Virginia Tech football is forecast to go to either the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium, New York Dec. 28, 2 p.m. (ESPN) …or… the Belk Bowl in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN); at the moment. Accordingly, why such seemingly lowly post-season O&M projections in week no.9?
The omnipresent the glass is twice too large R.A.T.T. in me even finds that to be a bit, low, as in the ancient Greek concept of: ἁμαρτία or “hamartia” … i.e. the missing the mark –whereas most of us prefer the outcome concept of parabolas, or an arching arcing arrow that (eventually) finds the mark. Virginia Tech found their mark Thursday night down in Lane Stadium late in the game vs. the always talented yet likewise always mercurial So.Beach crew. Although are we/Virginia Tech finished being mercurial in our own right? Or could there be another Jiffy Pop hiccup or hamartia type game looming on our traveling horizon? As doing what we did to Miami in our own crib was the first-step, and learning how to do it out on the ~30% win index Atlantic Coast road is the next step. Read on to find out just how strident we may or may not R.A.T.T. be…
1Q 12:48 remaining:
Seems familiar that someone wrote last game, that Peoples needed more time as he was the better blocker. Well watch this Fl-screen to Phillips over on the left or odd side –about the best open-field block I’ve seen in years. Peoples drove the Miami Ss off my telly’s screen he drove him so dang far! (and we need to give Peoples the rock, he may still be our best pure Rb, believe it or not)
1Q 6:23 remaining:
Memo to #7 of da U, if you are gonna cheap-shot someone with a late flying atomic-elbow; well, why not cheap-shot someone who is not one of your own? I get this was meant for T.McMillian, though #25 took nearly your entire dumbass lumbar spine crushing weight. Idiot.
2Q 2:45 remaining:
The Edumnds brothers will get the flash-drive pub’ here, though big two thumbs to the play of Walker at right-Dt. As it was #98 Ricky Walker who split the reinforced double-team seam on the left-G and C of Miami and drove both blockers back into the play itself. Like his enthusiasm and double bicep flex post play too, as Walker has a little Pedro Phillips to his game; and he surely plays a strong-backed game via staying lower for longer than most can at Dt to boot. That and his 388 lb. bench press say’s so! Walker played a super-duper game as banged up as coach Wiles boys are as I type | walker is my game-ball winner accordingly.
2Q 1:21 remaining:
Someone has been told the new zone-blitz wrinkles are coach Scott’s thang; however, I’m still no fan of having a D-lineman cover anyone in pass-coverage itself. And here we see poor Vinny Mihota with the right-shoulder injury on the awkward self-inflicted hand-roll-up at the end of the Miami screening play. Godspeed big Vin’. Though he did return later on in the final stanza, so that is encouraging enough in-and-of itself.
3Q 14:30 remaining:
Don’t like seeing this after the hand-break scare @Bristol; as poor Evans “dings” his right-hand off of the helmet/facemask of #80 of Miami on this throw. Yikes!
3Q 11:32 remaining:
My favorite play of the game; WAR Evans dogging #29 of Miami straight out on the pseudo lead block to spring T.McMillian here. As this is how you generate an orgy of Qb love with your teammates when you put your body on the line for them. And number two-nine of da U? Prepare to be endlessly joked out for getting punked out by a mere Qb. LOL, too funny!
3Q 7:34 remaining:
Ford and Bucky typically generate a lotta pass-catching attention and coverage alike –and rightfully so as both are Sunday born. However, Phillips has more moves and more speed with better hands than most think. As he’s a first-string M.A.C. star gracefully playing Atlantic Coast third fiddle and you have to love the hip-shakes he threw at #12 here. This really was Allen Iverson crossover break your ankles move ‘esque.
One of the things someone has written in defense of the much maligned Tua-man is his nose for the football and his coverage skills. Still yet, I’m not sure I’ve seen a Foster Mike-Lb have a better game in pass-defense before Andrew’s effort in this one; have you? And if I had a second-game-ball; I’d probably have to dote upon the Tua’man here.
4Q 4:23 remaining:
Just as we establish at least a little Brandon Patterson looking “brute force” on the inside — and just what shaky drive-blocking starting C Eric Gallo did not need… a T.McMillian accidental left-knee roll-up form behind. Hate to even see the knee brace after this, as Eric somehow -thank coach God- got up and seemed useful enough after this scary looking play.
Time To Throw (TTT)©:
Thursday we went back to seeing some 30 set looks from Bud Stout in the second quarter of play. This made it curious -and by “curious” I mean: welcome- this made it welcome to see Ter.Edmunds deployed along the LOS (line-of-scrimmage) as a symmetrical fifth defender on the angular pinch alignment opposite of End-De Vinny. As I’ve always wondered why Foster never really turned several really disruptive ‘backers (OLb’s) loose into more of a Lawrence Taylor hell-raising element, at least from time-to-time. Yes, I already realize that leaves us effectively –1 gap on the Will or wide-side of the field. Still, how may Ot’s have the quicks to move and stay in front of an X (Adibi)? Or the emerging stud ‘backer Ter.Edmunds? The Family Feud “Survey says…” not many, not many at all sports-fans.
Same as Evans mechanics down below, another thing I just do not have the space to cover is the incredible amount of rolls, bait-n-switches and disguises I saw from Coach Scott and Bud Foster in the hind-6 to hind-8 in this one. Lawsy! There was bu cu jump coverage, toggles on pre-snap alignment depth galore. Best I’ve ever seen as verticle robber looks go. Almost like Tom Landry’s original-school front-4 Flex defense gone hind-5. I mean there are a lot of secondary moving Hokie parts to the prime-driver of this 2016 Foster halt-unit incarnation. A whole lot! And you’d better be on a T.Brady level of coverage reading literacy if you wish to become fluent in pruning the Foster passing tree.
Fun to see the emergence of Tremaine Edmunds at the ‘backer spot; is it not? He and his candy-cane looking six combined wrist bands look are starting to quite literally play the proverbial: “…all over the place.” As he made three stops behind the Miami LOS (line-of-scrimmage) proper, and three more tackles way off the spill-zone or gap he is assigned to patrol. That’s not only a surefire sign of a very athletic chip stud, that’s a surefire sign of a hustling stud fueled with a****** or six-star heart downfield. As I was -in some ways- actually more impressed with the tackles he ran down from behind downfield than I was with his simply being a Draft combine type freak who can get gaps (plural) over horizontally and make plays where someone else is technically supposed to be making plays not named him. 54 total stops, 3.5 sacks, a swelling 11.5 TFL (tackles for a loss), 1 pass broken up, 1 pass defended, 1 fumble recovered and 5 more Qb hurries on top of all of that. Recall his father played seven years as a Te in the N.f.l. (Miami and Seattle) and was merely a two-time Pro Bowler, he sucked. However, would anyone care to place a bet on the OLb prodigy that Ferrell (Edmunds Jr.) sired surpassing that? Because if Tremaine is already this special in 2016, where is he come 2018? Gone???
Longfield Management (Lo.FM)©:
|||| |||| | (1 VT TD)
|||| |||| ||| (1 VT flag)
|||| || (1 TD)
|||| |||| |||| |||| (1 INT, 1 Miami penalty)
Jerod Evans however looked very mixed on film here, at least to me. On the one hand, his up-field runs had more juice, more quicks, more burst or twitch type acceleration, and better movement to them in general upon breaking tape. And yet, then we see the irregularity that is the head scratching throw-game of Jerod Evans as well. I’d document his passing mechanics for you, though that would take too long and require too much publicative space. As his throw-game mechanics are at times -quite literally- all over the place. As still photography if his wind-up is corkscrew bizarre. As his wind-up varies based primiarly upon target depth and defensive pressure felt.
His follow-through -and in very particular his lack of weight distribution in terms of shifting his releasing northern hemisphere weight forward, and fully following through with his lower body- is just downright absent at times. Like a pure outside shooter in basketball pulling the proverbial string. It’s not that any one foible is a foreboding linchpin or a passing grim reaper harbinger of outcome doom, it is rater that there are so many micro to little things that emerge, then self-correct, and yet then emerge again. Or in other words, don’t die of shock if there is a latent hiccup game somewhere left in the Fu’fense system before we get to the Bowl game. As I for one would not try to muck around with Evans’ throw-game mechanics in-season. That might really rob Peter to pay Paul and gum up the remaining passing #4 2016 works. Now, and all that to say… even though Evans’ run game looked more sprite than hit has since E.c.u., one could readily be forgiven for nominating this as his worst throw-game of the year (see: misses chart); as 58% of his incomplete passes were just pure misses. Because as much as his legs look fresher his passing looks just plain off; almost as if his internal throwing gyroscope needs someone to unplug it and hit F5 or reset. This posits a northern hemisphere ill to me –what with his run-game having come back up a notch or three which would aver that that bum right-ankle is feeling better. And yet here’s the kicker folks; notice that Evans seemingly throws his best on the move, under pressure, ad-libbing east-west. Go fig’ on that?
As for the TTT (Time To Throw) and Lo.FM (Long-field Management) metrics themselves, pretty tough to win when your Qb gets planted unceremoniously like a cut-down Charlie Brown tree a hurtful eight times. And blocking did finally improve in the final 8-10 minutes as I’d like to think Hilgirth S&C had something to do with that; although I’m pretty sure that bodily talented yet head-soft Miami letting go the rope probably had something to do with that as well. As I even saw big-bad Wyatt Teller get stalemated numerous times vs. the normative rebel or sportsmanship ethical wild-child otherwise known as #4 of Miami until well into the second-half. (Never mind what I saw #4 do to poor Gallo)
And yet we took 12 negative plays going backwards until we finally wore the sometimes outright dirty ‘Canes down. That’s not good gentlemen, as there was something very outcome familiar about this one for about the first ~40 minutes of scrumming. Truly, reminded me of the back-n-forth struggles of most recent four seasons prior to this one. Or in other words, and to be perfectly direct here, our contemporary coaching is north of our inherited 2016 talent | whereas in the previous four campaigns, they had both settled into a more or less lenient .5oo or equilibrium. Or in other words, we do not quite have the talent to simply show up and out-talent every single one of our remaining five opponents. We have to out-coach and/or out-scheme them, and we certainly will have to out-tough and therefore out-hustle them all.
As of 11pm Thursday night; we are also (still) seeing Evans taking a tremendous amount of contact.
Too much contact as he is up to a de-habilitating 116 hits received this season; three ankle rolls (though this did look better), two hand dings, three major impacts, one added lumbar-spine protector pad , and who knows what else? That’s LT3 ‘esque type punishment people, and if you are keeping score at home, you already know that an absurd 43.1% of those incoming shots for the season have been caught in the last 12 days by the time we visit Pitt. WOW and dang! Do you see where I am going TSL.com?
Ergo, therefore, to wit, do not brazenly expect such a bruised Pivot to sling us to victory up in my hometown. As prior to Miami, we had seen most of Evans misses were on America’s Cup savvy sailing overthrows or leading pass-catchers too far out in front. Or in other words he was highly prone to missing long both in vertical and in horizontal terms alike. However, vs. Miami on Thursday night, he threw five batting practice ‘esque grounders, right in the Worsham Field dirt. Something is up here sports-fans and it ain’t just the mechanically inconsistent nature of Evans’ throws.
…the takes away is… Pitt has a pretty good run game on both sides of the ball; 20th best in rushing O (240 ypg), and an even starchier 5th best in run-defense (96 ypg allowed). The Panthers however are susceptible through the air as their pass-defense is a sieve at 122nd best out of 128 D-1 teams bad for 299 aerial yards allowed per contest.
However, is Evans healthy enough and is Ford’s gimpy ankle sure enough to take advantage of that and wing our way to victory up in the Keystone State? Pittsburgh is +5 in rest whereas we are coming into this one really beat-up. And it is not that Pitt is the superior squad, the short answer reads: “they ain’t.”
Nevertheless, not many teams can stand toe-to-toe with the yesteryear, hard-hitting, high voltage powerhouse, north-south trench fighting version of ballistic football that Pitt plays in the Spread Offensive era. Much less up in the nutty wind-swirling, suspect turf condition, horseshoe looking Ketchup Bowl itself.
As you have to R.A.T.T. wonder out-loud if an inferior Pittsburgh Panther football squad is catching a superior, yet lame, Virginia Tech Hokie club at just the right time? Now do be clear, I’m NOT officially saying Pitt wins; however, unlike my gaffe pick up at Syracuse, I won’t be saying they can’t, either.
Virginia Tech=37, Miami=16