Virginia Tech football virginia university Commonwealth Cup preview

#119 R.P.I.  france #37 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech football returns to Lane Stadium for the final time this regular season. Saturday afternoon at high-noon to take on prīmula in-state rival, the university of virginia cavaliers.

This however has not been much of a rivalry, at least not for the last decade and change. As Chris Coleman told you -and as some of my people told me; last year- London’s recruiting (in-state) had really soured in the last couple of seasons as “their boy” fell capriciously out of “their” favor. Such brings us to the Curious Case of Bronco Button. I mean Bronco Mendenhall, as Littlepage continues to do the most zeta, or anti-Whit, or the worst possible athletic directing H.R. job this side of … well, this side of absolutely nobody else. This brings and segues us neatly into our word of the day…common-gulp

Today’s word of the day is… juxtaposition


(ˌdʒʌk stə pəˈzɪʃ ən)


  1. An act or instance of placing close together or side by side, esp. for comparison or contrast.
  2. The state of being close together.
  3. Milton’s: Paradise Lost, Charles Dickens’: A Tale of Two Cities.
  4. Littlepage and the word: brain.
  5. This imported quarterhorse Bronco and the 7-5-7.
  6. The Commonwealth Cup and… uva.

Head Coach: Marc Bronco Clay Mendenhall: age=5o, (2-10 year; 1o2-5o overall); has a rep’ for bowling. Well he did, as until this year Bronco Mendenhall (head) coached football teams had gone bowling 100% of the time. In addition to that, Bronco has a reputation for defense overall and the secondary in particular as he was a Fs and team captain for the Oregon State Beavers back in the mid 1980’s. Bronco has also placed a flashy 66 ex players with the National Football League since 2005. He is also known for graduating his players, and ranking his former program seventh for most Academic all-Americans during his tenure at Brigham Young. His dad was a stalwart De for B.y.u. in the mid-50’s and his brother (Mat) started at De for the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII. So clearly football is in his blood and likewise all over his sporting family tree. Bronc’ has tallied three conference titles and one conference Coach of the Year award (2008, Mt.West). He helped pioneer the blitz-happy 3-3-5 defensive scheme; which industrializes a Lb/S hybrid position in the hind-5.

2015 record: 5 up 8 down and 3-5 in the A.c.c.

french Defense: (starters back=6)

  • 89th in total D. 77th in trench warfare D and 92nd in air force D.
  • 117th in Passing Efficiency D.
  • 126th in Red Zone D.
  • 57th in Qb’s sacked; and 79th in Tackles For a Loss (TFL) inflicted.
  • Ergo, 1o6th in defensive explosiveness.
  • 72nd in dLine Havoc. And where would they be sans strong-side De 6’4” 293 lb. Jr. Andrew Brown and his studly looking 13.5 TFL and 6.o sacks? As Brown is a So.Eastern Conference looking beast at De. 6’1” 3o1 lb. lumpy looking Sr. Donte -predator hair cut-Wilkins has so far looked like a natural at the Ng slot; one of the most important positions in a 3-4 alignment. 41 total stops while being double teamed constantly is pretty good work, if you can get it.
  • 13th in Linebacking Havoc; and ILb Micah Kiser is basically the reason why; as it is entirely possible he is the alpha-Lb on the field come Saturday afternoon. Don’t believe me? Just ask his 10.5 TFL, his team best 6.5 sacks and 6 solo turnovers generated thus far. You could also ask his brick house measurable’s at a salty looking 6’2” and 24o lbs. or his N.f.l. testing metrics. Kiser only has amassed 252 tac’s (tackles) in just over two seasons of play. This t-Jr. and Maryland Defensive Player of the Year is a Sunday talent with tremendous anticipation and closing speed.  OLb C.J. Stalker has been a disappointment and there is a drop off beyond Kiser as play-making and not coincidentally as talent(s) go here. Nevertheless, Kiser is a spartan second best in F.b.s. with 12o tackles.
  • 95th in Secondary Havoc. Though that is through no fault of 6’2” 2o5 lb. true-Jr. Fs Quin Blanding’s or his whopping 346 career tackles own. Quin was merely the consensus No. 1 safety recruit in the nation according to,, and; that’s all; as Quin is a Pro’, only question is… does he have 60 more minutes left at uva or 13 more games? Cb is weaker here as Cb departed two studs last season.

    3-4 into 4-3 overshift
    3-4 into 4-3 overshift
  • Saw some forty-three looks on film with four down-linemen; Bronco is a blitzy guy as well. Be that in-line (from the Line-of-Scrimmage) or not. Coverage was mixed in between medium and press man more often than not. At least somewhat aggressive at such. Per tradition itself, the Fs helps Will or wide-side coverage and Ss helps short or Sam side coverage. Giving uva something of a Cover-2 to Cover-3 set with a typically normalized Ss to Fs depth toggle in north-south terms.
  • Other than Kiser -who has some dawgg in him- the cavalier second-layer is better than average at catching blocks and less than average at shedding the same. Saw some Will delay red-dogs here; #37 (Mack) can flat out bring it off the edge; gotta keep eyes in front and in the back of your head Mr. Evans. Lots pf A and then B-gap run-blitzing here in descending order. Gallo had better be ready. Outside contain is not the best here; accordingly, if/when you can catch uva in an internal run-blitz.
  • uva does field 3 to 5 -depending upon the severity of your grade; or upon whom you ask- uva does field 3 to 5 Pro’ caliber defenders. This halt-unit as a whole however plays beneath itself or goes Gestalt Theory raised to the negative one power (ˆ-1) in reverse. As this is a talented though fundamentally unsound defense. It has also given up way too many big plays at the most inopportune times in the last two seasons; basically hero-ball gone heroine.
  • I watched the solid tackling Duke game (a win) and the modest tackling Georgia Tech game (an L) from last week. Defensive Defensive resistance is observably down; just not as much oomph or want-too on film last week vis-à-vis back in the ninth month. Or in historical terms, the Maquis this hoo stop-unit just, ain’t.

Defensive letter-grade:


frenchy Offense: (returning starters=6)

  • 1o4th best in total O. 119th in rushing and 52nd in passing.
  • 99th in 3rd down converts (36%)
  • 57th in TFL allowed.
  • Although 119th in Sacks allowed.
  • 125th in offensive explosiveness.
  • Ergo, and staggeringly enough, uva has one, that’s (1) run >27 yards this year!
  • uva does have two throws >82 yards, although only four total chucks >34.
  • uva Rb’s were a respectable 52nd best on solo stops.
  • Former E.c.u. now transferred and oft’ injured starting Qb Kurt Benkert (shoulder, Coach God bless) did not play last week. Accordingly, Sr. and former starting uva Pivot Matt Johns took over the Qb reins last vs. Georgia Tech. As Matt was either oxidized (i.e. rusty) or just plain bad as his three Picks will attest. To further that intercepted track, Johns fields a nearly perfect 1:1 passing ratio for his career (26:25 TDs/INTs). And if you are open? Johns will find you; as his arm does not discriminate based upon the color of your jersey. That being said, Johns is a a pocket Qb via trade; not a runner so let’s not make him more than he is here (per last year). Johns does go America’s Cup as some of his throws go sailing and miss high; and he’s (still) got that curious fall-away, leaning backwards (or even sideways) looping overshot release point as well. Strange; almost Sonny Jurgensen type mechanics here, though looser in the motion itself; with a poor weight-transfer forward.

    mouthpiece says it all, don't it?
    mouthpiece says it all, don’t it? Though smoke did just say: “the Hokies are going to get all I got!”
  • Former all-world recruit, Taquan “smoke” Mizzell has come alive of late on the ground and he’s been a live-wire as a pass catchers for years. Something of a bankrupt man’s Roger Craig of Super 49’er fame with a bit more pure juice as pass-happy Rb’s go. “smoke” only has a serviceable long of 44 yards on the ground, although 51 grabs with a long of 55 from a Rb and therefore coming up on 1,300 yards from scrimmage combined might be enough to fetch him an (N.f.l.) Combine look. That and his ~2,700 combined yards in the last two seasons; which is pretty dang productive when you get right down to it. Even if that is not the signature meat-grinder of a predominate B.y.u. BIG-back.
  • The uva oLine returned nine different guys with starting experience and more or less 3 full-time starters and change; as they were that injured upfront in 2015. They also did not return their oLine coach for the third time in three years as well. Which are a new experience and a brand new learning-curve all over again for the offensive front-5. North Carolina graduate transfer Jared Cohen helps out at G; and yet this is not the best oLine I’ve seen; in spite of its admittedly high experience quotient.
  • The pass catchers are “smoke” and than 3-4 more pure Wideouts with a very uniform catch distribution as the Top no smoking three all field between 46 and 49 crabs this campaign. 6’1” 215 lb. t-Jr., Doni Dowling is the best talent with the least solid A.c.l. (God Bless on that). As he’s made freaky 1-handed grabs and hurdled people downfield prior to playing a more grounded possession type catch-game this season. 5’8”, 190 lbs. Soph. Wr Olamide Zaccheaus is something of a Redskins Gibbs’ era smurf Wr; and a vertically explosive one.
  • Did like the staggered trips look I saw; think: a double offset Flankers (plural) inside the Se on the same side. The in-line Fl deeper than the middle one. uva also has same side quads as a rhomboid, very creative pre-snap passing alignments. Most creative I’ve seen all year, hands down. (i.e. easy to disguise for the O and tough to key for the D). And there is some anonymous patterning to the point of being strange; here. Watch the inner most Se literally run backwards behind the LOS at an angle as a safety value dump-off receiver. Odd and wild all at once. Ergo, uva is stretching the field vertically, horizontally, and reversely; seriously! These are not fast developing passing sets however; Ken et al., file that one away, and keep bringing that heat. uva sure favors crossing actions in the Red Zone. Lotta Gun with single or split (Hb’s) looks. Did see some Wildcat last week to #22 (Ham) on the direct snap in the Red Zone. Also so a modified vintage Tee-Formation with an I-back behind the Tee (in the Red Zone). A creative if not a punchy offense indeed.
  • 44% run:pass 56% mix.

Offensive letter-grade:


la` Special Teams: (1 (P) returns)
uva is pretty dang sharp at 15th best in Net Putting thanks to a bionic legged punter named: Nicholas Conte (no relation). At 6’3” and 220 lbs. as a r-Sr. year 2016 – Ray Guy Award Semifinalist; oui, I’d say that counts. Likewise his excellent directional kicking as you can use a punter as geometrically gifted as Nic’ in lieu of a long-distance FGA with a lead. Ditto Conte being a classroom star as the Cavalier Academic Achievement Award winner; props on that. Conte is said to have been a possible collegiate lacrosse player as a defense-man after an award winning high school career in the same. Nic’ did have one punt snuffed out last year; his first year as a starting punter in C’ville. And, wait, for it, he, collects… Pez Dispensers; wow! And non, I’m not making that up mon amies.

The cavs have gone through a trifecta of place-Kickers this year and that typically code for having none more than it is code for having three (good ones). Last week’s kicking duties were solely handled by Dallas Tx., walk-on native and Jr. Kicker Sam Hayward. Sam is a 6′ lightweight 164 lb. Kicker who is perfect (18 of 18) on P.A.T.’s so and yet a lowly 42% on F.G.A.’s. That’s not good, rain is rumored to be wet and yet Sam is 3 for 5 inside of 36 yards this year for a reason(s). Beyond 40 yards and Sam is 0% thus far. So there is your kicking barometer or maybe even a block attempt barometer as to this point, you need not sell out on his F.G.A.’s >36 inches of mercury, or even beyond 36 yards. Sam however does own a 2014 national championship foutball ring at uva (CONGRATs); and he was a pretty decent Wr in high school. So maybe the need for a fake with nothing to L is in order here?

The cavalier punt coverage club is a rather french vanilla checking in at 51st best overall. That said, the uva suicide squad is a very user-friendly 125th best in defense of KO returns. The hooVa return teams are none to shabby however, what with the 41st best punt return unit and an even sportier 21st best in KO returns; albeit with no points scored from either return squad. uva has blocked zero kicks and zero punts thus far | uva has allowed no P.A.T.’s or cavalier FG’s or Punts to be blocked as well.

Special Teams letter-grade: (C, punting is solid, so is the hoo return game and everything else  is cheap after that)


  • motive: VT is playing for the A.c.c. championship game, uva is playing the role of the foil or the spoiler. It is a rivalry game, although VT has no less to play for. EDGE=VT.
  • weather: ’bout as good as you can get a pitching wedge removed from December. EDGE=push.uva-weather
  • health: uva has 8 guys out for the year (50% of which are Cb’s); and 6 more guys questionable for Saturday. Both teams are pretty banged up; though uva may just be a scosche more insalubrious here. EDGE=VT (small).
  • penalties: VT is close to 60 spots more disciplined as penalty yardage goes, and that tells you something regarding the fragrant nature of the boo-hoo personal fouling. EDGE=VT.
  • intangibles: uva is 112th in the all important Turnover Margin metric (-o.73 tpg). VT is not perfect there; nonetheless, VT is ~half a turnover better. EDGE=VT.
  • fatigue: VT is uva’s 7th Saturday game in a row — whereas VT did catch 2 extra days off after Pitt four games ago, and VT is at home. EDGE=VT (small).

The biggest difference between the 2 most recent uva big whistles is... what???

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
the takeaway:

The takeaway here is… uva has dropped seven games in just under two seasons by a full play or less. And the reason for that has nothing to do with worn out tired ass booHoo alibis like: “…were getting closer” or “wait till next year!” Then we see little bugbears like the whispers saying that Bronco opened up a numeral on your jersey competition. You want 88, he (or they) wants 88, and you guys fight and out and see who earns eight-eighty. Not real sure how well that red-state Utah move sells in the 7-5-7?

As for the “closer an”next year” swallow our saber crowd; well, see, I’m still waiting and actually you’re overall record is going backwards; or so last time I and my 36 hours of McBryde Hall calc’ and stats bothered to check. So don’t piss down my back and tell me its raining and don’t sell me a snow-job in July; that dog, don’t, hunt.

w.bread chum in the Tidewater.
w.bread chum in the Tidewater.

That being firmly said, as this is a football preview; uva is nearly at an aerial equilibrium point in passing yards this yer; as opponents have only out-passed the hoos by 53 yards so far.

hooever, opponents have smashed the maginot line on the  ground this season by a hurtful 736 (yards) thus far. Ergo, to wit, therefore, the key to punking uva good-n-hard for the twelveteen going on thirteenth time in a row is found down in the Worsahm Field dirt. Will (Stewart) is correct; November is the month for running. And if you can just get close, wahoo opponents are a nearly perfect -and unheard of- 95% in the uva Red Zone this campaign where white flags abound.

uva has however won the 1Q this year –by six whole points. After the opening stanza uva is a ugly 1o1 points in the hole for the final 45 minutes of scumming. This tells us that the time to put uva outta their misery is right away. A.S.A.P. Do not give this rival and potential spoiler any kinda lifeline whatsoever. uva is ready to die, lend uva thy sword and a warm bath and a cup of hemlock and be done with it. Scrubs and departing O&M seniors need P.T. love too!


In closing, the insider whispers say practice has been tight and “focused” all week down in the New River Valley –as for Hokie fans this is the best of times and for cavalier fans the worst of times. uva’s annual gridiron instate juxtaposition to winning continues; as coach-Fu begins his inaugural Commonwealth reigns, whereas Bronco gets… seṝved.

upset Index=13%

Virginia Tech=44, france=14




V.A.D.A. approved


5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Who’s going to carry the rock for us this week with Williams hurt? Will they bring Shai out or has that ship sailed?

    1. That’s what I’m wondering as well… could this be a Shai reprieve of sorts?

      Though I’d have to say it’s a Se.Day Sam.


  2. Like the preview b.street but would have expected you to give their O or D something less than a “C” as a C is supposed to mean average (like a 5 – 6 record, not 2-9).

    1. Call it, grading on a talent/potential, curve.

      I see what you mean however.
      Maybe that Duke film (which was pretty decent) skewed me a bit; as well.


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