Your Pittsburgh Eye in the Sky and winning Tech Thoughts:

Virginia Tech=2o, Pittsburgh=14

The thrill of VicTory!

Virginia Tech football did not play a great football game although they did play a winning football game on Saturday afternoon.

The Hokies did not exactly play a great football team; nevertheless, both football teams put up a uber physical and at times a downright combative effort with medium to good parts or less. As there were a number of impacting visual “cringe” worthy moments outta both sides; though truth be told, the Panthers physically gave at least as good as they got. As I’m not real sure this kinda shoulder-punching contest with K.Kong’s little brother was just what the O&M training room ordered. As the game tape showed… this was a chew glass spit nails kinda punishing day. While that triumphal last sec’ goaline stand might just be the emotional shot of adrenaline that this sagging Hokie squad needed -just like Pulp Fiction- right in the Hokie heart!

4Q 14:19 remaining:
Hmmmmm, let’s seeeeeee, I wonder if I read any of this before? I wonder where I read it before? Hmmmm, could it be in the preview that missed Pitt by two points and VT by one play?

punt, PASS, kick!

Wonder why coach Shibest did not read ^that^, here. Because it was pretty well blatantly publicized in the Pitt P’s bio’ and the Pitt P just also happens to be the Pitt FGA/P.A.T., holder; of all the things?!? May St.James, bless.

which way did he go?

And on top of all of that… why did we not simply call a TO (timeout) here when we saw Pitt align in the funky old-school -and admittedly hard to assign/align- so called: Swinging Gate FGA formation? Or did that just make too much, sense? Because if you stop the tape here you will see our guys were asking each other where to line-up pre-snap; (dLine in very particular).

Though to give credit where credit is due… did anyone else notice who set-up or sold the (likely) target on the Panther’s fake-kick throw? It was the kid who was walking down the LOS (line-of-scrimmage) pre-snap for Pitt. Acting like he was trying to “YELL” in some play-call or snap count cadence or alignment or whatever. Then he runs a Flag pattern as a clear-out diversion and the freakin’ Panther snapper -of all the things- runs a late releasing fly route right up the gut! All the worlds a stage and the VT Theater Department fell for this thespians curtain call hook-line and a sinker. (Think I’d borrow this play, put it on about a 2020 shelf and break this bad-boy back out) p.s. is the Pitt snapper #81? Because if he’s not their regulation snapper… Whiskey Tango Helen did we not super call TO here?!?

4Q remaining/game duration:
We do not have enough data points to be sure on this one… could be an old-school Coach Duz’ outlier or it could even be an emerging data point trend. As I saw the same thing from Miami -Georgia Tech does not play this type of set- and then we saw the very same thing all afternoon long from the Pittsburgh D.

What did we more than intrinsically see? Well, I’m starting to wonder out-loud if the Fu’fense is now quietly acquiring something of a: “finesse-set” rep’? Yes, Miami is a bit thuggy or outlaw at times; yes, Pitt is more parts Big-10 Schembechler vs. Hayes era all black-n-blue. Nevertheless, I’ve seen some real live rock throwers taking more than a few shots at the Fu’fesne on tape this month. Which leaves me wondering if the Fu’fense is not being sweatshop affixed to a “just beat ’em up” label? As these Panthers went Joe Frazier on us from round one and tried to win this one the Rock’em Sock’em Robot old-fashioned way… they tried to win this one with their fists and/or shoulders. As Pitt landed a slew of heavy hits on our O downfield all 50 shades of steel-city grey afternoon long.

4Q 11:52 remaining:
So, and for the first time in weeks, plural; maybe even for the first time in a month; I thought JAX’s tires had a little more air in them as his zip-drive went. In the first half in particular; he looked a bit more sprite, almost even spry, in a word. And then this happened…

…as the very last thing JAX needed to have happen was for an original school Raymond Ernest Nitschke 1960’s forearm shiver to happen to the side of his head! May St.Joshua bless; as this is how you literally and legally knock people the spark out!!! And for the record, Pitt was not a dirty team, although Pitt was mean like a damn snake 25/8.

#9 goes A.E.P. and lights JAX, up!

Accordingly, feels really bad for Coach Jackson———>me!

Because the only one who knows as much about just how much JAX truly is hurting… is his old man. This ain’t coach Jackson’s first B.B.Q. either folks. He’s seen plenty of beat-up Michigan ballers, teams, even the -God Bless- even the career enders.

And here’s the suck of it all… JAX has medium in-line speed. He has bottom 20-30% testing metrics on anything you can name twist or burst wise. He does not appear to see the field 20-20 well going north south. And his next juke-move, jump-cut, shoulder-shift, or dip or whatever not named a Qb-slide will be his first.

Though the truest stink of it all is… he’s a small, almost pudgy guy physique wise. Knifed up or carved outta wood he just ain’t.

And now; well now he’s slowing down. Playing slower and slower week by week as he gets even more beat-up which means what little he could do to defend himself is diminishing with every single hit he takes.

That’s just brutal to me. As Fu’ and Corny are making a big big ask here. And one could damn well be forgiven for saying they are flirting with asking too much.

Coach Jackson however knows what time it is. To see his son swallowing grenade after grenade for the team has to be just a three and a half hour stomachache to sit there, do nothing about it, and just defenselessly watch.

Dang harsh thing this oblong spheroid…

p.s. that’s the news; the good news is JAX should be noticeably bowl game better, stronger and fresher. Quite a bit you’d have to expect.

And this after he was just medically cleared to shed his left-side shoulder brace. Dang

4Q 1:15 remaining:
If you sat with me on Saturday afternoon, what or should I say how much did you hear me say in-game?

“Not much” survey says as this one was just too much the nip-n-tuck affair that low-scoring single play baseball score games often are. Too nervy to speak, as the Panther’s cat had my proverbial, tongue…

Though -and thank you Coach God- though you did hear me say: “Something’s gonna happen here, this one could go, someone’s gonna hit a seam or miss a tackle”… immediately right before this all went down…

Helluva a life-n-death cardiac moment here from the Pitt Panthers; so I’ll give them that and Reggie Floyd gets the game rose gold chain for never Q’ing on the play when a lesser man even with better speed -as Reg’ is more parts a sledge hammer with a big shoulder, Usain Bolt he just, ain’t- as lesser man with even better speed might not have caught #85 of Pitt from behind to save the day on this one. Although prior to all that noise, big ole #85 caught poor Mook kinda under the chin with a true knock-out knee-lift punch that finished beside the right-earhole. To compound fracture all of that, this was right after the will never be the same though trying best he can just the same play… where big Vin diesel got folded up like an accordion. God Bless both, as football is just one cruel mistress indeed.

So, at first I thought maybe this was a inadvertent eye-gouge or some kinda finger of the Pitt right-Ot right into big Vin’s eye. However, Vinny drops like a rock, like he was shot; and beyond a really bad retinal abrasion turtling self-protect Natural Instinct kinda deal… (where you’d see him reaching up under his facemask); that means only one thing. “Lower body” as Virginia Tech wishes lap dogs everywhere to heel too when in reality it was Vin’s left leg/knee that folds right on up. Ugly, harsh looking kinda deal, (spies did report big-Vin really walking with a limp). May St.Vincent bless.

Then… SEE what you hit!!! As this is truly how necks break and three fatalities occur per year during football instantaneously; with 12-16 more deaths per year within three weeks of the cervical (or dorsal) trauma —thus making football truly a Terminal Contact Sport.

Watch as poor Mook looks like he got knocked the Foxtrot out after trying for the low tackle, with his head down vs. a 6′3″ 222 lb. loaded for bear Panther Wr who simply crushed poor 5′11″, 188 lb. dripping wet Mook. Coach Newton may be gone although F=M*A is still here; and when the acceleration(s) are pretty much awash the greater more straitened mass is gonna win. And it was not real far removed from cervicaly winning for keeps either. Lord have mercy.

frightening play. Truly…

(p.s. on top of all of ^that^, poor right-De Tevon Hill is just barely moving at the end of this ablative chase, as his left-hammie and left-shoulder both need a lotta work)

4Q, less than a minute and possible a season, remaining:

  1. On the first play bit Timmy nearly single handily disruptively settles matters his own fruition on a true street dawgg of a bull-rush negative-zero technique whereby he simply pwns the C of Pitt backwards and into the play. As the clean Tuaman scrapes, actually looping behind the physically superior Edmunds kid to make a heady veteran solo stop in his own right. On to 2nd down…
  2. On the second play #9 Floyd gets into the Panther lair off the edge, pinching the play back inside, although it is actually a semi-well blocked H.Gaines who crawls/fights on his hands and knees like a damn dog to basically ankle stop the Tb of Pitt while at least being biscuited if not pancaked outright. WOW! On to 3rd down… (though I should mention that the entire O&M dog-pile did a very delicate/indelicate job of taking their own sweet time (un) piling and thereby burning right at 13 ticks on the Panthers clock for their troubles)
  3. On the third play, at the very last sec’, Stro’ strolls, I mean sprints out to his left towards the heretofore uncovered Fl of Pittsburgh who a split-sec’ before was truly wide-freakin’-open for an easy lob pass pitch-n-catch 6. On to 4th down…
  4. On the final play, right-De Hill who is pretty well underwater health wise; makes a daring stem move down the LOS right-to-left congesting and therefore slowing the play from behind as four different Hokies rally to the ball and bail a nearly foundering U.S.S. Virginia Tech out at the very last second! BOOM goes the dynamite.
  5. p.s. realllllly surprised Pitt did not target our just inserted left-De and/or Rover here. As try as we might football still ain’t rocket-surgery folks.

Game balls:

  • Holding breakout Pitt newbie Tb1 Darrin Hall to 12′ rushing -that’s twelve feet  people- is pretty phenomenal, ergo the entire D gets a game-ball here.
  • My boy the Tuaman gets a game-ball as this Polynesian not only spearheaded the goaline stand not seen in Lane since 1986 when we plucked w.v.u. good and hard on four consecutive downs. He was second in tackles and 60% of his solo stops were TFL (tackles for a loss) and 25% of ’em were sacks! He (Tuaman) did so with a broken thumb/wrist. Ouch! And before all of that he got both coach-Fu’ and coach Foster, lei’ed. WoW, that’s a helluva a sporting day from a kid who has made a helluva a rally in the game of life at mighty Virginia Tech.
  • Greg Stroman is having a Mel Blunt type cover year, as whatever props Stro’ is getting here for being 2nd in all of college ball in passing success rate it ain’t too many. Ditto Brandon Facyson who has likewise rather quietly become Tech’s all-time career leader in passes defensed: (meaning: successfully covered in prevention of the reception) with a totally insane 44 and counting; geez!

    An Arthur Fonzarelli BIG thumbs up for ballin’ out like this!
  • Deshawn McClease may not be the biggest dog in the fight although there is a lotta fight in this 5′9″, 188 lb. Tb dawgg. As McClease physically took the fight to several bigger Pitt defenders again and again and again. As this kid is a pure barracuda of a running back, i.e., a saltwater muscle. As McClease is quite possibly the lb. for lb. hitting champion of the whole entire football team right now. Sinew he be.
  • WAR Cam back in his home position Slot!!! I wonder who was begging to leave that one alone all the way back during August camp?

Longfield Management (Lo.FM)©:

Virginia Tech:
positive: |||| |||| (1 pass TD)
negative: |||| |||| |
Swiss (neutral): ||||

Pittsburgh:
positive: |||| | (1 fake FGA TD)
negative: |||| |||| |||| (1 Pitt INT, 1 Pitt flag)
Swiss (neutral): ||

“Run the damn ball”. Really liked how we tilted all the way off of a negative run:throw play-calling mix in favor of a closing 76% rush matrix in the final 20 minutes of play. Call this whatever you like though I call it the lessor of two edges.

As both Chung and my poor bad-back boy Parker have been having some real live pass protect issues out on the edge in speed rush mode. Now, this is not to go so out of bounds as to get whistled for a 5-yard dead-ball foul here. Nevertheless, although neither guy is an epic run-fit; both guys are better run-fits than they are in maintenance of the passing cup. Parker actually does pretty well blocking downhill and aircraft carrier collapsing his side of the play. Chung is a decent if not a reliable fold-blocker in terms of creating an off-tackle seal over on the even or right-side. Again; nobody is saying either guy is a trench-fighting world beater here; however, why are you play-calling in a way that makes decent to good De’s look like world beaters off the edge? In addition to that, more traditional rushing attempts keeps JAX from taking his eleventeenth passing lump setting up in transcendental Fu’ense pass protect —because if anything, the ball needs to get out of the passing cup faster now than ever before. This suits edge blocking best and conserves what surviving health JAX does enjoy for an all-in bet during 4Q up in gay paris. Where all A.c.c. championship game bets are off, and thereafter you will receive a 4-6 week furlough of R&R for your training room troubles.

Or to put it another way… when you actually, or should I say when you somehow rang up 375 total yards, with three possibly four (counting: Farley) starters out, and with a Qb1 who is a living, walking, talking, limping, gimping… bruise; and with no rushes >14 and only two throws >18? That’s pretty much all you can ask men, as you’d have to be Lombardi himself to squeeze any more orange juice from this much lemon pulp.

***

As for the other side of the ball and Bud Bøck, all things considered? And considering that his front-4 is… operating at a 25% health matrix at the moment, and than considering three of those four walking wounded took even more Panther shrapnel?

To accrue 450% more TFL (tackles for a loss) and 200% more sacks on 15 less total tackles overall is just downright arithmetically bizarre. Even more so when you consider we had 1 more solo-stop than Pitt did. Or in other words when our guys got there they got the job done and when their guys got there they needed… help. That’s what Foster himself calls: “want too” and even though this was not a perfect defensive day; it was a downright gutty defensive day for a D playing with just 72% of its starters by days end. Or as the Lo.FM illustrates, Foster was a thorn in the Panthers paw with only one, that’s only 1 rush allowed >7 yards and really only one bad pass play surrendered on the day. This is code for winning a buncha 1st-downs which means Foster forced these Panthers to chase, not stalk. And for such a beat all to hell stop-unit that’s not limbo or purgatory or any other version of sporting middleocrity; that’s actually some rather angelic play for a D that is playing with more than a few clipped wings.

(and BTW: yes, we did have too many Lo.FM’s, and it’s not that we played great on Lo.FMs. It is however that Pitt played worse; noticeably; whereas we made 1 really big Lo.FM play. And guess what, we won by one play to boot)

5Q and uva remaining:
So very nice to see some actually positive emotion(s) flowing in the race down Worsham Field as this team needed this game ending euphoric “release” moment like a dead man needs a coffin.

Because, whether you wanna read it -or even whether I wanna type it out- this 2017 Virginia Tech football team was staring down a o-4 or possibly even a o-5 bowl game L finish right down the barrel here after that busted 73 yard Panther gallop. As we are surely a club in regression… virtually 100 yards of Fu’fesne and close to 85 liters or yards of Bud BΘck… all down the Owens Dining Hall drain of late. And that’s just the last three weeks folks. As teams that are leaking nearly 185 aggregate yards off of their seasonal mean typically do not finish well; they typically finish hard. And they prolly don’t even finish that if they went a belly-up o-3 prior to their alpha rivalry game.

And the agony of defeat.

That’s the news… the good news is that the hoos need some plumbing work of their own, as this one may not be my preferred: “two ships passing in the night”. As much as this one is indeed: two ships pumping in the night; because the cavaliers have gone 1-4 in their last five.

Nevertheless, one Atlantic Coast ship has shipped more water of late… and the other ship is actually approximately +4o ypg to the better of late and that ship is not moored over in Duck Pond Harbor.

As this one is gonna come down to whichever competing Commonwealth Cup damage control team purges the most flooding and restores the most seasonally normative sense of ballast or balance this week at practice —as that team is gonna win this one on Friday night.

If you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- that comes down to coaching; and then it comes down to: grit, guile, heart, moxie, mettle. The hottest fire makes the strongest steel and the last thing we need is for these Zima guzzling flamers to flame on come Friday night at ~half past 11.

My early lean is to say I do favor the Hokies in those intangible yet measurable categories. And that I do like Virginia Tech to win here… although I will remind you already that I just said: “I like the Hokies to win”, or to barely win, here.

Notice I did not say: “I love the Hokies to win here”… did Eye?

L to Pitt here and what would have mostly likely happened???

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Virginia Tech=2o, Pittsburgh=14

LETS GO!

Hokies!

bourbonstreet**

8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. All positive for the future of Hokie football if we come to terms we have an extreme QB crisis. Bourbonstreet nailed it when he mentioned we could have gone 0 – 5 through the bowl game. Next year someone else needs to line up behind the center! Go Hokies!

    1. We very well may have been 3′ away.

      Thank you Coach God.
      We will nevvvvveeeer know.

      b.street

  2. Staff does well in games with time to plan so with that plus health we should win a bowl unless we get slotted higher than deserved.

    UVa will be tough because we can’t score right now. I think pride and playing w emotion wins the day by 1-3 points assuming all our defenders can take the field and move around, more or less.

    Top 12+ D next year if that side of the ball doesn’t run off to sign late round or free agency tryout deals and some cover corners emerge or the JC kid comes here and warrants the hype.

    1. I had the same bowling thought(s).
      Could still just nick 10 wins.

      As you say, don’t slot too high; and that’s just fine by me.

      Oui-oui.
      Our very own O is their best defense (or chance).

      b.street

  3. UVa is going to be tough. They are good enough to score 30. If we can’t keep up then it will be a long ride home to Blacksburg. Hope to keep the score down below 20. Time to run that ball and play defense for a cold weather battle for the Cup. Hokies 23 (calling for a safety!) Hoos 20

    1. I don’t disagry agree.
      Hence the “barely win” blast.

      Though they are giving up punches in bunches.
      LOTTA points crashing home on their D of late.

      b.street

  4. Isn’t #9 Ladler? Going by memory here instead of doing the work, but I think Reggie is #21. Great article as always.

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