Virginia Tech football Clemson A.c.c. championship game Eye in the Sky

Virginia Tech football just experienced a most intriguing seminal showdown in the real Southworld of… what might have been. What might have been, is the alibi of the abstract –remaining  a perpetual possibly only in the world of speculation.

...all the marbles...
all the marbles

Tech might have been 6-6 -yet again- to end the regular season; as our beloved Hokies were precisely three FG’s removed from the .5oo bowl eligibility precipice prior to the feckless uva rag-dolling. Tech might also have been 10-2 or maybe even 11-1 to end the regular season; as our beloved Hokies went butterfingers in two of our three L’s prior to the  feckless uva curb-stomping. Such however is the realm of revisionism history of those who say Uncle Sam might have been ahead on points on 08 December 1941 A.D., if only ” … ” …and yet that’s not how we roll at To do so is a disservice to those whose very participation sacrifices oh so very much. Clemson won the 2016 A.D. A.c.c. football championship; so with sportsmanship in mind, CONGRATs to Dabo and company, Godspeed and good hunting in the quadratic play-off. Nonetheless, and that attempt at athletic civics aside –same as 1999’s Vitali Klitschko being ahead 4-2 on all three judges scorecard’s when a 139 stitch combined sets of cuts granted him the technical knockout L from the lead –we sure as hell learnt a lot more about Coach-Fu and Virginia Tech football than we did about Dabo and Clemson. We learnt that Dabo and Clemson and the Orlando game-clock itself; forego any and all speculation, as these Tigers were most fortunate that this was not a 13 round heavyweight championship fight.

1Q 15 to 5:oo remaining:
Wanna rebuttal a lot of the pen holding -yet- never balled Tech football writers here a bit. I don’t know what game they were breaking tape on, although Hokie opening intensity looks pretty solid to me. They are correct, “intensity” did drop athough it was Clemson,  who (twice) let-up a bit later on in this game film –as very talented; though chalky pedestalized everyone is pretty everyone is beautiful front-running kids are 2016 want to do. So instead of a futile and ultimately bogus exercise in pareidolia; again; here is what really happened in bullet format…

  • Coach God sure gave Clemson a lot of footballing Gift’s! Watch the speed of the Clemson KO coverage team on CU KO #2 when they were oh so hyped up! Never seen a collegiate suicide squad get down the field, that far, that quickly, as an in-line linear display of speed in my life. Further, Clemson’s freaks also made some, well, some freaky plays. Williams is the most talented opposing pass catcher I’ve seen on tape since Fitzgerald of Pitt. And the Tigers are loaded for bear at Qb, Tb, Te, and at right-G and left-Ot. So why not give Clemson some credit?
  • Clemson mixed their play calling really really well on the Tiger’s opening three drives. The elementary term is: “off-balance” as that is what Bud Stout was here; as whomever wrote the Clemson opening offensive script did a Joseph Keller Catch-22 magnificent X’s and O’s word smything job. The Tiger oLine frozen screen-call, the reverse 180 spin-roll-out from Watson, the jet sweep forward touch-pass play, the double-dutch looking freaky Watson hip-shakes (plural), … all consipred to disable any opening Bud Bðck inner-ear equilibrium.

    How is this fair to Sam?
    How is this fair to Sam?
  • Now, and all of that rightfully being said, if you wanna hold Tech’s feet to the O&M fire you could say the following… our defensive tackling leverage was poor to outright bad early on. Way too shallow or way too wide in trailing pursuit after the 1st-contact (i.e. the initial hit). As our Euclidean angular efforting was H.G. Winslow ‘esque at times. The Hokie O had some foibles of its own, as the Clemson dLine actually playing hard was a very hard out for us. Ditto Evans missing a couple of otherwise drive saving 1st-down achieving targets; and he missed at least one backside throw (Bucky), running wide open for a possible six. Two throwing misses from Evans, two sliding good-hands-team snags from Clemson. Sam and T.McMillian both missing backfield blocks, and much as I like Sam, Sam getting the rock vs. this much star studded Tiger defensive speed this often early on is a real head-scratchier? A false-start, a few solid coverage though got tangled up P.I. calls (four, good for, or bad for four 1st Downs and 6o (bleeping) yards whistled against); a Gallman Chuck Foreman retro spin-move, a blown coverage on the Tiger Te and varying to various miscellaneous… little, tiny or quantum things. And yet the little things mean everything in the BIG game as the likewise underdog.

    Only on the pay side will you get scoops like this...
    Only on the pay side will you get scoops like this…
  • Nevertheless, don’t tell me that lacks “intensity”. Give Coach God and Clemson’s staff and ballers some love and then give thanks that such an elite bunch of **** and ***** or four and five star thoroughbred studs did mercifully deintensify a bit. Virginia Tech came to fight and keep right on throwing rocks, whereas Clemson’s focus wondered off at least twice to see what was on the other side of the A.c.c. championship game quarry.
  • ^That^ sports-fans is what honestly and realistically all-the-time happened; as to opine anything else is to debase Hokie heart and coach-Fu’s “want too”.
  • …then a funny thing happened along the way to the Clemson A.c.c. blowout candy store…

    Brave call... brave souls.
    Brave call… brave souls.

1Q 3:o4 remaining:
Michael Ludwig and his shot-put Track & Field looking fake punt happened and Edmunds just so happened to make a circus ‘esque juggling catch on a drag-pattern crossing route oh so deftly underneath the letter of the rule book law and therefore oh so deftly just behind the legalized LOS (line-of-scrimmage) proper. As the scratching sound(s) you heard  were the 127 other Special Team coaches furiously taking note(s)!

2Q 8:52 remaining:
Boy-o-boy, if big ole Tim Settle ever develops anything beyond this Mack Truck bulldog of a Brahma bull-(rush)? Look the (bleep) out as Tim just brushed aside an all-A.c.c. and N.F.L. caliber right-G (Crowder) from Clemson like he was not even there on a 4 yard TFL (tackle for a loss) backfield stop. Or should I say: “man-o-man” once this 97 kid’s game fully matures, matriculates and grows all the way up.

Eye of the TIGER, 1o1!
Eye of the TIGER, 1o1!

And no sooner than right on cue -on the very next play- Tim pawns the right-G of Clemson with an old-school Mr. Miyagi Wax-on  Wax-off or so-called swim technique for a 6 yard sack! As the game sure looks like it is starting to officially and proverbially slow down for BIG Tim.

2Q 4:o9 remaining:
Liked the C.Kent shirt ripping open into S.Man routine at the end of the  pin-balling off of a constellation of VHT (very highly touted) four and five star Clemson defenders on the gamey, grim and downright gutty Evans Qb keeper touchdown jaunt. Loved however the sideline Eye of the (alpha) Tiger. Been a while since we’ve had a leader as fiery as this while under fire his ownself. I for one find Evans reflexively visceral, and verbally hard-hatted approach to the always nebulous concept of: Leadership itself, MOST refreshing indeed.

This must be real bad for this to *do*, this. : (
This must be real bad for this to *do*, this. : (

2Q 1:36 remaining:
Yah; this one did not look good as the already double shoulder-harness slung Vinny tries a clockwise spin-move to the outside, falls down (onto the damaged left-shoulder) just as the right-Ot of Clemson lands on him at the end for bad measure. Godspeed Vin’, as you and Mister Scott are indeed giving good ole V.P.I. all you gots. Dang…

Dang again, as you can see poor Vinny crumpled to the mat off of the Tuaman INT deflection play (3Q 13:40 remaining:), as when a tipped pass itself causes a knockdown, or pancakes you? Your right (and left) shoulder(s) must be petty dang bad. (i.e. don’t die of shock if Vinny has to have both rebuilt this January)

3Q 7:52 remaining:
Notice Mook suffering some sorta right lower-leg ding here on the Hokie punt-return. The Line-of-Sight is obscured and Mook -thank God- did return; though he left the game for a series of treatment for a reason as well.

3Q 2:26 remaining:
One of the best Qb hits I’ve seen all year as #98 Walker just goes total warhorse root-hog on the Clemson (now back-up) right-G and plows his ass about 5 yards backwards into the Clemson backfield and basically accidentally tackles Watson who was simply carrying out an erstwhile safe play-fake to his even side. Wow; as there are sharecroppers and mules and rented oxen that have never plowed a field any more violently than this! Lawsy!

Boom! Boom! Pow!
Boom! Boom! Pow!

4Q 13:38 remaining:
Watch as #10 (Ben Boulware) the meanest most physical Linebacker I’ve seen all season long in Atlantic Coast play simply gets buried by everyone’s hero Sam -the undertaker- Rogers alongside the Clemson sideline.

Two things here, why is nobody else writing about this play? And secondly, the Clemson sideline response was one of wowed, awe and respect that our boy Sam completely pancaked their boy Ben who is the best and nastiest Lb in the whole damn A.c.c. That’s the highest level of nobody wants to fight a lionheart like Sam; as Aretha Franklin’s respect goes, when no (bleep) is talked and no defense (of Boulware) is offered just the same, none! Not one verbal drop.
Finally, and to me, you could see Rocky (coach-Fu) slowly working that body of Apollo (dabo) and slowly making this fight more and more uncomfortable physically speaking for the champion Tigers. As they wanted NOTHING physically to do with us when the final bell finally -and mercifully enough for them- went “ding”.

Ain't many peeps ever pancked 10, as make no mistake; 10 is an F'n stud!!!
Ain’t many peeps ever pancaked 10, as make no mistake; 10 is an F’n stud!!!

4Q 1:14 remaining:
Observe as coach-Fu and/or coach Corny make one of the least explainable personnel grouping decisions with the game -and the Atlantic Coast Championship- all on the line. So, on the play before, we had our least great blocking Rb (T.McMillian) squirt out through the right-side A-gap or zero hole on a mini-me flare pattern as a blitzing safety valve of sorts.

This time however we asked him to be the personal protector of D.Evans on what could have been the O&M play of the year, and McMillian whiffed -on the looping right-OLb- block and D.Evans and beloved Virginia Tech struck out. Now why this is I have no idea? Peoples had not been seen much at all, and we just saw Sam destroy the best Linebacker in the A.c.c. So why did we pound the sq.peg in the don’t fit round-hole here? Yes, McMillian had been blocking better since getting chewed out up @Notre Dame. However; is that even 60¢ on Sam’s (or Peoples’) dollar?

...yah; we could have gone for 2, and won!
…yah; we could have gone for 2, and won!

As you can see C.J. Carrol establish inside-leverage and then at least a ½ stride of a seal on the Clemson nickel-back, as CeeJay was real close -within just a decent McMillian brush-block- of breaking this Flag pattern wide open for 6!

PUBLISHERs note: it was an absolute honor to watch a seesaw game such as this played this hard at this level. As yes, it is true, Clemson probably does court more N.F.L.’ers than we do, although our 2, 3, and 4-star guys play with 55 star heart and made numerous seemingly impossible plays happen over and over again and again.

Time To Throw (TTT)©:vt-missed-tacs-cu

Virginia Tech:
Qb pressured=5
Qb hurried=1
Qb hits=21

Qb pressured=1o
Qb hurried=2
Qb hits=26

The Ginko -whatever that’s call, I forget- the Ginko cognoscenti among you will no doubt be pointing out that the above tackling chart looks similar, symmetrical and even downright homogeneous  to last week’s {sic: tacking chart}. That would only be true because it is exactly the same as last weeks Bud Stout tackling chart; 100%, number for number or lick for lick.

Now make no mistake, that’s sum pretty good tackling; overall; on a play by play basis. In particular when you pause to consider that our new well established three-year baseline of ~.3oo missed tackles per play is your mean, median, mode stopping norm.

In very particular when you pause to consider that we were tackling at least three, possibly four different Sunday guys on Saturday night down in Orlando. In extreme particular when you pause to consider that the Tiger Qb (Watson) industrializes one of the better Pivot stiff-arms this side of Terry Bradshaw. Or to put it another way; our tackling was very close to being 200% stiffer and starchier than expected. Still yet, what is a R.A.T.T. win percentage when you do give up 42 points on 470 total yards?cu-missed-per-play

And yet again… even there we came out just a scosche ahead on the every 10 yards of total O gained is worth 1 point first-school rule of thumb. When all we really needed was one more Clemson turnover and few more Evans’ connects. Just one more pick or fumble and we are into Overtime at the worst, or we usurp Dabo and Co. and pilfer this one at the least. As a one full play game (a.k.a. a single TD) is indeed a game of inches and in the final measure we came up just a few centimeters, short.

Longfield Management (Lo.FM)©:

Virginia Tech:
positive: |||| |||| | (1 VT fake-punt, 1 VT TD, 1 CU penalty)cu-blocks
negative: |||| |||| |||| | (1 VT flag, 2 VT INT’s)
Swiss (neutral): ||||

positive: |||| |||| | (4 VT whistles, 1 CU TD)
negative: |||| |||| |||| (1 VT INT, 1 CU foul)
Swiss (neutral): |||

Clemson -to their credit- went over 15 minutes of play before Virginia Tech football connected on one single Lo.FM defensive big punch with the Clemson O behind on the sticks. Whereas coach-Fu and Coach Corny went almost a full 12 minutes of scrumming before the Hokie O managed to manufacture its first positive play when chasing the chain-gang. Do you see what I mean? It is pretty tough to win much of anything like that | and one could dare say it is tough to even stay in a game vs. anything like that. As it is next of kin to umpossible to win when dialing up the signature attack down pressure utility when Bud Foster has your O right where he wants it on 3rd and long thrice, and 2nd and long once; and yet four crucial P.I. calls wet coach Foster’s very own Lo.FM fusillade bed. That sucks, because I’m not sure much -if any- of that is to Clemson’s celebrity; although I am sure none of that is Clemson’s fault. As you simply can not afford those kinda ticky-tack misQ’s vs. a Q-score’s a debutante as Clemson’s. When you play a sexxy team like Clemson you must not wait for Clemson, (or the zebras), to give you much of anything. You need to go ahead and operate on the… take.evans-hits-cu

As I can only assure you, while keyboarding the Clemson Lo.FM scratch-marks in, you could see that Virginia Tech had Watson in a handful of critical 3rd-n-longs and Watson electrified Bud Stout and lit up the night with ice-water in his veins as he nailed a very difficult to overcome 80% closing big-play Lo.FM positive percentage and that sports fans is how you scratch a clutch Sunday check. As we had our narrow margin of error chances and yet we could just not quite find a home for that one final Tiger-punch.

Yes, the sage among you will point out that that was our worst looking Vice-Squad blocking graph all year; and you Sir would be correct; as this happens vs. that much professional front-4 defensing talent; and this just in… rain is rumored to be… wet.misses-drops-cu

Nevertheless, the TTT metric above posits a narrow Tech victory and yet the Lo.FM statistic avers a slightly less thin Tiger win. So let us call it a draw, and oddly enough; that is exactly how my scorecard read. Segue now…

the takeaway

…the takeaway here is, Clemson and Dabo Swinney should be thankful that this was only a 12 round regulation football fight. Because the possibility of this fight going into extra innings; Virginia Tech was the football team with all the momentum, the greater need and the greater heart scared Dabo to death. As you could hear it in his more than abstract voice infection post-game All fingers point to that; as I’m not entirely sure Clemson won here -per se- as much as I am sure the {sic: game} clock alibied Virginia Tech. Just three more minutes -or one more round in boxing vernacular- and Virginia Tech might have finished off the heavily favored Clemson Tigers for keeps.

As my A.c.c. football championship scorecard reads as follows…


…as you can rightfully see, Clemson basically swept the first three rounds after staking a 14-zip opening lead, and then the teams alternated rounds won to close the first-half of play 21-14. Although, here in reality, Clemson had out-gained Virginia Tech by a backbreaking 132 to 2 or by 136 absolute value yards in the initial 14:09 of scrumming. Or in other words, and being uncensored here, you had to wonder if the Ref’ as gonna stop the fight or if a lesser Whit Babcock might have thrown in the O&M towel to protect his thin and wounded team for the looming bowl bid? Then suddenly a sanguine and downright bloodied Virginia Tech landed a Cinderella Man fake-punt haymaker to the jaw of the Tigers at the end of the fourth round and a instantly staggered Dabo Swinney’s glove touched the Orlando canvas on that pigskin prodigy level trick play and suddenly Virginia Tech was back in the fight.

Clemson did score again although “not so fast my friends” as Virginia Tech and coach-Fu’ tallied the “maintain(ing) contact” final score of the first half with approx. ~4 mins. left to play. And suddenly what seemed like an inevitable Clemson TKO triumph was turning back into a fight –which later on erupted into a pier-6 all out Atlantic Coast war!

After halftime Clemson -to their credit- came out slinging some mean post-intermission leather and suddenly the Tigers seemed all over again with a nearly insurmountable lead at 35-14. As the A.c.c. Referee was giving coach-Fu and Virginia Tech a long hard look at the close of the 8th round action. Now, and to be sure, Clemson, Dabo and all of its shiny **** and ***** (4 and 5 star) recruits may have a pretty face indeed. Although as Dabo and company found out the hard way; a pretty face is a pretty poor alibi for a glass jaw.

Then Coach-Fu went full fledged Rocky Balboa when his Jenny went Adrian and said just twelve glorious words to her beloved man: “There’s one thing I want you to do for me… win. Win!” If you listened hard enough to the echos upon the now down 14-35 air, you could almost here Mrs. Justin Fuente (Jenny), whispering the very same thing into her man’s ear.

"Who's da man!?!"
“Win, Justin, win!”

Suddenly again; a now very abrasive, cut-up and leaky looking Virginia Tech rose up off the Orlando mat and proceeded to basically (bleep) Dabo and the Tigers right on up from there on out. As a veritable buzz saw of body-shot after body-shot, uppercut after uppercut, suddenly came crashing home and a reeling Dabo and company changed their address to 42-35 Queer Street, with their legs shot and their championship heart spent … as such is the difference between a team and a culture born with a sporting silver spoon in their mouths’. And that of a team and a culture bore with a dagger in theirs.


Yes -to be fair- Clemson did win more rounds (7) and they ultimately did claim the football game. However if you look at my scorecard above you can see that when Virginia Tech needed it the most, it was Virginia Tech and coach-Fu’ who dug the deepest and summoned the best. As I scored no less than three Hokie knockdowns or three 10-8 rounds in coach-Fu’s favor.

As you coach Dabo did have the expensive looking ring-robe and trunks, and you did enter the Atlantic Coast squared-circle holding the pyrotechnic lead. However, you were also precisely one single punch removed from being separated from your senses and your Championship Belt –with your legs gone and your lips split open.

As that’s how the game-clock rolls, that’s how big Hokie heart truly is, and that’s what love is all about.

The truth be told...

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Virginia Tech=35, Clemson=42




V.A.D.A. approved

8 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Dang BStreet…..Classic Writing about a Forever to remember game!!! And now I’ve gotta go back and watch all those Rocky Movies again! I’ve done many a workout to that Musak ….all with good results. Good memories too as Virtually my whole dental class crashed a Rocky Movie with a line down the whole street waiting to get in. We slipped in the exit as the previous showing departed…..grabbing the best seats for our group. Good times all around.

    The future …and the past ….are all bright!

    1. Ha-ha.
      Me three Doc’.

      I slip that one and the Rocky (part I) training montage in my boxing workout music queue from time-to-time. Never fails to spark you up; either.


  2. BStreet,

    You give an insight to the game we hokie fans get nowhere else. Not only facts and statistics of the game, but the emotion and strategy. This was our championship game and your best championship Eye in the Sky.


  3. this team is learning how to play with the big boys. They are getting tough- this was one hell of a game. We got away from our toughness in the past few years , and we are now remembering how to punch back. Toughness can take a team farther than talent when used correctly. Getting back to 10 wins is a great accomplishment. We have the makings of a bright future in B Burg.

    1. “Toughness can take a team farther than talent when used correctly…”
      “Amen”, on behalf of my late father.
      (who epitomized ^that^ like no other)

      Yes. that is spot on applied sports psych’ correct.

      Hopefully, they have learnt from the pathology of pain @Bristol, and @Cuse.
      (GT out-coached us; the other 2 did not)


  4. BStreet,

    I still don’t understand a lot of your dialect but this article was spot on and articulated the true feel of this game. A Rocky underdog fighting back with the opponent reeling on the ropes. The bell sounds and the Champ wins on points but he is very thankful it was the last round because his tank was near empty!

    The Clemson game at Lane will be a lot of fun and I bet Dabo IS NOT looking forward to that trip!!!!!!

    Great job my friend!!!!!

    1. Oh no doubt.

      VT should have some confidence too.
      As that game=round #13.


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