VOLUME 006 ISSUE 014 (2005.12.01)
Three Key Plays
Game Review - vs. North Carolina
Game Preview - ACC Championship
The Definition of Irony
Rants & Raves - The BCS Sham
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Three Key Plays
by "Mad" Jay
1) Darryl Tapp turns into a monster and rushes through the line blocking a UNC field goal that would have put the Tarheels up 3-0. The Hokies recover the ball and the ensuing momentum carries the offense to a TD drive.
2) Jesse Holley drops a sure TD pass from UNC QB Matt Baker that would have given the 'Heels the lead 7-6. They have to settle for a FG making it a 6-3 Hokies lead going into halftime.
3) Cedric Humes busts through and scores a tough TD to put the Hokies up 13-3 early in the third quarter. This ended a drive where Humes had almost all the yards and it genuinely set the tone for the rest of the game. Humes and Ore were able to run at will over the Tarheels defense even though the 'Heels knew what was coming.
Game Review - vs. North Carolina
by "Mad" Jay
My first instincts Saturday night watching the Hokie game were sheer panic and utter disgust. In the second half those feelings subsided and I became joyous as VT assured itself of a shot to defend its ACC title. Considering Miami couldn't step up and beat Georgia Tech at home the week before when their ACC hopes were on the line, it goes without saying that some credit is due to the Hokies for winning this game first and foremost.
But having watched the game again, I think my first instincts (as is so often the case) were correct. This was a foreboding game by Tech. Make no mistake, this team has to make substantial improvement before facing Florida State or they will lose the ACC championship game badly. Why do I say this? Read on my Calm and Beloved Reader.
First of all, the offensive line for VT was able to just line up and run over UNC. In the second half, Vick threw ZERO passes past the line of scrimmage. He had two swing/WR screen passes that were almost laterals and the rest of the plays were running plays. The offensive line and the running backs were dominant and they just overpowered the Tarheels, running up the score on the overwhelmed, and in the 4th quarter, dead tired UNC defenders. While I do believe Tech can run on Florida State they will not just be able to line up and run snap after snap of off-tackle and dive plays and expect the same success.
Which brings me to the passing game. I have been known (once or twice perhaps) to exaggerate a little. But if you watch the game footage you will see that of Marcus Vick's passes, the SOLE pass thrown downfield that was on target was a slant to Josh Hyman. The rest of the completions the receivers had to jump up just to have a shot at them. And all of the incompletions were overthrown. All of them. I'll tell you why this makes me so nervous - I can't figure out why Vick was throwing them that way. His arm mechanics are never going to make a "How to Throw the Football" training video, but its been working all season and he was throwing high and long whether he was using a sidearm release or an overhead release. Yes on some of his throws his feet were too happy and shifty, but many of the throws he set his feet and stepped into the throw and still they were overthrown. This performance was on the heels of a passing clinic Vick put on against Virginia. Where is this inaccuracy coming from? The only conclusion I can draw is he's trying to throw the ball too hard, but even that is sketchy. QB coach Kevin Rogers and Vick are the ones who need to work this out this week and find out what the problem is, because obviously Vick has the ability to get the job done.
Before I move on to the defense let me pause and give credit to Cedric Humes. Wow, what a game he had. He very likely only has two games left in his football career and I genuinely hope he plays them like he has played the last two. It's been fun to watch him get back to how he ran before the foot injury in the spring of 2004. I also am going to give credit to offensive coordinator Brian Stinespring for recognizing how badly Vick was struggling and sticking with the running game for the entire second half. It wasn't exactly the most challenging analysis of the season to recognize this, but by God, I'll take any good signs coming out of the Stinespring camp that may indicate his possible improvement.
Oh and I would be remiss if I also didn't throw in a word about UNC QB Matt Baker. I'll tell you guys something - give me 11 players with the heart and fight of Matt Baker six days a week and twice on Saturday (I know, it's Sunday, but this is college football we're talking about here so talk to the hand). This Baker kid got the snot knocked out of him repeatedly throughout the game and he kept putting ball after ball on the money only to see his receivers repeatedly drop them. He also made some plays with his feet. And this entire performance was conducted in front of a very hostile crowd on national TV where most of the night was spent on the UNC side of the field. I just can't say enough about Matt Baker. I love the Hokies' QB and wouldn't trade him for anyone in the country, but the Tarheels have a winner taking snaps for them and I hope they know it.
Okay, now time for the defense. Just like in the Miami game, the defense played hard. But their lack of focus and execution in the first half was just so damn worrisome. It is only because the UNC players had much less talent than the Hurricanes that the results were different from the Miami game. Now, in the second half the defense played much better. I attribute a lot of that to Bud Foster. But with your shot at the ACC title game on the line, how do you come out and play that unfocused??? Receivers were open all over the field (they just kept dropping passes). Xavier Adibi made the wrong read on two runs that I saw, and he couldn't beat the block of a running back on a blitz he was on. Even Vince Hall dropped a VERY easy interception return for a touchdown. These are plays that, and I can't put it any more simply than this, HAVE to be made against FSU. The Seminoles will make some mistakes on offense, and the defense just has to capitalize. It takes focus and concentration to do it. I have nothing bad to say about Darryl Tapp's or Jimmy Williams' performance, but I bet it's no coincidence that they are seniors and understood what was on the line from the opening gun Saturday night.
Finally, a quick comment on the officiating is necessary. The comment is !*@(*(!@#$&*()&^%# (edited out due to the family nature of our audience). Seriously, both UNC and Tech can be sick at the officiating on Saturday night. Jeff King's TD pass wasn't a TD, and it didn't even get the instant replay review. Marcus Vick's fumble wasn't reviewable (down by contact was the ruling by the official and that is not reviewable), but the official made the wrong call. Vick fumbled. There was a terrible holding call on Tech offensive lineman Jason Murphy. They may as well not even let lineman block if that was holding. But even that was trumped by the insane pass interference call against Hokie safety Justin Hamilton at the end of the game. Between that call and last week's horrid pass interference call against D.J. Parker, I have concluded that the officials just are not capable of making this call in real time. This must become a reviewable play. Similar to the down-by-contact ruling, the rule should be that if the referee does not call pass interference, you cannot review the play and decide there was pass interference. But if the ref calls it, the replay booth needs the right to overturn blatantly wrong calls.
The score of the UNC game suggests it was a big win to build on, but I disagree. I think it was only a good win in terms of where it puts the Hokies, which is obviously in position to defend their ACC crown. I wish I could say that Tech was just looking past UNC but they couldn't have been because they had to beat UNC to make it to the ACC title game. Emotion goes a long way in college football and I am sure the Hokie seniors will have the team fired up. They certainly have the talent. But the coaches need to make sure that the team is very focused from the beginning of the game. We have seen what happens when the team is focused and when it isn't.
Well, I am headed to Jacksonville to see what happens, so GO HOKIES!!!
Game Preview - ACC Championship
by Brian "Where's the Ice?"
In the ACC's inaugural championship game this Saturday, the Florida State Seminoles will face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies. ACC fans have waited more than two full seasons to watch this event come to fruition, and now it will finally happen.
College Football fans of two seasons ago would have felt very comfortable in their own skin predicting a Miami vs. FSU contest and the Hokies just beginning to emerge from mediocrity. However, after the Hokie's triumph over the ACC last season, many predicted an almost sure appearance by FSU but an equal chance for a Miami and Virgina Tech appearance representing the Coastal division. With a win against UNC last week and a very big helping hand from Georgia Tech last week, the Hokies have secured the right to defend their ACC title.
So what do the Hokies have up against them in this year's FSU squad? Let's start with a broad look at the team's season. The Seminoles began the season with a hard fought win over Miami. Quarterbacks Kyle Wright and Drew Weatherford made their starts as very inexperienced newcomers to their respective high profile roles. The game progressed with a number of rookie erros on offense. Neithers team's scoring units had very much to show for their offensive stats. Defense decided this game, and FSU came out on top when the clock reached 0:00.
FSU continued their season with a strong opening claiming a win against Boston College, and then continuing to increase the number under their wins column against Syracuse and Wake Forest. Then came Virginia who handed them what many thought would turn out as the biggest upset in the ACC all season. Little did College Football fans know, FSU would only squeak by Maryland and then drop another game to NC State. While their season opener opponent, Miami, had shown steady improvement, the 'Noles had shown a contrasting steady decline. Their offense didn't come together to put up the numbers needed to put FSU-like points on board despite productive numbers in stats. And all the while, their defense didn't play up to the FSU standard of seasons past. This trend continued as they ended their regular season with a three game skid losing to Clemson and in state rival Florida. By their good fortune of Boston College slipping up against North Carolina, FSU still got the bid to the ACC championship based on the head-to-head tie breaker.
Getting down to the nitty gritty, over the season, FSU's overall defense falls towards the middle of the ACC. Their pass defense does a little better than okay, but it doesn't come very close to that of Miami or our beloved Hokies. The Seminoles allowed 2023 yards in receiving during the regular season, exceeding that of the Hokies by nearly 500 yards. FSU's defense against the run game yielded better stats for the year at 1230 yards. This only trails Virginia Tech's stat in this category by a little more than 200 yards.
Examining Florida State's offense gives 'Noles fans some reason for optimisim. In overall offense they nip right at the Heels of the Hokies who lead the conference in this category as well as in defense. FSU leads the ACC in passing offense. They've amassed a whopping 3203 yards in passing. This beats the Hokies by more than 1000 yards. Rushing, on the other hand, doesn't fair as the 'Noles best offensive facit. They finish the season near the bottom of the league with only 1149 yards, more than 1000 yards less than the Hokies.
As FSU has not firmly established a solid running game, Weatherford will utilize wide receivers Chris Davis, Greg Carr, and Willie Reid. Each of them has 500 or more yards in receiving on the season. Hokie wide receivers Josh Hyman, Eddie Royal, and Josh Morgan don't have these kinds of numbers. Only David Clowney has comparable numbers in this regard. More on receiving, FSU Tight end Anthony Hill has 137 yards in receiving; not a Jeff King, but he definitely can do some damage to the Hokie defense.
In rushing, FSU has 5'11" 187 lbs running back Lorenzo Booker. He has amassed the kind of rushing yardage that Mike Imoh, Cedric Humes, and Branden Ore have throughout this year. However, FSU only has one such player while the Hokies have three. The number two tailback for FSU, Leon Washington at 5'9" 202 lbs, has acrued a little less rushing yards than the aforementioned players. Notably the FSU running backs don't have the size of Ore and Humes, so that's one dimension of the rushing game in the Hokies' favor.
FSU will probably lean on their passing game more so than their running game. They don't have as many options that the Hokies do on offense, but you certainly can't call them a one-dimentional squad. The FSU wide receivers will keep Virginia Tech corners Jimmy Williams and Roland Minor quite busy, but if Bud Foster keeps his players in line, organized, and focused, they should handle the FSU offense just fine. FSU's offense has only faced one defense comparable to that of the Hokies, Miami. And they faced that squad during theirs and Miami's first game of the season.
At it's best, Virgina Tech's offense simply has too much firepower for the FSU defense to contain. Quite simply, Virgina Tech will probably get the ball into the paint a number of times. The real question on FSU's end lies in how well their offense can perform against Bud Foster's Hokie defense. As for the Hokies, if they show up the way they did for their game against UVA and the second half of the UNC game, it doesn't matter what FSU does. The Hokies will win. If Virgina Tech doesn't show up to play that way, expect a messy game on both sides.
Virginia Tech (10-1, 7-1 ACC) vs Florida State (7-4, 5-3 ACC)
8:00 pm, Saturday, December 3, Alltel Stadium (77,497)
Other Games to Watch:
Big 12 Championship Colorado vs. Texas: Sat, Dec 3, 1 p.m., ABC
UCLA vs. USC: Sat, Dec 3, 4:30 p.m., ABC
The Defintion of Irony
1. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning
2. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning
3. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect
4. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs
5. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity
Bunch of idiots danicing on airplane to a song made famous by a band who died in an airplane crash.
The situation Miami fans find themselves in. After purchasing ACC championship game tickets upon defeating the Hokies in Lane Stadium these fans are now selling their tickets on Ebay at a 50% discount to none other than Virginia Tech fans. I purchased my four tickets there (thank you Ebay seller "deercreekgolf" from Coral Gables, FL). The only thing that could be better than this is if it had happened to Virginia fans instead.
Rants & Raves - The BCS Sham
by Brian "Where's the Ice?"
Yes, TSF visited this topic last season, in seasons prior, and now again this year. Yes, commentators, sportswriters, and game announcers have raised this issue. Yes, many people tire and tire and tire from reading, hearing, and thinking about this subject. However, as college football fans we must raise it each year to hold some shred of hope that this will change. Of what topic do I speak? Notre Lame will get a bowl they do not deserve, and that goes part in parcel with the fact that the BCS, even admittedly by those of whom it consists, exists as a big fat sham.
I'll begin applying this yearly defense of the theme by addressing who will get the short end of the BCS stick. Oregon has lost only one game this season, and they lost to a team who has almost completed a third season without a loss (you may have heard of them - the USC Trojans). Oregon has earned an at-large BCS spot along side of Ohio State, but they won't get it because Notre Dame will get higher ratings on the tube. The BCS big wigs don't hide it; they don't have to do so. Fans will tune into the game and watch just because of the perception that the Blue and Gold colors claim a monopoly on all Catholic college sports fans. Well, let me add one little point to this: I'm Catholic, and I ain't pulling for a conference-less Notre Dame. I'll put my Catholic pride in BC, distantly behind the Hokies of course.
The way things will shape up this BCS post season, USC will probably play Texas in the Rose Bowl. As a matter of fact, this looms as a near certainty. Why? These two teams share the top three media favorites for the Heisman Trophy: Reggie Bush, Matt Lionart, and Vince Young. The media wants to see two top five offenses slug it out against respective not-so-top-twenty-five defenses because unfortunately a good story with good hype sells better than a good game. USC has more firepower on offense, so they should win this contest. If Texas has a good day and USC has a mere so-so day, the clock (i.e. last possession) will most likely decide the game. Nonetheless, this game also goes down as a sham because the media has planned this matchup since Week One. Don't expect a fun game. Expect USC to completely choke or make complete fools of the Longhorns.
While not of direct consequence from the BCS, another relevant sham to discuss lies in conference championships, and the ACC's inaugural one serves as a great whipping boy for this pitiful charade. Will the two-loss Hurricanes get to compete for the title? No, the sub-top twenty-five Semiols will, even though they have three in-conference losses and four overall. Now, I don't mean to overlook FSU. They have a formidable outfit (who has albeit slipped deep into mediocrity this season), and they do have the talent and potential of taking the ACC title. But the sham in their title game appearance lies in the question of who has earned it and who deserves it more. So how does this little blurb fit into the BCS sham? FSU, a four loss team, could earn a BCS bowl bid against a one-loss team. Rediculous.
Let's examine one more potential BCS crisis. If, a VERY big if, USC drops to UCLA and Texas drops to Colorado, the BCS will have a rather large PR problem in nine one-loss teams, if you include TCU. So who deserves to play in the game coined as the national championship now? Not that the BCS decision makers will care; they've already got their plans set. But in this scenario we have eight teams who play in conferences with BCS bids, so wouldn't a three round playoff just make sense? I'd go for it, even at the expense of eliminating conference championships.
So now, you're asking, "So for what reason should I care, 'Where's the Ice?' All this complaining won't change a thing!" And on that you make a correct observation, so what do I suggest? DON'T GIVE THE BCS WHAT THEY WANT: MORE DINERO. When Notre Lame gets their undeserved bid to the Fiesta Bowl or Sugar Bowl this year, don't watch. Aside from the sheer satisfaction of their opposition running up a landside score on them, you probably won't get a whole lot of excitement out of the game anyways. Notre Dame played one excellent game this year and nine others a little better than the opposition. While this year's team does have a better squad than those of most recent years, they don't have a single win over a team currently ranked in the top twenty five.
Jesus still loves you if you don't pull for Notre Dame.
(1) You will never read te word "undefeated" in any issue of TSF until the Hokies have lost in the season or if the Hokies did in fact complete an undefeated season.
(2) The ACC has named Frank Beamer the conference Coach of the Year. Read more here: http://www.hokiesports.com/football/recaps/20051129aaa.html. This makes two years in a row!
(3) The ACC named Marcus Vick, Jason Murphy, and Will Mongomery to the First Offense of the All-ACC Football Team, and they've named Jeff King and Jimmy Martin to the Second Offense of the All-ACC Football Team.
(4) The ACC named Darryl Tapp and Jimmy Williams to the First Defensive All-ACC team, and they've named Jonathan Lewis and Vince Hall to the Second Defensive All-ACC team.
(5) The ACC has only had three teams ranked in the top 10 throughout this entire season: USC, Texas, and Virginia Tech.
Florida State...5-3 7-4
Boston College..5-3 8-3
NC State........3-5 6-5
Wake Forest.....3-5 4-7
Virginia Tech...7-1 10-1
Georgia Tech....5-3 7-4
North Carolina..4-4 5-6
|AP |USA Today |Harris |BCS |TSF
1|USC (50) |USC (49) |USC (98) |USC |USC (2)
2|Texas (14)|Texas (13)|Texas (15)|Texas |Texas (1)
3|LSU |LSU |Penn St |Penn St |Penn St
4|Penn St |Penn St |LSU |LSU |Va Tech
5|Va Tech |Va Tech |Va Tech |Va Tech |LSU
6|Ohio St |Ohio St |Ohio St |Ohio St |Oregon
7|Notre Dame|Notre Dame|Notre Dame|Oregon |UCLA
8|Oregon |Oregon |Oregon |Notre Dame|Miami (FL)
9|Auburn |Auburn |Auburn |Miami (FL)|Auburn
10|Miami (FL)|Miami (FL)|Miami (FL)|Auburn |WVU
11|UCLA |UCLA |UCLA |WVU |Ohio St
12|WVU |WVU |Georgia |UCLA |Notre Dame
13|Georgia |Georgia |WVU |Georgia |Alabama
14|Alabama |Alabama |Alabama |TCU |Texas Tech
15|TCU |TCU |TCU |Alabama |Georgia
16|Louisville|Texas Tech|Texas Tech|Texas Tech|Boston Col
17|Florida |Louisville|Louisville|Florida |TCU
18|Texas Tech|Florida |Florida |Wisconsin |Florida
19|Boston Col|Boston Col|Boston Col|Michigam |Wisconsin
20|Michigan |Wisconsin |Wisconsin |Boston Col|Clemson
21|Wisconsin |Michigan |Michigam |Louisville|Michigan
22|Clemson |Fresno St |Fresno St |Northwstrn|So Carolina
23|Fresno St|Clemson |Clemson |Oklahoma |Ga Tech
24|Ga Tech |Ga Tech |Ga Tech |Ga Tech |Louisville
25|Iowa |Iowa |Iowa |Fresno St |Colorado
Only two more issues left in this season's volume of TechSuperFans. Next week, "Mad" Jay and "Where's the Ice?" will break down our picks for who should go to what bowls. And ofcourse you'll get the usuall game reivew, game preview, and complaints about Notre Dame.
"Mad" Jason Oakley
Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi
Brian "Where's The Ice?" Wrenn
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