#79 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #83 R.P.I. virginia:
Today’s word of the day is… rival.
- One who attempts to equal or surpass another, or who pursues the same object as another; a competitor.
- One that equals or almost equals another in a particular respect
Geographic proximity not withstanding, don’t you need to be an actual threat to win the game to be (rightfully) considered one’s… rival?
Or does that make too much… sense?
As this has been about as uno-dimensional or 1-sidded rivalry as there can be this side of wvu vs. Penn State way back when.
Now, and that being said, uva has been closer of late, and they have had their chance’s, plural, in recent campaigns. The Commonwealth Gap has narrowed thanks primarily to an O&M sag and no thanks to anything in particular coach Dream has done at uva.
Has the Commonwealth Gap narrowed, enough?
Read on to find out…
uva Defense: (starters back=)
- Total D=88th
- 61st in rushing defense, 100th in passing defense, 115th in Pass Efficiency Defense!
- 25th in dLine Havoc Rate! Although only 1o3rd in Lb Havoc Rate and a very pedestrian 64th in Secondary Havoc Rate. Go fig’?
- Defensive Explosiveness=89th.
- uva has forced a pretty smart looking 11 Fumbles on D this year.
- 57th in Tackles For a Loss (T.F.L.) and again 57th in Qb’s sacked.
- 4-3 base with the Will Lb often cheating up for an odd or 5-man front. And this Will does some strange pass first things, at times. Almost ceding the wide-side of the field.
- second-layer and the secondary overall in broad brush terms, flow towards the Qb movement and even flow forward at that. Should create some late protection opportunities behind all of that, if we can keep Brewer upright. More than average amount of medium-man looks here. Medium will go Tight in the Red Zone.
- Fs and Ss and Mike do a nice medium to deep hook zone routine. Elevator theory 1o1 as one will unexpected move forward from the Safety’s level or the MLb will zone drop even deeper.
- Not the best pursuit speed laterally nor the best recovery speed vertically.
- seems to favor some short-side Red-Dogs or blitzing, even from the Ss.
- dLine and Secondary both appear more talented on paper than they are showing on breaking tape. Gestalt (Theory) raised to the -1 power if you will or parts>>>Sum.
- big ole DLine, three guys 282 or larger in lbs. big ole Lb’s, three guys 239 or more, one 260 lbs. the other 255. S.e.c. or ‘Bama sized –and now you know why I said they don’t exactly run like Usain Bolt.
- not the best leverage or Euclidean savvy D I’ve studied on tape, seems to give up the boundary almost intentionally (using it as a 12th man). Army looking and not uber physical tacking when they do get there. (saw a lotta ankle diving as well)
wahoo Offense: (returning starters=)
- Total O=85th.
- 1o8th in rushing and 45th in passing.
- 23rd best in T.O.P. (time of possession)
- Offensive Explosiveness=64th.
- 80th in T.F.L. allowed and 55th in sacks allowed.
- uva has one run of 71 yards and nothing beyond 39 yard jaunts after that.
- uva does however have 2 throws 75 or more and 6 connects beyond 42; ergo, there is something of a N-S aerial stretch here.
- uva Qb’s have been Picked 16 times this year! Hence the -.73 per game or 111th Turnover Margin.
- Qb Matt Johns has a 27:20 career passing ratio, and here’s the kicker, it ain’t because of Sacks, as he has relatively only been dumped 23 times thus far. Qb Johns has an element of an N.b.a. streak-shooter. He can suddenly heat up every bit as much as he can just as suddenly chill out. That righteously said, beware, Johns does appear to be simmering down and settling in with generically upward trends in completion percentage and ratio alike. Johns has 28 rushing yards this year and is not a dual-threat Qb. Overall, I do not think Johns to be much beyond a slightly more talented than average; and yet highly erratic Qb. As you do not become a accomplished pianist or academic award winner at uva just because you are dum’. So one would hope this is not decision tree so much as it is game-day scoreboard necessity driven, this erraticsitiy of play.
- Johns has a exaggerated or elongated follow-through, almost like playing darts in a pub; chance for injury here if someone is nearby as inadvertent contact goes. Johns also does Fred Astaire happy-feet and dances as he comes onto or off of his targets. Very choppy looking Qb, almost like a baseline defender in tennis awaiting an incoming serve.
- strange Bernie Kosar cockeyed looking stance under C from Johns, left foot way way back when passing; could be a tip of sorts. Johns also slings or heaves the ball a bit as a fadeaway back-foot thrower.
- #4 “smoke” Mizzell only has 178, career catches, as a Tb and 638 rushing this year as I was honestly high(er) than that on this ***** or five-star recruit coming outta high, school. Though he is an entertaining guy to watch, no matter where he lines up or where he eventually goes.
- uva undersized by and large at Tb, Imoh’s and J.c.c.’s abound. Did see some scissoring elements here on film. Decent enough crossbuck looks when they do run them.
- hoo O will throw (pun intended) trick plays at you and see if they stick.
- O does a lotta split-Backs or even Wr’s as Hb’s work to Johns in the Gun, will bunch work off of this as well.
cavalier Special Teams: (both return)
uva is 51st in Net Punting with 67th best coverage out in front of Jr. year P, Nicholas Conte, who is a middle of the road punter with 1 punt blocked thus far; and yet he is one slick looking future Dr. as his uva.edu is virtually Summa Cum Laude tight. He’s all world in school, epic awards earned during such, mega props on that. Nich’ does have a leg –67 long this year, he just does not have enough hand(s) as he has dropped 3 punts on the pass from the C, as well! That being said, do be warned, uva is a stellar 6th best in Punt Returns themselves with 1 TD scored here; although I did see me a couple of muffs as well.
FG-Kicking for uva is handled by Ian Frye. Ian is a rarefied big ole basketball S/F looking Kicker at 6’7” and 215 lbs. and he has had himself no bad year thus far. 32 outta 33 on P.A.T.’s and 15 outta 19 on 3-point swings of the leg says so. Ian may not (quite) have a bionic leg, though he does have a career long make of 53, and nothing better 47 after that. He also has a history of kicking dings and dents that have done him no health. As his reliable range seems mid to high 40’s at max’. Though he is pretty dang tight out to about 45 yards or so. Ian does have plenty of kicking experience to boot; prolly an upper 15th percentile A.c.c. place-Kicker right about now.
uva is 92nd in KO suicide squad coverage and 115th best in KO returns. And I’m not joking, I saw uva KO coverage guys getting stole all over the place in breaking tape. Not a good kick game, is it? uva has blocked zero combined punts and kicks this season.
Special Teams letter-grade: (a decent though a very mixed C+)
- motive: PUSH, yes, push, it should be all O&M, though I’m wondering out loud just how much that extra secession in Frank’s Lane Stadium finale took outta us, all for an overtime penultimate L? That and hoo would not wanna play the all-time SPOILER role here?
- weather: 63f, partly cloudy, ’bout as good as it gets for Thanksgiving weekend folks.
- health: both teams have positional specific attrition. uva does not have more, though this one is about as close to even as we can hope to late-season get.
- penalties: flaggage yardage is about even, which is to say bad for both; as someone will game some real live hidden yardage if they can keep their, composure in this one.
- fatigue: VT has played 3 games since halloween whereas uva has played the full 4; you do the maths. (an O&M advantage here)
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
The takeaway here is… that you gotta honestly think the hoos would like nothing more than to be the SPOILER extraordinaire of all time, and force the ugly looking 5-7 backing into a undeserved bowl bid decision tree upon a departing Frank Beamer.
Forum Guide: ugly, as in both teams finishing with negative scoring marks for common head-to-head opponents. A (summation) of Σ= -17 for Virginia Tech and a (summation) of Σ= -12 for the hoo’s. Or in other words, uva is 1 point per game less sucky than Virginia Tech is. That’s not a big differential, granted, though it does not favor Virginia Tech; either.
Yardage margin(s): the total yardage margin for common head-to-head opponents’ paints a different picture. And by “different” I mean a more severe picture, as Virginia Tech finished the year -164 in the hole vs. common opponents; or out-gained by basically 33 per game. Whereas uva was found to actually be -75 yards this year in debt; or basically 15 per game to the ‘rong. Again, not a whopping differential, although one that does not favor Virginia Tech.
3 game spits: in their most recent 3 games, our beloved Hokies have tighten up on D by 29 fewer yards per game allowed; yet yet have worsened by 33 fewer yards gained by the Tech O. A very slight though still yet, negative movement. hooVa on the other hand has gone up by 33 yards of total O per contest and yet has softened by 25 yards of total D allowed. Yet again, not a inordinate determinate, nevertheless, this one slightly favors the cavaliers as well.
Or in other words, my signature key 3 late season predictors all favor uva, small, possibly in overtime; as the objective gap is a slender one that does favor the boo-hoo’s 3×3 or 3 outta 3 times. Maybe something like a half-play or FG margin; or maybe closer than that. As neither one of these football clubs is real good, it is basically that uva has sucked just a little less… first time for everything humor insert, here; check!
As Virginia Tech has been bound by between 20 to 28 points of scoring going all the way back to October. That seems like a pattern to me. uva has had two outburst games in their last six on O, and three checking in at 31 points or more. Scared yet? You should be; departing (Lynn) swansong not withstanding…
However, as you may or may not have already heard, this is Frank Beamer’s final football game -if beaten- barring accepting a parting gift of a consolation prize (pun intended) at 5 up and 7 down and therefore backing into a negative record bowl bid.
Now, I for one say that Frank Beamer’s final chapter need not be forged in a furnace of commonwealth pain.
Hokie mettle must be steeled however by a pure bear-pit approach. This one should be, animalistic, predatorial, and then it should actually begin.
That however requires some salt in our blood, some mud in our eye. I saw some of that here and there from the Bud Stout defense hosting U.n.c. I just did not see enough and I saw less from the great Scot offense comparatively. As this is a highest possible flat C letter grade football team, in Virginia Tech @ a lowest possible C— caliber football team, in uva.
Or in closing, this is a pretty dang even looking rivalry football game men, that will likely come down to 1 play one way or the other, and if you doubt that just consult the above analytics to see what I mean…
Virginia Tech=32, virginia=27