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#228 R.P.I. Rhode Island @ #7o R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Today’s word of the day is… upset!

[Middle English: “upsetten“, to set up : up-, up- + setten, to set; see set]

  1. a state of being unhappy, disappointed, or worried.
  2. to make (someone) unhappy, disappointed, or worried.
  3. an unexpected result or situation, especially in a sports competition.
  4. Upset was notable as the only horse to have ever defeated Man o’ War. Man o’ War, who won 20 of his 21 starts, faced Upset in the seventh running of the Sanford Memorial Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on August 13, 1919. Losing by a neck!
  5. ~8 pm come Saturday night, 659 miles south-by-so’-west?!?

Head CoachJustin James Fuente (born July 30, 1976 A.D.) Age=43.
(buyout: $15,000,000.oo)

54-4o overall, 28–17 at Virginia Tech, 16–11 in the All Coaching Conference and 2-2 in Bowls.

A.A.C. Coach of the Year (2014),
A.P. 2016 A.c.c. Coach of the Year,
ACSMA A.c.c. Coach of the Year (2016),
Athlon A.c.c. Coach of the Year (2016).

Baller/Qb-Fu’ amassed 2,289 yards passing with the 1995-1996 Oklahoma Sooners starting parts of two seasons before transferring to Murray State. At Murray State, Fuente was named the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award following the 1999 season. He still holds several single-season records at Murray State for a Qb including: most pass completions (24o), highest passing efficiency rating (151.21), most seasonal passing yards (3,497), and most touchdown passes (27) in a year. WOW!

A Big Whistle being “tweeted” by his very own fanbase!

Coach-Fu’ started out under Coach Denver Johnson at Illinois State, who he had played for when Johnson was an assistant coach at Oklahoma; and later on again when Denver was named the head coach at Murray State (…and now you and Paul Harvey “know the rest of the, story”). Coach-Fu also studied under legendary T.c.u. defensive wizard Gary Patterson in Forth Worth. Coach-Fu’ has coached football for sixteen seasons in total.

Big Whistle Fuente was the head football coach at the University of Memphis from 2012 to 2015. He was an assistant at Texas Christian University (T.C.U.) from 2007 to 2011 and at Illinois State University from 2001 to 2006. Fuente attended the University of Oklahoma before transferring to Murray State University after his redshirt sophomore season. He played Qb for both schools. Fuente played a single season with the Oklahoma Wranglers of the Arena Football League before embarking on his coaching career.

Coaching Tree:
Barry Odom: Missouri (2016–present).

Daddy-Fu’ is married, to Jenny and they have three daughters:
Charlotte, Cecilia & Caroline.

V.Tech 2018 record:  6 up 7 down and .5oo or 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Hokie Defense: (starters back=9); (now 8)

  • 72nd in Total D.
  • 87th vs. the run.
  • 68th vs. the throw.
  • 70th in passing efficiency D.
  • 93rd in scoring D.
  • 54th in 1st down D.
  • However, 96th in 3rd down D.
  • 28th in ZONE D.
  • 16th in Qb’s sacked.
  • 33rd in Tackles for a Loss (TFL) inflicted.
  • TBA in dLine Havoc. The Hokie dLine has been reasonably dang sharp in their internal run-fits; all off-season Dt hand wringing considered. However, their actual best Dt1 (Crawford) has a turned ankle and is “QUESTIONABLE” for Saturday. Dt has tested better than De by-the-bye. And it has also been less misQ prone in-and-of-itself. There are some future bookend potentials here, although they appear 1-3 seasons away. Hewitt is plucky at Dt, and Garbutt is useful when healthy at De. There is more depth inside than out as well.

    base ILb’ing twins modified fortythree over-shift to Will side:
  • TBA in Linebacking Havoc. Good second-layer here men. As it is entirely possible that 2 of the Hokies halt-unit Top-11 playars ball here. Ashby is a portly tackling machine who hits with some degree of stop internally— although he struggles laterally and in coverage for an off-season 10+ weight gain in the upper hemisphere. ‘backer remains unsettled with the DAX kid cutting what Ashby found and struggling with a heretofore unpublished thumb/wrist hurt. Tisdale may spell ‘backing relief and more N-S play-making agility as well. The Whip position looks primed as the C.Conner kid plays with a lotta “thud” and covers ground very well for it additionally. There is mid-layer depth here even if the Hokies Linebacking coach is not exactly known for being a left-wing or blue-state C.n.n. substitution artist.
  • TBA in Secondary Havoc. The Gobblers secondary has been decent enough at times; it seems to be just beginning to tighten some coverage screws on edge. It has some experience and some height (as all are ≥6′1″). It has successfully returned to being rather takeaway ball-hawking dynamic as previous Fosteroian incarnations have been. Although the word is it lacks recovery-speed (less the Farley kid). That, and it has been a good deal healthier in its top-4 rotation this season compared to 2018. Even if team passing efficiency lags a bit at 70th due to the aforementioned defensive backfield’s lack of velocity giving away too many IsoPPP+ or big-plays. Making this a very decent secondary that is trying to sneak up on being downright solid before November ends. (albeit a thin hind-4/5 when scouted for depth).
  • overall: Improved… in, a; word. No, if’s and’s or butt’s about it. All the way up to 74th in total D says so, as does moving correctly off of a career-worst 106th best vs. the run last campaign for Hall of Famer in-waiting one Budweiser Foster. Still yet, there are stop-unit glitches here… in particular on shallow run-fits in forward-charging rush-support and per De’s crashing shallow edge-wise and therefore affording a horizontal lack of containment type plays. Tackling is okay, if not overtly physical (not: named Conner and to a lesser extent Ashby). And this D has fared lessor in the final 30-minutes of scrumming
    -and in particular in the final 10-minutes of warning- than it has prior to intermission. This suggests health/depth and/or S&C concerns.
  • ∑ (summary): returning D production=96%!
    As said… this is a bettered halt-unit in all-time low-water mark 2018 Foster defensive terms. It is however still at least 1.5. Standard Deviations removed from the Foster: mean, median, mode historically. Frankly, (pardon the yesteryear pun); frankly speaking, it has the look-n-feel of a D at or near its 2019 peak. And it also has the look and feel of a D that is reverting to raw attacking thereby leaving itself untentionally receiving to “tricksy” or Gollūm type plays.

Defensive letter-grade: (lowest possible flat-B for clarity)

F’n Gobblers Offense: (returning starters=7); (now 5)

  • 100th in Total O.
  • 78th in ground O.
  • 91th in aerial O.
  • 56th in Team Passing Efficiency.
  • 87th in completion percentage.
  • 94th in 1st-down O.
  • Although 12th in 3rd-down O.
  • And yet, 15th in ZONE O.
  • 76th in passes picked.
  • Yet 40th in ypc. (yards/catch).
  • 110th in fumbles stripped!
  • 60th in sacks allowed | 64th in TFL allowed.
  • O overall: Qb(s): Hendon Hooker metrics: 6’5”, ~228 lbs., 40=4.66, Vertical=35”, 20-yard shuttle 4.44 sec’s, Power throw=37.5′, Bench=285 lbs. #1 ranked dual-threat Qb in North Carolina (Greensboro). Pretty sharp looking Shooting-G in hoops, a hard finishing and breakaway open-court slasher with just enough roundball range. Recruiter=Charley Wiles. Stronger built than he looked on tape; and he looks noticeably physically superior this year than ever before. Hendon “the boss” Hooker is an interesting, elongated, lean looking shifty signature dual threat Qb who can threaten you with his arm and his wheels alike. He won his AAAA (quad-A) state championship in football while being named the M.V.P. of the title tilt where he only scored six that’s (6) TD’s his ownself. Making his senior year box score a lucrative one… Statewide M.V.P. after a dominant performance in the Nc. AAAA State Championship. 61.9% completion percentage good for: 2,652 yards with 28 TD’s passing. 1,236 yards rushing, on 27 carrying TD’s. Or, 3,888 in total O, great for 55 big TD’s or 33o total points. 25 total D-1 offers. Hooker does deploy open-field moves that only Coach God can coach. Seems to have a good touch on his deep-ball once he settles in. Though also looks like a Qb that is at least a full OJT (on-the-job training) season removed from fully apex settling in. As he is only a r-Soph’ least we forgets. Rb(s):  Deshawn McClease has been better and cleaner on health of late. Especially downstairs in the southern-hemisphere of legs. ESPN’s 45th ranked Rb recruit nationally who only amassed 5,025 rushing yards and 82 TD’s in a likewise dinged up scholastic career. Maybe 5′9″, and a downright sculpted workout warrior 190 even r-Jr. season lbs. As Deshawn’s footwork conditioning videos are the stuff that most mere mortals can merely dream of. A freaky kid in testing and not half-bad between the Ot’s as a darty/stiletto rib-tickling kinda rusher when he is feeling his flow and working his sexxy per a shipshape 5×5 training room body. Not the same runner when even dinged, not at all, however. Keyshawn King is (listed between) 5′10″ and 5′14″, (looks closer to the lowercase height metric upon breaking-tape FWIW) and yet ~185 lbs. everywhere less one spot I looked. (go fig’ on this…). A natural fan favorite… 40-time: 4.45, Squat: 450 lbs., Deadlift: 405 lbs., Bench: 285 lbs., Clean: 275 lbs., 20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds, Vertical: 37″, Power Throw: 34′, Recruiter(s): Zohn Bruden (P) and Charley Wiles (S). 48th player in Florida per No matter how tall -or not- this princely Rb really is, or really is not, one thing is for sure right away in film study… and that is that K.King is kinetic. Speedy, quick, darty and has some credible real-live athletics to his run-game matrix. He also has a number of (22, in point of fact) sunbelt to mid-Atlantic D-1 football offers. Nebraska, Miami, Arkansas, Ole` Miss., South Carolina; just to name a few. Now mix in 2,871 yards rushing with 32 ground-game TD’s in a mere 22 career scholastic games. Additionally, high school K.King tallied a very impressive 29 receptions for 325 yards receiving or more ypc (yards per catch) than he has ypr (yards per rush)! Don’t see that too much this side of Roger Craig or Joe Washington way way back when. With two receptions >61 yards and six grabs >29 yards overall great for 18 pass-catching H.S. points. This married to two scoring gallops of 71-yards or more and five total jaunts of 52-yards or better and suddenly V.Tech might just have an HR threat on the field after all. (that: plus, he keeps a fresh twist-top ‘do, so I doubt he has many she troubles off-field). Wr’s: VeeTee is supposed to be very good and very deep here. They looked closer to Top-4 pretty good to me upon breaking tape. Although 50% of those Top-4 and been dinged off/and on all year long. They are said to be trinary Te rich as well and they could still have as many as 3 to 4 fringe, training-camp, cup-of-coffee Not For Long catch corps pro’s here. That reality fairly spent, their best blocker does play here… and this Rambo kid will drink 1st blood and come back for seconds! As Dalton Keene is lb. for lb. as good as takedown blocker as it gets. oLine: Nearly the same drill as Wr, supposed to be pretty good and pretty deep this year although they look so-so to me. And worse than Wr, three of their Top-5 (or 60%) have been well dented here. So maybe this Hokie unit is another unit that is tough to glean a fair shake on? I can tell you that the odd or left-side is the right-side when you need 3′ or less. Although even this evaluation is de facto via training-room and experience curve based. As there are whispers that their best oLineman is… ineligible. As their current C3, and right-G2 (who may really be an Ot) do have promise. And the entire V.Tech front-line is second-year or less; 100% underclassmen from stem-to-David-Stern. So best check-up with 2021 or 2022 first. Nonetheless, this unit has regressed from November of last season, in particular in terms of run-fighting physicality. And strangely enough, there is a statistical argument to be made that they are slightly more cogent in their passing-cup than they are in their run-fits so far in 2019 intervals. Even if both grades are very centrist or moderate at best/most.

    base: Spread/Gun O: with 1-personnel and 2-4 Wide.
  • ∑ (summary): returning O production=6o%.
    With the Qb1 bumper-cars, all bets and analyses are off here folks. The word on the ‘street is that Hooker is a better Fu’fensive fit than the pocketed and pretty dinged/dented Ryan Willis is/was. Hooker may indeed be a 5-hour energy bar regarding the Hokie run-shapes. Tho’ this ground-gaining occurs in lieu of how much of a potential aerial-assault give back with the best pure passing pivot now riding the pine? Or could Hooker’s run acumen actually loosen up opposing defenses for superior downfield throw-game results later on (in contest)? The Hokie oLine appears to be set to regain some health/depth prior to @Notre Dame. The grab-group seem similar if not the same. Hooker himself seems more team-wide accepted —and half past never has that ever been a bad thing. Still yet, V.Tech will need Hooker to do more than run-n-gun this spread set. He will need to consistently wing his way to at least one VicTory and -per the above still somewhat historically diminished Bud Stōut- the jury remains out if not hung here.
  • 60% run:pass 40% mix. (1/10th off, or virtually normal for the 4-year Fuente span)

Offensive letter-grade:

V.P.I. Special Teams: (1 returns)

Virginia Tech is 6th in Net Punting, and so is all-A.c.c. third-year, Jr., P, Oscar Bradburn. Oscar ♬”hails from the land down-under”♪, or from Sydney, Australia; to be most specific. Where he Attended Sydney Secondary College’s Blackwattle Bay campus. Where he played Australian Rules Football for Sydney Swans Academy. And where he trained at ProKick Australia, a training facility in Melbourne for Rules and Rugby kicking alike. 6′1″, 221 lbs., as an amphibious or ambipodiatrist punter who punts both ways (L and R). Although he does punt Bob Charles or lefty more often than not and that means he spins his punt’s CCW (or counterclockwise). So set the jugs machine to bassackwards to prep’ for this bloke, mates. Oscar can be a grouch— or so the off-pitch whispers go and he and the ex-Qb1 broke-up over the P’s g/f a couple of years back.  Still yet, Oscar courts a career-long of 69-yards and is likewise whispered to have more leg in the bag than that. Per his having averaged over 45-yards/punt or more for every single scrum this season so far. He also has never ever suffered a career block and as said, this is likely an all-conference leg attached to a likes to fight, guy.

  • 84th in Punt Returns | 76th in KO returns.
  • 1o4th in punt coverage | 70th and in suicide-squad.
  • VT has blocked 0 kicks and allowed 0 kicks to be blocked.
  • VT has blocked 0 punts and allowed 0 punts to be blocked.

Brian Johnson is r-Jr. year former K2 who got posthumously promoted when VeeTee’s ex-K1 sporting emigrated to happier valleys up north. Bri’ stands 6′1″ and goes 191 lbs. He is a Gonzaga H.S. (District of Columbia) K who had a career scholastic long of 52-yards and practices kicking into the wind and kicking the laces (JIC). B.J. has a very elongated leg-loading motion, which would seem to invite block attempts as his load-time is longer than most. Curiously enough however his leg graded 2nd (some said 3rd) best last year on campus. Johnson is also a K in decline, as he went an okay 75% in 2017, then 66.7% in 2018 and now he is merely 60% on 2019. Although he is 67 outta 67 on P.A.T.’s for his collegiate career.

m.s. the vibes are than VT has a rook-card of a ST’s Coach. Although beyond a stellar P the results to this point a fair to middling, or south of that.

Special Teams letter-grade: the Hokies punter might wanna scramble drill for a work-visa from down-under as he is prolly gonna get ($unday) paid. The rest? So-so to less than that. Accordingly, this is a C overall ST’s unit for it to boot.

Unit Rankings:

  1. VT D.
  2. VT O.
  3. R.I.U. O.
  4. R.I.U. D.


  • motive: Got to be all R.I.U. How much does V.P.I. really need to get up here post a 360° the wagons ALL-in effort @Miami to “Ram” it home?!? EDGE=R.Island.
  • weather:
  • health/off-field: VeeTee is a bit dinged and dented here. Whereas the Rams list a relatively clean injury report (coach God Bless). EDGE=R.Island.
  • penalties: Fu’ and VeeTee have been solid here (18th Fu’est in the nation). R.I.U. however is actually, better; (at 13th best)! EDGE=R.Island.
  • intangibles: VT is (still) a pretty miserable 1o1st in the all-important Turnover Margin metric. VT is 93rd in TOP (time of possession). That and U.R.I. did retain the somewhat sought after Governor’s Cup last week vs. in-state rival, Brown. EDGE=R.Island.
  • fatigue: R.I.U. has balled four times in four consecutive weeks whereas VeeTee has only balled thrice over the same month. EDGE=VeeTee.

R.A.T.T: ... the key to pulling the upset here @V.Tech is, what?

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Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of Hokies who could Gobble it up @R.Island=18

the takeaway:

The takeaway here is… 21-71.

The, ‘rong… way!

That’s the Virginia Tech Hokies mathematics as tent-folders go since the last two HR punches their collective chins caught and stopped. A chinny or head-game leaky looking team to be sure.

In the last 2 games, post-big adversity moment (Fumble against Duke, Hail Mary against Miami), #Hokies have been outscored 73-21“.

The only question is… can Qb Vito and the R.Island offense hit an HR-play or drop some trickeration on Vah.Tech early on? Or maybe go for broke on a defensive pick-6 or fumble advancing play. Or for that matter, how about some kinda Special-Teams reverse, onsides, fake, throwback or whatever?


Because what do the R.I. Rams really have to L here as a heavy visiting underdog down in B.c.s., power-conference, A.c.c. country in big bad scary Lane Stadium with only 18 days remaining until “TRICK” or treat?


  1. Δ1=60% That V.Tech is flat and in a letdown applied sports psych trap post-Miami and barely holding onto their butts in the end. The Hokies -although indeed the superior team on paper- have played better on paper for the last two years and therefore put forth just enough O.d.u. and Furman efforting to win a yawning contest of a game(s). Icky Crane Sleepy Hollow football 1o1 here we so-so middleocrity come.
  2. Δ2=30% that V.Tech is feeling no pain and has some helium type come-up-ins in their High-Tech high-step after such a seminal sunshine state victory. That, and their coach has/suffers a rep’ of beating the damn breaks off of peeps when and as he can. As Coach Fuente is well known inside coaching-circles as a RUTS square.
  3. Δ3=10% “No man is an island and some men are peninsulas.” –Robin Williams, The Survivors; or who the hell knows? The Hokies have been nearly impredictable for over a year+ now, be that both Pro and Con mind you. And if R.Island could hang around for a while… what if they did isthmus mighty V.Tech, late?

the optics

A trap game 1o1, or a let-down game 1o2?

The hosting Virginia Tech Hokies are a whopping twenty-six-point (VT-26) homesteading betting favorite out on the Vegas big board.

Or. you can wager 38:1 odds (bet $38 to win 20 nickels) as a straight-up wager goes.

  • This year 117th R.P.I. Ohio just beat us by 22-41.
  • Last year 122nd R.P.I. UConn just barely beat us by 49-56.
  • The year before 66th R.P.I. Cent.Michigan just barely beat us by 27-30.
  • This weekend V.P.I. is 70th in R.P.I. and R.P.I. is predicting a 10-37 Vah.Tech triumph.

This seems a mite wide to me, or at the very least not giving the Rhode’s Scholars their due.

VT Projected S&P+: 30th.
VT Projected S&P wins: 8.4 W’s.

(current) VT 2019 seasonal projections:

the skinny

Fourm Guide: closed until next week when Atlantic Conference Cranks up.

Splits: VT is right at ½ a yard better per attempt and per completion than U.R.I. Showcasing slightly elongated throw-points.

On the run-game end, VT again tallies just over ½ a yard better per rush than U.R.I. Although this is potentially set to change with the addition of the slicker wheels of their rushing Qb Hendon Hooker now taking the Qb1 reins.

Nevertheless, on an overall per/play basis, you asked?

U.R.I. is ramming it home at a none too shabby looking 6.13 ypp average whereas B.c.s., D-1, power-conference Vah.Tech is netting 5.2 ypp. (VT having more total plays mind you).

So there is some modicum of hope if/when coach Jimmy Fleming
can turn this one into a pinball shootout.

the call...

Then I ran into this set of numbers from some know-it-all who babbles a lot…

The Hokie O under pocketed now ex-Qb1 Ryan Willis you ask?

Well, they ran the same, exact, entire play-matrix less 1/10th of a percent! They kept their pocketed Qb all-Spread out and asked him to do thing(s) that his pedigree and 20-year’s worth of his Pro-set drop-back passer lifespan thus far could hardly play-calling afford.


Then, however -and entirely curious enough- something called the “Fu’fense” came well off of its pet 60%/40% run:pass split last weekend down @Miami and turned the wheels of the superior rushing-Qb2 loose to the tune of a virtually 70:30 split! Maybe this coach who hails from a family of Pro’ Wrassler’s is not so headlock static after, all?

So, if that rushing-heavy thrust holds course and V.P.I. runs the ball right at our 110th ranked F.B.S. or D-1aa defense this could not only be a shorter game… this could be a longer day. The worst of both worlds. i.e. leaving less game-clock while sitting U.R.I.’s nifty pitch-n-catch battery down; while simultaneously hanging a very modest Ram run-defense out to dry.

Or did that just make too much pragmatic/predictive sense?

Now, you do the maths… the Rhode not taken, indeed.

Stay “Frosty” O&M kittens.
Don’t get too, upset!

upset Index=7%


Virginia Tech=36, Rhode Island=17