#13 R.P.I. West Virginia vs. #18 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.“
Dear men’s head football coach Justin James Fuente and the entire 2017 Virginia Tech football team:
“So… Whiskey Tango Foxtrot are you gonna do?!?“
Today’s word of the day is… fanfarona
- arrogant or boastful talk.
- one of these two former rival fan-bases post-game for ~1,476 days!
Head Coach: Dana Carl Holgorsen: $3,030,000, age=46, (46-31 overall | 27-25 in the Big-12).
Holgorsen has a rep’ for up tempo quick hitting aerial offensive wizardry. He is one of the original proprietors of the diamond-formation, he uses motion liberally and seeks to fatigue or wear down an opposing defense courtesy of his personally modified air-raid sets.
The human being Dana Holgorsen is a native of Mount Pleasant, Iowa where he graduated from Mount Pleasant Community High School in 1989.
Baller Holgorsen actually played Wr at Iowa Wesleyan College, earning a degree in 1993 and a master’s in health and physical education from Valdosta State University in 1995. As a player Holgorsen had been recruited to Iowa Wesleyan by head coach Hal Mumme and offensive coordinator Mike Leach; both of whom he would eventually coach with later in their respective careers.
Coach Holgorsen has served under innovative offensive coaches such as the aforementioned Hal Mumme, Mike Leach; and also under Kevin Sumlin, and Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State. Coach Holgorsen has worked exclusively with Qb’s and/or Wr’s at every single coaching tour-stop; so the throw game is in his blood. His most epic coaching season was no doubt back in 2010 at OK.State when the Holgorsen lead O declared all out war on the Cowboys record book —setting seasonal marks for: total offense, passing offense, scoring offense, with annual marks for total attempts and total completions to boot. As a pure offensive coordinator, coach Holgorsen offenses have averaged a staggering 543.3 total yards per game! That, and a former coach Holgorsen pivot (C.f.l. for Qb, eh), one Houston Cougar Case Keenum is the all-time leading yardage passer in college football and he has more passing TD’s than any college quarterback ever. Yah, I’d say that… counts.
Since taking over as the old-Gold and Blue big whistle Coach Holgorsen offenses’ have finished: 15th, 13th, 12th, 62nd, 23rd, and 17th in Total O.
Daddy Holgorsen has three children: McClayne, Logan and Karlyn. Dana built his home in Morgantown in 2o14 A.D. His home is the first luxury residence in the U.S. to be built completely of cross-laminated timber.
WVU 2016 record: 10 up and 3 down at 7-2 in the Big-12
Mountaineer Defense: (starters back=3)
- 3-3-5 odd or off stack.
- 74th in Total D.
- Run D=6th.
- 104th in Pass D!
- 76th in Explosiveness.
- 124th in Power success rate!
- 51st in Qb’s sacked.
- a very (run) blitzy 16th in Tackles For a Loss inflicted D.
- a middle clogging lateral spilling defensive set that is always +1 in the secondary.
- 112th in dLine Havoc. De Adam Shuler II is prolly the best d-lineman for W.V.U.; although beyond him this is a french-vanilla front-3. Decent though not quiet S.E.C. thirty-four size; as W.V.U.’s dLine is not bad; it has some centrist type depth and is okay+ whenever you look.
- 12oth Linebacking Havoc. The best ‘eer Linebacker (D.Long Jr.) is on the shelf until ~October (knee cartilage; may St.David bless!). That leaves a solid if unspectacular Mike-Lb (Al-Rasheed Benton, 6’1”, 238 lbs., r-Sr.); and not a whole lot else as proven second-layer commodities go for W.V.U. As this former play-making stop-unit strength just went middleocore in a hurry.
- 8th best in Secondary Havoc! Clearly W.V.U. plays the ball; not the man. High risk/reward approach. W.V.U. seems to industrialize a lotta man looks (2 or 3) out on the edge with a whole lotta robber or bandit things they can roll inward or outward off of that. ‘eer secondary does seem stronger at the Safety spots or towards the middle of the field on paper. Decent sized hind-5 and maybe even a wisp more physical than you’d think. In particular 6’2”, 22o lb., Sr., Ss Kyzir White, who is the tip of the physical spear here.
- Saw some arrowhead second-layer looks here to this 3-3-5 odd-stack base set with the Mike elevated deeper. Saw a lotta old-school so-called: “chicken-fighting” or just stand the opposing offensive lineman up and collect as many blocks as you can from the ‘eer front-3. Spill the play east-west, keep the three full-time ‘backers and the Spur free and let them handle business vs. things out beyond the Ot-box. Though I also saw a bevy of jumps, rolls, disguises, angles and combination coverage’s galore. As this 3-3-5 D is Euclidean’s wet-dream as gridiron geometry goes. Lotta moving parts to this ‘eer stop-unit folks and they do play the ball and not the man. They will jump routes and go for the INT kill and take come what may behind it if they miss on the pick-6. As this is a blitzy high velocity, fast-forward defensive set. JAX had better be 3-3-5 playbook literate from the word: “go”. Although W.V.U. is replacing 80% of its top-5 tacklers from last season to boot.
West Virginia Offense: (returning starters=6)
- Spread-I base set with some Veer-n-shoot elements.
- 17th in Total O.
- Run O=25th.
- 42nd in Pass O.
- 36th in Explosiveness.
- 99th in starting field-position.
- 69th in power rushing. 44th in stuff rate (semi hard to tackle).
- Highest catch rate for a Wr=68.5% (about average on hands; Rb’s were better).
- 58th on TFL and again on Sacks Allowed.
- 22 year old, 6’2”, 214 lb. r-Jr., Will Grier is all-everything. Will Grier would have beaten JAX out for starting VT Qb1 –easily. Will has every throw in the book; in particular a rifling good sideline out. He also picked up a mere 2,955 rushing yards and 31 rushing TD’s in high school; while only being named the Parade National Player of the Year, Maxwell Player of the Year and Tom Lemming Offensive Player of the Year. So he’s not some stationary pocket statue ‘esque type Qb. All while only throwing for 14,565 yards and a state-record 195 TD’s! Does have a lean-back fall-away wheel-over hippy throwing motion at times. Kinda like a M.L.B. pitcher going sideways off the mound. And it still gets there; which speaks to his caliber of gun. And he’s one other thing being left out of most other previews —he’s, clutch. Having already lead a come from behind Gator victory against Tennessee (down 13 with five to go). Same as J.J., his crib was cut from a sprouting a coaching tree, as his father is a successful high school football coach and a former standout E.C.U. Qb in his own right. Will -God Bless- is also a husband and a father; so he is playing for way more than most other D-1 Qb1’s this campaign.
- Right-side oLine is a good deal more experienced and better overall. In an unusual line-up quirk, the biggest (heaviest) ‘eer offensive lineman is actually their starting C. As this is a normalized sized oLine overall. It is also one that pass and run blocks in a very balanced fashion; both sets of blocks basically grade out to be B— level; and Mo-town sources say the ‘eer’s are well pleased with the JuCo/transfer/injury returning oLinemen they have brought in.
- Pass catching is another matter as one way or the other, via transfer, graduation and -God Help- D.U.I., WVU’s catch-corps is a bit thinner at the moment. 6’1”, 2o1 lb. senior Ka’raun White with 48 snags last year is presumably the cream of the crop or at the very least the most experienced. Tho’ he’s more parts possession Charlie Joyner than anything else. There are a couple of JuCo would-be helpers here and an ex-Qb; although time well tell if there are any special talent(s) in this receiving mix.
- Tb1, 5’11”, 202 lb. t-senior Justin Crawford is the leading rusher among those returning in the Big 12 (1,184 yards); and some sources say he’s not the alpha Tb1 as pure run-game talent goes! That being said Crawford is a pure outburst runner production wise; as he can get hot like the Sun. As W.V.U. is loaded for bear at the Rb position with no less than three starting quality ground gainers and prolly 67.7% of ’em are rightful all-conference level talents. Cue: super-soph’s Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway; all three of whom would very possibly start at Virginia Tech.
- All zoning run-blocking; although not richrod’s power/blast doubles at the point of attack zoning. Pretty dang smart looking outside zone upon breaking tape; and Crawford is a custom Armani fit for this look. Be curious to see how many internal Grier keepers they risk off their read-option look. Very quick, up-tempo O at its best, faster on the play-call muddle-huddle reset than last year is what the whispers say. Defensive S&C will be at a premium here and do not be afraid to expend a momentum halting and/or breather catching timeout in opposition if need be. W.V.U. has only been out-rushed once in the last 11 months. And for all the ballyhoo surround Will Grier’s much vaunted return? If W.V.U. breaks 165 rushing on Sunday night you can stick all the Owens Hall utensils in us you want as we are, done. That being said; W.V.U. has three barracudas at Rb, not three hammerhead sharks. Thing is each two keep the other medium to smaller sized one fresh for the duration; and yes that’s a problem. A double jeopardy problem if this old-gold & blue run set leaves us feeling pretty brown. Grier throws a very smart out (pattern) ball, close to a lasering weld; and you will see a legit H-back or trips/doubles opposite the 10 or 20-personel from coach Dana and company. This O even has crossbuck misdirection throw-counters off of play fakes to Crawford. And he’s legit; kinda a much more darty slimmer version of David Wilson. O uses a lotta RPO’s play-side, with single-shot isolation’s backside and then impro’ “garbage” pick-ups off of a Grier releasing 1/2 rolls to the wide-side. A wild and wonderful offense to cover that uses the entirety of the 53.33 yards at a range of about 15-25 yards downfield. Grier is a very quick-release accurate passer; he’d be hell in any game of speed-darts at your local pub.
- 58% run:pass 42% matrix.
‘eer Special Teams: (both return)
Mike Molina is a 5’7”, 178 lb. final year shirt kicker for W.V.U. He is lifetime 100% Kicker on P.A.T.’s (53 for 53) with no misses and no point-after tries snuffed out. The homespun specialist, (Hurricane, Wv.), is a serviceable 68.2% on FGA’s all of which came last year as he suddenly took over the place-kicking chores for the ‘eers full-time at the beginning of October. Mike has good leg strength as he was handling some KO duties as a r-sophomore back in ’15 for W.V.U. with no career KO’s out-of-bounds and no onside attempts. He was however only 40% from 39 yards or more; although a far more reasonable (pardon the antonym) 76% from 38 or less. Mike was named team captain in high school and when was the last time you read that from a Kicker? Me, neither; —and he was also Top-1o in the AAA long-jump Wv. track & field. So he must have some speed as that’s the only true infield velocity event. This brings the aurora of a possible F.G.A. trickeration into play and it’s not even October yet. Mike was simultaneously named to W.V.U.’s Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and to the Big-12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll last year. Smart.edu felicitations hereby rightfully awarded. On tape Mike has a slightly truncated or punchy follow-through as an orthodox or right-side kicker; so your block point needs to recycle just a little lower per his lack of follow-through.
Combo P/K Billy Kinney is a large 6’4”, 217 lb. r-Jr. who will handle W.V.U.’s punt-game this season. Kinney was a reasonable 48th best in Net Punting last year at 38.20 yards per punt. Kinney has never had a punt blocked at West Virginia. Bill was named Academic all Big-12 first string last season as he averaged 41.7 yards per punt with a long of 63 yards. Kinney has something of a rep’ as a coffin-corner punter who can be used as a directional punting weapon in lieu of a long-range iffy F.G.A. He has a history of ankle rolls that dates back scholastically; one of which was said to be downright: “severe”; (God Bless).
W.V.U. was a just above average 57th in KO Returns last campaign although a rather inoffensive 124th -or fourth from last- in Punt Returns. (DO NOTE: Gary Jennings has a history of muffs and fumbles on both sets of returns). W.V.U. was better at Punt Return defense checking in at a very decent 41st and yet a less than middleocore 104th best on the suicide-team in KO coverage. W.V.U. blocked one opposing FGA (no punts): and did not allow any Punt or Kicking blocks of its own in ’16.
Special Teams letter-grade: a very so-so, linear, lowercase flat C; as the ‘eer legs seem willing enough although the other 10 special-teamer’s could use some work. Coach Holgorsen says he’s going to try to textbook Hawthorne Effect all of this by overseeing W.V.U. special-teams his own self in 2017. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how effective this is/is not; nevertheless it would be difficult to not improve off of being ranked 112th in special-teams overall in 2016.
- VT D.
- WVU O.
- VT O/WVU D. (tie)
And this should hint to you it could very well be one of the two lesser pieces that ultimately decide this scrumming contest; and the two better pieces are surely matched head-to-head.
- motive: from what I could discern during the Fu’view, there were refugee Jamerson staffers trying to talk him into understanding that this is the most important O.O.C. game he will see from now until the new two W.V.U. games in the early 2020’s. The fact that they had to make the attempt says it all to me. Modest to medium motivate edge=WVU.
- weather: N/A. Looks like those Hurricane Harvey remnants blew north. God Help Texas.
- health: WVU’s best Lb and two of their top-3 Wr’s are out; Farley (Wr) is done for VT. Ditto VT’s right Ot being dinged up. Modest Edge=VT.
- penalties: W.V.U. was 1o9th best in yellow flags whistled against. So there may be a hidden yardage edge here as Tech was 52nd last season. Advantage=VT.
- intangibles: pretty fair to middling halftime adjustments, as W.V.U. was a nifty 21st in third-Q offense and a stellar 7th best in third-Q Defense. Though Foster is pretty dang skillful at his spy-craft as well. Edge=PUSH.
- fatigue: N/A.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Mountaineers who could start @Tech=9
The takeaway here is… that ever since January, someone who looks a whole lot like me has been leaning towards picking the West Virginia victory in this one.
Does all-world Qb Will Grier’s official clearance only enhance this?
Do I deny that?
Nevertheless, as the Virginia Tech football practice field(s) just found out the hard way -Coach God bless- we have promises to keep, and many miles to go before we sleep. As we will most likely see some other training room bio-mechanical news to sort out for both combatants before we issue any Official Prediction Thread digits. Stay frosty kittens…
Nevertheless, the poetry of evil is roughly a couple of fortnights upon us, as such is the fusillade of a fire breathing although ultimately a small-bore fanfarora of collective sporting mouths. The inteligencja among you will offer that even the most bitter and hateful of rivalries need rules, and yet this one seems to simultaneously make them up, and ignore them, as it goes along. Accordingly, here is to (hopefully) betting the over on Fed-Ex event staffers not taking Labor Day eve off.
Or in other words, and to be pigskin direct; Bud Böck needs to go ahead and feed Grier to something big early on. Then we need to dilate any and all wvu pass catchers after that; –put some drops in their damn eyes. Because if we do not, and if we allow Grier to do something about all that sunshine state oxidization and if West Virginia then gets their star studded running game going?
Quite honestly Hokie Nation, that’s just not a good look for a newbie Virginia Tech pitch-n-catch battery and freezing cold or blazing hot mercurial Hokie Tb. So here’s to a certain O&M elite Atlantic Coast Conference defense giving wvu the blue, pill.
As coach-Fu’ and company will usurp this one via Foster’s much vaunted stop-unit and on special-teams, or not at all.
WVU seems to want this one more; and I don’t like that not one damn bit nosiree. As I found it peculiar to the point of astonishing that the refugee Jamerson staffers said that they had had a talk with the current staff about how important this game truly is. Or to put it another way… since half past when has coach-Fu’ ever been involved in a truly hateful, hurtful, fighty, bitey, cussin’, scrumming, testy rivalry game as a big whistle? Yes, as was pointed out to me on the TSL pay message board, yes Qb-Fu’ knows something-something about the two major Oklahoma rivalries; as, a, baller. Though what does Memphis know about a no D.Q., no time-limit, one-fall there must be a winner barbed-wire cage-match vs. whomever? And nyet comrades, pigskin Baltic Avenue although beret rich uva no longer counts as they are notches plural below us for the moment.
It’s not the Jimmies and Joe’s so much as it is the X’s and O’s. So, once Whit hit three Chicago-Maroon cherries straight across via plucking such a epic hire as Justin Fuente; I spent some time last summer breaking Memphis offensive tape(s). I got the fundamentals and/or basics in place soon enough as try as we might, football still ain’t rocket surgery folks. Nevertheless, the Fu’fense itself did not mentally “pop” for me until we all saw it fail to go “click” up at Syracuse last season. As the kryptonite of the Fu’fense itself could very well be a full-time nickel (or dime) defensive set. Anything that intrinsically and inherently aligns in such a way as to do a good job of flooding the short to medium quick hitting Fu’fensive attack. i.e. you really do need to dare the Fu’fense to beat you long and therefore have to pocket-protect the same (in backyard or pick-up football “1-mississippi, 2-mississipi, 3-missisiippi” terms). Or to be direct; I don’t like seeing a r-freshman Pivot making his debut vs. anything other than a standardized middle of the isle forty-three (4-3) stop-unit set. In extreme particular when said debuting Qb1 has as many collegiate pass attempts as all of us do combined. And all the more so with two next-level wide-receiving talents gone, and replacements who are whispered to be pretty well south of being the good-hands-gang as Bart Simpson’s favorite candy-bar goes.
Same as 2005… “we/Virginia Tech really do need to knock Adam Bednarik outta this football game or we won’t win.” Anyone froggy enough to recall that blast pre-game last time out? Rinse, recycle, repeat, … if Chris Chugunov does not finish the game we likely did not win the game. As Will Grier beats out Joshua Jackson six days a week and twice on Sunday had he only transferred to us. As somebody O&M needs to turn W.G. upside down and shake ’em for him for all his ¢hange.
Don’t like what I’ve got from my very best elite W.V.U. sources, as they say that this ‘eer offensive has been highly offensive in the last week to ten days at practice indeed. So offensively capable as to lead some W.V.U. observers to say that this season has 10 or 11 win written all over it.
Finally, and this was the tipping point for me, a 3-guard offensive look may be just fine for the smaller line-up inclined coach Buzz in hoops; and yet it’s a bad look for the Vice-squad oLine upfront.
On the other hand… what if all-Galaxy Will Grier has experienced some rustication and there is just no WV-40 to be found? What if Coach Dana has W.V.U. too wound-up and higher than the International Space Station and just too tight to play? Or perhaps Bud Böck and/or the Hokie special-teams synthesize a score and some positive field-position for it. There are also O&M insider reports that say the (traditional) Virginia Tech run-fit has a crispy look to it and that it has a greater element of new found chunk yardage from its top-2 or top-3 Rb’s. As you can see in the new to this season unit-rankings above… Coach-Fu has the best unit out on the field (i.e. the Fighting Gobbler defense) and he very likely fields the superior kick and return games alike. That, plus a paragraph in lieu of a page of steady-state ball-control offense that could be rightfully taken outta the Frank-n-Stiney smart work jumbo Te offensive set; now that’s the tix he needs to punch for an O&M VicTory here gents.
Or in other words, if you ask me –and you did via reading these very words- if you ask me the start=the finish here.
As the Fu’fense does not need a brand spanking new pitch-n-catch battery playing from behind when it is the vastly more experienced pivot of W.V.U. who holds a serrated looking resumé check-mark advantage here. As the very last thing Coach-Fu’ and company need is to be staring down the double-barrel of a double-digit W.V.U. shotgun formation lead before Q1 expires. Stay on the lead or no worse than even coach-Fu’. As this lets the noose-knot otherwise known as the headset authority of Bud Foster and signature O&M special-teams hangman little orphan “pip” and all of W.V.U. Great Expectations right before the national TV audiences very eyes while sticking all of that jumped up cuss of old-gold and blue noise right in W.V.U. ‘eers.
Do this not and we could very well experience a snowball effect to the totally ‘rong this early in September.
Up until this offsetting right-Ot news outta the New River Valley, the collective camp news had nearly narrowed me to even or a push call. Flip a coin, if you don’t like it flip it again best two outta three —as things were objectively vectoring in our direction.
All the same, I can’t help yet think that W.V.U. will attack our 3-guard offense the moment it steps off the Fed-Ex bus; and to me this is disruptive and cathartic problem indeed. Still yet, I don’t see either team as a rightful Top-25 entry at this moment; to wit, one could fairly argue this game could go either way. Nevertheless, I do have W.V.U. closer to 35th and Virginia Tech closer to 40th in national terms. Yes, we can beat W.V.U. as our realistic all the time odds in doing so are about that of a N.B.A. marksman behind the arc. A little more than four times in ten that all this retooled Hokie youth skirts right on by. Unfortunately, sadly, and delinquently enough… this is not one of those four times; as West Virginia will win by about ten. As we will be fielding too many newbie offensive people who are month or two removed from being able to win a truly big game such as this.
As W.V.U. is not only catching Virginia Tech at the best time this year; they are catching Virginia Tech at the best time for the likely remainder of coach-Fu’s O&M tenure. Making Sunday night “…the worst of times”, indeed.
(readers NOTE: if everything I just offered is –Praise Coach God- proven EERrelevant come midnight Sunday, and as all cats look the same in the dark; please, absolutely; by all mean(s): cogitate on some epic smack to run upside my pusillanimous pick’s head on Monday afternoon; which will therefore be our very first:… TOS? What TOS day. And I will show up and take my ass whoopin’… although I assure you, I will be feelin’, no, pain)
Virginia Tech=27, West Virginia=34