Saturday's demolishing of Georgia Tech Saturday made one thing clear -- we are the team to beat in the ACC.
Our squad is strong in every aspect of the game. The passing attack tears teams apart. The running game literally runs over people. Special teams? You saw what happened Saturday. And how can you forget the play of our defense, which has the ability to completely change the outcome of each and every game has only allowed two touchdowns on the season.
We are lookin' damn good.
On the year Tech has outscored its four opponents by a total of 161-23.
These lopsided games are starting to get out of hand. Aside from N.C. State in the opener, this season has been a bore for Hokie fans, especially for myself.
So to West Virginia, Marshall, Maryland, Boston College, Miami, North Carolina, and Virginia, can you please give us somewhat of a challenge, perhaps losing by only a touchdown or two, not six? I'm getting tired of having to watch these 40-odd point blowouts.
With that being said though, back to talking about the game (which held my interest for a little over half an hour, mind you).
The first half was all Virginia Tech, and the first quarter was all Jeff King. #90 was puttin' it down on them Georgia boys. The senior tight end came out of the gates runnin', starting things off nicely with a 12-yard touchdown to put Tech on the board.
7-0 Hokies. First quarter.
A big King play was followed by an even bigger King play, with the senior makin' the block on a Yellow Jacket field goal try right into the hands of D.J. Parker, who took it 75 yards to the house.
14-0 Hokies. End of first quarter.
King's big plays were follwed by a Tech field goal and a Mike Imoh touchdown.
24-0 Hokies. End of first half.
At that point, with only half of the game said and done with, it wasn't even a question that Georgia Tech had already lost. The Yellow Jackets looked so bad that fans were beginning to expect the shutout. All that hype and talk about this game being a close battle were already thrown out. The close, tight matchup that I had been excited for was now a dissapointing contest that had the Duke/Ohio-blowout written all over it.
The second half was even more dissapointing, because GT basically rolled over and died. It was obvious to see how those guys took no pride in the way they played. It seemed as if they gave up before the half even started. Aside from their one touchdown score by Calvin Johnson (the only Yellow Jacket who DID come to play), they looked disgusting, and it was satisfying to see our defense completely shut them down.
Moving on with the game, those late third-quarter interceptions for touchdowns by Xavier Adibi and Chris Ellis just put the icing on the cake. It was good to see hometown Hampton, VA reppin' (Adibi went to Phoebus and Ellis went to Bethel, both in the Hampton area).
One thought though, following Adibi's score, what was that little dance by defensive lineman Darryl Tapp? Was the big man two-steppin? Nothing like seein' a 300-pound grown-ass man dance. Beamer might have to get that under control though, for who knows, next week we could see Marcus Vick gettin' his dance on, only to have some wild 15 year olds come to join in from the sideline.
On a more serious note though, I was very impressed with the defensive play of Beamer's squad. With this caliber of a blowout against a respected team in Georgia Tech, I'm not so sure if I see any other team in the conference giving us a true challenge. West Virginia on Saturday could be tough, and there's always Miami, but in dealing with both of those teams, our talented defense would just prove too much for the two teams, and just completely overwhelm them.
Breaking down the offensive statistics, Marcus Vick had another respectable game, going 13-18 for 222 yards and a touchdown. Mike Imoh and Cedric Humes led the ground attack, combining for 97 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. Another impressive aspect of the game was how the Hokies did not turn the ball over at all. Compare that to the dismal play of the Yellow Jackets, who coughed the ball up a grand total of three times and you can see why which team got blown out by 44 points.
With this win, I can't stress the fact of how lopsided these recent games have been. Granted, they've only been against cupcake teams in Duke, Ohio, and a Georgia Tech squad that isn't exactly your ACC powerhouse, I'm waiting for another N.C. State thriller, in which you get to see two teams play, instead of just one. West Virginia this weekend could just be another one of those games that I've been waiting for during the past couple weeks, but you never know -- we did say that all of last week.
So until then -- better get'r'dunn out thurr in West Vur-jin-ya! I'm countin' on it!
After going to ESPN Gameday yesterday, I am convinced that there is no other single school in the nation that has as much school spirit as VT. Saturday was just one of the many ways to prove this true. Arriving four and a half hours early at 6:00 (ON A SATURDAY MORNING) for the ESPN Gameday showing, I thought I would be one of the 'hardcore' Hokie fans. This was not to be. There must have been well over 150 students already there at the time, with a small group who had even camped out all night. With all the people there, I was fortunate enough to hustle my way to the second row though of the people waiting and eventually get a good view of the event. Later on when the show had gotten underway I asked those in front of me how long they have been standing in line to wait, to which they replied 1:30 A.M.
Wow--standing upright in place for 9 hours just to get a front-row view of the Gameday. Classic.
Hokie school spirit was even more noticeable by the amount of hostitility the crowd showed. After it was all said and done yesterday, we Virginia Tech fans made two things obvious: We hate anything non-Hokie, and we really hate Lee Corso. In fact, with tons of signs anti-Corso, one student came with a sign saying "We Love Our Corso", to which other students yelled to him fight threats, names, and even chants of "Go Home!"
Even worse though were the signs directed at Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball, who was diagnosed with viral meningitis last weekend. Some signs were extremely clever and funny, making you laugh out loud. At the same time though, they just made you shake your head in disbelief, they were so wrong. A fan on my left jokingly said it best, after viewing some of the signs in the crowd by stating, "Virginia Tech has no soul." All I could do was laugh at an innocent comment like that, but after actually putting some thought into it, I realized, damn we really are mean!
With that being said, here are a couple of the signs I saw and remember:
1. Got Meningitis? 2. Reggie, Please Don't Get Us Sick 3. I'd rather have two Vicks than one Ball 4. My Tech is Bigger Than Yours 5. Ron Mexico For President 6. Georgia Tech Was My Safety School 7. I Dare You To Pick Georgia Tech (Displayed over a picture of lightning striking Lane Stadium, and assumedly Lee Corso's rental car) 8. She looked 18 9. Running with Imoh-tion 10. Our Jimmy is BIgger Than Your Johnson 11. Choose wisely, Corso (With lightning striking his car in the background) 12. A Little Vick is better than One Ball 13. Corso, Who Ya' Pickin'? (With a cloud and lightning underneath) 14. 1 Man; 1 Plane: 64 Beers; Boggs; 3:16 15. Wade Boggs Cheats at Candyland Yes, I was standing right in front of the students holding these Wade Boggs signs, with #14 on the front, and #15 on the back. Withstanding a lie, they told me that they were responsible for making the infamous sign a couple years back stating "Wade Boggs once drank 64 Beers on a cross-country flight." For being so random it received significant airtime on ESPN's debate show "Pardon the Interruption", as well as even forcing Wade Boggs to silence rumors by publicly stating that the sign was not true.
The people responsible for those signs were definitely some of the most creative and funniest people I ever met. Made the Gameday experience that much more fun. Later on, after the showing was done, it was great to watch the Battle of the Techs, with the real one coming out on top. Go Hokies! I honestly thought though of this game to be a close one, not a 51-7 blowout amongst two of the best teams in the ACC. WIth this win I really don't see anyone giving us a real challenge except Miami in November. Our defense is too strong and the Imoh/Humes/Vick combination in the backfield is unstoppable and too durable for anyone to put a lockdown on.
So with the convincing win, is it time to start crying out "Pasadena?"
Hm, not exactly, so in the mean time, let's stick with "See you in Jacksonville."
Vick was on the end of a couple big hits such as this one, but in the end he still got the job done.
Number seven made it happen again on Sunday, leading Atlanta to a 24-16 win over the Buffalo Bills. Playing with a nagging hamstring injury, Vick did well, throwing 15-27 for 167 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. On the ground the ex-Hokie gained 64 rushing yards on 9 carries.
Former Hokie cornerback DeAngelo Hall had a respectable game as well, getting 3 tackles and an interception of his own.
Next Sunday the Falcons play host to Minnesota, fresh off their 33-16 victory over New Orleans.
ESPN College GameDay is to broadcast its weekly show from The Burg this Saturday.
The show, featuring my boys Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, is set to air live at 10.30 A.M. until noon. In case you were unaware, the show was originally scheduled to broadcast from the Tennessee-LSU game in Baton Rouge, but the threat of Hurricane Rita forced the move.
The last time GameDay was in Blacksburg was way back in 2000 for the Virginia Tech-Georgia Tech match-up in the BCA Bowl. We all remember that night, at least it was memorable for its lightning storm. One of the first bolts of lightning to strike gave Lee Corso's car "The Business."
The forecast for this weekend however shouldn't even come close to recreating those weather conditions, as Saturday calls for party cloudy skies and a high of 83.
GT standout Calvin Johnson should be a handful this weekend.
ESPN.com writes: What's the biggest matchup of the weekend?
That's easy. It's not LSU-Tennessee, USC-Oregon or even Notre Dame-Washington. It's the matchup of a pair of preseason All-Americans, sophomore wide receiver Calvin Johnson of No. 15 Georgia Tech vs. senior cornerback Jimmy Williams of No. 4 Virginia Tech.
Johnson burst onto the scene a year ago as a big, sure-handed receiver. At 6-4, 225, has the size to post up cornerbacks. Most college corners, anyway -- at 6-3, 212, Williams has size that only a few NFL corners possess. He is a fixture on the Hokies' boundary corner, which means that most quarterbacks have learned to look toward the field.
Both players, as you can imagine, are looking forward to the challenge of facing each other Saturday.
"It's going to be fun," Johnson said. "It will be good competition. I can't say how much I'll be matched up against him. I'm pretty sure I'll see him a lot."
You think? Williams thinks so, too.
"I watched about an hour of film today," Williams said Monday night. "He has great hands. Most of the passes around him, he catches. They tend to lay it up there and try to have him go get it. He's a great receiver, a great playmaker. It will be a a good opportunity to check him throughout the game."
Both players were vague on what may happen. Williams said he didn't know how much the coaches would want him to man up on Johnson and how much he would stick to the boundary.
Johnson said he had studied video to check out Williams' technique, but was coy about revealing what he learned.
"I'm not going to talk about his technique," Johnson said. "He's a big corner who makes plays. He's in the right place at the right time. It's very unusual to play against a corner that size. Most are 5-10, 5-11. I look forward to playing him. It's going to be tough, but I can do it because I've done that before."
Johnson recalled that he only saw Williams on a couple of plays last year, when Virginia Tech came back in the fourth quarter to win, 34-20. Johnson caught four passes for 51 yards, including a 27-yarder.
Both of them look forward to the typical Lane Stadium craziness on Saturday. It's a major ACC game and a big game for two ranked teams. The Williams vs. Johnson matchup will get their attention, too.
One major issue concerning the Hokie-Yellow Jacket game this Saturday is whether or not Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball will be able to play, and if so, to what degree.
Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey mentioned playing Ball for some if not all of the game against the Hokies.
Gailey also said in a statement that his staff "will take every precaution before allowing Reggie to return to practice." Later on Sunday, Gailey told ESPN's Joe Schad he is hopeful that Ball will be able to suit up.
Last week Ball was diagnosed with viral meningitis and missed the team's 28-13 win over Connecticut. Backup quarterback and redshirt freshman Taylor Bennett played in his absence.
For the second week in a row the Hokies got the shutout.
For the second week in a row, I almost fell asleep during the second half.
I had the wonderful 'thrill' of watching the game in person, and for the entire first half, the half that was somewhat interesting, I thought the Hokies looked good for a grand total of two plays. The first play occurred on the opening drive of the game for the Hokies, when Marcus Vick completed a 52-yard pass to receiver David Clowney [pictured above]. Vick couldn't have thrown a better pass, and Clowney showed great hands in making the difficult grab. The only other play of the opening half that I was satisfied with was another Vick completion -- this time a 28-yard touchdown to tight end Jeff King in the dying minutes of the second quarter.
In between those two plays however, Coach Beamer's squad was nowhere even close to playing like the fourth ranked team in the nation. I mean, think about it -- on our first drive we had to settle for a field goal. Later we were stuffed on 4th and goal on the 1 yard line. Yes, later we did score on a 1-yard run by Cedric Humes, but realistically we were only reluctant enough to score on that possession due to the great field position we gained after an Ohio turnover. And I'm not sure about you, but I don't really consider grabbing an interception against the Ohio Bobcats [WOW] something really worth jumping for joy. In reality our defense wasn't doing anything spectacular against such a scrub team.
Now with that being said, let me break down my experience on opening day. As I mentioned, I had the unfortunate privilege of having to sit through this showing of mediocrity in person. Ignorantly arriving only 15 minutes before kickoff, the entire student section was filled, with even the aisles in a complete standstill. With no seats to be seen, my three friends and I were forced to stand amongst the walkways and look over the shoulders of students, just to catch a glimpse of the game.
All this time I thought to myself, could it be any hotter? If you were there, you know exactly what I'm saying. I don't know why either, but every SINGLE afternoon Hokie game I've been to has been like 400 degrees outside, easy. It's ridiculous.
One quarter of that nonsense was enough. It was time to relocate. There was only one section of the stadium with empty seats, the South End Zone. To get there we only had to claw, scratch, and wrestle our way through what seemed to be all 25,000 students in Blacksburg. About 30 minutes later we finally made it across the stadium. It was my first time to the North End Zone, and I swear from up there we could see the entire campus, it was so high. One problem existed with being up there, we couldn't really see make out the players and the action. It felt like we were 100,000 feet above sea level. It was so bad up there that I almost lost consciousness from the lack of oxygen in the air.
Well not really, but we were sitting up pretty high. Making out numbers on jerseys was a tough feat in itself. Though the game was not very interesting, the spectator experience became more enjoyable. The heat died down and a nice breeze picked up. Also, we were able to actually sit down and watch the action -- something that is utterly impossible to do in the student section. I mean I'm all for showing school spirit and cheering your team on, but standing up for three hours non-stop is some bullshit. I really ain't down for that.
Also, the atmosphere in the South End Zone is completely different from its opposite, and in turn the game experience is a totally different one. We were surrounded by Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, and their younger children. I almost felt out of place. There was no cursing, screaming, or yelling, and not one single drunk person. The stands were full of calm and collected adults and their children just trying to enjoy the game, clapping for the occasional good play. This relaxed mood was in a way enjoyable, and I really didn't have any complaints with anybody.
[I did want to knock out some lady though, after her punk ass spilled Sprite on the back of my shirt and jeans.]
All in all though, it was an enjoyable experience for such a boring game. After watching the Hokies play like trash for the first 30 minutes, they picked it up in the second half and got the blowout. Once again I was impressed with Marcus Vick's play. The kid had no turnovers, and in fact scored three touchdowns -- two through the air and one on the ground.
Cedric Humes impressed me as well, rushing 15 times for 75 yards and two TDs, including a pretty 33-yard score up the middle in the third quarter. I really like how Humes and Mike Imoh compliment the pass, and take a lot of pressure on Marcus to make the throws necessary to spread out the field. Though Humes had a very respectable day, he still trails Imoh in season rushing yardage, down by 17 yards, 151-168.
With that being said, this upcoming game looks to be a much better one, as the Hokies host the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech. Should be less of a test than N.C. State, but it has potential to be a close, intense game. I'll be looking to see how cornerback Jimmy Williams will cover GT standout receiver Calvin Johnson. Should be a very interesting matchup.
Fortunately for me I have a ticket to that game too, so until then...
Former Hokie quarterback Michael Vick broke a number of tackles against the Eagles Monday night, with this being just one of them.
Representing Virginia Tech well, Michael Vick led the Atlanta Falcons to a close victory on Monday night, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 14-10 in the Georgia Dome.
On the night Vick had dismal passing statistics (12-23, 156 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs), but he provided a number of exciting runs, rushing 11 times for a smooth 68 yards and a touchdown.
Also, ex-Hokie cornerback DeAngelo Hall had a respectable night, racking up 5 tackles and an interception. Put up to the tough task of guarding Terrell Owens, Hall did well. Though T.O. got numbers (7 catches, 122 yards), DeAngelo constantly hounded him and gave him trouble all through the night.
Next week the two former Hokies and company travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks, with kickoff going underway at 4:15 ET.
Michael, I mean, Marcus Vick had a very respectable day, going 12-19 for 172 yards, 3 touchdowns and a pick.
What an exciting game, for a quarter at least. Not worthy of a recap, but you can check this if you like.
Quick thoughts though, on:
Marcus Vick: Played much better today, despite going against a powderpuff defense in the Blue Devils. Made some very accurate throws, especially in his touchdown passes to Jeff King and Josh Morgan. Unable to see his rushing talent on the day though, as he only ran 4 times for 0 yards. Definitely a confidence booster for the starter, as his next 'legitimate' challenge won't be until the 24th when the Hokies face Georgia Tech. Next week should be a rollover for Vick and Beamer's squad as they face Ohio.
Viriginia Tech looked strong in pretty much every facet of the game, especially on defense. Offensively, Coach Beamer's balanced running attack consisting of backs Mike Imoh and Cedric Humes made it even easier for Vick to take charge through the air. Overall, a very impressive (though expected) win at Wade Wallace Stadium.
Now on a much more serious note, a brief statement on Duke's unstoppable offense (insert sarcasm here). You know it's bad when your basketball team can score more points than your football team can gain yards yards (22 passing, 31 rushing).
So until next week's game against Ohio, here's to another blowout...
While discussing with a friend today about the Sunday game, one topic that arised was how the ESPN program showing the broadcast spent so much time airtime on former Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick.
In a way, it got so annoying that even people who I were watching the game with were joking, "They're showing Michael more than the players on the field."
Now, I do remember all the coverage being shown of Vick, and it did seem like they spent a majority of the telecast focused on him. Yet it was said after one interview with the Atlanta quarterback of how the older Vick was hesitant to do the interview because he "didn't want to take the spotlight off of his his younger brother, Marcus".
I found that in itself to be hypocritcal, bringing me to the point that was brought up amongst my friend and that I wanted to address.
If you're Michael Vick, one of the NFL's biggest playmakers and most popular players, why do you even show up to this game? Just doing that takes the spotlight away from your brother, as was clearly obvious on Sunday. When you are one of the most recognizable statures in the game in football, you're going to grab attention.
Now, giving Michael the benefit of the doubt, I'm sure Marcus wanted him there, consoling him down by the field. But back to looking at what Michael said, even if you do attend the game, why do you stand amongst the sidelines where everybody can see you? We all know that that right there is going to get you lots of attention. Why not just sit in the stands like everybody else, or join the other celebrities and other figures up in the press box?
When it all boils down it just didn't add up. Not that it's that big of a deal, but it makes you wonder. I'm sure Michael is aware of he's doing, maybe he just wants a little extra PR. So in the end if Michael really meant what he said, in the future he will just act like any other VIrginia Tech fan, and watch it from behind the sidelines, not along them.
Safety Aaron Rouse (left) is congrulated by linebacker James Anderson after making his second interception against N.C. State Sunday night.
To read an official recap of the game, click here.
Quick thoughts though, on:
Marcus Vick: The redshirt junior played in my mind an average game, throwing for only 108 yards and one touchdown. Yet, he maintained certain intangibles and got the job done. He showed good poise in the pocket, and it was good to see him play mistake-free, committing no turnovers. This area was without a doubt the biggest key for the Hokies in a game that was all about team field position and time of possesion. In looking at his passing performance, Vick only went for 10-21, and at times his accuracy looked shaky. However his second half touchdown lob to wideout David Clowney was picture perfect, and in the end was the game-winner. Add to his performance how he conjured up a few good runs and you can give the kid major respect. Tons of potential lies in him, all of which is just waiting to be tapped.
Pass defense: #36 came to play. Despite getting ran over in the first half by N.C. State's Darrell Blackman, junior safety Aaron Rouse came back strong to pick off N.C. State Jay Davis quarterback twice, including one on the last play of the game that gave Virginia Tech the win. Factoring in the combination of cornerback Jimmy Williams into the picture, the pass coverage for the Hokies was impenetrable, as they didn't allow the Wolfpack to score once through the air.
Tackling: Jimmy Williams put some serious licks on the Wolfpack, and the kid is a cornerback. The first big hit was a sack on quarterback Jay Davis, followed by another hit on running back Darrell Blackman in the backfield, and lastly another on a N.C. State receiver whose name I forget. All in all, #2 definitely lived up to the preseason hype with his performance.
Defensive end Chris Ellis almost outdid Jimmy with his second half hit, in which he snapped back Blackman and bodyslammed him to the ground. Afterwards he proceeded to 'incidentally' step on Blackman, an act which looked almost as painful as the tackle.
Outside linebacker James Anderson also made a notable tackle -- one that looked excruciatingly painful -- for N.C. State. In tackling Blackman, It looked like Anderson broke the N.C. State running back's neck, in which he snapped him back in an extremely awkward motion. A facemask was called on this play, yet when the replay was shown, I did not manage to see it. However, in mentioning Anderson's tackling, that's a part of his game he definitely needs to work on. He missed two big tackles in the flats that N.C. State capitalized on, striding for huge gains after his mistakes.
ESPN 2's Announcers: Though it wasn't Lee Corso or Kirk Herbstreit in the booth calling the game, I really wish it was. The no-name announcers who were calling it play-by-play were not great by any means. While hosting several friends over, they called them "boring" to which I instantly agreed. Also I could not get over the fact how they kept calling, on several occasion Marcus Vick by the name of MICHAEL. So, Dear ESPN, Marcus Vick plays for Virginia Tech, Michael does not. Hire people who know this.
Commercials during the game: In our Blacksburg area in which the game was shown. There was one commercial that had some humor that was not thought out at all, and as a result, it was humorous. The commercial was for a local dealership in the area selling Motorcycles, and ATVs and such. Basically their campaign message surrounding the commercial was "Gas prices are incredibly high, so come on down and buy a bike!" So after seeing this, the thought was, "I'm heated because I have to pay extra money for gas. So let me go drop a couple grand on a Harley!" What logic.
That's pretty much my two cents for week one; all in all what a great way to start off the new season. Looking forward to see us stomp on Duke next week, but until then...