets moved up. Great job, Devils.

Week 10 in the ACC
Nov. 1
Miami at Virginia, Noon on Raycom
Clemson at BC, Noon 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
Duke at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m. on ESPN360
Florida State at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. on ABC/ESPN

About that punt

A 15-hour drive home gives you a lot of time to stew, lament and ponder the previous day's game. Especially when it's a loss. I'm over the loss already, which either means I'm maturing or I have tempered my expectations for this team severely.

Anyway, we decided to punt with under two minutes left and down by 10. Beamer told the media after the game the goal was to force a fumble on the ensuing punt return.

What this tells me is Beamer had absolutely no confidence in the offense's ability to compete a long pass on 4th and 10.

I thought the offense was doing fine with Cory Holt under center in the fourth quarter. There were three incomplete passes leading up to the fourth down play, but why not give them another shot. To me, there is a better chance of completing a pass than forcing a fumble on a punt return.

That and there was no chance Florida State was even going to try to field that punt. Why would it? The Noles were either going to call a fair catch or let Virginia Tech down it, which they did.

No letting the offense attempt a play on fourth down sends the wrong message. But to think FSU was even going to let you have the chance to force a fumble on a punt is just ridiculous.

Sure, we probably don't win even if we convert on 4th and 10, but at least give the guys a chance.

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 5

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Today's VTOWOD was submitted by reader Jared. Thanks, Jared.

Monday Masochism: 2003 Insight Bowl

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some quick FSU thoughts

FSU 30, Tech 20

- Who would have thought Cory Holt is our best quarterback?

- Glennon did fine when he wasn't taking a ridiculous amount of sacks. Get rid of the ball, Glennon.

- We still control our own destiny in the Coastal.

- If we don't rough the punter, do we win that game?

- We still control our own destiny int he Coastal.

- I was pleased with how we were able to get pressure on Ponder.

- I was also please that Stiney threw some wrinkles into the offense, like using misdirection to take advantage of FSU's speed and over-pursuit as well as running the option.

- We still control our own destiny in the Coastal.

- We will either rally behind Cory Holt (I'm preparing for him to be the guy against at least Maryland) or things will fall apart like Pre-ACC Virginia Tech.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

FSU Game Post

I think I see myself in the second vid. That's about where I was sitting. Leave your thoughts on the game in the comments. Go Hokies!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Send your Goin' Clubbing story suggestions

One of the regular features of this site, and my favorite, is Goin' Clubbing, which highlights the club sports at Virginia Tech. It's profiled a lot of regular students at Virginia Tech who work hard and spend a lot of time and energy representing Virginia Tech without being on scholarship. Click here to read them.

However, there hasn't been a Goin' Clubbing feature in a while (July 16 to be exact). A lot of that has to do with the fact it's football season and I've been obsessing with that. Some of it is because other stories I've pursued fell through. If you're a club sport athlete at Tech or know of a good club sports story, please E-mail me. I'd like to get more club sports featured on the blog.


VT Offense Word of the Day No. 4

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's not just about firing Stiney

Firing Stiney

I announced earlier this week that I had finally succumbed and was on the "Fire Bryan Stinespring" bandwagon. I still am. Stiney has no business calling our plays and directing our offense.

Stinespring is a fantastic recruiter and by all accounts a great man. But his ability to lead the offense is lacking. Yes, it's the right offense. It's the one that helps our defense win. I get it. But the man in charge of that offense is no longer getting the job done.

Yeah, this team is young and is making a lot of youthful mistakes. Yes, the offensive line is a work in progress ... again. But at some point there has to be accountability for the guy who comes up with and implements the game plan and calls the actual plays.

Bryan Stinespring is no longer the guy that should be doing that and he should be fired from calling the plays. But there's a little more to it than that.

Things that won't work

In a perfect world, I'd like to see Stiney simply get demoted. However, that probably isn't the way it's going to happen. There would bound to be problems between he and the new offensive coordinator and it would just be awkward to have the guy around after he had been stripped of play-calling duties. It's one thing for the head coach to take over calling the plays. It's another for a new OC to be brought in when the old guy is still around.

In order to adequately replace Stiney, you would also have to replace his ability to recruit. You also have to bring in someone whose offensive philosophy fits that of the head coach and the program. You can't just simply pick the first hot offensive coordinator with a big offense and stick him in at Virginia Tech. You can't just go and get a guy from Houston or Nevada and bring him to Blacksburg and expect things to instantly work.

No, you have to get a guy who wouldn't completely overhaul Virginia Tech's offense and bring in some new philosophy. Ask Auburn and Tennessee how that's working out. But if you can get someone with a history of being in a run-first offense, who understands how to coach kids to make them better, knows how to game plan and knows how to adjust at halftime when things don't go their way, then you'll have a successful OC replacement for Stinespring.

Actual possible replacements

There are a couple of names I like. The first was mentioned earlier this week on the TSL Boards: Josh Heupel. Heupel is a coaches son who has been under one of the better offensive coordinators I've seen in a while, Kevin Wilson. And despite what OU's offense is this season, the Sooners were a run-first program when Wilson first started calling plays.

Also, Wilson came from Northwestern, where he helped Damien Anderson run wild.

The other name I like is also here in the Sooner State: Trooper Taylor. Taylor coached under David Cutcliffe at Tennessee, where the Vols were a run-first team. Cut was one of the primary reasons Fulmer has had as many good years as he's had at Tennessee and they made a mistake in not making Taylor the OC.

Eventually, Trooper Taylor is going to get the keys to his own offense and that team is going to seriously fly.

Back to Reality

Of course, odds are nothing will be done after this season, Stinespring will be able to keep his job citing the youth of this year's team and we'll suck again in '09. Meanwhile, UVa will fire Mike Groh, hire Taylor and win the ACC. So at least we have that to look forward to. That will be fun.

/uncontrollable sobbing

What to Watch vs. FSU

Most of the stats below are from


- It doesn't look good. It's been highly publicized that the Hokies are No. 110 in the country in total offense, No. 11 in the ACC ahead of NC State. They will face a Seminole defense that is loaded with talent, experience and, of course, speed.

- At some point, the Hokies are going to have to move the ball through the air. FSU already plays a lot of man in its secondary, and they probably won't have to do much else against Virginia Tech. The Seminole secondary has more speed than the Hokies do at wide receiver, this presents a lot of matchup problems for the Hokies because it allows FSU to load to box against Virginia Tech's rushing attack.

- The Hokies have the least amount of passing yards in the conference, even fewer than Georgia Tech, which runs an option attack. That's just embarrassing.

- The passing has to improve against FSU because it can't get much worse. The media has harped on Tyrod's ability to throw against man defenses. But I don't think it's going to matter much against FSU. The receivers can't get open and when they do, they are either overthrown or drop the ball.

- The Hokies need to focus on working the middle of the field against FSU by getting the ball to the tight ends and running backs. Greg Boone disappeared against BC. He and the rest of the tight ends need to reemerge this week for Tech to have a chance.

- FSU's defense is fast enough to keep up with Tyrod, so I think the running backs need to have a good game against Florida State. They didn't have much success against the Noles last year as Branden Ore averaged 2.5 YPC and Kenny Lewis 3.4. Somehow, the interior lineman need to find a way to win the battle against Budd Thacker and Co.

- Virginia Tech's rushing attack will be the best FSU has seen so far, but there is no overlooking how good the Noles have been against the run this year. They're giving up 79.5 YPG, best in the ACC.

- The problem is the Hokies never do anything unexpected. Our M.O. is well-documented and when that fails, that's pretty much the ballgame. The current offensive staff has shown no imagination when it comes to designing a game plan with built-in countermeasures for when the power run game fails. I realize the goal is to wear down the opposition and then dominate them on the ground in the fourth quarter. But some teams don't wear down. BC didn't and I doubt FSU will, especially at home.

- The Hokies face the No. 2 red zone defense in the country one week after facing the No. 1 red zone defense. FSU has allowed opponents into the red zone 18 times and have allowed opponents to score 11 times (61.1 percent). In fact, the Noles are even better at forcing red zone field goals than BC. Only five touchdowns have been scored on FSU in the 18 times the opponent has been in the red zone (27.8 percent). That's not good news for the Hokies, who are No. 11 in the ACC in red zone touchdown percentage at 44.8 percent (13 of 29). Last week against BC, the Hokies had only one trip into the red zone, which resulted in a field goal.


- The Hokies are +12 in the turnover department, best in the ACC. They are tied for the second-most forced turnovers in the conference with GT with 19, one behind WF. The Noles, meanwhile are -5 in turnovers, No. 11 in the ACC ahead of Clemson. The Noles have coughed the ball up 14 times, No. 8 in the ACC. The cause of the turnovers is fairly even for both teams. The Hokies have 10 fumble recoveries and nine picks. The Noles have lost six fumbles and had eight passes intercepted.

- Tech will need turnovers Saturday just like they had against BC. They need to keep the field short for the offense and have turnovers lead to points.

- Missed assignments, blown coverages and cornerbacks getting beat have all been an epidemic for the Hokies. BC had marginal success taking advantage of mistakes in the secondary last week, but couldn't break a big touchdown because its receivers didn't have the speed. FSU's receivers do have the speed. If they get behind the Tech secondary, it's six.

- FSU quarterback Christian Ponder is not the same QB the Hokies saw last year. He's matured, made the quarterback job his and led a Seminole comeback last week on the road. The Hokies can't afford to sit back and wait for mistakes from Ponder. They will have to put pressure on him.

- However, like Chris Crane, Ponder is just mobile enough to turn potential big losses into no gain or even pick up a couple yards.

- The Seminole ground game is better than it was last year and features Antone Smith, a home run-hitter on the ground for the Noles. He's broken a couple big touchdowns so far this year and is tough to bring down. It's one of the reasons he's the ACC's leading scorer with 66 points.

- Smith averages 4.8 yards per carry, 3.7 in three conference games. He, along with the entire FSU team, struggled against Wake Forest. However, the Seminoles have improved vastly in their last three games against Colorado, Miami and NC State. All three of those games were away from Doak Campbell Stadium.


- For the first time ever, I am going to a Virginia Tech game fully expecting the Hokies to lose. Assuming I make it to the Florida Panhandle, it will be the 24th Hokie game I've seen in my life and for the first time, I'm making the trip with no hope. We're going to lose. Usually I'm delusional: I thought we would win the 2000 Sugar Bowl, I thought we would win the 2005 Sugar Bowl, I even swore we would upset LSU last year. But I can't see a way the Hokies escape Tallahassee with a win. Both teams are young and will make mistakes. However, FSU has a lot more talent on both sides of the ball than the Hokies. I know they haven't played very good teams. I know how bad they looked against Wake. But they've gotten a lot better, especially Ponder.

Check the Box Score for:
1. VT passing yards.
2. FSU rushing yards.
3. Turnovers.
4. FSU special teams YPR.

VT Players to Watch:
5 - Tyrod Taylor, So., QB
88 - Andre Smith, So., TE
45 - Purnell Sturdivant, SR., LB
1 - Macho Harris, Sr., CB

FSU Players to Watch:
7 - Christian Ponder, So., QB
5 - Preston Parker, Jr., WR
72 - Budd Thacker, Jr., DT
3 - Myron Rolle, Jr., ROV

Score: Florida State 31, Virginia Tech 10

ACC Roundtable No. 2

Tar Heel Mania (I'm an idiot and said Tar Heel Fan earlier. Sorry.) is hosting this week's ACC Roundtable. Be sure to visit their site to get all the links to each blog's response.

1. Okay, first things first: could someone please explain what the hell just happened this past Saturday?

The best teams are the ones that can win on the road. Of the teams with legitimate shots at winning the league, only FSU and GT were able to get it done. Going on the road is still a tall order in college football, especially a league like the ACC that doesn’t have one dominant team this year. Boston College and Maryland are two solid teams that despite not having the toughest of environments to go into were able to get big home wins.

2. Good Maryland, Bad Maryland, we’ve seen a fair share of both in 2008. Good Maryland may be the best team in the ACC, while Bad Maryland could probably lose by 20 to anyone left on their schedule. Which Maryland do we see for the rest of the season and where do you expect the Terps to finish?

I think you’ll continue to see them be completely different teams at home vs. on the road. I think they’ll go 3-2 the rest of the way and finish 5-3 in the league. Depending on when the wins or losses come, they’ll either just miss out on the ACCCG by losing to BC in the last game of the year or they’ll play spoiler and beat BC to keep the Eagles out of Tampa.

The key for the Terps this year has been their rush defense. If you can run on Maryland, you can beat them handily. But if they stop you from running the ball, things aren’t going to go well for you. The best explanation I can come up with for the last two games is they went on the road and faced an improving Virginia team and then came back home and faced a regressing Wake team.

3. Injuries are a part of college football, but they seem to have ravaged ACC offenses this year. Wake Forest has been without Sam Swank, Clemson is without C.J. Spiller, UNC is without T.J. Yates and Brandon Tate, Virginia Tech is without Kenny Lewis Jr., and NC State is without just about everybody. Which team misses their fallen star(s) most and why?

It has to be Yates at UNC. If he stays in the game, the Heels arguably beat Virginia Tech and suddenly are in the drivers seat in the Coastal. Sexton has played well in his absence, but losing the quarterback like that really sets a team back.

4. Last one: the pretty much unanimous division champs were Virginia Tech and Wake Forest last week. Given all the craziness that just happened, give us your updated ACC Championship scenario.

Until the Hokies lose their third conference game, I’m staying with them as the Coastal winner. Of course, that third loss could come as early as Nov. 6 against Maryland. If they do lose three, it’ll be Georgia Tech representing the Coastal in Tampa.

The fustercluck that is the Atlantic could go to anybody. But at this point I’ll say BC wins it. They’re playing the best and have the best defense of anyone in that division. However, their stretch run is pretty tough, including road games against UNC, FSU and Wake.

I think they’re going to have to beat FSU and Wake to win it. Losing to a Coastal team doesn’t hurt them, but when you get beat by a team in your own division you no longer control your own destiny and have to start rooting against other teams. This week doesn’t affect BC too much, in my opinion. Until they lose to an Atlantic team, they’re the team to beat in that division.

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 3

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Q&A with Tomahawk Nation

FSUncensored blogs over at Tomahawk Nation. They were kind enough to give us some insight into this year's edition of the Florida State Seminoles in preparation for Saturday's game.

Click here for my answers to their questions. The commenters over at Tomahawk Nation came up with some tough ones.

Q: How has Christian Ponder grown as a quarterback since the last time he faced Virginia Tech?

Quite a bit, actually. Ponder put on about 15 lbs in this 12 months. He posted phenomenal numbers in the offseason program, including the best pro shuttle time on the entire team. Ponder has grown primarily because he's had actual game experience. He's learning to trust his pre-snap reads, and that's a big part of Jimbo's offense. His protection has been below average at best, so it takes quite the leap of faith to step up and launch when he doesn't know if blitzers will be picked up. I think he's turning the corner and really beginning to master this offense.

Q: In their last two games, the Seminoles have had good halves (first half vs. Miami and second half vs. NC State). How close is Florida State to putting together a full game against an ACC foe?

I'm not so sure they're able to at this point. The young offensive line (Starters, From Left Tackle to Right Tackle: TRUE FR, TRUE SO, RS SO, TRUE FR, TRUE FR) is obviously something that is still a work in progress, and something that must continue to be ahead of schedule, development wise, if the Noles expect to be an elite team this year. Still, the Noles do have a very good defense, a good quarterback, and excellent skill guys. They're not going to win 50-0, but at this point, a 27-6 type game would probably qualify as a "complete game", and I don't think that's out of the question.

Q: A lot was made in the preseason, particularly by one Internet scribe, about how bad the Florida State offensive line was. Are you satisfied with the way they've played so far? In what ways can they still improve?

Haha, Ms. Dinich certainly made a lot of noise with her prediction (dead last). She was right to assume that it would be the worst. As I noted above, we do start the youngest offensive line in the nation. I am very happy with their play so far, given their youth and inexperience. Shocked? Yes. Elated? You bet. You have to put the things they can improve on into 2 categories: now, and later. The later is experience, and improved strength through the offseason program. They are just not physically mature enough at this point to be considered anything above average. The now, however, can be perfecting their technique, maintaining mental focus, and playing within themselves. Hopefully by doing that, their pass protection can catch up to the level of their run game, and screen game (excellent downfield blockers).

Q: How will the losses of Dekota Watson, Will Furlong and Bert Reed affect the Noles this weekend?

I'm sure everyone expects me to say this, but, not a whole lot. Watson is a ridiculous freak of an athlete who can't stay healthy. When he's on the field, he's like Auburn's Trey Blackmon. A 4.5 40 with the best vertical on the team, at 230lbs. Still though, we won't miss him much, as he's only played 2 games this year. Our deepest positions, by far, are LB and...

Receiver, which brings us to Bert Reed. He shares time with Preston Parker and Taiwan Easterling, so he won't be missed much, as their abilities are very similar to his.

Lastly, Furlong. His loss hurts in terms of depth, for sure. We're replacing the RS FR with a True FR, David Spurlock. The thing here is that many of us were very unsatisfied with his play so far, and Spurlock did an acceptable job when he went in for him. Spurlock will miss more assignments as he is more green, but he's the better talent and will consistently move the pile more often than Spurlock did.

Q: Last year Tyrod Taylor had a career game against the Noles. What kind of defense can we expect from the Noles in order to contain Tyrod?

It's tough to judge how much we really prepped for Tyrod last year. I expect to see a lot of blitzing. We don't respect VT's pass catchers, and I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. Our corners can cover, as can out safeties, and we will force Taylor to make fast reads and accurate throws, often using directional blitzing to make him commit to a side, while rolling coverage. Expect a lot of man coverage, an FSU trademark.

Q: Finally, why can't Florida State sell out its home games this year?

We've been burned too many times. Everyone heard all about the Wake game, and we laid an egg. I think people want to see us win a game against a ranked team at home, seeing as it hasn't happened since 2006, before coming back. Still though, it's pretty pathetic on their part.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ACC Best of the Blogs: Week 8


BC Interruption: Eagles Hang On; Beat Hokies 28-23
"Jeff: The game should've been sold out before it was determined that the Red Sox would be playing but that certainly might have had a lot to do with the atmosphere. But anyway, Saturday was Frank Beamer's birthday and Chris Crane decided to give him a present in the form of 14 points. Jeff Smith also threw in 3 points on a fumble on the next drive's kickoff return, but fortunately, the Eagles were not successful in beating themselves. What'd you like about what you saw?"

Eagle in Atlanta: Raycom, ESPN U, and ESPN: what's the story?
"As part of the ACC's deal with ESPN, ABC/ESPN get the first two selections of any ACC home games. One is for ESPN. One is for the 3:30 regional game on ABC. Raycom gets the third choice. After they select, the rights revert back to ESPN. They can put it on ESPN U, Classic, 360, whatever. Road games are subject to the home team's TV deal. For example, all Notre Dame home games are on NBC. The SEC has a deal similar to the ACC where CBS, ESPN and Raycom are all involved. The MAC has a deal with ESPN, so the Kent State game was their property."


Block-C: Georgia Tech Wrap-up and News
"I’m tired of people saying we should have fired Vic Koenning as well. True, we blew a few crucial third downs that ultimately decided the game but his squad is only getting better. He’s a great defensive mind and as the old saying goes, it’s tough to do anything well on defense when they spend the entire game on the field. This being said, our defense has played great the past two weeks. I know he ran Wyoming into the ground worse than they could have been, but he’s kinda earned his keep around here as a coordinator in my opinion."

Sporting Gnomes: The Weather is Here, Not Seeing TB is Beautiful
"TB, enjoy yourself wasting away in Margaritaville, er Panama City, or a Beach House on the Moon, I don’t care where. I just hope you stay Incommunicado (that still goes for Cullen’s mouth as well). You went to your Bank of Bad Habits one to many times. Fins were to the left, fins were to the right, and you and Spence were the targets in town." (As a lover of all things Buffett, I couldn't resist.)


Dudespin: Homecoming weekend welcomes back old Duke
"And while I don't think a poorly timed song can impact a football game, as things began to turn for the worse, Duke debuted the new football theme song, as voted on by the students: Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." But Duke did let me down, it did run around and desert me, it did make me cry, and while I'll never say goodbye, it did hurt me. And Duke, we have known each other so long, but it's not your heart that's been aching, it's mine, and I'm not too shy to say it. But one thing Rick Astley and I agree on, Duke Football, is I'm Never Gonna Give You Up!"


Chant Rant: How ugly was Thursday night's win?
"Antone's encore. In a TD romp similar to his instant classic at Miami, Smith made like a pinball, bouncing off defenders, breaking tackles and refusing to be denied."

Scalp 'Em: Vociferously Random and Vacuously Meaningless Thoughts
"7. And speaking of a lifetime on the hips, why is it that every time I see Ralph Friedgen and Mike Mangino the words “now there’s a guy who was played wide receiver in college” not come to mind?"

Tomahawk Nation: The Kool-Aid Debate: Do you drink?
"We're averaging 413 yards and over 35 points in our last 3 games, all away from Doak Campbell. We're #1 in Total offense and scoring offense in the ACC! As a unit, the offensive line has far exceeded expectations. Hudson has played out of his mind, while most other members of the line have faired well in run blocking. The Noles run game has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few seasons. I believe this is a combination of better offensive line coaching, a mobile quarterback, improved blocking by the wide receivers, and having Antone in good health."


GT Sports: Sting Stats -- GT passing game....
"VT throws the next fewest passes behind GT, 19.0 times per game. That's a big margin between the lowest and second lowest in the BCS leagues. However GT is clearly a better passing team than VT, since they throw 60% more often but we have more yards per game and more TD's."

The Legacy x4: A History Lesson in Tradition: The T-Book
"After researching the history and the legacy that the T-book created and left behind the Ramblin' Reck Club has brought the T-book back. Georgia Tech has been without the T-book for nearly 40 years and it is time to end the drought. Today, the T-book talks about the history of Georgia Tech and the traditions that make the Institute so unique. Personal letters to the owners are written by Football Coach Paul Johnson, Men's Basketball Coach Paul Hewitt, Athletic Director Dan Radakovich, Interim President Gary Schuster, and SGA President Nick Wellkamp."


Turtle Soup: Five Football Games Left
"There can be no more letdowns. The Terps have homecoming this coming week against NC State. The Wolfpack have played horribly (except for the win East Carolina). Maryland should kill them and get to 6-2. Note, the most important word in the previous sentence is “should”. With this team, are you willing to say that they will win for sure?"

Turtle Waxing: Maryland blanks Deacons
"I don't mean to be a rain cloud but with this group I'm not sure this win is a spring board to anything because they have been unable to capitalize on their momentum all season. The three "ranked" teams Maryland has defeated this year: Clemson, California and Wake Forest will probably all be unranked after the new polls are released. This team will face a much more difficult road coming up with games against Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Florida State and Boston College. I could see Maryland going winless against that group but truly can't see them going undefeated. There are still too many holes on defense and the running game, while better at least for one game, is not able to carry the load. It will have to get much better because four of the remaining five opponents are in the top half of the ACC against the run and all are among the top 50 in the nation."


All Canes: Miami 49, Duke 31
"Bigger than the win, the post-game story revolved around quarterback play. Robert Marve again got the start, but it was Jacory Harris who would 'finish'. Marve went 4-of-17 for 64 yards with 1 touchdown and an interception with his pick coming early in the second quarter during a 7-7 tie."

Hall of Canes: Great freshmen ... Veterans not so much
"WR Travis Benjamin, a freshman who had 170 yards in total offense and scored 1 TD. Benjamin averaged 15 yards on punt returns. He is the small, quick, electric playmaker who serves as the perfect complement to the powerful Johnson."


Carolina March: Opportunity lost
"Here's a heartening thought, though. There's a good chance four of this weeks' ACC winners turn around and lose next week, and four of the losers come up on top. (Someone will win between Georgia Tech and Virginia, but look at that schedule and tell me everybody else won't end up on the wrong end of fortune come Saturday.)"

Tar Heel Fan: Can UNC Still Win the Coastal?
"Okay, make no mistake, losing to Virginia did serious damage to UNC’s hope of making it to Tampa. In many ways that was sort of a pipe dream anyway but having UVa on the ropes then allowing them up to hang a 2nd division loss on the Heels set up some bad mojo for trying to win the Coastal. Here is the breakdown:"

Tar Heel Mania: OMG We’re 5-2 the Season Is Ruined AHHHHHH
"But what’s so frustrating about this game is also one of the biggest positives that fans should take away from it: the Heels played, to put it kindly, average football yet were still in control of this game for 58 minutes. We now have a true running game with the combination of Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston. The goal for the defense coming into this game was to contain the running game, and they did just that. And on Saturday we were able to maintain control for most of the game, even though we never led by more that 7 points."


Section Six: FSU 26, NC State 17
"O'Brien's decision to go for a fourth-and-long at our own 30 late in the game was the right one under the circumstances; better to keep it in our hands rather than punt and hope that a tired defense can get its first three-and-out since the first quarter."

StateFans Nation: Scattered Post-Game Thoughts
"Still, this one hurts, especially knowing that Chuck the Clown got to laugh at us again. Based on his reality-free media blitz last week, it’s clear that he’s not only a delusional narcissist (knew that already), but also a pathological liar. I had a work thing last night and couldn’t attend live, but every time I saw his face on TV, I wanted to punch him in the nose."

Yet Another...: Nate "Full of Hate" Irving out for the Maryland Game
"It's unfortunate because we're coming up in Maryland's "lay an egg" portion of the schedule; we're not ranked and they should be huge favorites, giving us a good shot to win. And I only say that half-jokingly. Having Nate in the lineup would've made an upset in College Park even more likely."


The Good Ol' Blog: Georgia Tech week: A tough one
"For starters, the Maryland-ECU-Carolina triumvirate were all suffering from injuries or perhaps a suspension (well, in Maryland’s case, the only injury was the team’s missing heart and spine). Georgia Tech has had some dings also, which I’ll talk about later in the week, but this team is overall weathering its storms well. As in, the Wreck hasn’t lost any of its games yet due to attrition. Next man up, indeed."

From Old Virginia: We're going streaking
"Once again, proven wrong in the sort of way that I like. I said we'd need a running game in order to take down UNC and that UNC had proven they can beat a team without one. Now they've proven that they don't always. I'll further call myself out and retract the claim that a win here would make me feel confident about winning the rest of the games on the schedule. After the semi-explosion against Maryland, the running game has regressed back to where we started: 58 yards is not going to get it done consistently."


College Game Balls: ACC is BCS minus the C
"The establishment here definitely does not agree with this particular assessment of the ACC. The conference may not have a national title contender this year, but it is the most competitive from top to bottom and is 10-8 versus the other BCS conferences. That 10-8 mark is the best among the other BCS schools and the 18 out of conference games are the most by any BCS conference. Translation, they play out of conference often and prove their worth. A better song would have been “Da Big East Iza Wanksta”"

Fire Bryan Stinespring: Hokies Ranked #110 in Total Offense? WTF?!?!?
"The Hokie Guru is trying to find some positives on our offense because he is a "glass is half full" type of guy. That's just the way the Hokie Guru is. We can't go through life massively negative all the time, right? Tyrod Taylor is the lone bright spot on this team; he rushed for 110 yards against Boston College last night. Dustin Keys also had three field goals last night and might well be the offensive player of the year on this team."

Tech Sideline: Three Former Hokies Say Thanks
"Here’s an interesting item that made its way into our Inbox. It’s a letter from three former Hokies (Xavier Adibi, Duane Brown and Brandon Flowers) that simply says thanks to the VT community. It’s in PDF format and is about 3 MB in size, so it will take a while to load, but check it out."

Virginia Tech Fan: Immediate Impressions: Boston College Game
"Last nights Boston College game held true to Virginia Tech’s 2008 football season form in that it was another close game between even teams that could have easily turned on the result of any one of a number of plays. It was just another nail-bitter in a season that’s been full of them, but unfortunately the Hokies were on the wrong end of this one. You could simplify this game down to the fact that some basic things that have gone Virginia Tech’s way for many of close wins this year, like penalties, clutch field goals, Tyrod’s protection of the football, etc, finally didn’t. But the reality is that this game was just weird."

Wild Turkey CFR: We're #110
"Every Hokie offensive player was outscored by Dustin Keys, Brett Warren, Macho Harris, the BC punt returner, the Red Sox, the Rays, the Devil Rays, and the New Jersey Devils. The botched short yardage plays are particularly frustrating. The Hokies failed twice on 3rd and 1 and again on 4th and 1 on plays that take entirely too long to develop. Why are we running to the edge with Darren Evans, a downhill runner? Stiney tends to outsmart himself. "Hmm, they will be expecting me to call the play that works... so let's run this other play!" I long for the days when we had an average offense."


Old Gold and Blog: That still happened
"There aren't any excuses left. There aren't any rose colored glasses. There aren't any silver linings, either. The Deacs were dominated by Maryland in every aspect of the game, with no one to blame but themselves. Okay, sure, had Swank been available to play Wake scores at least 6 points in the first half and maybe things play out differently, but I don't think anyone can honestly say that Sam Swank would have been enough to turn this one around."

Let's Do Some Lines: Week 9

Ah, this is more like it. Last week, most of the road teams win inexplicably favored in the ACC games. This week, every road team is at least a three-point dog. All lines are from Bodog.

Wake Forest +3 at Miami
- Miami can score a lot of points. Wake will triple its ACC touchdown total, but still come out on the losing end.
Boston College +3 at North Carolina
- UNC seems to think the sky is falling after losing to UVa. This week it gets back on track thanks to its D.
Duke +10.5 at Vanderbilt
- This would be a big win for the Devils.
NC State +11 at Maryland
- Both teams have been really good ATS. Something's gotta give. Maryland plays well at home and should cover. Last year's contest is famous for Ron Cherry's "Giving Him the Business" tribute.
Virginia +11.5 at Georgia Tech
- The Hoos are atrocious on the road. They won't win, but they'll cover.
Virginia Tech +5 at Florida State
- The spread could be 10 and I'd still take F$U.

Other Teams I Like This Week

Air Force -5.5 vs. New Mexico
- You'll also want to bet the over.
Purdue -1 vs. Minnesota
- Everything about this matchup says the Gophs should be favored. The fact they aren't means Vegas knows something I don't.
Kansas State +19.5 vs. Oklahoma
- K-State won't get blown out at home. Not with OU's pass defense.
Connecticut +1.5 vs. Cincinnati
- UConn has never beaten Cincy, but for the first time the best player on the field will be on its sideline.
Texas Tech +1.5 at Kansas
- Again, you'll probably also want to bet the over.

How I did last week against the spread:

ACC: 3-3
Correct: NC State, GT, Miami
Wrong: Wake, UNC, VT
Nation: 2-3
Correct: Tulsa, Northwestern
Wrong: AFA, BYU, Georgia

Year to Date:

ACC: 24-21-1
Nation: 21-17
Total: 45-38-1

VT Offense Word of the Day No. 2

Today's word to describe Virginia Tech's offense is:


Try using it in a sentence!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Road Trip No. 4: VT at BC

Gobbler Country Road Trip No. 4
Football: BYU at TCU
Amon Carter Stadium
Fort Worth, Texas

Hockey: Bowling Green at Boston College
Conte Forum
Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Football: Virginia Tech at Boston College
Alumni Stadium
Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Miles Round Trip: 3,800 (400 drive, 3,400 flight)
Total Dollars Spent: $530 ($340 flight, $50 gas, $50 food and drink, $90 tickets)

I apologize there aren't a lot of photos from this trip. I forgot the camera for the hockey game I was in no mood to be snapping photos at the football game.

First up was a Thursday night football game between TCU and BYU. I was impressed with how full Amon Carter Stadium was for a Thursday night game. The east stands were packed and included a lot of BYU fans. I'd say the crowd was at least 35 percent pro-mormon for the game.

At first we sat high up in the upper deck before moving down the TCU student section for the fourth quarter. The students were rowdy, but overall the crowd wasn't too into the game. It would be the same two nights later in Alumni Stadium.

The hockey game was fun. My first college hockey game had been the BC-Notre Dame national title game back in April. There were a lot of students on hand, but not many others, probably since the Eagles were playing Bowling Green. The band really added to the atmosphere and unlike the game in Denver, they weren't stuck in the upper deck.

Saturday in Boston was fun. I got to go out and see Chestnut Hill and surrounding neighborhoods before heading to the tailgate. Brian from BC Interruption and company put on a pretty good tailgate for a bunch of yankees. Plenty of food, booze and cornhole.

(Don't know what cornhole is? Click here.)

Brian was the only member of BC Interruption in attendance Saturday because apparently Jeff couldn't get a hall pass because he's a domesticated pussy (I keed, I keed). Brian and I partnered up for cornhole, but were defeated by Brian's fiancee and one of his friends. It was a truly embarrassing moment for the entire blogosphere. Hopefully we can get a rematch next year in Blacksburg. Of course, next year we'll play on the Hokie boards.

Speaking of embarrassing moments: The game.

The Hokies came out on fire and got 10 quick points thanks to turnovers. It turned out the Hokies' best offense was on the field at the same time as Chris Crane. No offensive touchdowns.

The two biggest drives of the game came after Tech's field goal to make it 10-0 and after the second Pick 6. Crane led the Eagles right down the field and answered to make it 10-7 BC and 28-18 BC, respectively. Those two drives really to the wind out of the Hokies' sails.

As for the atmosphere inside the stadium, there really wasn't any. The SuperFans did their job, as they always do. They have more fun than any student section I've ever been around. The rest of the stadium was a tomb. That is, except for the piped in noise that was constant, even during play.

I'm pretty sure what BC does is against ACC rules. The band and student section noise is played over the speakers, even when play is going on. It was despicable. They also turned their big screens, which are between the goal posts, into strobe lights whenever Keys lined up for a field goal. That's just gamesmanship and plenty or places do that. But the amplified noise can't be legal.

Also, the students rushed the field after the game. What a joke. They just beat a team that had already lost a game and was in the Top 20, not the Top 10. And, it was the same team they had beaten the previous two years as well. Nice job, BC students.

Amon Carter Stadium

The Frog

Late in the game

Celebrating with the Frogs. The TCU Gestapo wouldn't let the fans storm the field, which they should have been allowed to do.

Is "ass-kicking" hyphenated?

BC hockey at Conte Forum

Hokies take the field vs. BC