VOLUME 006 ISSUE 013 (2005.11.23)
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Three Key Plays
Game Review - vs. Virginia
Game Preview - vs. North Carolina
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"There is no way Miami looses this game. If they do, I'll eat my hat!"
-"EhhTee" 8:12 p.m. 11/19/05
Ladies and gentlemen, he actually did eat his hat.
Three Key Plays
by "Mad" Jay
1) The Hokies D stops the Cavaliers on a screen pass on third down on Virginia's first offensive series. After the Hokies go 3 and out on their first possession, Nic Schmitt kicked a terrible punt and the Cavaliers had great field position and a chance to set the tone. Instead the Hokie D came out and obliterated Virginia on three straight plays getting the ball back to the Hokie offense and keeping the game scoreless.
2) Early in the 2nd quarter, ahead only 10-0, Tech is forced to punt from midfield and Schmitt redeems himself by booming a moon shot which Virginia's return man, Michael Johnson, misplays. Brandon Minor recovers for the Hokies and they punch the ball in with Humes from the one-yard line to put the score at 17-0.
3) Humes breaks off a 41-yard jaunt on Tech's first offensive series of the second half. The Cavaliers had just driven down the field (with the help of an impossibly bad pass interference call - more on that later) and scored a TD to make it 24-7. Just as Miami had done a week earlier with a Charlie Jones 29-yard run at the beginning of the 2nd half to set the tone, this time VT and Cedric Humes delivered the knockout blow with Humes' big run. The Hokies scored later in the drive, answering the Cavaliers TD, to make it 31-7 and the game was essentially over.
Game Review - vs. Virginia
by "Mad" Jay
"Victory belongs to the most persevering. "
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)
I didn't even play in the Miami-Virginia Tech loss and I know it left me hurting, so I imagine it had to hurt the players even more deeply. That's a lot of hurt. Hurt to the point where they would have to question themselves. For the team to have a goal of an ACC Championship and a national title on the line and play so poorly made me wonder if the 2005 edition of the Hokies had the character and the grit of the 2004 squad or whether they would call it a season like the 2001-2003 VT football teams. Sure the players were saying the right things leading up to the Virginia game, but no one knew for sure.
The most important thing to me is never giving up. I am aware of the odd looks I get in the stands when the Hokies make a mental mistake while ahead by 30 points and I lose my temper. I am also proud of the fact that the Blonde, myself, and our friends, get odd looks as we cheer for the Hokies to play hard no matter what the score is (even when getting blown out 27-0 by Miami) until the clock reads 0:00. Sometimes, when you don't give up, things work out for you.
Take this past Saturday for example. The Hokies dug deep and (this is important) without knowing the outcome of the Miami-Georgia Tech game, - they played like they could still win the ACC. They did not give up, they persevered and they obliterated a good Virginia football team on the road 52-14. Later that night, Georgia Tech, showing just as much heart and never-say-die determination beat a Miami team that played at home like the Hokies had two weeks prior in Lane Stadium. The ACC is the best football conference in college football because on any given Saturday there are at least eight legitimate ACC opponents that can beat anything but your "A" game.
And so, speaking of "A" games, let's take a closer look at how Tech beat UVA.
First of all on offense, Marcus Vick returned to his beyond-human level, throwing the ball incredibly well and making plays with his feet when he had to that only a very few QB's in the country could make. Actually his best play was an incompletion to TE Jeff King on a broken play that Vick threw perfectly as he avoided a heavy pass rush to the one spot at the back of the end zone where King could make a play. Unfortunately, King couldn't quite get his right foot down in bounds, but it was spectacular to watch anyway.
I am also going to give Cedric Humes a lot of credit because I have been hard on him, and he played like a champion on Saturday. He ran hard and played well. Of course, objectively, Branden Ore played even better, not only in the yards per carry category but also showing the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. However, if Humes plays at that level, I cannot quarrel with the coaching staff's decision to name him starter the rest of the season. The receivers were fantastic as always with only one dropped pass from Josh Hyman to keep them from perfect marks. And let's give some MAJOR credit to the offensive line. My goodness, starting in the 3rd quarter, they absolutely out-muscled and out-worked the Cavalier's defense. Vick had time to throw, the backs had gaping holes to run through, I mean this is the type of O-line footage you keep for the library.
On defense, the Hokies were just ferocious. They shut down the Cavaliers the entire game. To put it in perspective, the Cavaliers scored their first TD only because of an incomprehensible pass-interference call against VT safety DJ Parker. They scored their second TD off an interception and the resulting short field. I wish there were words for how bad that interference call was which led to the first touchdown. Parker broke on the ball and beat the receiver to it and replays showed that it was actually interference by the UVA receiver who kept Parker from making the interception. Inconceivably ("I do not think that word means what you think it means") the referee threw the flag on Parker. The commentators, the TV replays, the fans, Parker, the receiver and the guy selling drinks in the stands all know that was a bad call. I expect an apology from ACC officials this week.
And good lord, speaking of bad calls, what in the holy HELL was Marcus Vick doing in the game up 52-7 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Hello?? Hasn't Beamer and bunch seen the footage from Alabama star receiver Tyrone Prothro breaking his ankle at the end of the Alabama-Florida game? And with Vick in there, ahead that 52-7 score, just what space aliens kidnapped Brian Stinespring's family and held them for ransom, the conditions of their release being contingent on his calling a deep pass to Josh Morgan?!?!?!?!? It led to a pick, and subsequently the 2nd Cavalier TD. But more importantly it could have gotten Vick hurt. Hey if Cory Holt is in there doing back-up QB duty, I am ALL in favor of calling that play. Give young Holt some meaningful playing time by all means. I don't think Marcus Vick needs a lot of work on the sideline fly route. And so I keep coming back to the same conclusion that I always reach, which is that Stinespring needs to be demoted. Despite the offense's crisp execution and the first pass to a running back - a 10 yard gain to Ore - that I have seen all season, Stinespring just doesn't have a grasp of the game. He should go back to being offensive line coach (I complimented the offensive-line performance earlier). I think that the way Stinespring calls a game is an Achilles heel of this program and we need to be dipped in the river one more time if we're going to take that last step to a national title.
That being said, through perseverance and not giving up, Virginia Tech finds itself in a position to defend its ACC title. They also are positioned very well for in-state recruiting for this coming year. The win over their hated rivals combined with Miami's 14-10 loss to Georgia Tech also helps exorcise some of the demons from that debacle two weeks ago and re-affirms the team's belief in themselves.
But as we have learned, that means very little right now. Right now all that there is, is the UNC Tarheels coming to Lane Stadium for yet another nationally televised game under the lights (7:45 PM kickoff) on Saturday. If the Hokies can maintain their focus and play with the same sense of urgency that they did against Virginia then they can learn the truth in Napoleon Bonaparte's words firsthand.
Game Preview - vs. North Carolina
by Brian "Where's the Ice?"
Besides buying the Georgia Tech football team a giant Thanksgiving Day turkey, the Hokies need to set the sights on likes of the UNC Tarheels. Put quite simply, you cannot predict how this team will play. This team has upset Boston College, nearly bested Maryland, and almost lost to Duke so far on the season. This team's schizophrenic performance this year should catch the Hokies' eye in the case that when the time comes to square off against them, Beamer's boys have themselves prepared for an opponent who wants to bust out of the gate.
The Tarheels have two things to motivate them. One, they must win this game to make themselves bowl eligible. A team needs to have six under the W column for that. Two, their program has made a name for itself this season by knocking off some opponents unexpectedly and giving favored teams they've played a run for their money when most of the ACC expected a blowout.
Talent for talent, if the Hokies show up to play their best football, UNC doesn't really stand a chance. But make no mistake, the Hokies do not want to go into the fourth quarter with a slim margin separating themselves from the 'heels.
The Hokie defense will have to contain quarterback Matt Baker. He's put up and impressive 2185 yards in passing. And Baker has strong offensive assets in Running backs Ronnie McGill and Barrington Edwards, each nearing 500 and 400 yards respectively. Receiver Jesse Holley has 621 yards in receiving. They've accomplished this with a schedule very similar to that of the Hokies.
By the stats alone, UNC doesn't look too impressive as compared to a Miami, Virginia Tech, or Boston College; however, this team has accrued some wins against some tough opponents and given some even tougher teams a run for their money.
Florida State 5-3 7-3
Boston College 5-3 8-3
Clemson 4-4 7-4
Maryland 3-4 5-5
Wake Forest 3-5 4-7
NC State 2-5 5-5
Virginia Tech 6-1 9-1
Miami 5-2 8-2
Georgia Tech 5-3 7-3
North Carolina 4-3 5-5
Virginia 3-4 6-4
Duke 0-8 1-10
BCS AP USA Today TSF
1. USC USC (50) USC (49) USC (2)
2. Texas Texas (14) Texas (13) Texas (1)
3. Penn State LSU LSU Penn State
4. LSU Penn State Penn State Virginia Tech
5. Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Tech LSU
6. Ohio State Notre Dame Notre Dame UCLA
7. Oregon Ohio State Ohio State Notre Dame
8. Notre Dame Oregon Oregon Oregon
9. Miami Auburn Auburn Miami
10. Auburn Miami Miami Auburn
11. West Virginia UCLA UCLA West Virginia
12. UCLA West Virginia West Virginia Ohio State
13. TCU Georgia Georgia Fresno State
14. Alabama Alabama Alabama Georgia
15. Georgia TCU TCU Alabama
16. Texas Tech Fresno State Fresno State Texas Tech
17. Wisconsin Louisville Texas Tech Boston College
18. Boston College Texas Tech Louisville TCU
19. Fresno State Florida Florida Georgia Tech
20. Louisville Georgia Tech Boston College Florida
21. Georgia Tech Boston College Florida State Florida State
22. Michigan Michigan Wisconsin Wisconsin
23. Florida Florida State Michigan Louisville
24. Florida State Wisconsin Georgia Tech Colorado
25. Northwestern Clemson Iowa State Clemson
"Mad" Jason Oakley
Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi
Brian "Where's The Ice?" Wrenn
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