Sunday, September 26, 2010

Game Review - VT vs. BC

I am so damn tired of writing the same game review over and over and over again. If you want to know what happened in the VT vs. BC game on Saturday, please read the review of practically any Hokie win in 2006, 2007 or 2008. In a nutshell, the offense stunk, the defense stopped any threats, while also giving the offense the ball inside BC's 40 yd-line twice, which the offense failed to convert to TD's, the FG kicking and punting were very solid and the Hokies ended up winning 19-0.

What has me particularly exhausted is that this year was supposed to be different, according to many. There is no doubt or argument from any quarter about the fact that this is an offense overflowing with talent and ability. Compare the 2007 ACC Champion lineup to the 2010 version on offense and it's laughable.

A freshman disastrously splitting time with Sean Glennon was your QB option vs. a senior Tyrod Taylor headed to the NFL. Brandon Ore was hurt most of the season at RB vs. Ryan Williams/Darren Evans/David Wilson. The WR's were as good or better than the current vintage, but the 2010 TE Andre Smith is a better overall weapon than Greg Boone was at that stage.

The offensive line in 2010 is better than it was in '07 and FAR, FAR deeper. Position-by-position - senior RT Blake DeChristopher vs. a sophomore Ed Wang who couldn't run block very well back then having just moved over from tight end (and it never really was his forte). Junior RG Jaymes Brooks is NFL bound if he can develop some stamina vs. Sergio Render who was a sophomore, but I'll call that one a wash. The center is Beau Warren in 2010 vs. Ryan Shuman and let's put it this way - Warren was Shuman's backup in 2008 and I thought Warren was a better center then. LG is Greg Nosal in 2010 vs. Nick Marshman. Marshman was enormous but nowhere NEAR as talented or athletic as Nosal. And LT is Andrew Lanier vs. Duane Brown which is the only matchup where 2007 has the edge. Backing up each position in 2010 is a very talented player, whereas in 2007, it was a floating Richard Graham who really belonged in Div. I-AA but had a lot of heart.

The reason the 2007 squad won the ACC title was that the defense was unreal. Players who will be in the Hokie Hall of Fame some day roamed the field for that defense. Names like Macho Harris, Brandon Flowers, Vince Hall, Xavier Adibi, Chris Ellis, Barry Booker, Kam Chancellor (when he was in his natural position of rover), there were just playmakers everywhere and the Hokies ended up with the #4 defense in the nation that season.

So yes, the 2007 offense was truly horrid but when you look back over the list by position, it's not hard to see why. If that team, with that lineup could win the ACC, you can imagine why so many Hokie Superfans were looking forward to see what happened this season with the offense outlined above. Yes, the defense was young and would take a few games to get it together and probably half of the season to become a typical dominant VT defense, but no one doubted the talent of the young players on that side of the ball nor the ability of Coach Foster to make it happen. All the offense had to do was carry VT for a few games and.........oh, wait. Couldn't convert a first down to win the game against Boise State. Couldn't hang on to the ball against the mighty Dukes of James Madison. And suicide watch comes and goes without incident. This time.

So we find ourselves waking up after a Hokie win in Boston, the first one in 8 years actually, and well, there's no way to put this delicately so here we go. Did you ever, during your dating years, wake up one morning, all completely hungover and realize that you may have hooked up with someone who you probably would not have if you hadn't had those last 7 shots of tequila? In the final analysis, yes you still hooked up, which is great if you're single, but if you'll recall the look you gave yourself in the mirror that morning, I doubt it was one of pride.

And that's the greasy feeling I had after this win. The Hokies took advantage of a bad Boston College QB, who made even worse decisions than usual in this game. They had the unfair advantage of Coach Foster who took away the one play that worked for the Eagles in the first half - the RB draw to Montel Harris. And so, with a dominant defense keeping the Eagles off the board entirely, the offense had the opportunity to build on the momentum created in the 2nd half of the East Carolina game. And it took that opportunity and BLEW IT RIGHT OUT OF IT'S COLLECTIVE ASS.

I have the sense from those around the program that Coach Frank Beamer's most masterful achievement the past few seasons has been to keep that locker room together. In other words to keep the defense from openly splintering from the offense. They certainly have had reason to. Earlier in this 2010 season it was easier to do because the defense wasn't playing that well either in the losses, but I think the monster that is a Bud Foster coached-defense where the players know what to do, has awoken. And in the post-game locker room against BC, there was a palpable sense during Coach Beamer's speech about getting better, being tough and getting ready to get better the next week that the players knew that the defense was doing it and the offense wasn't.

That had better change this week because the game against the Wolfpack in Raleigh is going to require the defense to play at an even higher level and the offense will actually have to contribute. As for me, I'm going to get some sleep.



Brad said...

well said sir. If it were not so disappointing, it would be funny how comments from last year can be carbon copied for this year.


the great thing about sports is that there is no script, anything can happen. But, during the 'bama game i began to feel like i was watching a re-run. The cast members have changed a little, but the story line has remained the same for a long time. Far too long, in fact."

It will be super fun to see how the offense responds this week knowing it's up against a pretty good team. If the script holds, one of these games the light will turn, but not especially bright and far too late.


MadJay said...

Skelator, as sick as I am I do see the humor in you copying and pasting your comment from early last season and having it still apply. The question is - when does this ever end? When is a change made? The answer is - not as long as the Hokies can compete for ACC titles which keeps the staff intact and wealthy and the vast majority of fans happy, with just us Superfans disgusted by what "might-have-been" during this era when Bud Foster was our defensive coordinator.

Illinois Hokie said...

Keep this in mind:

Frank Beamer will not be our coach much longer. I say this with no delusion that he will be "forced out," nor the belief that he should be. But just look at the man this season. He looks terrible. He sounds terrible. I think Cheryl's fall and his own injury have hit him harder than even he expected, and I think he's just now realizing it. He will not finish out his contact, IMO.

The departure of Frank = the departure of Stinespring.

If it happens sooner rather than later, Bud Foster is our next head coach.

But perhaps reason to be even more excited, Torrian Gray is our next defensive coordinator. As great as Foster is, I think Gray has potential to be even better.

As for OC under Foster, who cares? Bring in a lobotomized chimp. We're making due with one now.

MadJay said...

Illinois Hokie,
That is a very interesting take on Beamer. I hadn't given it much thought, but he does look haggard this year and with those health issues in his family, he may hang it up before his contract is up. If so, it's gonna be Bud's job and that is great.

But come on!!! As big a fan of Torrian Gray as I am (and I'm a HUGE fan) to say he could be better than Bud???!!!? Bud Foster is going to go down in as one of the best defensive coordinators in the history of the sport. But I will say this. A staff of Bud as head coach, Torrian as DC and somebody half-talented at offensive coordinator is an upgrade over the current set-up, in my view.

And that takes into consideration that Coach Beamer built the program and will be in the Hall of Fame and deservedly so. He wins the right way, with class and took this program to heights it had never seen. But when he hands over the keys, the program could take that next step.

And you know what? Bud and Stiney have the type of relationship where Bud would probably be the only person on the planet who could keep Stiney as recruiting coordinator/TE coach and bring in someone else to run the offense.

Anand "EhhTee" Trivedi said...

I've always had pipe dreams of the Fridge coming over as OC once he is asked to step down as HC at Maryland. Maryland's doing alright so far this year though.

Illinois Hokie said...

MJ, I'm sticking with it, man. I'm not saying he will be better than Bud, but I'm saying he has the potential.

Call it a hunch if you want. I dunno. Just something about the defensive backs he puts on the field every year, and something about the way those defensive backs talk about him...


ET, I'm TOTALLY down with the Fridge rockin' the O. And Maryland doesn't finish above .500 this season. Book it.

And finally, where the hell is the NC State preview, guys?