VOLUME 006 ISSUE 005 (2005.09.29)
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Game Reivew - Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech
Three Key Plays
Game Preview - Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
Rants and Raves - A Great Weekend in Blacksburg
Game Review - Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech
by Brian "Where's the Ice?"
Georgia Tech: 7
Virginia Tech: 51
Virginia Tech took the field against the formidable Georgia
Tech squad this passed Saturday. Lee Corso came to town.
ESPN College Game Day came to today. And the Hokies A-game
certainly came into to town as well. Virginia Tech triumphed
over Georgia tech to the announcing voice of Gary Thorne of ESPN,
who's voice has a very familiar ring to all hockey fans
across North America.
The Hokie offense overwhelmed the Yellow Jacket defense with
223 yards of passing and 94 yards of rushing while the Hokie
defense put twenty-one points of their own on the board which
included a blocked field goal attempt run back for a touchdown.
At the moment of that blocked kick, Hokie fans knew that
Virginia Tech came ready to play and had every intention of
winning this game definitively.
Tight end Jeff King blocked the field goal that changed a
7-3 game to 14-0 in favor of the Hokies. DJ Parker completed
the adrenaline rush bock by running the recovered ball back
for a touchdown. Xavier Adibi and Chris Ellis ran
interceptions into the Yellow Jack end zone to put yet more
defensive points on the board.
On the Georgia Tech side of the game, Reggie Ball did play.
Although he may have recovered from meningitis, he had not
returned to full form in his game. While any onlooker could
certainly view this as the Achilles heel of Georgia Tech,
the super charged attitude of the Hokies most likely would
have given the Yellow Jackets a very tough contest even at
the top of their game.
Cornerback Jimmy Williams said, "We're out to prove something.
A lot of people don't feel we belong in the ACC. A lot of
people think we lucked out when we won the ACC last year.
We're just trying to repeat, to tell you the truth." If this
statement represents the morale of the Hokie Squad, then the
attitude that often leads the Hokies into their late season
skid probably does not exist in the locker room or on the
gridiron when they take the field. The attitude that they have
something to overcome and something to prove can remake them
into last year's hunting lion rather than the hunted fox of
past seasons when they have fallen from greatness late in the
The passed few issues of TSF has stressed the need of Marcus
Vick to emerge as a definitive leader of the team. Each week,
we've stressed the importance of Vick demonstrating this.
But this week, he has provided every indication that he has
achieved it. Now, he must play the crucial role of making his
teammates as anxious and hungry to win.
While fans have expected to watch Marcus Vick walk the same
footsteps as his brother, Michael, he has not quite done so,
at least not in the same path. As he prominently displayed
increasingly week to week, Marcus does not turn to scrambling
as quickly as his brother, although he has without question
demonstrated his ability in that area. Instead, Marcus
exhibits more patience for the right passing opportunity.
With all the same athleticism of his older brother, he uses
his talents somewhat differently, but very fittingly.
Three Key Plays
by "Mad" Jay
TSF identifies these plays as pivotal moments in the game
versus Georgia Tech.
1) Jeff King blocks a Georgia Tech FG attempt and D.J. Parker
picks up the loose ball and scampers 78 yards for a Hokie TD.
This play prevented the Yellow Jackets from answering a Hokie
TD on the previous drive and more importantly put the crowd
into a frenzy which VT fed off of the rest of the first half.
2) In the 3rd quarter Brandon Pace makes a 29 yard FG to put
the Hokies up 34-7. This score answered Georgia Tech’s lone
touchdown and showed the mental toughness of a VT team that
3) Xavier Adibi and Chris Ellis intercept two Reggie Ball
passes on back-to-back drives and return them both for
touchdowns to ice the game. This “killer” instinct was a
hallmark of late 90’s Hokie football where opponents not only
lost but they lost badly. This demoralized them for rematches
in the following seasons. Oklahoma’s repeated defeats of Texas
serve as a good example of this effect.
Game Preview - Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
by "Mad" Jay and Brian "Where's the Ice?"
At the beginning of the season Jay wrote about the concern
for the 2005 Hokies being the “hunted”. That is the central
theme to this weekend’s game against West Virginia.
In 2003, as the “hunted” #3 team in the country, coming off
a big 51-7 victory, the Hokies’s season came crumbling down
under the weight of expectations. They lost bad 28-7 on
national TV to a hyped-up WVU team. The next season (2004)
in Blacksburg, the Hokies did the same thing to WVU, knocking
them from the top 10 and ruining their season. So now the
expectations fall back to the Hokies’ shoulders and the
question is – can they handle it?
The answer will only be known Saturday afternoon, but I
believe that this year’s team has a few things going for it
that 2003’s team did not.
1) There is ONE QB in this offense and that is Marcus Vick.
There is a leader, a field general and he is playing mistake-
free and with poise. In 2003 the two headed monster of Randall
and Vick proved to be a disaster and hopefully one that Beamer
learned from. If any reinforcement of that were needed, just
look at what already cost Philip Fulmer dearly once this season
(and almost twice) when he played QB carousel with Erik Ainge
and Rick Clausen.
2) Bryan Randall’s 2004 season was a uniting one, the effects
of which will likely resonate through Hokie football for some
time. During the Georgia Tech game, the announcer touched on a
topic that Kirk Herbstreit, myself and others all suggested in
the past – how does VT impart the blue-collar mentality to blue-
chip recruits? The leadership shown by Bryan Randall and then
backed up by the results on the field last season, I believe
have convinced this team that it is more important to stick
together than to be a star. That will also be in direct contrast
to the 2003 team which had all the talent, but too many individuals
trying to make a name for themselves.
3) The 2005 Hokies can use the eerily similar circumstances between
this year’s game and 2003’s game as a rallying cry to keep history
from repeating itself.
4) Lastly, as the final rivalry game in this series for the
foreseeable future, the winner of this game gets to keep the Black
Diamond Trophy for a LONG time. The players don’t want that trophy
sitting in a case in Morgantown and forever knowing that it got
there on their watch.
There is no reason to look in-depth at matchups in this game. The
Hokies have more talent on defense than WVU has on offense. The
Hokies are faster on offense than WVU’s defense. I admit to wondering
if the Hokies can be physical enough in the running game against the
3-3-5 defense WVU uses, but even if not, Vick can torch the WVU
secondary. VT special teams are far superior to WVU.
No, this game comes down to execution under tough circumstances which
include the most hostile crowd the Hokies play in front of all season,
and high expectations. I think Tech can do it, in spite of Bryan
Stinespring’s play calling. I think the Hokies will win and if they
do, it will be a telling detail if the battle cry in the locker room
isn’t just one of celebration, but one of “Beat Marshall!” which is
NEXT week’s opponent. That will tell me that this year’s team, unlike
any before it, can handle being the “hunted”. Stay tuned and GO
West Virginia has two quarterbacks capable of leading their team.
While 6'2" 215 lbs Adam Bednarik has the starting role, 6'1" 185
lbs Pat White has also put up some good numbers as a freshman
quarterback. White also has 194 yards in 29 carries. Running
back Pernell Williams has 153 yards in 46 carries. 6'3" 180 lbs
wide receiver Brandon Myles has most of the receiving yards for
the Mountaineers at 266 yards in 17 receptions.
Virginia Tech's Jimmy Williams will most likely have his sights
on guarding Myles as he serves as the Mountaineer's best asset in
their passing game. The Virginia Tech defensive of Darryl Tapp,
Xavier Adibi, James Anderson, and Aaron Rouse will have to
contain the running game of White and Williams.
12:00 p.m. Saturday, October, 1
Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium
XM Satellite 191
Other games to watch:
USC vs. Arizona State, ABC, 3:30 pm EDT
Syracuse at Florida State, ABC, XM Channel 192, 3:30 pm
South Florida at Miami, ESPNU, XM Channel 193, 8:00 pm
Clemson at Wake Forest, ESPNU, XM Channel 191, 3:30 pm
Virginia at Maryland, JP/Raycom, XM Channel 192, 12:00 pm
Rants and Raves - A Great Weekend in Blacksburg
by "Mad" Jay
With all the detail of a Let's Go traveler's guide,
Jay describes the ideal weekend in Blacksburg, VA.
I have lost my temper on so many occasions over Hokie
football [Editor Note: we don't call him "Mad" Jay for
nothing] that I thought I would take a minute and appreciate
this past football weekend. Not that there aren’t some things
to be irritable about from the game, but there are as few as
I can remember in a long time.
So if you read this newsletter and you haven’t been to a Hokie
football game in a year or longer, then seriously, take a
weekend and visit Blacksburg for a home football game. Use
this review of the weekend to serve as suggestions for you,
or renew your own rituals; whatever your fancy, get to the
‘Burg and support Hokie football!
Arrive early evening if you can, as this will give you time to
enjoy a fine meal at one of your favorite restaurants. For me,
the choice is always between the world’s best burger at Mike’s
Famous Burgers or a few slices of pizza and some fantastic
draft beer selections at The Cellar.
Drink heartily at your favorite establishment but don’t go
overboard tonight. There’s a big day of tailgating tomorrow
and if you burn the candle on both ends tonight, there won’t
be enough gas in the tank for a long day of partying tomorrow.
Not to mention you won’t be able to wake up early enough to
snag a primo tailgating spot.
Wake up at around 8:30 AM or so and get to your tailgating lot
no later than 9:30 AM. This season we are in Lot 16 (The Cage)
and we set up on the grassy knoll at the back fence. Come see
us! We’ll be the ones with a life-sized replica of NASCAR driver
Dave Blaney decked out in full Hokie regalia, watching over us
and a large VT flag will be flying in the breeze. Three tarps
strong along with 5 grills, 10 coolers, 20 chairs, 3 real
footballs and 1 artificial one (for kids), a source of music and
you are set-up for a full day.
For a 1:00 PM or earlier kickoff, you can do The Walk but it is
ill-attended and not worth what you have to give up in drinking/
eating time in my view. For 3:30 PM or night games, The Walk is
a must-do as the crowd turnout is much better and the players and
coaches seem to truly enjoy it. Plus most of VT’s recruits are
chosen for big game weekends and those are typically late
afternoon or night games, so it makes a difference to the recruits
to see the fans turn-out for this slowly building tradition.
If ESPN Gameday is in town and you’ve never been to one, you
should go see Lee, Kirk and Chris and that whole circus. They
break down the games, Lee will try and be controversial to fire up
the crowd and there are always several segments on the local game.
Plus there’s a chance for you to be on national TV! But be warned,
Gameday sets up next to Squires, so plan your day accordingly or
you will be worn out from all the walking back and forth to the
stadium or your designated tailgating area.
After your visit to the Gameday set or The Walk (don’t do both -
again too draining. unless you are still in college, in which case,
you have unlimited energy so give it hell!), it’s time to get back
to the tailgate for a period of dedicated drinking and football
throwing. This is where you “get your mind right” as a fan and
prepare for what will be asked of you at kickoff. This is a good
time to begin heckling any fans you see from the day’s opponent
and to befriend any nearby tailgates that have a satellite dish so
you can stay apprised of scores and highlights from games around
About 40 minutes prior to kickoff, leave your tailgate. Make sure
that you have allowed time to lower tarps, lock cars, put things
in the cooler, etc. And bring a drink or two to finish off along
the way since there is no alcohol served in the stadium. On the way
to the stadium do whatever you need to do to begin getting ready
for the game. Some people joke and laugh around, others jog, or
walk with the band. In my case, the walk to the stadium is a weird
combination of quiet, focused contemplation mixed in with periods
of chest bumping and shoves amongst similarly focused fans.
Get to your seats, and for 30 seconds just sit and take in the
entire stadium and the views of the Virginia mountains visible from
almost anywhere in it. There may not be a prettier setting for a
football game than Lane Stadium/Worsham Field in autumn. And then 3
minutes before kickoff, I hope you have listened to me and preserved
your energy, because the BLAST of Enter Sandman comes through the
stadium speakers and you jump up and down and begin cheering while
Hokie Highlights blare on the JumboTron. The team bursts forth from
the tunnel to the fever pitch of the crowd, attired almost
exclusively in orange and maroon.
From this point on, you are on your own for the game. I don’t
remember much about the Hokie football games I attend, because I am
typically in a frenzy. I have to do most of my reviews by going back
and watching the game footage from my taping of the game. I can tell
you these few things -
1) When the opponent has the ball make as much noise as you can,
regardless of the score. REPEAT - regardless of the score.
2) When the opponent has a third down, get your keys out and shake
and rattle them about and find that deep down source of volume in
the pit of your stomach to let out your barbaric YAWP.
3) When the Hokies have the ball, pre-snap, you have to be deathly
quiet. Once the ball is snapped and good things are happening on the
play, you can begin to yell and cheer as much as you want.
4) I don’t know what happens when the Hokies block a kick. One minute
the crowd is cheering what seems to be loudly and the next minute
65,000 people have gone completely insane. I think I yelled out “I
am Mars, God of War!!” at the Georgia Tech game when we blocked the
FG but I can’t be sure. You just have to be there in the new stadium
to experience this.
Leave everything you have in the stands. By the end of the game, your
voice should be shot, and you should have lost at least 2 pounds of
water weight. Hokie fans can’t ask the team to play the full 60
minutes if the fans aren’t willing to cheer as much as they can for
the full game.
After the game, retire to your favorite establishment to wind down,
knock back a few more drinks, catch up on the rest of the football
scores and relive the glorious victory and the recognition of that
victory by college football “experts” from across the country.
Sleep in as late as you want on Sunday morning, preferably with
company, if you know what I mean.
When you get up, grab a brunch at either Boudreaux’s (for Bloody
Mary’s and mimosas), Gillies (for excellent, fresh breakfast food)
or Joe’s 24/7 Breakfast Diner (for greasy-spoon goodness). At the
time that suits you best, head back out of Blacksburg to wherever
you’re from, but try to drive by on Hwy 460 as I do, where you can
see the stadium against the backdrop of Blacksburg.
The leaves will have turned orange and maroon (everyone knows God
is a Hokie, just ask Lee Corso) and the campus will be growing and
expanding - signs of the foundation for the future that Tech is
building. It will be even better the next time you visit, whether
it’s next weekend, or next season.
Of course, if the Hokies lose the football game, the entire
(1) The Hokies and Moutaineers will square off against each
other for the thirty-thrid consecutive time this Saturday.
This will make the fifty-first meeting overall.
(2) Jeff King holds the school record at nine touchdown
receptions for a tight end.
(3) In 2003, Virgina Tech entered Morgantown with a BCS ranking
of three and lost. In 2004, West Virginia entered Blacksburg
with a record of 4-0 ranked fourth in the AP pool and lost.
In 2005, Virginia Tech enters Morgantown with a record of 4-0
and an AP poll ranking of three.
(4) Crews from ESPN have been spending the past two weeks with
the Virginia Tech football team to gather footage for a half-
hour special on Tech's gameweek preparation for both the Ohio
and Georgia Tech games. ESPN2 will air the first show Thursday
night/Friday morning at 1:30 a.m.
Florida State 2-0 3-0
Boston College 1-1 3-1
Maryland 1-1 2-2
Clemson 1-2 2-2
Wake Forest 0-1 1-3
NC State 0-2 1-2
Virginia Tech 3-0 4-0
Virginia 1-0 3-0
Georgia Tech 1-1 3-1
Miami 1-1 2-1
North Carolina 1-1 1-2
Duke 0-2 1-3
"Mad" Jason Oakley
Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi
Brian "Where's The Ice?" Wrenn
An EhhTee Production, llamas not included; 170.
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