Friday, December 03, 2004

A Good (Great?) Season

by "Mad" Jay

My colleague thinks I haven't been mad in two weeks. WRONG! The poor
tackling in the first half of the Virginia game could be the Hokies
death knell against the Hurricanes. Whereas Virginia took missed
tackles and turned them into extra yards, the Hurricanes take missed
tackles and score touchdowns. Also, "Where's the Ice?", how
about "Where's the Love?" Does my distinguished friend not believe
that the Hokies are one of the top ten teams in the country?
Obviously not, from his rankings.

I do think the Hokies are a top ten team, but we'll find out where in
the top ten Virginia Tech belongs after Saturday's game. I was right
that the running game would dictate the outcome of last weekend's
game. I am confident that the passing game will determine the outcome
of this weekend's game.

Brock Berlin is a physically talented psychological wreck. If Tech
can get pressure or even better yet a pick or two, they will be in
his head. However, if Berlin has
as much time to throw the ball as he did against Virginia and Wake
Forest, the Hokies will suffer the same fate as those two opponents.

On the other side of the ball, I am GREATLY - and by GREATLY I mean
on the point of a nervous breakdown - concerned about the injuries.
Jimmy Martin on the offensive line protects Brian Randall's blind
side and he's out with an ankle sprain. And I don't care what the
coaches and analysts think, Mike Imoh will not be back at 100%.
Hamstrings are too hard to fully recover from for any player in two
weeks, much less a skill position player. Josh Hyman's injured knee
is the icing on the training room's cake, as the Hokies greatest
offensive weapon from the UVA game will be at 75% at best. So if
Randall can still muster a solid passing game early on in a
hostile environment it will free up the running game and Tech has a
chance to win an ACC title.

Not too bad for a team picked to finish anywhere from 6th to 8th in
the conference by analysts and my friends alike. Even I, the eternal
optimist (cough,cough) didn't predict an ACC championship in Tech's
first season in the league. But I knew we would finish top four and I
am very proud to be a Hokie after the way this team personified the
word "team" and rediscovered Hokie football.

This will be a good season even if Tech loses, but it will be a great
season if they win. I think they can do it, but the passing game on
both sides of the ball will be the key.


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