#14 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #139 R.P.I. Old Dominion:
Virginia Tech football sojourns over to the much vaunted per being made recruiting famous thoroughbred 7-5-7 for a 3:30 pm, CBS Sports Network televised date with in-state non-rival Old Dominion as our out-of-conference portion of your 2018 programming ends.
The Hokies have been off for 13 days with an untended OPEN date no thanks to Hurricane Florence and Early Cancel U in a game that (maybe) coulda still been played. Nevertheless, such is the difference between prospect and retrospect; and God Help all those still feeling this Hurricanes Flo’. As yah; mother nature can be a real live bitch and yet these Monarchs are not as kingly as they most recently 2016 once were. This one is a Tech triumph and -as O.d.u. is about to find out- try as you might, that you just cannot spell VicTory without the Vee and the Tee. The only real question you should be asking yourself is …by how much b.street? Read on to find… out!
Today’s word of the day is… potentate.
- One who has the power and position to rule over others; a monarch.
- One who dominates or leads a group or an endeavor: industrial potentates.
- These 7-5-7 2018 Monarchs?
Head Coach: Robert S. “Bobby” Wilder: age=54, (o-3 year; 72-40 overall); has a rep’ for offense and Qb’s in particular.
Baller Wilder grew up in Madison, Maine and attended Madison Area Memorial High School, where he graduated in 1982. A highly recruited quarterback, Wilder opted to play his college ball close to home. Wilder captained the Black Bears to the Yankee Conference Championship his senior year. An All-New England quarterback in 1985, he left Maine as the school’s all-time leading passer with 4,493 yards and with a degree in physical education.
Coach Wilder began as a graduate assistant coach for two seasons under Jack Bicknell at Boston College, where he earned his master’s degree in educational administration in 1990.
Hired in 2oo7, Coach Wilder spent the first two years recruiting and starting-up the program before officially opening for competing business in 2oo9. Prior to this Wilder coached about anything you can name for 16 seasons on the offensive side of the ball for his alma mater of the Maine Bears. He is married and has two sons: Bobby and Derek.
Wilder’s “Aim High” philosophy: “Our goal is simple with our football program – develop future leaders of our country, strive to be Dean’s List Students, & win championships.”
Yes, I’d say that counts, refreshing to see the ODU.edu blast as yes sporting America, you can always class it up while holding A+++ court.
Good on Coach Wilder, God Bless.
2017 record: 5 up 7 down and 3-5 in Conference U.S.A.
O.D.U. Defense: (starters back=7)
- 4-3 or base forty-three set. That’s closer to a 4-2 Odd at times.
- 119th in Total D.
- 103rd vs. the run.
- 110th vs. the throw.
- Def. S&P+ 97th.
- 114th in 3rd down conversion percentage allowed.
- 120th best in 1st down defense.
- However, 43rd in zone percentage allowed; go fig’ on that?
- 107th in Qb’s sacked.
- 104th in Tackles for a Loss (TFL) inflicted.
- Not Available (N/A) in dLine Havoc. 6′4″, 254 lb. final year De Oshane Ximines is prolly an all-conference candidate, the O.d.u. Dt’s are run-fit combative enough; Dt Miles Fox is as close to a bell-cow as it Dt O.d.u. gets; and beyond that, not much lives here. A right-sized looking dLine and quite frankly I was surprised by how stiff (unathletic) at times they play. A dLine just begging for an East-West Fu’fensive stretch. Tho’ do be aware of #7, Oshane, he prolly does start at Virginia Tech and is the best/most talented Monarch on the Tidewater field. Lotta read-n-react looks here on breaking tape. Not a high velocity attacking set. Though it does return not less than five full seniors with previous starting Dline experience. And this is supposed to be the stalwart unit on O or D for the entire Monarchs club overall.
- N/A in Linebacking Havoc. Lb’s play a wider more umbrella looking 4/3 at times… love to know why they would say that they must east-west stretch their Will and Sam like this? Though clearly, this is an attempt to funnel or pincer things back inside. So, there must be buku Mike-Lb and Ng trust here. And there is… as Lb Lawrence Garner leads D-1 with 14 tackles per game. Though Lb is dinged up at the moment. O.d.u. deploys Lb’ing twins on the inside with a couple of hybrid looking Bandit/Rover types that nearly amount to a third and fourth Safety— or something closer to $0.o4 if not a full-time Nickle.
- N/A in Secondary Havoc. Secondary does play wider/softer out on the sideline, and narrower on the slot/S.End. Not a real deep secondary either on the edges at Cb; seems better at zone than man to me, though does not seem well at either; and there are dings here to boot. Secondary seems to play the man not the ball as well. They are noticeably stronger at Safety than at Cb; and Safety rates a “decent” grade; that, and they are at least regulation sized in the hind-4/5.
- D overall: Fast, speedy, athletic, willing D; does flow -if not fly to the ball- and did I mention they are surprisingly athletic; yet? Kinda like a 1997 on the come Baltic Avenue version of the initial Bud Böck that played with a lotta attack and even more: “bang” than this semi-passive set does. Now, and to be fair, with the cookie-monsta looking Ng gone from last year (who made truly delightful and downright entertaining pre-game vids); this year O.d.u. stop-unit is not quite as high-strung or mouthy or loquacious. This D tackles so-so and less than so-so on the edge(s). They will personal-foul and take liberties if not inexpensive shots from time-to-time. D will pop you in the mouf for all of ^that^, too. Seems just a little harder vs. the run and a little softer (including schematically) vs. the throw. Lotta medium strength under-zones, or off-man, like they are daring you to make ~10 plays in a row in lieu of giving up the one Willie Mayes or HR play.
- ∑ (summary): This is not a good D on film folks… it is an athletic one and one that is the enemy of Gestalt Theory or less than the sum of its… parts.
O.D.U. Offense: (returning starters=9)
- 109th in Total O.
- 71st in aerial O.
- 114th in ground O.
- 117th in passing efficiency D.
- Off. S&P+ 1o7th.
- 121st in 3rd down conversion percentage.
- 105th best in 1st down offense.
- 38th in sacks allowed | 43rd in TFL allowed. (with a couple lame oLinemen sourcing says)
- O overall: Narrow split oLine that does a lotta single jab-step zone/shielding covering work. Almost a bit cuttise at times, like yearbook photo day in yesteryear terms; or selfie max’. Needs to get outta its own way here-n-there. Short, quick hitting to medium at most passing attack. Lotta single-side reads, K.I.S.S. type reads, like the old school passing triangle missing a play-side vertice and then things begin to actually… align. Qb is erratic, though entirely athletic, has a good arm, and less than good, eyes. Makes very tough needle threading throws needlessly indeed. Basically, a lowercase D-1aa Tyrod Taylor wannabe. The run game has one big back (the oft’ injured Jermey Cox) and yet he’s small on touches and north-south work(s); which would seem to suit his bulk best. Lotta crossbuck or counter-trey looks with the smaller Rb (Elijah Davis, who apparently is now Tb1— so there you go) and they did this semi-well enough. Qb does spray his throws, short-hops, overthrows, et all… accuracy does not live here; even if athletics and arm-strength do. Qb is a southpaw or a Koufax or a lefty; so Mitch and Nix need to set the Jugs Machine in CCW reverse to simulate the reverse spin. O does toggle well between plunge A-gap iso’s and nearly nifty looking off-Tackle flood plays.
(Leading rusher=123 more yards this year than you or I have gained combined; and their Qb1 is a 51% passer who is in regression with an 8:13 passing ratio the careerist ‘rong way!)
- ∑ (summary): 5′9″ jitterbug Sr. Wr Isaiah Harper is a pretty solid Wr and an even better punt-returner and yah; he prolly at least plays at Virginia Tech. He does run the ball pretty well on old-school End-around to boot. And Wr is actually pretty experienced overall. At 6′4″, 315 lb. Tarzan haired r-Sr. Center Nick Clarke can snap the ball, he has accrued 40 highly experienced D-1 starts and he prolly starts at Virginia Tech. And beyond that? There is a lotta individuality here, and even less synergy than that; a mini-me sawed-off F.s.u. from da ‘hood. And on top of that the O.d.u. offensive huddle is thin, inconsistent and not well play-calling synchronized as it tries to do too many things at once and then gets too the prefix poly means: “many” cute at that. A Jack of not enough trades and master of absolutely not one.
- 49% run:pass mix 51%. (virtual play-calling equilibrium achieved; an umpossible O to key!)
Monarchs Special Teams: (return)
O.d.u. is a modest 78th best in Net Punting. O.d.u. Punter Bailey Cate is on the Ray Guy watchlist and to be candid… I’m not sure, why?
- 51st in Punt Returns | 78th in KO returns. Darrell Brown – PR and Isaiah Harper – KR are both 1st-string all-conference specialists pre-season picks.
- in punt coverage | and in suicide-squad.
- O.d.u. has blocked 0 kicks and allowed 1 kick to be blocked.
- O.d.u. has blocked 0 punts and allowed 0 punts to be blocked.
P.A.T. team does swinging-gate formations and will Oct.31st trickeration things and go for two here; beware of this coach James. Punt returner is fascinated by rolling balls and will cede field-position on rugby style kicks accordingly. O.d.u. Second-year Kicker Nick Rice is 80% on P.A.T.’s and a whopping 50% on his FGA’s this campaign and sports just one career make beyond 45 yards thus far— ’nuff said.
Special Teams letter-grade: O.d.u. ranks ST’s. S&P+ 69th; and yah; I’d have to say that annotation is about fair to middling. As this is a fair to middling special teams bunch. Assigning a flat C accordingly.
- VT D.
- VT O.
- O.d.u. O.
- O.d.u. D.
- motive: NOT entirely all O.d.u. in their own backyard; as there are more than a few Hokies who hail from the hallowed 7-5-7 and all things O&M have to be frisky to play after a cancelation in the 3-hole last week. EDGE=push.
- weather: Looks A-okay to me. EDGE=God.
- health/off-field: O.d.u. clearly has the shorter looking injury report this week. EDGE=O.d.u.
- penalties: O.d.u. did not quite strike me as being as streety/thuggy as last year in all fairness– and guess what applied sports psych fans? O.d.u. (to their credit) has advanced all the way to 16th best in penalties. EDGE=push.
- intangibles: O.d.u. is 85th in Turnover Margin whereas VT is virtually #1. And to compound fracture all of that… O.d.u. is –4 minutes in the hole or 121st best in TOP (time of possession). You do the maths… XL EDGE=VT.
- fatigue: VT is now a whopping +13 on rest. Can’t beat dat with a stick. HUGE EDGE=VT.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Monarchs who could start @Tech=3 maybe 4.
The takeaway here is… well, and honestly?
Not much to see or takeaway here folks; as the Monarchs special-teams are nearly average and O.d.u. is pretty well crowned after that.
In point of fact, the more I studied O.d.u. the lower I O.d.u. got. As these Monarchs are a lotta words and monarchical (much less potentiated) just ain’t one of ’em. As O.d.u. has been on about an (overlapping) full seasons worth of a schnide. Going 3-11 in their last 14 contests while allowed at least 35 points in all less one L.
- Δ1=90%. VT wins by a lot. And yes, this is no joke when I say I see this as our worst-case scenario.
- Δ2=9%. VT wins by a double lot. And yes, this is no joke when I say that I see a mistake-prone and clinically unstable O.d.u. football team on tape that could in theory snowball downhill on the last day of summer as the Fall Equinox is not until 9:54 PM Saturday night.
- Δ3=1%. I guess there is a chance the O&M team bus doesn’t start. Virginia Tech shows up for a 3:30 pm Central time zone kickoff or something similar. I guess… Stranger Things have… just ask, Netflix.
O.d.u. is pretty thin on talent(s) overall and something just did not look right in film-study of this bogusly thuggy 6-4-6 crew to me.
And here I had thought this famed Tidewater visit to be a possible drowning pool if/when we got too Chicago-maroon and burnt-orange narcissistic as letdown trap games go. Now? Not so much… as mere dawgg-paddling should be more than enough to hammerhead this rather shallow Tidewater kiddie pool.
What I am wondering about is… could it be that 2018 Virginia Tech football is basically a 2017 Miami Hurricane redux?
Thereby sprinting out to a very shiny looking 7-nil or 8-o (on the cancelation), thereby backdooring the A.c.c. championship game a year or maybe even two years premature. Then prolly fairing south of good in the end due to a shortage of workable/mandible bodies come 01 December 2018 at 8pm on ESPN in the Atlantic Coast Championship game.
Call it a hunch or whatever you deign… as I just have a feeling that Virginia Tech football is about to go on an undefeated season opening, rankings climbing, run. At least for a spell…
The last three pseudo real teams that O.d.u. has played have outgained O.d.u. by +174 yards all the way up to +290 yards. In point of fact O.d.u. has been outgained in seven of their last 10 and courts a whopping aggregate –839 total yards to the ‘rong, or even to the outright bad over the same. As this is an ungood football program at the moment folks and that is precisely what time it is.
Likewise, O.d.u. has been outgained every game since before Thanksgiving 2017, and they have posted only two positive yardage totals —in beating bottom feeding D-1 wasteland Rice by a field-goal, and puny D-1aa Charleston by a M.L.B. looking 6-nil; since last September.
As these are indeed two ships passing in the night and one ship is shipshape whereas the other ship’s decks are wet, its bilge pumps are plump, and yah; it just might hit the proverbial rock, bottom, soon.
This is the second game in a series that will see the two teams play 13 times in the next 14 years. Virginia Tech is 66-1 when holding non-conference foes to 17 points or fewer since Bud Foster took over as defensive coordinator in 1996. And Old Dominion is o-3 for the first time since reinstating its program in 2009.
Welcome to o dash four!
upset Index=1 maybe 1.something%
Virginia Tech=58, Old Dominion=1o