Friday, December 02, 2005

ACC Championsihp Q&A

Fellow Blogger Matt Hofeld, creator of My Opinion On Sports, recently came up with a great concept this week in questioning several other Blog writers about their respective college teams as they approach bowl week. To take a look at the actual page, take this link, but in the mean time here's our little Q&A.

My Opinion On Sports: What gives you the most confidence about your team going into the championship game?

Turkey Talk: The aspect that gives me the most confidence about this Virginia Tech football team is simply the fact that they are strong in the areas that are accredited to football teams that win -- the running game and defense. Running backs Cedric Humes, Branden Ore, and when healthy Mike Imoh have been fabulous for the program this year, and in doing so they have really taken the pressure of rookie quarterback Marcus Vick. Also adding to relieving the pressure off #5 has been the superb play of the defense, whom we all know is excellent year-in and year-out. Bud Foster has really done a marvelous job with this defensive unit and it's good to know that going into every game that you have quite arguably the best defense in the nation. If both of these aspects of Beamer's squad start clicking during this weekend's match up, I have no doubt that the Hokies will come out on top.

MOOS: What concerns you the most about your team?

TT: The thing that concerns me most would undoubtedly be the passing game. VT's receivers have had good games here and there, but as we all saw in the Miami game, they were unable to create anything offensively against the nation's best defense in a situation where the stakes were high. With receiver Eddie Royal battling injury from week to week and Jeff King receiving much more attention in coverage, Virginia Tech now goes into some games without a legit receiving threat, making them one dimensional. If Virginia Tech were to recruit a big time receiver (aka Calvin Johnson, Mike Haas), that would really open things up for Marcus Vick and the entire offense, and the Hokies would most likely be 10-0 right now.

MOOS: If you could take any player from the other team who would it be and why?

TT: See end of #2.

MYOS: Who is a player on your team that gets over-looked?

TT: I would have to say the person who is most overlooked on the roster would be our fullback, #37 Jessie Allen. The senior out of Massachusetts has been a solid helper in the running game, with a majority of his blocks prompting tailbacks like Humes, Ore, and Imoh to break free for those crucial runs. It's not a far statement by any stretch of the imagination to say Allen has been pivotal in helping Virginia Tech in averaging an ACC-leading 225 rushing yards per game. Along having good blocking ability, #37 can come out of the backfield for the occasional catch, and overall is just a workhorse when it comes to strength training as well. All in all a humble guy that doesn't look for any credit, and is overlooked in my opinion.

MOOS: Why is your team going to win the conference championship?

TT: Virginia Tech is going to win the ACC Championship because of the two aspects of their team which I stated in the beginning. Virginia Tech's running game and defense is highly superior not only in production but yardage as well, and will come out on top over Florida State tomorrow night.

Though I was wrong in my prediction of VT beating Miami (chuckle), Ifeel the utmost confidence in the Hokies being crowned Conference Champion Saturday after the full 60 minutes. Expect Beamer and company to run the ball down FSU's throat, along with mixing in a few play actions and roll outs for #5. The combination of Humes/Ore should prove to be successful for the Hokies, and when it's all said and done I think that tandem will prove to be too much for Bobby Bowden and his Florida boys.

My prediction: Virginia Tech 28, Florida State 10. Go Hokies.

Hokie Honors

With the regular season having come to a conclusion, several awards were given this week honoring the best players in college football. On Tuesday, the All-ACC team was announced, with five Hokies being named. Earning the distinct honor were Hokie players Marcus Vick, Jason Murphy, William Montgomery, Darryl Tapp, and Jimmy Williams. With that being said, here's a look at the ACC's First Team.

All ACC First Team
OffenseDefense
QB - Marcus Vick, VIRGINIA TECHDL - Mathias Kiwanuka, B. College
RB - Chris Barclay, Wake ForestDL - Darryl Tapp, VIRGINIA TECH
RB - Tyrone Moss, MiamiDL - Mario Williams, N.C. State
WR - Calvin Johnson, Georgia TechDL - Manny Lawson, N.C. State
WR - Chansi Stcukey, ClemsonLB - D'Qwell Jackson, Maryland
TE - Vernon Davis, MarylandLB - Stephen Tulloch, N.C. State
OT - Eric Winston, MiamiLB - Kai Parham, Virginia
OG - Jason Murphy, VIRGINIA TECHDB - Jimmy Williams, VIRGINIA TECH
C - Will Montgomery, VIRGINIA TECHDB - Kelly Jennings, Miami
OG - Kyle Ralph, North CarolinaDB - Tye Hill, Clemson
OT - D'Brickshaw Ferguson, VirginiaDB - John Talley, Duke
Special Teams
P - Ryan Placemaker, Wake ForestK - Connor Hughes, Virginia
KR/PR - Devis Hester, Miami

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Virginia Tech - North Carolina Info

North Carolina Tarheels (5-5 Overall, 4-3 Conference)
@ #5 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-1 Overall, 6-1 Conference)

Time: Saturday, November 26 @ 7:45 PM
Venue: Blacksburg, VA (Lane Stadium)
Series: VT leads 13-9-6
Last Meeting: Nov. 6, 2004 - W, 27-24
Television Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: 100.7 FM and 980 AM

2005 Completed Games
Virginia Tech (9-1)North Carolina (5-3)
Sun, Sep 4 at North Carolina State W; 20-16 Sat, Sep 3 Bye
Sat, Sep 10 at Duke W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 10 at (17) Georgia Tech L; 27-21
Sat, Sep 17 Ohio W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 17 Wisconsin L; 14-5
Sat, Sep 24 (15) Georgia Tech W; 51-7 Sat, Sep 24 at N.C. State W; 31-24
Sat, Oct 1 at (20) West Virginia W; 34-17 Sat, Oct 1 Utah W; 31-17
Sat, Oct 8 Marshall W; 41-14 Sat, Oct 8 at (23) Louisville L; 69-14
Thu, Oct 20 at Maryland W; 28-9 Sat, Oct 15 Bye
Thu, Oct 27 (13) Boston College W; 30-10 Sat, Oct 22 (23) Virginia W; 7-5
Thu, Nov 3 (5) Miami L; 7-27 Sat, October 29 at (6) Miami L: 34-16
Sat, Nov 12 Bye Sat, Nov 12 Maryland L; 33-30
Sat, Nov 19 Virginia W; 52-14 Sat, Nov 19 Duke W; 24-21

Monday, November 21, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005

5 Questions with UVA blogger Ian Cohen

With the VT/UVA clash approaching tomorrow, pro-Cavalier blog Sexy Results author Ian Cohen and I decided to run through a few exchanges in words in looking at the highly anticipated game. Here are his words, and you can check out mine here.

TT: Virginia has been one extremely unpredictable team this year, showing glimpses of greatness in their win over then 4th ranked Florida State, and then flashes of mediocrity in their 5-7 loss to the unranked Tarheels. Of the the two totally different Virginia teams that showed up in these two games, explain which of these two Cavalier squads that showed up to play is an accurate representation of how good UVA really is.

SR: As time goes on, I think the UNC loss is mostly a result of poor playcalling and Hagans being unquestionably injured after the FSU game. If he was anything over 50%, that game is ours. By the same token, he was about 150% during the FSU game, so that was also kind of a fluke. I think the Georgia Tech game showed us the UVA team that will most likely show up on Saturday. Lundy and Snelling finally seem like they're at full strength, our defense is getting healthier, and most importantly, it's a home game. That being said, VT is far better than GT, a fact which they proved to the tune of 44 points.

TT: With Virginia Tech coming out on top last year in Blacksburg to win the always highly anticipated Battle of the Commonwealth, as a UVA fan, how much did that bother you? Is the avengeful mindset the same for all Cavalier fans around the nation, especially on campus? In what way(s) would you like to see the Cavaliers take advantage of and hopefully beat the Hokies?

SR: The easiest way for us to take advantage of VT's weakness would be let you guys rot in the Big East, but obviously, we were more class than that. To be quite honest, losing to Tech doesn't bother us as much as you think it would. Considering
VT's "all your eggs in one basket" approach to its athletic program, which has produced a grand total of zero NCAA championships, we figure that it's supposed to be that way. Any win we get is sweet, but there's absolutely no UVA student that would agree to fundamentally altering our school or lowering our standards to win more games against Tech.


TT: In your opinion, who is the better quarterback? Marcus or Marcques? How so?

SR: Depends what you mean by "better." Marcus is obviously more of a raw talent as a QB, but don't forget that Marques has spent time as a kick returner and a WR (he had a pretty good day against D'Angelo Hall in 2003). I imagine that Marques will end up in the NFL as a Randle-El type. I would argue that Marques has been more valuable to his team this year. With the way Tech's defense has been playing, Marcus just needs to not fuck up completely in order to win games. Witness the Miami game; VT's defense did the best they could, but when your QB turns the ball over six times, that's not gonna cut it. While Marcus is a dangerous weapon, I don't think VT's record would've been all that different if Bryan Randall was still back there. VT's wins have been by such great margins that you can't pinpoint a single game that Marcus won himself. As for Marques, UVA's probably 4-5 if anyone else is at QB, since he won the FSU and Syracuse games almost by himself. Thus, I'd say that Marques is more valuable to his team.

TT: Like you mentioned, Virginia Tech won't be having Mike Imoh to carry the ball come gametime on Saturday. With that being said, who do you feel will have the more effective running game? UVA with Lundy and Johnson, or VT with Humes and Ore?

SR: I can't say whether Michael Johnson is back at 100%, but the combo you need to look out for is Lundy and Snelling. VT has too much speed on the sides for UVA to get fancy with their running attack, and Snelling is a bulldozer who has been getting a lot of looks at tailback recently. VT is a team that scores quickly and gets a ton of three-and-outs, so UVA's going to try to slow things down. So don't expect a lot of sweeps that could get us in 2nd and 14 situations.

UVA had modest success running against VT last year in spite of the fact that our playcalling begged them to put at least nine in the box. While VT's secondary is typically outstanding, Groh has far more confidence in Hagans' passing, so unlike in last year's game where we attempted 14 passes, there will be more commitment to keeping VT honest.

With all that in mind, VT's ground game will win the day until further notice. UVA's done a good job of shutting down some of the better RB's they've faced (Rhodes, Daniels), but this is the same team that got gashed by BC and Maryland. Though our stats against FSU, UNC and GT give me confidence that those days are behind us, we're still not at VT's level in terms of defense.


TT: Lastly, give an overall prediction on Saturday's matchup, and I'm dying to know, what do YOU guys REALLY think about VT?

SR: See my most recent post for predictions. I'm hoping against hope here, seeing as how the last time someone named Vick manned the controls, it wasn't even close. In fact, I'm guessing there's a better chance that VT wins by 30 than there is of them winning by 3.

As for what we think about Tech, I'd say it's a cocktail composed of equal parts indifference and pity. Indifference because nearly everyone at UVA had the chance to get accepted to and attend Tech or anywhere else in Virginia, and chose not to. Pity because other people didn't have that option, and spend their first year trying to get their grades up instead of partying so we'll accept their transfer applications.

Just about every other school in Virginia, save for W&L, likes to bash UVA kids for being "pretentious" and "snobs." In other words, we get called out for thinking we're better than everyone else. Well, if you went to the school in Virginia with the most stringent admissions requirements, best overall athletic program, most beautiful campus and coeds, most successful and famous alumni, the most storied social scene, was founded by Thomas Jefferson, and all that happened to be in what was voted the #1 city to live in America, you'd think you were the shit too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Student Ticket Issue


While going to class today, I was able to read a bit of the Collegiate Times, the student-run newspaper for the Virginia Tech campus. In doing so I found this article by staff writer Nick Vranas or T-Bone as he likes to call himself, complaining about the student ticket lottery, primarily for season basketball tickets. He urges the university to implement a point system rewarding all those who go in attendance, similar to what UNC Chapel HIll does with their ticket program. Here is a brief part of the piece:

"It sounds weird that a season ticket group should have the band in front of them, but that's where my friends and I have season tickets at, Row Z, "Zab's Favs, 'Fo Sho'." My group is 15 seniors who have been to just about every game in four years, starting with the 79-77 loss to Wofford College in 2002 -- disgusting to say the least. We camped out for seats freshman and sophomore year and had season tickets in the inaugural year of the system, getting them in the third row but have nothing to show for our loyalty and dedication.

This past weekend, I was looking down at my third row seats from last year and there were students clad in black and pink and red sitting during the final minutes of the Bowling Green game. The row in front of that was empty. I almost threw up, and not just from the swallowing blood from my high altitude nosebleed, but when I saw kids who I know are sophomores and freshmen sitting in those prime seats."


On that note, my season tickets came in the mail the other day, and I got Row D, the fourth row from the floor. Chyea.

The Enemy Speaks

Read Virginia Cavalier head coach Al Groh's transcript from his press conference yesterday. He addresses several aspects of the game, including the Hokies defense, their success, and quarterback Marcus Vick, among other topics.

Virginia Tech - Virginia Info

In light of the incredibly dissapointing loss to Miami combined with ridiculous amounts of school work here at Virginia Tech, I haven't been writing lately, but that should change, especially as with the Battle of the Commonwealth game approaching this Saturday.

#7 Virginia Tech Hokies (8-1 Overall, 5-1 Conference)
@ Virginia Cavaliers (6-3 Overall, 3-3 Conference)

Time: Saturday, November 19 @ 12:00 PM
Venue: Charlottesville, VA (Scott Stadium)
Series: VT leads 44-37-5
Last Meeting: Nov. 27, 2004 - W, 24-10
Television Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: 100.7 FM and 980 AM

2005 Completed Games
Virginia Tech (8-1)Virginia (6-3)
Sun, Sep 4 at North Carolina State W; 20-16 Sat, Sep 3 Western Michigan W; 31-19
Sat, Sep 10 at Duke W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 10 Bye
Sat, Sep 17 Ohio W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 17 at Syracuse W; 27-24
Sat, Sep 24 (15) Georgia Tech W; 51-7 Sat, Sep 24 Duke W; 38-7
Sat, Oct 1 at (20) West Virginia W; 34-17 Sat, Oct 1 at Maryland L; 33-45
Sat, Oct 8 Marshall W; 41-14 Sat, Oct 8 at (18) Boston College L; 17-28
Thu, Oct 20 at Maryland W; 28-9 Sat, Oct 15 (4) Florida State W; 26-21
Thu, Oct 27 (13) Boston College W; 30-10 Sat, Oct 22 at North Carolina L; 5-7
Thu, Nov 3 (5) Miami L; 7-27 Sat, Nov 5 Temple W; 51-3
Sat, Nov 12 Bye Sat, Nov 12 (24) Georgia Tech W; 27-17

Virginia Starters
OffenseDefense
QB - #18 Marques Hagans (5-10, 207, Sr.)RE - #96 Brennan Schmidt (6-3, 269, Sr.)
RB - #33 Wali Lundy (6-1, 212, Sr.)RT - #98 Kwakou Robinson (6-4, 327, Sr.)
FB - #38 Jason Snelling (6-1, 228, Jr.)LE - #91 Chris Long (6-4, 265, So.)
SE - #83 Ottowa Anderson (6-0, 186, Sr.)OLB - #57 Jermaine Dias (6-3, 223, So.)
TE - #86 Tom Santi (6-5, 225, So.)ILB - #51 Chris Sintim (6-3, 223, So.)
LT - #66 D. Ferguson (6-5, 265, Sr.)ILB - #44 Kai Parham (6-3, 238, Jr.)
LG - #71 Brandon Albert (6-7, 310, Fr.)OLB - #34 Ahmad Brooks (6-4, 249, Jr.)
C - #62 Brian Barthelmes (6-7, 286, Sr.)CB - #3 Marcus Hamilton (6-0, 187, Jr.)
RG - #78 Marshal Ausberry (6-6, 318, So.)FS - #30 Nate Lyles (6-0, 195, So.)
RT - #69 Brad Butler (6-8, 274, Sr.)ROV - #23 Tony Franklin (5-11, 186, Jr.)
FL - #82 Deyon Williams (6-3, 185, Jr.)CB - #39 Chris Gorham (6-0, 175, So.)
Special Teams
P - #9 Chris Gould (6-1, 190, So.) K - #6 Connor Hughes (6-0, 178, Sr.)
KR - #2 Michael Johnson (5-10, 190, Jr.)PR - #2 Michael Johnson (5-10, 190, Jr.)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Turkey Talk BlogPoll Week 11

1 USC
2 Texas
3 Alabama
4 Miami
5 Virginia Tech
6 Penn State
7 Louisiana State
8 Georgia
9 Ohio State
10 Notre Dame
11 Oregon
12 West Virginia
13 Florida
14 Texas Tech
15 UCLA
16 Wisconsin
17 Florida State
18 TCU
19 Auburn
20 Colorado
21 Fresno State
22 Georgia Tech
23 Michigan
24 Louisville
25 Minnesota

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

'Nuff Said.

A quick take by ESPN on Saturday night's VT-MIA game.

Virginia Tech Hokies 7, Miami Hurricanes 27

It was over when...
The Hurricanes quieted rowdy Lane Stadium and jumped out to a 10-0 first-half lead.

Gameball goes to...
Miami's defense. The 'Canes held the Hokies to 13 first downs and shut down Marcus Vick.

Stat of the game...
8-22, 2: Miami held Vick to only 8 completions and had two interceptions.

*Not to mention FOUR fumbles.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Virginia Tech - Miami Recap

Saturday night marked quite possibly the biggest choke of the year in college football as the Hokies were simply embarrassed on the national scene by a better Miami squad. With practically all of Blacksburg, as well as America watching the clash of the two ACC titans, the Hurricanes came into Lane Stadium and basically dominated the Hokies from start to finish.

Coming into this game I honestly had no worries as a Hokie fan, for I thought Virginia Tech had passed their 'true' test with flying colors in beating Boston College the week before. After a 30-10 drubbing of the 13th ranked team in the nation, I deemed in my mind Virginia Tech incapable of losing at home. Period.

Little did I know that come kickoff time in Blacksburg Saturday night, when faced with the opportunity of maintaining their ACC dominance as well as their perfect record, that Marcus Vick and the Virginia Tech Hokies would pull a bunny-out-of-the-hat routine, and disappear.

No wait a minute, I take that back. Saying that the Hokies disappeared would be wrong, for in order to disappear, you have to actually show up first. Coach Beamer and his entire roster were never there in the first place, and the lack of Virginia Tech players actually wanting to make a play was evident.

From the onset, Miami's athletic players were just too much, and they owned the Hokies all game. Though the Hurricanes didn't rack up a great deal of points (10) during the first half, you could see in Miami's overall demeanor during each and every play that it was going to be a long, long night for Virginia Tech.

Despite the early Miami lead though, I honestly thought that the Hokies would have no trouble making a comeback, especially after Miami's starting quarterback and running back in Kyle Wright and Tyrone Moss respectively, were injured. Unfortunately, just like my overall prediction of who would win, I was horribly wrong, as backup running back Charlie Jones came into the game and ran all over the Hokie defense. With Jones filling in for Moss, the Miami running game didn't skip a beat. Against Virginia Tech, ranked second in the nation in overall defense, Jones racked up 97 yards on 24 carries, in addition to scoring his first touchdown of the year midway through the 2nd quarter.

Simply put, this win has not only the football team in pain, but the entire campus hurting as well. Being a Hokie student, I can deeply reiterate the depressing effect that Saturday night's loss has put on all of the student body here in Blacksburg. As one motto goes, "Blacksburg is a drinking town with a football problem," and unfortunately for the students here, we now have to deal with the problem of seeing our football team's chances at a potential national title, let alone an ACC championship, slip painfully away.

What makes Saturday night's loss even worse as a Hokie fan to bear is that VT had accomplished all they were supposed to in getting to Saturday's matchup. Going into the game as one of only 5 remaining teams in the nation with a perfect record, the Hokies left as one of the many with that one tainted loss. After seeing the Hokies win in their games so convincingly this year, especially at home, the sight of Virginia Tech getting shut down at Lane Stadium was extremely shocking. This will be by far one of the hardest losses that Hokie fans will have to deal with. On that note, one can only hope for the best in the team's remaining two games as they will travel in week 12 to face an always-dangerous Cavalier squad, followed by hosting the North Carolina Tarheels to end the the Hokies' regular season.

Week 11 Rankings: The Fall of the Hokies

After losing to Miami Saturday night, the Hokies dropped to 8th in the AP, yet remainined 6th in the BCS. With that being said, here is a look at the top ten teams in each of the polls.

National Rankings - Teams 1-10
RankAPUSA TodayHarrisBCS
1 USC (57) USC (56) USC (97) USC
2 Texas (8) Texas (6) Texas (16) Texas
3 Miami Alabama Miami Alabama
4 Alabama Miami Alabama Miami
5 LSU LSU LSU Penn. State
6 Penn. State Penn. State Penn. State Virginia Tech
7 Notre Dame Notre Dame Notre Dame LSU
8 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Ohio State
9 Georgia Georgia Georgia Georgia
10 Ohio State Ohio State Ohio State Oregon

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hurricanes 27, Hokies 7

Six turnovers for VT, all by Marcus Vick.

Need I say more?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Miami: Bad Blood Remains

Here is a part of a Sports.Yahoo.com piece by AP writer Hank Kurz Jr.

Miami hasn't forgotten what happened the last time it played Virginia Tech.

"That's definitely something that's in the back of our minds,' quarterback Kyle Wright said.

Virginia Tech won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship a year ago, clinching the title with a regular season-ending 16-10 victory at Miami. It was perhaps the biggest victory in Hokies football history. Now, the fifth-ranked Hurricanes will try to spoil things for Virginia Tech on Saturday night at Lane Stadium.

"This year's a new year, and we want to go celebrate on their field,'' Wright said.


Well Kyle, don't get ya hopes up too high now.

Virginia Tech - Miami Preview

The game we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. As a Hokie fan, this great day could not have come any sooner...

Tonight's heavily-hyped up matchup features America's top two defenses facing off against each other, and it has all the making of another Hokie triumph. Along with having a flawless 8-0 record and better showings against teams that the Hurricanes have stumbled with, Miami will have to deal with quite possibly the loudest and craziest Virginia Tech fanbase they have encountered in years.

With so much at stake for the Hokies, this game has been the talk of the entire campus for practically all season. Virginia Tech fans and Blacksburg residents alike attending the game will be amped up more than ever in attempts of cheering on the Hokies to their 17th consectuive regular season win. When it's all said and done, come 7:45 Saturday night, over 65,000 strong will be as rowdy as ever -- jumping, yelling, and screaming the Hokies for victory.

Though everyone has deemed Miami being Virginia Tech's toughest opponent on the season, I honestly don't think they stand a chance. Virginia Tech has been focused on this match for the entire year, and will be coming out of the gates firing. Virginia Tech's home-field advantage combined with their superior players and coaching will be too much of a factor for a weaker, inexperienced Miami squad. When it's all said and done, the Hokies will come out on top, and in doing so, will take care of the spread as well.

In looking at the Miami offense, their passing game is led by sophomore quarterback Kyle Wright, who is yet to have an impressive showing against a legitimate opponent. His six wins have come against Clemson, Colorado, South Florida, Duke, Temple, and North Carolina, all of whom combined have a dismal record of 18-30 on the year. This year Wright has thrown for 10 touchdowns (7 of which were at Duke and Temple) to go along with 8 interceptions. He comes in to Blacksburg having just thrown 3 interceptions and no scores last week in Miami's 34-16 win over the Tarheels. With this being Wright's first ever trip to Blacksburg, he will struggle under center in the hostile environment. His inexperience will truly show, so look for him to make costly mistakes and commit turnovers. Virginia Tech will feast off the young quarterback's every miscue as he makes his Lane Stadium debut.

Miami's running game is by far their best means of moving the football, as running back Tyrone Moss has been phenomenal for the Hurricanes on the ground. With almost 700 yards to his resume this season, Moss has found the endzone 12 times on the year, good enough for first in the ACC. Making this all possible for Moss has been the success of their huge, experience offensive line. The line averages at 6'5, 303 in size, and four of the five starting linemen are seniors, with the only exception being red-shirted junior center Anthony Wollschiager. With such a talented line and backfield, stopping Miami's strong ground attack will be Virginia Tech's toughest challenge all night.

With all this talk of Miami's offensive game, let's not forget about what has really been holding Miami down this year -- their defensive unit. As the top ranked defense in the entire nation, the Hurricanes have shut down opposing offenses, primarily in the passing game. In last week's victory at Chapel Hill last week, Miami limited UNC to just 86 yards through the air. Led by a strong secondary and defensive line, the Hurricanes have been able to maintain a solid pass rush in addition to their strong coverage. Hokie quarterback Marcus Vick will have to be as focused as ever in addressing such a talented defensive core in order to find success. Look for the Hokies to pound the ball on the ground however, as they will establish the ground attack with running backs Cedric Humes and Mike Imoh.

Final prediction: Hokies 31, Hurricanes 13

Friday, November 04, 2005

Virginia Tech - Miami Info

#5 Miami Hurricanes (6-1 Overall, 3-1 Conference)
@ #3 Virginia Tech Hokies (8-0 Overall, 5-0 Conference)

Time: Saturday, November 5 @ 7:45 PM
Venue: Blacksburg, VA (Lane Stadium)
Series: Miami leads 15-7
Last Meeting: Virginia Tech 16, Miami 10 (12/04/04)
Television Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: 100.7 FM and 980 AM

2005 Completed Games
Virginia TechMiami
Sun, Sep 4 at North Carolina State W; 20-16 Mon, Sep 5 at (14) Florida State L; 7-10
Sat, Sep 10 at Duke W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 10 Bye
Sat, Sep 17 Ohio W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 17 at (20) Clemson W; 36-30
Sat, Sep 24 (15) Georgia Tech W; 51-7 Sat, Sep 24 Colorado W; 23-3
Sat, Oct 1 at (20) West Virginia W; 34-17 Sat, Oct 1 South Florida W; 27-7
Sat, Oct 8 Marshall W; 41-14 Sat, Oct 8 Duke W; 52-7
Thu, Oct 20 at Maryland W; 28-9 Sat, Oct 15 at Temple W; 34-3
Thu, Oct 27 (13) Boston College W; 30-10 Sat, Oct 29 North Carolina W; 34-16

Miami Starting Lineups
OffenseDefense
QB - #3 Kyle Wright (6-4, 220, r-So.)RE - #95 Bryan Pata (6-4, 272, Jr.)
RB - #30 Tyrone Moss (5-9, 220, Jr.)RT - #98 Baraka Atkins (6-4, 264, Jr.)
FB - #23 Quadtrine Hill (6-2, 228, Sr.)LT - #92 Orien Harris (6-4, 302, Sr.)
SE - #85 Ryan Moore (6-3, 215, Jr.)LE - #90 Thomas Carroll (6-4, 237, Sr.)
TE - #82 Greg Olsen (6-5, 252, r-So.)ROLB - #50 Roger McIntosh (6-2, 231, Sr.)
LT - #74 Eric Winston (6-7, 312, Sr.)MLB - #2 Jon Beason (6-0, 225, So.)
LG - #68 Tyler McMeans (6-4, 329, Sr.)LOLB - #44 Leon Williams (6-3, 238, Sr.)
C - #78 A. Wollschiager (6-4, 281, r-Jr.)CB - #22 Kelly Jennings (5-11, 178, Sr.)
RG - #61 Tony Tella (6-4, 308, r-Sr.)FS - #1 Kenny Phillips (6-2, 200, Fr.)
RT - #64 Rashad Butler (6-5, 287, Sr.)ROV - #19 B. Meriweather (6-0, 188, Jr.)
FL - #83 Sinorice Moss (5-8, 185, Sr.)CB - #24 Marcus Maxey (6-2, 195, Sr.)
Special Teams
P/K - #39 Brian Monroe (6-1, 208, Jr.)FG/XP K - #13 Jon Peattie (6-2, 206, Jr.)
KR - #4 Devin Hester (5-11, 186, Jr.)PR - #4 Devin Hester (5-11, 186, Jr.)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

They're Back...

For the second time in the 2005-2006 season, ESPN and their Gameday crew are coming to Blacksburg, this time to hype up the very anticipated Virginia Tech - Miami matchup. After walking around Alumni Hall today by Squires, stage setup has already begun and pre-game coverage is set to start Friday night.

During the hours on Saturday before kickoff, the Gameday show consisting of host Chris Fowler and analysts Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso will begin as usual at 10.30 A.M. Expect the drill field as well as Main Street to be extremely congested.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Vote Vick

Official online voting for the 2005 Heisman Trophy is now underway (actually it has been underway for a few days, I'm just behind) at voteforheisman.com.

The top three vote getters will receive the equivalent of one first, second or third place vote in the official balloting.

Though I want Vick to win, I honestly believe USC's Reggie Bush is most deserving of the distinguished annual award.

With that being said though, to vote for #5, go to http://www.voteforheisman.com

On the year, Vick has led the Hokies to an 8-0 start and a No. 3 ranking in both national polls. He has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,534 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 319 net yards and three scores.

Catch Vick in action as Tech hosts No. 6 Miami this Saturday in a 7:45 game that will be nationally televised on ESPN.

Lane Stadium Acknowledged in New Book

HokieSports.com

Lane Stadium Recognized Among College Football's Most Hallowed Shrines
Hokies' home field featured in new book

What makes a College Football stadium come alive? Sporting News Books answers that question with their most recent release, SATURDAY SHRINES: College Football's Most Hallowed Grounds, which explores the very core of all that is the "religion" of college football, The Stadium. Each stadium is defined by the magic moments that give it its own unique, unforgettable personality.

For SATURDAY SHRINES, Sporting News, the most respected sports-information source for the past 119 years, asked their football experts to select the 40 best stadiums in which to experience college football. SATURDAY SHRINES brings the best college football stadiums in the country to life by detailing the setting, the structure, the fans, the mascots, the magnitude of the games played, the marching bands, the traditions - everything that makes watching a college football game a spine tingling experience. By the way, making the selections wasn't easy. That's why there are 15 other stadiums - plus six that are gone but won't be forgotten - added onto the tour.

The following schools are featured: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Army, Auburn, Brigham Young, California, Clemson, Colorado, Cotton Bowl, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Harvard, Illinois, Iowa, Legion Field, Louisiana State, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pennsylvania, Purdue, Rose Bowl, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Yale.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Turkey Talk BlogPoll Week 10

School is kickin' my tail this week, so not a whole lot of time to write. Here are my top 25 though:

1. USC
2. Texas
3. Virginia Tech
4. Alabama
5. UCLA
6. Miami
7. LSU
8. Notre Dame
9. Florida State
10. Georgia
11. Penn State
12. Ohio State
13. Oregon
14. Wisconsin
15. Florida
16. Boston College
17. West Virginia
18. Auburn
19. Texas Tech
20. TCU
21. Fresno State
22. California
23. Michigan
24. Louisville
25. Georgia Tech

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Schmitt Nominated as Semi-finalist for Top Punter Award

HokieSports.com

Schmitt Named Ray Guy Semifinalist

Augusta, Ga. - The Greater Augusta Sports Council announced today the top 10 semifinalists for the 2005 Ray Guy Award, which identifies the nation's top collegiate punter. A record 58 punters were nominated for the honor. Each of the punters on the list was evaluated on his overall statistics and contribution to the team. Particular emphasis was placed on the following categories: net average, percentage of total punts inside the 20-yard line, average return yardage, and percentage not returned.

Virginia Tech's Nic Scmitt was one of the 10 who made the cut. Schmitt, in his first year as Tech's punter, is averaging 42.6 yards per punt with 10 downed inside the 20 and a long of 65 yards.

...A national voting body of Division 1-A coaches and sports information directors, national media, and former punters will decide the three award finalists, and ultimately the winner of this year's award. The winner will be announced live on ESPN during the Home Depot College Football Awards show, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2005. The winner will again be honored at the Greater Augusta Sports Award Gala in early 2006.

Among the list of punters making the cut:
PlayerSchoolClass
Danny Baugher Arizona Senior
Dave Brytus Purdue Sophomore
Gordon Ely-Kelso Georgia Junior
Chris Hall Florida State Senior
Sam Koch Nebraska Senior
Ryan Plackemeir Wake Forest Senior
Nic Schmitt Virginia Tech Junior
John TorpColorado Senior
Kyle Tucker Kansas Sophomore
Eric WilburFlorida Junior

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hokies - Eagles Game Pics

A few pictures from the game, courtesy of the Associated Press.

Vick, in one of his best passing nights ever, gave the Eagles trouble with his throws all night.

Senior Mike Imoh led the Hokie's ground attack, rushing 16 times for a team-high 60 yards.

Yet another non-offensive score for the Hokies, turning to be Vince Hall's second for the season.

Mrs. Humes: "Look at my L'il Ced, all done grown up now -- stiff armin' people with broken arms and all. Go on now, Ced! THAT'S MY BAYBEH!"

Fullback Jon Kinzer, high-flyin' in a move that would've made actor Woody Harrelson proud.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hokes 30, Eagles 10

For those who watched the game, you'll probably agree when I say that the score in its own right was misleading, as Virginia Tech basically dominated the Eagles from start to finish. Playing at home where the Hokies are almost unbeatable, Virginia Tech simply overhwhelmed BC on both sides of the ball, causing it to be quite a onesided match.

In looking at such a huge game for both teams, the stat line speaks wonders -- take a look:
StatisticVirginia TechBoston College
Score 30 10
Total Yards 502 208
Passing Yards 280 156
Rushing Yards 222 52
First Downs 26 10
Total Plays 82 54
Avg. Gain Per Play 6.1 3.9
Avg. Gain Per Rush 4.2 2.5
Avg. Gain Per Pass 9.7 4.7
Turnovers 1 2

Could'nt Have Said It Better Myself

Had to post this valid argument by Brian, one reader who posted this follow-up comment in my article about who deserves to be the number one team in the nation, "What Does It Take To Be..."

"First, lets compare the Big 12 to the ACC. Currently, there are three members of the Big 12 that are in the top 25 of the BCS standings. They are Texas (rated #1), Texas Tech (#16), and Colorado (#24).

Now lets see how many members of the ACC are in the top 25 of the BCS. There is Virginia Tech (#3), Miami (#7), Florida State (#10), an Boston College (#14). Of the ACC teams in the top 25 of the BCS, ALL are in the top 15, and 3 of the 4 are in the top ten.

Out of the three Big 12 teams in the top 25 of the BCS, only one is in the top 15, that being Texas.

Compartively speaking, the top of the ACC is much better then the top of the Big 12 this year.

Now, presuming both Virginia Tech and Texas go undefeated the rest of the way, Virginia Tech will have defeated 4 teams in the top 20 of the BCS standings (Miami, Florida State, Boston College, and West Virginia) while Texas would have only defeated 2 (Ohio State, and Texas Tech).

If this happens, and that is a big if, then there is no doubt that Virginia Tech's strength of schedule will have been much stronger then Texas'.

The question, if both Tech and Texas go undefeated, seems to be which team will have accumulated more 'style' points. Or, how badly can they beat their opponents. Given the record of Texas' remaining opponents, odds are that Texas will accumulate more of these 'style' points, because Texas teams like to run up the score.

If that's the case, Va Tech will most likely be on the outside looking in (though I certainly hope they aren't)."

Under Construction

Being a Macinstosh user, little did I know that the entire layout and color scheme of my blog would look different on desktop PCs.

That is, until I viewed my site for the first time in Windows from a PC on campus.

Definitely did not resemble the attractive layout I had set up (left).

So, time to fix a few things up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hokes to wear new jerseys in Boston College game

While heading to campus today, I picked up a copy of the school paper, the Collegiate Times, and while browsing through it found the article "Boston College game notes: Nike unveils new jersey for Hokies." Here is part of the piece, as written by Sports Editor Adam Abramson:

"Virginia Tech is one of four schools to wear a new jersey design by Nike. Tech's new threads include an orange left shoulder to go along with the sleeves many Hokies have been wearing. When asked about Virginia Tech's new jerseys the team will be sporting Thursday night, senior cornerback Jimmy Williams smiled.

When the Hokies walk into Lane Stadium to face Boston College, fans will notice that the left shoulder of the "modified" home jerseys is now orange. Nike has remodeled Tech's uniform along with the jerseys of University of Southern California, the University of Miami and the University of Oregon to complement college football's newest fashion statement set by the likes of Williams, Marcus Vick, Roland Minor and many other Hokie players.

This season, the majority of Tech's players have been wearing one long orange sleeve on the left arm and a long maroon sleeve on the right. Thursday, this look will be enhanced by the new jersey, something that excites Williams.

"I feel like I look good out there, I look pretty out there. I can only feel good and play good if I look pretty out there," Williams said. "We deserve these new jerseys, it puts us up there with the elite teams."

What Does It Take To Be...

The greatest. The best. The undisputed champion.

We all have our own separate, special terms for those we recognize to be first. These are just a common few used to describe those who dominate the competition and stand tall at the pinnacle of their respective fields, whatever it may be.

With college football however, the universal term we have all come to use to describe what we consider to be the best has evolved to be quite plain and simple. There's no need for extra adjectives or meaningless synonyms to help describe whom or what we refer to as the best. When it all boils down, when we want to know who is the sitting pretty atop the rankings, we refer to see who is Number One. When we know that, everything else falls into place, and we come to satisfy ourselves with placing all those behind in the appropriate order.

Unfortunately for us though, order has been the last thing established this season in determining who is number one in college football. As to add to the controversy of it all, formerly second-ranked Texas was able to leapfrog USC this week to take the top spot in the BCS ranking, all the while remaining #2 in a number of other polls, including the AP.

With that being said, the question that has come to rise amongst all the BCS drama, amongst all the predictions, schedule strengths, theories and expert opinions is -- who has honestly earned the right to be number one?

Unlike professional leagues, of whom we are all aware define their top ranked teams based primarily on record alone, college football unfortunately has to deal with the controversial issue of how to rank teams with identical records.

As of week 8, six different teams (USC, Texas, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Georgia, and UCLA) have yet to lose, remaining unbeaten at 7-0. Strangely though, aside from the BCS rankings, no other poll even has the half dozen teams grouped together as the top six in the nation. As a result, many have been prompted to consider the controversial question of how can a team with a loss be ranked ahead of an undefeated team?

As we all already know, that's where strength of schedule comes into play. Of the six teams with unscathed records, only half seem fitting for Rose Bowl contention, let alone the number-one ranking. Based on that concept alone, I force myself to scratch Alabama, Georgia, and UCLA out of the mix, due to the fact that they just don't have strong enough schedules to make up for the obvious dropoff in talent following Virginia Tech.

The remaining undefeateds, or the Big Three as I have come to call them, have been playing in a league of their own this season, and foregoing only a few instances, have handily crushed their opposition. Compromised of obvious frontrunners USC, Texas, and Virginia Tech, the Big Three are the only obvious and realistic contenders for the number one spot in the nation, as well as the only realistic contenders to visit Pasadena.

Unfortunately, with the trio of teams having similar records and talent, the ability to name an obvious clear-cut pick as the number one team is practically impossible. So here's where one looks at the teams' schedules:

Virginia Tech HokiesTexas LonghornsUSC Trojans
@ N.C. State W; 20-16 Louisiana Lafayette W; 60-3 @ Hawaii W; 63-17
@ Duke W; 45-0 @ (4) Ohio State W; 25-22 Arkansas W; 70-17
Ohio W; 45-0 Rice W; 51-10 @ (24) Oregon W; 45-13
(15) Georgia Tech W; 51-7 @ Missouri W; 51-20 @ (14) Arizona State W; 38-28
@ West Virginia W; 34-17 Oklahoma W; 45-12 Arizona W; 42-21
Marshall W; 41-14 (24) Colorado W; 42-17 @ (9) Notre Dame W; 34-31
@ Maryland W; 28-9 (10) Texas Tech W; 52-17 @ Washington W; 51-42
Boston College @ Oklahoma State Washington State
(6) Miami Baylor Stanford
@ Virginia @ Kansas @ (21) California
North Carolina@ Texas A&M (24) Fresno State
N/A N/A (8) UCLA


Of the three, I would have to pick the Longhorns schedule as the weakest. The Big XII is simply horrible this year, serving as one of the worst conferences in all of college football. No team, not even Oklahoma has anything to offer, as for the first time in years, the Red River Shootout was a joke. Gameday didn't even go to Dallas to preview the action, picking the PSU/OSU game instead. Simply put, Texas has been killing everyone in the Big XII, coming out with heavily lopsided wins in such a weak conference. Of Texas' seven wins, only two stick out in my mind -- the impressive 52-17 blowout over Texas Tech last weekend, as well what I consider the Longhorns' only big win this season -- their 25-22 win on the road against the Buckeyes.

USC's schedule on the other hand is a bit more respectable, as their 2005 trip to perfection has been marked by a few speed bumps against some tough PAC 10 opponents. With that being said however, the Trojans have already won the hardest part of their schedule, with those games consisting of close road games in Oregon, Arizona State, and Notre Dame. Against the Ducks, the Trojans were simply proven that they were human, and actually capable of losing. Against the Sun Devils, the Trojans were actually exposed, and if not for a few plays here or there, quite easily could have lost. Against the Fighting Irish, things got so bad for the Trojans that they actually had to cheat to win. All in all, the only real remaining threat (if you even honestly even call it that) to USC's flawless record is a December 3rd encounter with fellow undefeated Cali team UCLA.

Moving on to the last of the big three, Virginia Tech's schedule stands out to me as the toughest. As bias as it sounds, I don't see the other top two teams' schedule as being more difficult, especially if you throw in the inevitable ACC Championship game for Tech with Florida State. Going into the bowl season, if the Big Three remain undefeated, the BCS could be dramatic more than ever, as the Hokies would have accumulated tough road wins against underrated teams in N.C. State, West Virginia and UVA, as well as big home wins against Miami and Boston College.

With the Rose Bowl more than two months away, in my mind I consider it far too early to be predicting who's already in and who's out with so much football left to play. As the season winds down, teams are now starting to feel the pressure of maintaining their records as they truly realize how much is at stake each and every Saturday. Also with being undefeated, the three teams will be allowed less room for error, as opponents will be especially gunning to be the first to take them down. Given that combination of factors, I wouldn't be surprised to see an unexpected upset pop up soon. These upcoming weeks will really serve as a gut check for the trio of teams and come bowl season, hopefully any and all ranking controversy will be out of sight, and we will actually be able to see who really is number one.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Virginia Tech - Boston College Info

#13 Boston College Eagles (6-1 Overall, 3-1 Conference)
@ #3 Virginia Tech Hokies (7-0 Overall, 4-0 Conference)

Time: Thursday, October 27th @ 7:30 PM
Venue: Blacksburg, VA (Lane Stadium)
Series: Virginia Tech leads 8-3
Last Meeting: Virginia Tech 27, Boston College 34 (11/22/03)
Television Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: 100.7 FM and 980 AM

2005 Completed Games
Virginia Tech HokiesBoston College Eagles
Sun, Sep 4 at N.C. State W; 20-16 Sat, Sep 3 at Brigham Young W; 20-3
Sat, Sep 10 at Duke W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 10 Army W; 44-7
Sat, Sep 17 Ohio W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 17 (9) Florida State L; 17-28
Sat, Sep 24 Georgia Tech W; 51-7 Sat, Sep 24 at Clemson W; 16-13
Sat, Oct 1 at (20) West Virginia W; 34-17 Sat, Oct 1 Ball State W; 38-0
Sat, Oct 8 Marshall W; 41-14 Sat, Oct 8 Virginia W; 28-17
Thu, Oct 20 at Maryland W; 28-9 Sat, Oct 15 Wake Forest W; 35-30

Boston College Starters
OffenseDefense
QB - #15 Quinton Porter (6-5, 233, Sr.)RE - #93 Keith Willis (6-1, 266, Fr.)
RB - #30 L.V. Whitworth (6-1, 222, So.)RT - #56 Al Washington (6-1, 280, Sr.)
FB - #49 Mark Palmer (6-3, 245, Jr.) LT - #90 B.J. Raji (6-1, 322, So.)
SE - #1 Will Blackmon (6-1, 200, Sr.)LE - #57 Nick Larkin (6-4, 252, So.)
TE - #88 Chris Miller (6-5, 269, Sr.)ROLB - #55 Ricky Brown (6-2, 235, Sr.)
LT - #72 Jeremy Trueblood (6-9, 330, Sr.)MLB - #3 Ray Henderson (6-3, 245, Sr.)
LG - #70 James Marten (6-8, 315, Jr.)LOLB - #Brian Toal (6-1, 223, So.)
C - #66 Pat Ross (6-4, 295, Sr.)CB - #4 Jazzmen Williams (5-8, 181, Sr.)
RG - #75 Josh Beekman (6-2, 325, Jr.)FS - #24 Ryan Glasper (6-0, 207, Jr.)
RT - #77 Gosder Cherilus (6-7, 320, So.)ROV - #44 Jamie Silva (5-11, 208, So.)
FL - #6 Larry Lester (5-8, 180, Sr.)CB - #27 DeJuan Tribble (5-9, 187, So.)
Special Teams
P - #46 Johnny Ayers (6-0, 186, So.)K - #20 Ryan Ohliger (5-9, 197, So.)
KR - #1 Will Blackmon (6-1, 200, Sr.)PR - #1 Will Blackmon (6-1, 200, Sr.)

Vick Checkup #7

Playing on Monday Night for the second time this season, the Atlanta Falcons were able to beat the New York Jets 27-14, shining in the national spotlight once again. The last time Atlanta was on MNF, they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 14-10 to open the season.

Adding another win to his resume this season, quarterback Michael Vick got the job done, despite making several mistakes. Even though Vick accounted for 2 of Atlanta's 3 touchdowns, let's just say that he's had better days.

Just like his brother in the Maryland game last week, Michael failed to throw a TD, and instead tossed up three interceptions in the process. Fortunately he was able to make up for his dissapointing passing performance with his ability to score on the run. Rushing on the night for 18 yards on 9 carries, Vick found the endzone twice. In the end his contributions wound up being enough for the Falcons to come out on top yet again.

Another one of Virginia Tech's more recognizable almuni, cornerback DeAngelo Hall reperesented the Hokies well, accounting for 4 tackles and another interception, boosting his total on the season to 3.

With the win, Atlanta moved to 5-2 on the season, good enough for 2nd place in the NFC South, trailing 1st place Tampa Bay by only half a game.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New # 1: Texas edges out USC for first place in BCS Rankings

The BCS standings, just released as of moments ago, declared today the Texas Longhorns as the new number one team in the nation, knocking off USC. According to the AP report, "The Longhorns slipped past Southern California into first place Monday by virtue of a stellar showing in the BCS computer rankings." That stellar showing was a 52-17 romping over 10th ranked Texas Tech on Saturday.

Texas now has a BCS average of .9763, and leads .0007 ahead of second-place USC at .9756.

With that being said, to take a look at some of the other teams (that are really worth a damn), here's a look at the BCS rankings for the top 10 teams in the nation:

Bowl College Series Rankings (as of 10/24/05)
RankTeamRecordCoaches' Avg.BCS Avg.Previous
1Texas Longhorns7-0.963.97632
2USC Trojans7-0.994.97561
3Virginia Tech Hokies7-0.921.91643
4Georgia Bulldogs7-0.875.86794
5Alabama Crimson Tide7-0.824.85135
6UCLA Bruins7-0.733.73849
7Miami (FL) Hurricanes5-1.791.71148
8LSU Tigers5-1.751.70656
9Penn State Nittany Lions7-1.539.645010
10Florida State Seminoles6-1.539.573511

Turkey Talk BlogPoll Week 9

1. USC (PIck your poison; Bush plays quietly, yet Leinart goes off for 4 TDs in USC's 51-24 win)
2. Texas (Destroy yet another Big XII opponent in Texas Tech)
3. Virginia Tech (Tough games ahead against ACC rivals Boston College, Miami, and UVA)
4. Alabama (Convert on late Tennessee fumble to win in Tuscaloosa)
5. Georgia (No D.J. Shockley + Upcoming games against Florida and Auburn = Losses for UGA)
6. UCLA (I would love to see this team beat USC)
7. Miami (Yet to beat a legit opponent)
8. LSU (Gets a must-needed win against an underrated Auburn squad)
9. Notre Dame (Blow out BYU but still have to be depressed over USC fiasco)
10. Penn State (Absolutely demolish Illinois, 63-10)
11. Florida State (Did this team really give up 24 points to the Duke Blue Devils?)
12. Oregon (Get the win over Arizona Saturday but lose QB Kellen Clemens for the year)
13. Ohio State (Hard to lose when you outgain your opponent 504-160 in offensive yardage)
14. Boston College (One of the ACC's better teams hoping to beat Virginia Tech this Thursday)
15. Wisconsin (Defense lifts the Badgers to win over the Boilermakers)
16. Florida (Bye week)
17. Auburn (Come into the Bayou and almost upset the Tigers)
18. Texas Tech (Second best in the Big XII)
19. West Virginia (Game postponed)
20. TCU (Light up opponent Air Force for another lopsided win)
21. Northwestern (QB Basanez goes off for 4 scores in NW's crushing of the Spartans)
22. Fresno State (See #6)
23. California (See #6)
24. Tennessee (Hang with the Crimson Tide for 57 minutes, blow it in the last three)
25. Michigan (Wolverines pull out yet another late-game thriller)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

USC/Texas Watch

In keeping a keen eye out for the top two teams in the nation, here is part of a brief piece on this weekend's action, as well as the links to both USC's and Texas' game recaps, courtesy of ESPN.

No. 1 USC 51 (7-0) , Washington 24 (1-6) RECAP
It was over when...Game ball goes to...Stat of the game
Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Co. arrived safely to Husky Stadium. Leinart, who threw for 201 yards and four TDs for the Trojans. 14: The Trojans have won a school-record 14 straight on the road.

No. 2 Texas 52 (7-0) , No. 10 Texas Tech 17 (6-1) RECAP
It was over when...Game ball goes to...Stat of the game
The Longhorns scored TDs on six straight possessions in the second and third quarters.The Texas D. Even though it gave up 471 yards, UT held Tech 37 points under the Red Raiders average. 8: The Horns have won eight straight games against opponents ranked in the Top 25.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Virginia Tech - Maryland Thoughts

I'm sure you all saw the same game I did last night, so a recap of Virginia Tech's win probably isn't all that necessary. Just for kicks though, here were a few things about the game I thought worthy of notice:

1. Marcus Vick was sensational(on the ground). With no other games to watch in college football, Vick shined in ESPN's Thursday night showcase, racking up a smooth total of 133 yards on the ground and a score. Eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career, #5 flew along the field for runs that seemed reminiscent of older brother Mikey V.

Now, if only he were as successful passing the ball, he'd of had a perfect night. The redshirt junior in his prime time debut unfortunately threw a total of three interceptions, but it seemed as if his turnovers were only a small drawback to his breakout performance. With that being said though, his ability to open up the field with his feet was crucial, and it kept Maryland's defense reeling all night.

2. Once again, Virginia Tech was sloppy on the road. Did I not foresee this in my earlier post? Going into halftime the Hokies should have been cruising along, boasting an emphatic 21-3 lead. Instead, after Vick's TD run to make it 7-0, the Hokies blew two goal line opportunities to score and go into the locker room only up by four. Not capitalizing on those two drives from inside the 10 was extremely shocking, and for a second there, I wasn't 100% sure that Tech was going to get the win. That was by far one of the most disappointing halves offensively for the Hokies thus far this season.

In case you managed to forget those blown chances, or happened to miss it, here they were, as provided in the box score. I'll let the play-by-play speak for itself.

Blown scoring opportunity #1, from the Maryland 7:
Down/YardTimePlay Outcome
1st-G, MD 79:10 - 2QM. Imoh rushed to the right for 1 yard gain
2nd-G, MD 68:33 - 2Q M. Vick incomplete pass to the right
3rd-G, MD 68:29 - 2QM. Vick rushed to the left for 5 yard gain
4th-G, MD 18:22 - 2QM. Imoh rushed up the middle for no gain. M. IMOH FUMBLED. G. McPhearson recovered fumble and returned for 6 yards.

Blown scoring opportunity #2, from the Maryland 1:
Down/YardTimePlay Outcome
1st-G, MD 11:14 - 2QM. Vick rushed up middle for no gain
2nd-G, MD 10:45 - 2QM. Vick rushed up the middle for 3 yard loss. M. Vick fumbled. M. Vick recovered fumble
3rd-G, MD 40:12 - 2Q M. Vick passed to M. Imoh to the left for 1 yard gain
4th-G, MD 30:02- 2QB. PACE MISSED A 20-YARD FIELD GOAL

Just pathetic.

Also contributing to Virginia Tech's miscues were their turnovers. On the night, the Hokies coughed up the ball left and right, giving away the pigskin four(!) times. Coming from a Beamer-coached squad, that's simply unheard of. Fortunately enough for Tech, the Hokie defense was phenomenal, practically giving up nothing to Maryland after all those Hokie giveaways. They were able to shut down the run and limit Maryland QB Sam Hollenbach to just 158 yards on 14-30 passing attempts.

However, as mediocre as Hollenbach was in his passing game, Marcus Vick wasn't all that much better. Though the redshirt junior was superb on the ground, his throwing was not even remotely as inspiring. Against an average Maryland pass defense, Vick did not throw for a single score, yet managed to throw a grand total of three interceptions.

After looking at Tech's several mishaps from last night, I cannot stress enough how much worse Virginia Tech has played on the road than at home this year. Excluding Duke, the Hokies have not been dominating opponents in away games like they should. At times, they seem to go into mental lapses as a team and lose focus, only to make costly mistakes. Fortunately enough, however, on the season they have been able to pull it together towards the ends of their games, and make the big play when it matters most.

Good news for the Hokies, however, is that their next two games, arguably two of their toughest, will be played at home in Lane Stadium. Quite frankly, no one can touch us there, and Boston College and Miami will find this out the hard way. When it's all said and done though, one last road trip still remains on the Hokies diminishing schedule -- a two hour drive to Charlottesville to take on a Cavalier team that you can never count out. One can only hope that Virginia Tech finally snaps out of their away game troubles for the pivotal Battle of the Commonwealth, because one thing's for sure, if they want to return home victorious again, they're going to have to.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Virginia Tech - Maryland Preview

Virginia Tech, returning to action following their bye week, travels to College Park tonight to take on a streaky Maryland team currently sitting at 4-2 in the ACC. Though the Hokies have been playing incredibly well this season, I don't see them coming into Byrd Stadium taking this game lightly. Aside from Duke, Tech has not been dominant at all while on the road. In fact, at times, they have looked sloppy, and thus have struggled.

Take the West Virginia game for example. During the opening half, the Hokies almost fell apart as their defense was exposed and exploited by a pumped-up Mountaineer squad backed by thousands of Morganville fans. Fortunately enough they were able to pull it together and step it up in the second half. Let's hope that isn't the case at all tonight as the Hokies look good for all 60 minutes tonight.

With the unfortunate reality of addresing how Virginia Tech has played mediocre football on the road this season, what better time to make up for that than with a blowout win on ESPN's thursday night showcase. Tech needs to overcome their away game sloppiness, so with that concept in mind, hopefully Beamer will bring his boys to play. With Byrd being louder than ever tonight as Terp fans cheer for the win, Tech will have to stay composed and show poise in order to pull out this crucial win.

So with that being said, here are a few things to look for when gametime kicks off...

When Virginia Tech has the ball:
Watch out for Mike Imoh. The 5-7 shifty senior returns from his ankle injury and with Humes sitting out, should get a majority of the carries. Expect to see Imoh carry the work load for the Hokies' running game, with redshirt-freshman Branden Ore coming in occasionally to see action. Against Maryland's suspect run defense, #20 should have a career day.

Pay attention to Jeff King. King has played superbly so far this year, and has been the complete package for VT at tight end. As a receiver, he has 15 catches for 188 yards and is currently tied for second in the ACC with 4 scores. As a blocker King has been pivotal in the success of the run, as Tech currently ranks 2nd in the ACC in rushing yards, averaging 177 yards per game. When the Hokies push the ball to the endzone, look for King to get his hands on the pigskin.

When Maryland has the ball:
They will give it to Vernon Davis. At 6'3, 250 pounds, the junior tight end has the size (and speed) to really do some damage. In Ralph Friedgen's offense, Davis has been the Terps' prime weapon in the passing game, and has the ability to stretch the field. On the season Davis has put up some very impressive numbers, and is undoubtedly one of the best tight ends in the conference. In games against Clemson, West Virginia, and Virginia, Davis scored in all of them, while going off for 140, 158, and 59 receiving yard games respectively. If Maryland is productive offensively tonight, Davis will be the reason for that.

Expect the run. Maryland boasts a strong 1-2 punch on the ground in running backs Lance Ball and Mario Merrills. The duo has combined for 7 scores on the season, and together average a smooth 112 yards per game. Fortunately for Maryland, both backs possess the ability for the long run, and with Davis as the deep threat, the Hokies won't be able to overload the line with 8 or 9 in the box. A possible break out day for the twosome against the ACC's top defense could be likely, as adrenaline will be pumping in the duo as all of Maryland cheers them on.

When Virginia Tech is on defense:
The defensive line will raise hell. Expect turnovers. Defensive ends Darryl Tapp and Chris Ellis have been excellent so far in pash rushing this season, and with Tim Sandridge plugging the middle, the D-line has been essential in causing turnovers left and right. Along with being such dominant pass rushers, the front four have been solid in shutting down the run, as they have only allowed two rushing touchdowns on the entire season.

Along with the line wreaking havoc, the linebacker corps of Adibi, Hall, and Anderson have played incredibly well for the Hokies. The trio are in fact the three leading tacklers on the team and account for 122 of the team's tackles. What also makes them special is their ability to make the big play, as between the three of them, they have 2 interceptions, a fumble recovery, and 3 sacks.

When Maryland is on defense:
Their weakness is against the run. This defensive unit, led by senior linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, has already given up over 1000 yards to the run in their six games. 1018 to be exact. That's a 170-yard per game average. I'm more than confident, especially with the extra week off, that Beamer and his coaching staff will exploit this weakness in the Terrapin defense. Don't be surprised to see Imoh break out for a 100+ yard game. I won't.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 49, Maryland 13.

Virginia Tech - Maryland Info

#3 Virginia Tech Hokies (6-0 Overall, 3-0 Conference)
@ Maryland Terrapins (4-2 Overall, 2-1 Conference)

Time: Thursday, October 20th @ 7:30 PM
Venue: College Park, MD (Byrd Stadium)
Series: Virginia Tech leads 15-12
Last Meeting: Virginia Tech 55, Maryland 6 (11/18/04)
Television Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: 100.7 FM and 980 AM

2005 Completed Games

Virginia Tech HokiesMaryland Terrapins
Sun, Sep 4 at N.C. State W; 20-16 Sat, Sep 3 at Navy W; 23-20
Sat, Sep 10 at Duke W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 10 Clemson L; 24-28
Sat, Sep 17 Ohio W; 45-0 Sat, Sep 17 (20) West Virginia L; 19-31
Sat, Sep 24 Georgia Tech W; 51-7 Sat, Sep 24 at Wake Forest W; 22-12
Sat, Oct 1 at (20) West Virginia W; 34-17 Sat, Oct 1 (23) Virginia W; 45-33
Sat, Oct 8 Marshall W; 41-14 Sat, Oct 8 at Temple W; 38-7

Maryland Terrapin Starters

OffenseDefense
QB - #14 Sam Hollenbach (6-5, 218, Jr.) DE - #40 Jeremy Navarre (6-4, 250, Fr.)
RB - #8 Mario Merrills (5-10, 203, Sr.) NT - #95 Conrad Bolston (6-3, 285, Jr.)
FB - #5 Ricardo Dickerson (6-1, 247, Sr.) DT - #67 Jack Griffin (6-7, 276, So.)
SE - #83 Derrick Fenner (6-0, 193, Sr.) DE - #55 Trey Covington (6-3, 241, r-Fr.)
TE - #18 Vernon Davis (6-3, 253, Jr.) WLB - #48 William Kershaw (6-3, 232, Sr.)
LT - #78 Jared Gaither (6-9, 330, Fr.) MLB - #52 D’Qwell Jackson (6-1, 231, Sr.)
LG - #69 Donnie Woods (6-3, 291, So.) SLB - #54 David Holloway (6-2, 220, Jr.)
C - #68 Ryan McDonald (6-2, 275, Sr.) CB - #38 Gerrick McPhearson (5-10, 194, Sr.)
RG - #63 Andrew Crummey (6-5, 294, So.) FS - #3 Christian Varner (5-11, 195, So.)
RT - #58 Brandon Nixon (6-6, 314, So.) ROV - #27 Milton Harris (5-11, 195, Sr.)
FL - #9 Jo Jo Walker (5-9, 169, Sr.) CB - #4 Josh Wilson (5-10, 182, Jr.)
Special Teams
P - #36 Adam Podlesh (5-11, 199, So.) PK - #22 Dan Ennis (5-11, 154, Jr.)
KO - #49 Chris Roberts (6-2, 189, Fr.) PR/KR - #9 Jo Jo Walker (5-9, 169, Sr.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Turkey Talk BlogPoll Week 8

Just got in on this, the weekly "BlogPoll" in which a number of college football blog users contribute their top 25 picks. The following are mine:

1. USC (Number one in my mind until they lose)
2. Texas (Vince Young is the offense)
3. Virginia Tech (Bye week)
4. Alabama (Big game this weekend against Tennessee)
5. Georgia (Not as good as Alabama)
6. Miami (3rd-best in ACC)
7. LSU (Host a sleeping giant in Auburn this Saturday)
8. Notre Dame (Controversial ending to a tough loss)
9. UCLA (Only last true challenge to bring down USC)
10. Florida State (Upset by UVA? Be serious)
11. Penn State (Last second breakdown to a slumping Michigan squad)
12. Texas Tech (6-0, but on course to get crushed by Texas this weekend)
13. Ohio State (Solid win over MSU)
14. Boston College (Come back from down 17-0 to beat Wake Forest 35-30)
15. Oregon (One of three 6-win teams in Pac-10)
16. Auburn (After opening loss to GT, have quietly won 5 straight)
17. Tennessee (Sucks)
18. Florida (Have the bye week to prepare for their biggest game of the year)
19. Wisconsin (Special teams comes up big, and I mean big)
20. West Virginia (Slaton's stats against Lousiville: 31 carries, 188 yards, 5 TDs)
21. Michigan State (Learn how to count to 11)
22. TCU (Improve to 6-1 in pushover conference)
23. Virginia (Defense comes through, causing three FSU turnovers)
24. Fresno State (Cupcake schedule so far)
25. California (High-scoring offense led by Forsett holding it down)

Games I watched:
USC @ Notre Dame (All)
Michigan State @ Ohio State (2nd Half)
Alabama @ Mississippi (4th Quater)
Wisconsin @ Minnesota (4th Quarter)
Florida @ LSU (1st Half)

Hokie "Pimp"kin


Tightest pumpkin ever. Definitely some first-class carvin' right there.

Found it posted at www.nachointolerant.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Vick Checkup #6

Michael Vick led Atlanta once again to victory, this time to a 34-31 win over NFC South rival New Orleans.

Vick's performance was nothing spectacular, just effective, like always. Vick's completed 11 of 23 passes for 112 yards, a touchdown and an interception. On the ground, Vick did his thing once again, racking up 51 yards on only 8 rushes. On the year, Michael has scored 5 times through the air, and once along the ground.

With the win, Atlanta moves to 2nd in the division at 4-2, and only trail first place Tampa Bay by one game. Next week Vick and the Falcons get to host the struggling New York Jets, with the game set to air Monday night on ABC.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Virginia Tech -- On the Outside Looking In?

The first BCS polls were released today, and accordingly so, CNNSI writer Stewart Mandel contributed this piece on the polls. With that being said, here is the bulk of the write-up.

"Based on the first BCS standings released Monday, USC and Texas appear to have a stranglehold on the Nos. 1 and 2 spots if they both continue winning. In fact, the gap between the No. 2 Longhorns and No. 3 Virginia Tech (.0457) is actually larger than the one between the Trojans and Texas (.0287).

The Longhorns currently hold commanding leads over the Hokies in both the Harris (129 points among 113 voters) and Coaches' (64 points out of 62 voters) polls, and have an average computer ranking of second, compared with fourth for the Hokies. Many have theorized that Virginia Tech, with what appears to be a stronger remaining schedule (games against 6-1 Boston College and 5-1 Miami and a potential ACC title date against 5-1 Florida State), would surpass Texas (which faces 6-0 Texas Tech this week in its last scheduled game against a current top-25 team) if both were to win out. That may have been true under the old BCS formula, where strength of schedule was its own component, but under the new system, where two human polls account for 66 percent of the equation, Virginia Tech (as well as fellow undefeateds Georgia and Alabama) are likely helpless unless USC or Texas lose or unexpectedly drop down in voters' ballots."

As a Hokie fan, definitely the reality I don't want to face.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Thanks for nothin' Notre Dame

With Texas blowing out Colorado and Notre Dame letting USC squeak by for the win in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, another week with Tech having to remain ranked third in the college polls is inevitable.

Worries have to arise for Hokie fans everywhere as USC and Texas seem to have already beaten their last legitimate challenges of the season. Both the Trojans and Longhorns look to coast towards the end of the year as their schedules ease up quite a bit.

So with that being said, the shot of a likely upset against NCAA's 1 and 2 teams respectively looks rather grim. Though USC has looked suspect at times in the past few games (Oregon, ASU, Arizona, and Notre Dame), I'd say the Fighting Irish came as close to beating the Trojans as any other team this season will. Unfortunately, testing the number one team in the nation and not winning won't do much for your ranking, and it won't do much for ours as well.

So, quite frankly, thanks for nothin' Notre Dame.

With the win at South Bend, is there really any thought that USC won't go undefeated? I mean, who's going to knock them off...UCLA?

Looking at the Longhorns though, they too have been able to win their 'big' games this season, with those games essentially being wins over Ohio State and an Oklahoma team in a rare rebuilding year. The rest of their schedule seems to be a breeze, although arguments could be made as Texas Tech and Texas A&M being considered potentially tough matchups.

So excluding either the Longhorns or Hokies lose a game, the idea has already arisen amongst the NCAA of how the BCS would probably favor VT's strength of schedule going into the Rose Bowl, as opposed to that of UT's. With the concept of both teams going into Bowl season undefeated, an unbeaten Hokie teams with wins over a tough ACC (N.C. State, West Virginia, Miami, Boston College, Virginia, North Carolina, and possibly Florida State) would be practically home-free by the BCS in heading to Pasadena.

So to Beamer and company, just keep winnin' baby, and as ironic as this sounds, the BCS will take care of the rest.

USC - ND Game Thoughts

Jeff Samardzija (had to check how to spell it) was pretty sick, slicing up the USC defense for some good grabs. Definitely emerging as one of the top receivers in the nation with another solid performance (6 Catches, 99 Yards, 1 TD)...

Tom Zbikowski (had to check that one up too) had one sweet punt return. 60 yards to the house. Hit the hole hard and just shook off three suckas easy...

Good lord Charlie Weis is fat...

Dwayne Jarrett is straight clutch. 4th and 9 and this man comes through with a 61-yard catch. Can we say backbreaker?

Reggie Bush single-handedly beat the Irish, scoring 3 of USC's 5 touchdowns. This man is going to win the Heisman...

Speaking of Bush, I loved some of the stuff the NBC commentator (whose name I forget) threw out about the USC running back throughout the broadcast, such as:

"Reggie Bush is like the first amendment with hips, always expressing himself."
"Trying to tackle Bush is like trying to tackle a baloon in the wind."
And last but not least, my favorite: "Tackling Reggie Bush is like going through the nine stages of Dante's Hell."

Gee, never thought of it to be that rough.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Heisman Watch

Yahoo Sports' Terry Bowden (Yes, son of FSU head coach Bobby and brother of Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden) wrote this brief, yet interesting piece on Heisman favorites, which even includes Tech's very own, Marcus Vick.

As Terry writes, the obvious favorites to win the trophy have to be between UT's Vince Young and USC's dynamic duo of Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. I'd say the race is too close to differentiate amongst the three of them, yet, in my mind if Notre Dame were to upset USC tomorrow, my pick to win the race would be leaning in Young's favor.

Looking at Vick though, I don't give Marcus that great of a shot to hoist the Heisman come end of the season, despite being practically flawless this year. He needs another year to grow and establish himself, and perhaps after another successful season, the concept of Vick in the frontrunning for next year's Hesiman race will be no surprise.

To take a look at the full story, click here.

Beamer Lands Contract Extension

Today it was announced that Hokie head coach Frank Beamer signed a 7-year contract extension until the 2012 season, paying him a reported $2 million per year, as opposed to the $1.4 million he was currently raking in.

The deal offers incentives and bonuses not only for Beamer but also for his entire coaching staff and assistants, something that the head coach was very stern about when coming to contract closure.

In fact, it had been hoped for Tech and their coach of 19 years to complete the deal before the season opener against N.C. State. However, I'm sure you all remember how Beamer refused to agree to the new contract because it didn't include raises for each of his nine full-time assistant coaches.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

SI's Midseason All-American -- Jimmy Williams

Not like it came as a surprise, but cornerback Jimmy Williams was chosen by CNNSI as part of their 2005 Midseason All-American Team, grabbing the honor as one of the nation's best defensive backs.

Williams has had a respectable year, but with being such a dominant cover guy, hasn't been thrown to very often. Opposing coaches design their passing offenses specifically to avoid him, thus accordingly he has recorded no interceptions on the season. However, in the few times he has been tested, Jimmy has held his ground, yet we all remember how he was beat in single coverage by Georgia Tech standout receiver Calvin Johnson, as well as giving up that touchdown to West Virginia tight end Mike Villagrana.

Despite those short comings, Jimmy brings to the table what most cornerbacks can't -- his size. If you've been watching the Tech games this season, you've been hearing this all year, as it headlines practically every discussion whenever commentators bring him up. At 6'3, 215 pounds, he still runs a 4.36 and has been stifling opposing receivers with his coverage every week. With being a converted safety, he also has the ability to hit just as well as he covers. We all saw those licks he put on the Wolfpack in the season opener; those kinds of hits coming from a corner are just unheard of.

With all the hype that has been circling him, it's going to be interesting how well Jimmy continues to do on the year, especially with a possible Rose Bowl berth on the horizon. With every play of every game being crucial in hopes of grasping that national title game appearance, I wouldn't be surprised to see our defensive secondary playmaker truly shine with the national spotlight focusing on his every move. If all goes well, come January Jimmy could be donned the defensive best back in America in addition to being a prime contributor on the number one team in the country.

All of this is just waiting to take place, and coincidentally, right before the NFL Draft in April. Who says timing isn't everything?

To take a look at the entire list, click here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Vick Checkup #5

Quarterback Michael Vick wasn't able to play in Atlanta's Sunday 31-28 loss to the New England Patriots, sitting out the game with a sprained knee.

Former UVA quarterback Matt Schaub started in his place, and threw for 3 touchdowns, with no interceptions. On the day Schaub went 18-34 for 298 yards.

Also, ex-Hokie DeAngelo Hall had another good day, leading the team with 10 tackles on defense...

Vick is currently set as probable for next week's game at New Orleans, but in the mean time we'll just have to see how it pans out.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hokie - Thundering Herd Game Pics


Beamer speaking with Vick during the second half.

Marcus handing off to unpictured running back Branden Ore.

#5 on one of his 6 rushes for the day.

Receiver Josh Morgan fighting Marhsall's Curtis Keyes through the air for extra yardage.

Hokies 41, Thundering Herd 14

I think we found ourselves a running back for next year.

Saturday's 41-14 homecoming win over the Thundering Herd of Marshall was another impressive victory, boosting Tech's record to 6-0.

Despite Tech having numerous standouts on both sides of the ball, it was all about the "Ore-ange Effect" .

Coach Beamer's running game was as impressive as ever, and led by redshirt freshman Branden Ore, racked up a season-high total of 235 rushing yards*. In his first solid outing, Ore had a breakout performance, carrying the ball 19 times for 146 of those total yards, as well as a touchdown.

Entering the game in the second quarter after Cedric Humes broke a bone in his arm, Ore immediately took the load off the Hokies' struggling offense. On only his fourth rush of the game, he was able to score, galloping into the endzone for a 14-yard touchdown.

With that touchdown however, Virginia Tech only took a 14-7 lead against a soft Marshall squad. It was without a doubt dissapointing to see the Hokies up by only seven going into halftime. I was definitely not expecting the game to be so close after the first 24 minutes of play. Defensively Tech looked a mess, especially in stopping the run. In fact, on the day, the Thundering Herd rushed for 164 yards, with 145 of those yards coming in the first half alone.

Thankfully for us, there was a second half to really showcase our talent. Especially the talent of Ore and the defense. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Tech drove the ball 78 yards down the field, with Ore accounting for 65 of those yards. Settling for a field goal from the 2, it was good to see Tech able to increase the lead.

And that they did, as not even a minute later, linebacker Vince Hall danced into the endzone after scooping up a Marshall fumble for a 15 yard return. 24-7 Hokies.

This play in my mind offered me the most relief as a Hokie fan after seeing the defense struggle throughout the first half. Hall's TD opened the game up for the Hokies and boosted the entire team's morale. Nothing like seeing the defense run into the endzone for six, but hey, that's what we're known for. I couldn't be more confident in the ability of the defense, especially in our linebacker trio of Hall, Xavier Adibi, and James Anderson, who seem to make big plays week in and week out.

Seeing the running game do so well was also a joy, as with Imoh and Humes nursing injuries, finding a backup who could carry the load of the running game was practically a necessity. The depth in the backfield for the Hokies is without a doubt there, it's just that the experience isn't. Getting Ore to play in a big game (homecoming) and do well was a big plus for us, and Beamer sees the importance in that. With both starting backs leaving us next year and Ore doing so well in his first real outing, I'd put him as the obvious favorite to be first on the RB depth chart next year.

Lastly, looking at the performance of Marcus Vick, I'd say it was nothing spectacular, but once again effective. On the day, L'il Vick threw for 163 yards on 11-16 passing attempts to go along with a touchdown. However, he also threw for an interception (his second of the year), and rushed 6 times for a laughable 3 yards. Not by any means his best game to date, but he was still able to lead drives and make that accurate pass when necessary. It'll be good to see how he takes the time off in the bye week to reflect on his homecoming performance, and hopefully come out much stronger next week against Maryland.

* The most total rushing yards Virginia Tech cumulated in one game this season was 218. Two times this year this was the occurence, in September 17th's 45-0 blowout against Ohio, and in last week's 34-17 win against West Virginia.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Still Flippin'

Marcus giving a good ol' "Hokie-Hi" to some lucky WVU fans Saturday.

Vick later apologized for his actions, stating that "his emotions got the best of him."

I don't really know though what malicious feelings could have overcome him, seeing as I thought he was having a good game at the time the event happened (early in the third quarter). Yet with the constantly agonizing Mountaineer fans though, perhaps his emotions could get him to react in such a manner.

Or...

Perhaps Marcus was just frustrated at some parents in the stands -- for shooing him away from their 15-year-old daughters.

B-C-S showing V-T some L-O-V-E

While browsing All Things Longhorn, a pro-UT blog, I came across one of their posts today mentioning how Virginia Tech basically has the ability to snatch that #2 spot from Texas, even if both teams were to win out and go undefeated.

The article, though posted on ATL, comes courtesy of Fanblogs. Here are a few tidbits that wrap up the overall message:

"...An undefeated ACC champ might leap a #2 poll team into the BCS because of the lower computer ranking, something the BCS haters are bound to love.

...If Texas runs the table, as they should, then you've got a #2 team that could actually need help in the computer polls.

...I'm not sure Texas has the computer rankings to make it into the #2 BCS slot."

So ultimately the Hokies might not need the Trojans or Longhorns to drop a game in order to nab that Rose Bowl berth. If we win out and continue to perform well, in the end the BCS should favor our strength of schedule and give us the coveted trip to Cali.

Here's hoping.