Virginia Tech football Duke Eye in the Sky

Virginia Tech football went out onto the A.c.c. road where you historically win ~30% of the time and coach-Fu won a close one for the Hokie Nation of  Virginia Tech.

another VT win was right on... target!
another VT win was right on… target!

The Hokies did what they had to do, and gutted out a VicTory vs. a grim, gutty, and gamey Duke Football squad in Duke’s very own backyard. This win may not have been sexy, pretty and it did not generate a facebook social media friendly Q-score –as the issue was in doubt for the third week in a row for the balance of the fourth quarter; and for the second game in a row, right down to the proverbial wire. Still yet, the Hokie Bird and Virginia Tech have nosed out yet another win and Virginia Tech still controls its very own Coastal Divisional destiny. Let’s just hope we have enough petrol left in the O&M tank to do so, as an already banged-up V.P.I. football squad came away no healthier for their winning Wallace Wade troubles…1Q 8:32 remaining:
COTY (catch of the year) or maybe the best Hokie snag in years, plural. As Bucky does have an epic catch-radius with a 6’7” ~82” wingspan indeed. Conversely, this was Evans least accurate day not named the soggy bottom game @U.n.c., and Bucky may have made himself a little more N.f.l. $cratch on this one.

99% degree of difficulty, with his unorthodox (left) hand, too!
99% degree of difficulty, with his unorthodox (left) hand, too!

1Q Duke 2nd offensive drive remaining:
Wanna confess my sins here, my Eye has a board and a splinter in it in Biblical terms, as I just can not find the Ken knee injury on film. I did spy his really sore/gimpy looking initial gait in pursuit of the Daniel Qb kid from Duke towards the Duke sideline just before the 6 min. mark in Q1. And he looks really truncated in his ability to stride in full on his right-side. Ditto two plays later when Daniel defeets Ken’s superior sideline leverage to turn the corner on Ken and his torn right-pec’ as Jones gets up field. (This leaves one wondering if this is a refugee Pitt injury or a practice week hurt?)limp

1Q 1:27 remaining:
Man did Cunningham get his head-cracked and his bell-rung on this drag route across the middle by #33 the Dukie Fs on this hit. Cunningham was just coasting and three-three plum lit his ass up on what was basically an old-school ear-hole hit, or a rabbit-punch right on one of the seven kayo points in boxing terms. WOW. Impressed Cunningham got up from a defenseless shot like this.  (BONUS: #33 totally stole Gallo downfield on the penultimate play to end the 3Q. Three-three is rough little cuss, ain’t he?)

Game duration:
Did anyone else catch the amount of cut blocks Duke was throwing along the LOS (line-of-scrimmage) proper vs. coach Wiles’ boys on Saturday? As I saw a mess of our De’s get chopped down to size, right along the edge.

GREAT hit! Was it, needed?
GREAT hit! Was it, needed?

2Q 12:52 remaining:
Stro’ with the block and then with the nasty steal about 15 yards behind the play. Not sure how I feel about this one, as it is not like it freed anyone up for anything as return yardage went. And you just never know? What if this is called for targeting and therefore this 6-point major is called back in what was ultimately a 1/2 play football game with a final 24-21 tally? Nobody loves or glorifies a good, clean, yet sneaky steal anymore than I, however; this one served what greater good in the end?

2Q 5:52 remaining:
Did not get this in real time, as those of us with three blown ankle ligs with one detached grimace too much to watch this full. However, you can literally see the weight of the Dukie gunner literally spring-load poor Stro’s right-ankle like a Pogo stick as the gunners upper-body weight cascades down Stro’s right-leg until Stro’s right-ankle simply lets go. WOW, harsh, and coach God Bless.

brutal looking, 1o1...
brutal looking, 1o1…

2Q 1:12 remaining:
Here we see poor Mister Hill slamming his already torn right-labrum right down into the field-turf of Wallace Wade. Our third shoulder rip-up (no) thanks to impacting the playing surface itself. Damn. (and Godspeed)

3Q 9:32 remaining:
Never seen this one before, as you can literally see Ford spit into his right palm (gloved) prior to the play. Such had me thinking he’s keeping his glove moist/soft to catch the ball. And yet he at least sorta tries to block downward on the seal attempt on the Evans keeper. Have to keep my Eye pealed here, though maybe this is a poker faced blocking tell as opposed to a catch-game tell?

3Q 7:54 remaining:
Watch Mook’ have to take himself outta the game after this Hokie sideline stop off of the Jones scramble as he gets up protecting his right-shoulder here. God Bless.

Post-Stro’ injury, game remaining duration:
4Q ~13 left, notice Adonis, with a black soleus (calf) brace on underneath the white full left-leg circulation stimulating medical stocking. As right-side Cb is now officially about as banged-up and dinged-up (respective) as you can be.

4Q 9:32 remaining:
Don’t enjoy seeing this, as I had to use the roster page to look this up, although watch as unknown Sr. Lb., one #37 Johnathan Galante comes up lame along the Tech sideline after giving it his all and successfully forcing the Duke PR specialist out of bounds. A local Bluefield College transfer then walk-on Super Iron Hokie in the weight room … with a 375 lb. bench, 44o lb. back-squat, and Galante posted a nifty 36” vertical leap. Which hints to me he could be starting at a lower level, and yet he is playing this level at 5’8” and a relatively mere 208 lbs. as a Mike-Lb. A harsh thing, this terminal contact sport we euphemistically call football. Godspeed!

4Q 4 and change remaining:
Really savvy and keen job by coach Corny and the Fu’fense of pulling a rival Dean Smith play-call and going 4-corners offense and letting the air outta the rock to close the show here. And guess who dominated the LOS in a less than a full-play game with the determination hanging in the balance?

Time To Throw (TTT)©:duke-mssied-tackles

Virginia Tech:
Qb pressured=6
Qb hurried=nil
Qb hits=25

Qb pressured=9
Qb hurried=4!
Qb hits=27

Try as we might, football still ain’t rocket surgery folks… although I must admit I am stunned it took until the Duke football game to witness an opponent put a helmet on poor ‘Tua and simply dive drive dive block him right on out of the play. As Andrew -try as he might- simply got pwned over and over again upon breaking tape in this one. As you gotta give coach David some credit, as his O began to come back to the middle of the field in vertical run attack more and more as the shadowy day wore on down in Raleigh-Durham. As the next block I see ‘Tua man Mack Truck compact will pretty much be his first. Make no mistake, everything else is better (as his play goes); nevertheless, G-c-G’s are still eating him up on the inside for B, L, and D and even lead-Fb’s are having an after school snack of the ‘Tuaman on any Iso’ or Wham play right up the A-gap gut. Additionally, #54 had his worst day in pass-coverage where he has always been at least above average prior to this contest. When you add all of that up; you have to wonder out loud if the poor ‘Tuaman is dragging another bum wheel along for the ride, same as in ’15?missed-per-play-duke

I do not donate opposing space in this column very often… nevertheless, I do want to give a hearty shout-out to Duke Qb Daniel Jones. Who played the last ~7 minutes of the football game sans part of his thumbnail on his throwing hand and with a divot where his right-thumb’s bottom knuckle used to be while taking a whopping 27 contacts as an raw, rookie year voter at 18 years of age. Coach David may have discovered himself a heretofore hidden keeper of an emerald in the green-grass here folks. As Daniel took a true licking and kept right on ticking | and if he is this good in 2016; how good will he be come 2019? As Virginia Tech won the TTT metric, if barely; via keeping Evans cleaner in the pocket than Duke kept Jones.

Longfield Management (Lo.FM)©:duke-blocking

Virginia Tech:
positive: |||| |||| || (1 VT TD, 1 Duke flag)
negative: |||| || (1 VT penalty)
Swiss (neutral): |||| (1 Duke flag)

positive: |||| || (2 VT penalties, 1 VT ejection)
negative: |||| |||
Swiss (neutral): ||||

If you look at the raw Lo.FM count itself, Duke at least could have won a close game, as Virginia Tech chased the chain-gang 24 times whereas Duke only trailed the sticks 20 times. Thing is, Jerod Evans made plays when he absolutely had to, and I could end this article right here. During the second Tuesday in November week I almost have to. Continuing, Evans made just enough plays on a dry field season low-point day of 55% passing, where he had one and some might have me say two at least potentially catchable INT throws, dropped. He did run smartly enough, with a centennial day of raw gains of 100 yards rushing less being sacked thrice for -17 in reverse. His rushing and in very particular his run-game acceleration looked about as smooth as it could humanly be for a kid who is literally dragging five different ankle rolls down the field. However, his throw-game was off and Evans is not exactly a G.P.S. laser-sighted a needle thread’er by definition in the first place. He also eschewed the traditional figure-8 type old-school ankle (sic: tape) job for a deeper heel-left type brace. Which almost hints the problem may be deeper or more posterior to the ankle goes than at first glance. This resulted in a few cockeyed or askew set-ups -and bear in mind that the textbook set-up is a bum ankle re-roll just begging to happen itself- this resulted in a few cockeyed or askew set-ups and his drop-back dance steps are a bit fluttery or askew to begin with. This all conspired to throw (bad pun) his passing A-game off more than a little bit. As this is one hearty made of mettle kid who is carrying his offense just like Atlas did on his back, only thing being Evans is carrying it on about 1.5 good ankles to boot.evans-hits-duke

Do bear witness, Duke just graded out as our best blocking day of the season. The passing cup was solid, and sometimes excellent and we slowly yet surely gained a modest then likewise solid push as the afternoon wore on down in tobacco road. trenches However, Evans missed no less than six throws as that penta-turned ankle seemed to bother him most when he dropped back and not so much when he was able to run inline -less making cuts- going (mostly) north-south up-field. Observe that Evans even utilized a near jumping-jack set-up in the pocket later in the game with both feet perpendicular to the LOS. And if nothing else, thank God he did not suffer a hexa-ankle roll this weekend.duke-drops-misses

Though I do wanna point something out… Evans has 13 missed passes in the last eight quarters of scrumming, three of which (or 23.7%), were then in turn dropped by would be interceptors. As clearly there is enough tape out there on Evans’ accuracy foibles that opposing secondary coaches are gaining traction on where (on the field) and when to key his misses. And those fortuitous drops probably won’t hold Duck Pond water for the remaining ’16 duration.

the takeaway

Never wished his website had a press-pass; before tonight—->bourbonstreet

LOVE to be credentialed to go ask the Duke D-coordinator up on what he saw on film, that tipped him off on how to so thoroughly umbrella contain the Fu’ense and hold it to 23 yard max’ plays; or less??? In point of fact, he held it under 18 yards max’ after the intermission. how wild is that? Was it the full-time tri-Safety set; or something else? As anyone can break tape here and tell you what just happened; though that is no better than guarding the barn after the horses have all run away. I wanna hear where those horses went; so I can go do something about it, and how did they get out; in the first place.

Secondly… do you guys believe me now when I -and then even Will Stewart his very ownself chimed in- re: concerns that this D was wearing down? You concerned by this banged-up of a halt-unit going against the flexbone of Georgia Tech? You should be. Here however is the question… why does the Hokie O -who has a few dings and dents of their very own- look so very much fresher and sprite than does the Hokie D? Can any of you riddle me that one, please?vt-fatigue

And who brought that Nigel was cleared to ball noise into This new regime, they maneuver differently on injury deceleration and/or disclosure, do they not? As there is a lot of dissemination smoke-screening going on here.

Did super enjoy the third final 4th Q push by the ever so slightly gaining somewhere in between baby-step and incremental traction Vice-squad oLine to seal the deal and close the show. Mainly -or should I say, manly enough- via ramming the football right down the throat of its third straight opponent, in the freakin’ clutch, when the O&M game on the line chips got big-n-blue. Whole lotta Hokie heart and  some smart looking Hokie Hilgirth hard-fought -and now hard-won- strength and condition cowboying up and showing up large and in charge when we needed it most. As in each of the penultimate and ultimate final drives of the past three contests, you can see exactly who wants it more and who is willing to suffer less when our trench fighters put their back into it right at the end.  And make no mistake here gents; that are not easy to accomplish when you emphasize run, run, run and run some more at practice 25/8 like the Fu’fense must do via intrinsic ace tempo definition. As I’m really starting to enjoy watching Coach Vice’s boys land repeated power shots to close the show.

Ultimately, even though our “brute force” ain’t exactly going industrial Earth movers early-on, they sure as hell are getting that beat your damn ass job done in the clutch. Don’t believe me? Say I’m stirring the pot? Than just ask this “want too” well-conditioned, championship round oomph collage below, as we upside three straight opposing dLine jaws’ to triumphantly close three successive shows. PROPs at the Vice-squad here!!!

Do, you, see, a, ... trend?
Do, you, see, a, … trend?

Finally, smart clean-up on fumbling and a lotta little penalties by the Staff. Although I just gotta ask this… when we look back on 2016, is if (potentially) valid to say that this team has already, peaked? As in, how much O and D improving have you seen in the last three to four weeks? What specifically have you seen significantly improved since the washed out game down down @U.n.c.?

(please, feel free to fire away and reply down below…)

R.A.T.T.: the apparent difference in finishing conditioning between the O and the D is because of what?

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Virginia Tech=24, Duke=21




V.A.D.A. approved


4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. quick witted/quick footed quarterbacks drive the D crazy! But only when they can throw too…… Clemson would be a problem! Don’t know about GT, they’re an enigma wrapped in a riddle….oh and a mystery too.

    1. Clemson, I’m sad to say, will be a rout. If we catch their mercurial A-game?

      Will Thomas even play?
      As his passing is better –this year.
      Though their D is just plain ole inviting. As in, very.


  2. Our defense is weary and worn because we are undersized in the front seven for the most part. Our tackling looks tentative quite often. A 190 pound back drags three tacklers for an extra three yards. Gone are the days when a defender stops short the ball carrier’s momentum. We need some depth at linebacker as well. I hope Coach Fu recruits a bigger D in the next class. We now scheme to get around our size deficiency and we get exposed.

    1. Lack of tacking, methinks; is more a function of self-protect.
      Guys playing hurt. Maybe even, too hurt.

      And yah; we are always small(er) in the front-7.
      Tough Vinny and Ken are a bit larger than the De norm’.


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