Orange Bowl Eye in the Sky part II:

Recall that as the second-half tipped off and opened for business, that this was nearly a dead heat.

Stanford 13
Virginia Tech 12

That’s a one point game; even if Virginia Tech would have to wait precisely seven more months until playing Appalachian State on o9.o3 to score again.

Last time I checked a one point game is nearly even.

So how did you really feel about VT chances heading into the intermission? Be honest. Was VT very much in a very tight halftime contest? Or was there Cardinal colored writing on the O&M wall?

Meh? I’ll say a little of both. I did not see a really synchronized VT offense up until this point in time. In fact I was seeing a VT offense with Wilson suspended for 50% of the first half, a R.Williams who managed to look the ‘rong way at just the right time on any and all blitz pick-ups; and a D.Evans who simply was not a good fit for Inside-Zone work against Fua and the kick-ass cadre of Stanford inside-Linebackers. I had also seen T-mobile making several electrifying plays and doing all he could do to keep VT in the game. I also saw VT execute exactly one first-half run with perfect 5×5 (five by five) blocking from the VT oLine upfront. So wait till you see the oLine assignment count think: the oLine grades– when I publish part III.

On the other hand, Graves and company had been feisty and combative enough early on; and yet I was a bit concerned if over-sized Stanford would begin to wear on them a little bit as the evening moved along. Sure seemed to be a whole lot of Hokimotion with Hokies jumping all over the place pre-snap in an all-out mental effort to match JimBo move for counter-move. As opposed to simply simplifying things and going back to a very vanilla or basic 4-3 set with Cover-2 and any of the three main varieties of Man coverage on the edges or on two of the three Stanford Te’s. So wait till you see the Tacking chart when I publish part III.

( Surgeon General’s warning, to PATT’s or wimminz preggers with PATT’s, reading the rest of this may be hazardous to your health)

Things were about to begin to shift, and shift and re-shift and then quadra-shift back into their original alignment; as Stanford took control of the line-of-scrimmage, seized Virginia Tech’s manhood and then humiliated Bud Lite to close the show. This one is not pretty and the part III one I will release in a week or two is is  nothing less than embarrassing.

3rd Quarter 14:56 remaining:
Smitty with the big ole steal on #42 which was actually code for a blatant Block in the Back that went uncalled. Though Smitty did get his money’s worth on this one.

3rd Quarter 14:52 remaining:
Note the Stanford Fs and Ss moving forward right before the snap to snuff out no less than five second half Hokie hand-offs to whichever Rb. Think they did their film-study homework in breaking tape on us – or were we simply predictable? Or did Stanford simply out-adjust or out-coach us? Or was Stanford just lucky? You tell me?

Recall pre-game someone pecking words out to the effect that Andrew Luck was a throwback Naval Academy Roger Staubach wizard when it came to play-fakes and hiding the ball on the hip. See what I mean (above)? Note the play-fake with the empty left-hand by Luck to eliminate any and all possibility of an inadvertent collision with the football itself as the Rb sells the play-action fake on the empty hand-off. Watch how this really opened up the second-half play-action passing attack from Stanford to the Cardinal Te’s. Epic salesmanship from your Pivot (Qb) after you have gained a few yards on the ground like this is nothing short of a pass coverage can-opener; not to mention a rather regal lost art of Quarterbacking itself.

3rd quarter 13:13 remaining:
I’ve said it before; and I will keep right on saying it too! Try as we might, football still ain’t rocket surgery folks. Note the exceptionally loose Man-to-Man coverage by Morgan on this one; as Morgan is so far back that he is off the screen pre-snap. A 15 yard cushion, hmmm, let’s see, I wonder what Stanford should do? An elongated Hitch on which #15 Wahlen simply fell down after the eight yard catch? Yah; that works. Note Morg’ and B.Taylor arguing about who had whom on this one post-play. Seems like someone wrote about B.Taylor playing ‘backer as a Mike when he was in pass coverage pre-game as well. (i.e. ‘backer’s have the Flat(s) on either side — Mike’s have various Zone drops) (big PIC link)

3rd quarter 12:32 remaining:
Watch poor #82 S.Friday simply get mugged by big ole #55 at the end of this play. This is what you call throwing someone around like a ragdoll men; sadly enough this was an O&M ragdoll and it should be noted that S.Friday is surprisingly strong for his size.

3rd quarter 8:53 remaining:
Finally something tasty O&M wise to write about. Note the epic upstairs tackle by Whitely on first down; followed up by a delightful submarine job by Friday on second down. Then on third down; note the lesser number of down Hokies on the line-of-scrimmage proper (-2, effectively with Roc’ split out in coverage) and then note the greater number of Hokies further off the line-of-scrimmage pre-snap. Things happen very quickly on 3rd Down and Inches to go; and yah; you do have to roll the O&M dice and sell out in order to attempt to stuff such a short-yardage run when you are an undersized Bud Lite defense. Unfortunately Stanford and JimBo caught us in a goaline pass defense and their hammerhead Fb punched us in the mouth while he punched this one right on in. I am willing to entertain conjecture as to why we went into a goalline pass defense in the first place?  (big PIC link)

3rd Quarter 8:31 remaining:
Here is the Stanford Ss blitz that Chris and Raleigh were telling all of you about in their epic Q&A. Now note that this Dog-call from Stanford occurred vs. a traditional I-formation from us/VT as you get a fleeting glimpse at #31 Mr. Younger as his O&M career draws to a close. Yougner picks up the Cardinal OLb well enough; while my boy Wilson at least runs into a Stanford dLineman accidentally knocking B.Warren off his block in the process. Look at the above pic; the traditional U-shaped so-called “cup” in front of T-mobile is really not all that bad. Yes it would have been nice if the shorter Wilson was tall enough to see the Stanford Fs coming. That right there folks is a helluva a job of scheming by the Cardinal Baltimore Raven refugee defensive coordinator based entirely upon the VT personnel, namely Wilson himself. Note that this bandit (blitz) look from the Stanford Ss occurred twice more vs. Wilson. Finally note the orange box in the pic. Seems to me like someone mentioned the Cardinal penchant for playing an unusual amount of Cover-1 deep pre-game with backside Zone underneath (see the left-hand Cardinal Cb covering the Invisible Man) – and there sure was bucu room to throw something, anything underneath. (p.s. watch for Wilson to struggle with this next year; as Billy and I both know: “You kan’t coach height”)

3rd quarter 7:01 remaining:
Watch T-mobile do all he can to gain yardage on this Ace formation option keeper to the right-hand side; including cutting back against the gain and launching himself forward on what I can only describe as flopping-like-a-fish while splitting three Stanford field-side defenders as if he (TT) were playing humane croquet. All this immediately after an epic needle threading throw to D.Coale on a crossing route on the play before – Tyrod Taylor, he shall be missed.

3rd quarter 6:18 remaining:
“GOD DANG IT!” –Jaws-
“Come on, you guys pulling for Virginia Tech?” –Jon Gruden-
“Yah; whatever.” –Jaws-
Think Jaws (Ron Jaworski) was for Virginia Tech this night? God dang it – I do too!

(just you wait, it got worse, much worse)

Memo to the ESPN36o guys, you might wanna erase this one as the guys in the truck picked up what should have been a dead TV microphone and slapped that bad-boy smackdab into the middle of the ESPN36o on-line broadcast. WoW!

That said, do note that on this ill advised and frankly forced throw from T-mobile; that Boyce’s man (#3) for Stanford (in the cardinal ellipse) had actually picked the Fb-Lb from Stanford off and my boy D.Wilson was on his uncontested and uncovered way yet again on another sideline Wheel route for a big-6 that had worked like magic all year. Tyrod simply never saw him (Wilson).

3rd quarter 5:19 remaining:
Note that #82 (Fleener) who had a career night; ran right past no less than four defensive Hokies. The Whip, the Fs, the ‘backer, and the Boundary-Cb (Roc’) who valiantly tried to rotate over from the wrong side of the playing-field and yet was too late. On top of that one of those four (Fs) fell down – talk about your microcosm of a game in the proverbial nutshell; geez!

Now it gets worse.

“They shift in motion and both Safeties went the wrong way. Holy šηìτ! Oh my God!” –Jaws-

(with Coach Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico laughing out loud in the back-ground)
Are you freakin’ kidding me?

ROTFLMAO! Do yourself a favor and put a smile on you face and listen to poor Jaws meltdown as if the K-141 Kursk had beached itself on 3-Mile Island again and and again and again.

Yup Jaws. I don’t care if Gruden is right and you did eat 6 hotdogs at halftime.
I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

Move over Steve Logan and Glenn Dorsey.
There’s a new TSL sheriff in town.

3rd quarter 1:50 remaining:
Back to our regularly scheduled X’s and O’s programming…

…note that #82 S.Friday actually drops into Zone-Blitz coverage as Bud Foster was pulling out any and all stops to try to slow the Te (Fleener) down. Curious that we went 43 plays to open our defensive ball-game before showing Zone Blitz – I’m not saying that was the right or ‘rong call. As precious little worked vs. Stanford on this night; I am however formally willing to say that you could see what I called a sense of desperation in part I morphing into flat-out grasping at straws as the second half wore on.

Location, location, location.”
-Real Estate axiom-

Yup, that’s pretty much it. What is odd to me however is the fact that nobody else has bothered to point this out. So here goes:

Count ‘em, we had fourteen VT offensive possessions of the football, with none, nadda, zippo, or zilch of ‘em beginning in positive field-position or in Stanford Cardinal defensive territory – not a single one man! That’s an average starting field position of our very own 26 yardline for the game, and further note that we closed the very one-sided second-half with a very backed-up average starting field-position of our very own 17 yard-line. Ouch!

JimBo and Stanford adeptly kept Virginia Tech and the Frank-n-Stiney offense bottled-up deep on every single second-half offensive possession. Since when is the Frank-n-Stiney offense predicated upon driving the length of long-fields over and over and over? Half past never you say? Yah; pretty much. Or in other words, JimBo took Beamerball and all its unappreciated hidden yardage and perquisite VT offensive short-fields out behind the Fancy Gap woodshed and executed it. Doctor Guillotine, a noose-knot, and a black cape, please report to the O&M dance floor. Check it out…

VT punt return yardage=0.0 for the game, and yet VT was still 20th best in the nation even after factoring in the Orange Bowl goose egg. I myself and each and everyone of you reading this right now had as many Punt Return yards as VT did on that very night. Stanford punted three times on the evening, even in highly pedestrian or middle of the road average terms that should have amounted to 38 yards worth of what we will call bonus field-position in Tech’s favor. That should have been enough to generate two or three perquisite short-fields for the Frank-n-Stiney offense to do work.

Now observe that Stanford kicked off a whopping eight times on the night and that VT finished the year 38th best in KO Return yardage in spite of  what happened between the hours of 8 and 12 o’clock on the 3rd of January 2011 A.D. VT only managed to amass 119 KO return yards or a paltry 17 yards per KO return. That from a VT football team that combined to score a handsome 18 points on returns during the 2010 football season coming into the Bowl game. Yes, Stanford and JimBo did in fact out-physical poor little ole Virginia Tech on this night and this just in – rain is rumored to be wet. Nonetheless, the Cardinal also schooled the Dean and no less than the Founder of Beamerball himself; as Stanford knew Virginia Tech could not grind it out over and over and over and win this Orange Bowl game from their own 26 yardline. Much less from their own 17. In fact our beloved Hokies only managed to cobble together a meager two football drives that consumed more than six Virginia Tech offensive plays. I do not enjoy this, as I am no fan of JimBo and his insultingly arrogant approach to running up the score; much less his retarded quad-shift that he pulled just to humiliate Virginia Tech on national TV, nevertheless, he beat Frank at Frank’s own game. There is no other way to opine this, there is no positive way to attempt to spin this, JimBo beat the pants right off the ole ball-coach in terms of field-position and therefore subsequently controlling hidden yardage in this one.

I understand that VT’s top-44 ballers (think: two-deep) prolly do not yet have the ability to out-talent an Auburn or an Oregon this year. We/VT are still chasing vs. a Texas, “the” Ohio State, So.Cal, Florida and the like during most seasons. The R.A.T.T. (realistic all the time) in me gets that. Just never thought I’d see VT get out-Beamerballed by a smug, jaunty, little lame-duck coach in his very first distraction filled national spotlight B.C.S. bowl game.  That hurts about as bad as anything else in the tragicomedy of O&M errors which only got worse from here on out…


“That is the number one pick in the Draft making that šηìτ. That is awesome!” –Jon Gruden on the second from final play of the 3rd quarter from Andrew Luck-
“This game is over.” –Jon Gruden-
“Their kicking their ass right now man.” –Jaws-

R.A.T.T., ...the most limiting factor to our '15 success here is what?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

At the risk of being pronounced guilty of cowtailing, I’ll go ahead and say it right now, it only gets worse from here on out. If you felt that what I just wrote was tough to swallow, wait till we get to the fourth stanza of play. The quad-shift, a VT defender throwing a mouth-piece at the Stanford Te and in general terms “…dogs and cats living together, Mass Hysteria” or in other words, a football game that deteriorated to nothing short of chaos.

Frankly speaking, Stanford tested our “sand” and found that we lacked O&M true grit. The question is how do we get this back? How exactly do you coach “toughness” -the noun- up? Do we need to bring in another hell-bent for leather Phil Elmassian? Or is everything 10-wins seven consecutive times fine right where it is? Or is this truly all we are (i.e. we can not do any better)? As this game ended, Stanford fought on for what turned out to be their Offensive Coordinator who was only ~100 hours removed from being named head coach and Andrew Luck basically said “no thanks” to the Carolina Panthers and “hello” again to Palo Alto California. Whereas Frank the mega competitor according to Raleigh has let to make a single major changes at Virginia Tech post a 28 point beat down that was worse than the final score showed.

Personally, I can not wait to say “goodbye” to this 2011 Orange Bowl game-film.



Turkey Tracks Turkey Tracksb’street

4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I remember when we were kinda like this Stanford team. Good QB, so-so at other skill positions. We may lose a game (like Stanford-Oregon) or a few to ultra talented teams or b/c we did something dumb, but man…we would beat the crap out of you physically. And every once in a while we would take a speedy undersized finesse team and just run them over mercilessly. You would remember playing us.

    Now I feel like roles are reversed. We skip along out talenting the ACC at skill positions. Then a big tough team grabs us by the prissy neck and smashes us.

  2. Michael J Hokie:

    Yes Sir, I buy most of that.

    Along similar lines … I had someone in the know suggest to me that VT accidentally un-toughened itself via recruiting more character kids. I provocative take is it not? However, could it actually be true is the more pressing question? We’ve not had a total bad-ass lead-pipe carrying guy in the middle of our stop-unit since Vince Hall packed his bags and left town. The younger Warren was close enough and deserves mega praise for playing on a partially torn A.C.L. all the while telling nobody about the pain. Still yet, inside toughness has been in decline since ~2007.

    Be nice to (somehow) find some character kids with a lead-pipe of their own. Although, perhaps there is a trade-off between the two after all?



    “…you were right about Coral Sea. That’s where the Jap’s were alright. Every ship on your list was there.” “Did we get hurt?” “WE GOT HURT!!”

    Yea, this one is still sore in the glutes. R U gonna pull out the crystal ball in the last installment?
    I’ll be lookin’. Thanks for the great work!

  4. Yes Sir.
    I’m not a dogger.
    I caught the ball, deflected the ball, or I was out in Gym class.
    ; )

    Prolly during the next b-ball gap on the round-ball schedule.
    I have it completed. Gonna add blocking and tacking sections with Time To Throw.


Comments are closed.