#13 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #7 R.P.I. Miami:
Virginia tech football travels to South Beach to take on the Miami Hurricanes at 8pm on A.b.c. in a game that some of the pigskin cognoscenti are deigning to call a: “play-off eliminator“!
The Hokies are (somehow) listed as a three point (VT-3) betting road fave vs. the higher ranked play-off poll and national ranking team. And if my Aunt Kim had nutz and a bolt she’d be my Uncle, Tim. This segues us effortless enough into today’s word of the day…
Today’s word of the day is… prestidigitation.
- Performance of or skill in performing magic or conjuring tricks with the hands; sleight of hand.
- Skill or cleverness, especially in deceiving others.
- “PRESTO…” the clock strikes 12 for one of these two smoke-n-mirror teams!
Miami Head Coach: Mark Allan Richt: age=57, (7-zip year; 161-55 overall); has a rep’ for: offensive, Qb’s in particular, insane community relations and charity work (see: below); fundraising, and recruiting innovations such as his new: Paradise Camp.
Mark Richt would make a fine Hokie. Or anything else.
Kid Richt came up in a blue collar family of seven, the second oldest of five siblings– he was born in Omaha, Nebraska to Lou and Helen Richt. In 1973, Lou was transferred to South Florida where Mark would graduate from high school. At which Richt became a star athlete at Boca Raton High and was called “All Turnpike’’ because of the various awards he received around the state of Florida.
Baller Richt Richt played at the University of Miami from 1978–1982. Under national champion coach Howard Schnellenberger, Richt was backup to future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. In later years at Miami, other Miami quarterbacks he played alongside included Heisman trophy recipient Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar. He was mentored by quarterbacks coach Earl Morrall. Despite limited playing time, Richt still amassed nearly 1,5oo passing yards. Richt received interest from multiple NFL teams and briefly spent time with the Denver Broncos behind John Elway.
Coach Richt began his coaching career after being offered a job by Bobby Bowden as a graduate assistant for the Florida State Seminoles. Richt then spent one year as o-Cord’ at E.c.u. and after such at East Carolina, Bowden brought Richt back to Florida State to serve as the Seminoles’ quarterbacks coach. Richt was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1994 and tore the ‘Nole record book apart. Two Heisman Trophy’s, seven Pro Qb’s and two national championship rings says so.
Head Coach Richt then got his first big whistle job at Georgia. Richt’s teams won two Southeastern Conference (So.Eastern) championships, six S.e.c. Eastern Division titles and nine bowl games. His teams represented the S.e.c. in three BCS bowl appearances with a record of 2–1, and finished in the top-10 of the final AP Poll seven times.
Richt then found his way home to his alam mata after a unceremonious dismissal from Georgia. Richt serves as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and calls all offensive plays. He works closely with Qb’s at practice, alongside his oldest son and Qb’s coach, Jon Richt.
The man Mark Richt is married and is a devout Christian. His staff is a mix of religious backgrounds. In 2o11 Richt and his wife Katharyn Francis sold their Georgia lake house (near Frank’s, of all people), valued at nearly $2 million, and announced they intended to contribute it to charity. They have also taken several mission trips abroad. The couple has four natural children and two children they adopted from Ukraine in 1999, one of which, their adoptive daughter was born with a rare disorder known as proteus syndrome.
God love the Ricth’s!!!
Hurricane 2016 record: 9 up 4 down and 5-3 in the A.c.c.
Da U Defense: (starters back=8)
- 52nd in Total D.
- 82nd vs. the run.
- 35th vs. the throw.
- 3rd best in pass efficiency D!
- 4th best in Qb’s sacked. 3rd best in Tackles for a Loss (TFL) inflicted!!!
- 98th in the zone.
- Zero defensive scores this year.
- 37th in explosion.
- 3rd in dLine Havoc; as a metric ton of those aforementioned TFL and Qb Sacks live here. (Which means Miami can drop the full seven into coverage routinely). As this U dLine is deep, it is a bit young, although it has talent to burn with two De’s and 2 Dt’s that will prolly press for all-conference honors before their time is through. De Joe Jackson, Dt Kendrick Norton, Dt R.J. McIntosh and De Chad Thomas –in order of descending talents: remember those names as there is a Pro’ or three here, somewhere, someday.
- 82nd in Linebacking Havoc and it is a very sophomoric 82nd in Lb Havoc at that. As Chris Coleman already pointed out, all three starters are back and they have grown although are not quite all grown-up. Second year Shaquille Quarterman 6′1″, 24o lbs. is prolly the best of a still improving/maturing lot. Pinckney is legit here as well, and come 2o19 and this U second-layer should be loaded for bear. Lotta young talent here folks; if this second-layer is not good they are on their way; possibly even to being outright, great.
- 38th in Secondary Havoc. 12th most INT’s in the nation may have something to do with that as same as last week, Miami plays the ball not the man. Cb Jaquan Johnson has the highest Success Rate (69%) in pass defense of any Cb I’ve seen in 1.5 yarns since this stat we developed; Cam (no doubt) draws him. And then there is the Turnover Chan gang. No I’m not making this blinged out madness up! Wonder what that swagg is worth? Safety looks a little stronger here almost via default as only 1 S (Jaquan Johnson) out of four 2o16 starter’s return. Mix in a transfer starter at Cb (Dee Delaney, an F.c.s. all-American at The Citadel) and some hyped new faces, and although inexperienced this secondary will only get better all season long.
- Last year D-cord’ (Diaz) went all-in with a total youth movement. 37 sacks and 1o8 tackles for loss later and with pressure that came from everywhere it looks like his fresh cut 2o16 green-wood has seasoned well enough indeed. Now ten of the top-11 play-makers return to what should be another strong defense. And the returning entire front-7 would seem to agree.
- Saw me a number of ‘Cane targeting penalties here. Oct. 31st may be done -thank God- though all VT ball carries beware here. Saw me a semi normalized forty-three base. With a true zero or 1-technique junkyard dawgg C abusing Ng and a lotta press to no less than medium man on edge. The Cane Fs is a deep centerfielder who is your (pardon the pun) your safety valve here. In point of fact I can not find him sometimes which puts him at least a good 15 off the line-of-scrimmage (LOS) proper. Curiously enough, for such a knockout hitting team, saw me a lotta army tackling with defenders in such a hurry they overran ball carriers and Mighty Casey “whiffed” as said ball-carriers went zooming right on bye. Euclidean or geometry savvy this ‘Cane D just, ain’t. Accordingly, the ‘Cane D will play really well and then give up a rocket play here and there. Ditto being vulnerable to tickeration and I gave all that candy away on Tuesday night. Though if anything their pursuit speed looks better than it has in a while on tape and that’s saying something about a T&F quality squad. As the new Shaq’-Fu is one crispy Linebacker when he wants to be. And make no mistake here, this team will take happy hour discounts or cheap shots. In particular on the opposing Qb. Bush had better be Qb2 repped up this week. Likewise, the ‘Cane Dline deflects a lotta throws and JAX just ain’t release-point tall.
- Ex-VT’ers coach Stacy and G.Nosal are on Staff here.
Miami Offense: (returning starters=8)
- 24th in Total O.
- 19th in aerial O.
- 61st in ground O.
- 39th in passing efficiency.
- And yet, 90th in 1st Down O & 119th in 3rd Down conversion %!
- 14th in the zone.
- 7th fewest in fumbles. Holds on to the rock like a champ.
- 7th in explosion.
- 61st in sacks allowed | 27th in TFL allowed.
- Yet next to last penultimate 128th in power rush rate!
(With no less than 43rd best ISO and S*P modern run stat rates; go, FIG’?!?)
- 3rd in passing down ISOPPP, can Willie Stargell HR hit for power if need.
- Prolly the best 4th Q O we will see all year at 6th best.
- Qb1, 61, 214 lb. r-Jr. Malik Rosier was forecast by some to be the U’s Qb2. As there is plenty of talent (“ahem”: five-star recruit N’Kosi Perry) tailgating Rosier from the pivot spot as I type. Nevertheless, nobody told Malik that or his less than overwhelming high school only senior year starting passing numbers (1,800 and change); though he did rush for 1.3k. As this kid seems to have overachiever written all over him, and as original-school Hollywood sculptress Mae West, Malik and I all know: “…call me anything, just call me, often.” As coach Richt and company called Rosier’s #12 as their Qb1 so far this season. 2,o71 yards, 56% with a 17:4 ratio and 211 keep you honest in rushing later and this looks like a good enough call so far. You would like to see a higher completion percentage; though that’s precisely what U will see at home as Malik is a handsome 65% passer in his own crib. Spies say Malik has a “SORE” throwing shoulder so we shall see how that plays out come 8pm Saturday night. Though I would 100% absolutely love to play this 46% road passer in Lane.
- Rb’s are 31st hardest to tackle and yet for all this explosive talk, Miami only has one remaining healthy carry >23 yards on the campaign! As pretty good Travis Homer has taken over for the pretty well great Walton kid (ankle, Godspeed). Homer is a 5′11″, 2o1 lb. t-Soph who was a **** star kid everywhere you look, yet per se only 175th in America overall by ESPN.com. As Homer -same as Rosier- had a good though not overpowering scholastic vitals. 517 rushing with a long of 40 and a 6.4 average in relief is not bad work if you can get it. Though nobody seems to think it is as electrifying as Walton was, either.
- Wr’s catch rate checks in satisfactory enough less the Ahmmon Richards’ (bad hammie), kids catch-rate of 43%. Everyone else is 69% or more as 7 outta 10 is your new catching average. Though Richards’ 21 ypc tells you just how vertical his game is when he does grab one. Christopher Herndon IV is the first legit Te we’ve faced in a minute and he’s a legit Pro’ prospect and he too has some north-south to his game. Braxton Berrios is what I’ll call a jumped up possession-Wr. Or a Charlie Joiner with twitch. Solid pass catching corps here folks; basically has more than a little bit of everything or very; complete, if I may. And they do have a whopping nine guys with grabs of >33 yards and eight different guys with TD receptions!
- The ‘Cane oLine only returned one starter and most said it was narrow on depth. I’d say doing what they are doing up front with what they did return is no bad thing. The left side is the strong -or at lest the more experienced- side with with two seniors taking over. C is an obvious target with a rookie here, though the ‘Cane oLine is nothing if not tall. All going 6′5″ or better; and yet all are 3o5 or less as weight goes. (Right-G is a 356 lbs. monsta, however). Run blocking may be just a smidge ahead of pass-protect, though Miami is throwing no less sans Walton.
- This U O may not be the best offense between the 20’s or at traditional sustained long clock consuming drives. It is however an explosive and electrifying O when So.Beach lightening does strike. Making Miami almost the Fu’fense in reverse. As this is a New Guinea or headhunting O that goes for the kayo punch at any time and above all else. Three U Wr’s with 20.3 or greater yards per catch averages speak to this. This all conspires to make Miami one of the more pass happy teams we’ve seen all year. The Walton Tb1 right-ankle injury only magnifies this all the more.
- Saw me a lotta base O Spread looks, week after week, rinse, recycle, repeat here. Qb in the gun, 1 halfback flanking him, 3-4 wide. Except Miami will mix in a real live Te, of all things! And he’s pretty dang tight, so to speak. ‘Cane oLine did have some airplane wing looks to it at times; Wiles needs to work that men-on-the LOS number (7). As each Miami Ot is questionable at best here at times. Miami throws a lotta quick hitting vertical or medium deep crossing stuff here. Working seams like a dickens and everything is on the move. Precious little as sit down or waiting patterns go. Miami will play-action to buy time though they use a lotta naked protects; i.e. just the 5 oLineman with the back and/or Te out in routing. Could be a chance to blitz here, though it is nearly impossible to help coverage or robber anyone with five guys downfield in patterning. Hence you now understand why/how Miami breaks so much contain and fields such a
magnificent YAC. Just beat that one guy in single-coverage and off to the races Da U goes. Da U does a beautiful job of both E-W and N-S stretch. As there is elastic pressure max’ in full effect here along both traditional vertices; (this tells you how much they trust their oLine, too); mutually their use of an empty-backfield (01 personnel) or even 00-personel (no Rb’s, no Te’s, just Wideouts). Saw me a lotta turn-n-shield type zoning works here, Homer hits the hole hard and does try to be physical with a forward lean and low pad-level; although he seems to wear down a bit as the game wears on as well. Homer does not quite look his listed height; at least not to me. And thing is, basically only he and Rosier carry the mail; 94% of the time if you are keeping score at home.
- 46% run:pass 54% mix.
‘Canes Special Teams: (1 returns)
Miami is 67th in Net Punting. With 6′2′′ 21o lb. rookie year Zach Feagles and his backbreaking 94.4% of his punts being fair-caught or pinned inside the opponents 20 yardline! Yes, da U does not kick the ball from here to Tennessee, though they force you to run nowhere with it if you field their punt(s) at all. Zach was rated No. 7 among punters nationally by Kohl’s Kicking. Though his offer sheet and astronomy class were all ** and ***. He only has a long of 58 yards at any level of punting; still Feagles has a lotta hang-time and he’s a directional vectoring savant. As his average of 38.6 is being messed up by that one bad block and he’s only had three that’s only 3 punts returned beyond your very own 20 yardline! So although not quite bionic legged this P is a librarian or “shhhhhh” caliber weapon, a punting stiletto if you will. (With zero biographical info listed —God Bless whatever that may be about, as this is the second time I’ve seen zero family/relations listed in all these years)
- 9th in Punt Returns | 54th in KO returns.
- 2nd best in punt coverage | and yet 110th on the suicide-squad.
- has blocked 1 kick and allowed 1 kick to be blocked.
- has blocked 1 punt and allowed 1 punt to be blocked.
5′1o′′ 178 lb. senior K Michael Badgley is o for 1 on onsides attempts though he is a sprite looking 86% on the year on FGA’s. That may be just a scosche short of weaponizing the K position itself, though that’s a brand new Swiss Army Pocket Knife that someone oiled and sharpened right up. Yes, Michael is courting the finest always wet looking mop-hairstyle and yet he’s been 3rd-string all-A.c.c. for two straight years and that does not suck nor does three seasons at 81% or better on your FGA’s. Prior to Miami: Badgley was only the No.1 ranked kicker in 247Sports Composite Rankings for America! He is actually from a Lacrosse warrior family as all brothers and sisters have played and stared at hockey on grass. Michael does have an unusual seven P.A.T. misses on his career that has seen him break or set numerous FG-kicking Hurricane records. Badgley has a career long make of 58 and he did handle KO duties until this year. So leg strength is not wanting here and he’s a Dean’s List student to boot. Miami.edu props on that!
Special Teams letter-grade: pretty dang slick here, just learn how to cover kick-offs and clean up one block for more than an A– on ST’s.
- VT D.
- Miami O.
- VT O and Miami D (tie).
- motive: lot to play for, for both sides. A Miami win nearly clinches the Coastal with GT and VT wins in hand. Although a Hokie win and Tech controls their own Coastal destiny. Edge=Even.
- weather: 83º hi/71º lo. (Coach God wiling, looks good as of Monday)
- health: Push. Both teams with dings & dents and out’s for the year. God Bless.
- penalties: VT has been sharp here; tho’ Miami is 65th in penalties overall and yet a shocking 98th in penalty yardage. i.e. there are some ugly whistles here; Edge=VT.
- intangibles: VT is +.75 or 19th in Turnover Margin, 14th best in Q3 football (or halftime adjustment(s)), 22nd in TOP (time of possession), and a metric ton of special team(s) hidden yardage tilts this one to Tech. However, da U is 121st in TOP. XXL Edge=VT.
- fatigue: This is the U’s 7th weekend in a row of balling out and VT is +6 on rest in the last three weeks. Noticeable edge=VT.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of 'Canes who could start @Tech=12
The takeaway here is… that this game will be one of discovery as paradoxes go. As these are two teams of pure impulse, yet both seem to play best at warp speed. As I see two very didactic teams here; or incomplete teams, in a word.
Each do something’s well… Miami’s throw game and Virginia Tech’s Special Team’s and defense. Every bit as each do some things poorly… VT has no long throw game and a less than average run game with a Missy kicker. Miami has had a few run-fighting ills. And their best Tb is out; (God Bless). The hang-up is… none of that matched up really conclusively. As none of the traditional match-ups look all *that* demonstrative; or determining in a word. This leaves me really split on this one.
And after having previewed Tech earlier in the week? Each team has gotten away with a few things on breaking tape. One could further argue that each team has a very healthy crop of 4-leaf clovers farming away outside.
As neither team is a true champion at the moment, we have two contenders for the A.c.c. belt here. One is a lowercase about to be exposed contender and the other is an uppercase about to become the mandatory contender.
Which one is………………which???
- Δ1=40% chance that Da U wins a close to medium one at home. As there are those close to the Hokie program wondering when that 2o16 Syracuse/Georgia Tech sour apple game whereby that former giraffe necked Hokiebird that lays a egg is bound to turn up?
- Δ2=40% chance that this one is too close to call and goes right down to the single play wire. Toss-up. Pick ’em. Even. Push. With a possibility of… extra innings.
- Howsoever, there is a Δ3=20% chance per our handy-dandy friend the so called Forum Guide that avers a blow-out. And it avers one in VT’s favor when common opponents are compared head-to-head (Duke & U.n.c.) VT is expected to win here by +22 points and +184 in total yardage margin this game! wow!
Then I found this little nugget… Da U is #1 in the always subjective oblong spheroid bounce of Turnover Luck statistic at a staggering +4.75 ppg! Never have I seen anyone at even half that chance mark. And as nebulous and intangible as luck, or fortune or rabbits feets may be… the only thing I know about rabbit’s feet is… they are bound to run out. “I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque” here someone comes.
In all four A.c.c. games this year, Miami has been bound between 20 and 24 points on O and 19 and 24 points allowed on D. Do you see what I mean?
What I mean is Miami is winning, although they really ain’t winning by much. As the ‘Canes have been out-rushed for five straight weeks or ever since the injury to their Tb1. –451 worth of a rushing deficit on the ground ever since Florida State. Or in other words…
- Is the U’s defensive speed enough to expose the Rolex game-manager himself?
- Or does da U’s luck finally strike 12 and run, out?
- (to me this is your tipping point)
As to me, from what I’ve seen effusively of Virginia Tech all year and in the last three days of breaking tape on Miami… if you ask me -and you did via reading this very words- I see two teams that are getting away with a number of things on film. Perhaps more so the ‘Canes tho’ both teams are getting a lotta mileage outta sleight-of-hand.
Now, don’t get this pick ‘rong, Miami does not have the better coaching (the verb) here; they do not have much yellow-laundry discipline. And yet their special-teams are pretty good and that cuts into our year long hidden-yardage lifeline. Miami may also have the better oLine and their defensive front-7 is second only to ours in Atlantic Coast terms.
All of that objectively, science-fact being said… I just did not like the team speed on D that I saw outta the U. As Miami looks perfectly equipped to pinch-technique Jackson and keep him hemmed in the pocket and make him work through long progression(s) in order to win. As this game has defense, slugging-match, biting, scratching, clawing and “chippy” written all over it.
Because if basketball on grass is your thing you’ve come to the ‘rong place. If a M.L.B. halftime scoring is your thing this is the game for you.
As this one sure looks like a race to 20, maybe even a race to 17 to me. First team there…. wins.
As someone’s prestidigitation magically nicks this glass slipper late, and the other Atlantic Coast Cinderella strikes 12 and goes home all covered in pumpkin scent about four days too late.
Virginia Tech=17, Miami=2o