Your winning Middle Tennessee State Eye in the Sky!

Virginia Tech=35Middle Tennessee State=14

Virginia Tech football is 2-n-oh and ranked the big one-five or 15th in both national polls!

The Hokies are (still) perfected and now must sojourn 250-miles nor-by-nor-west to now face hateful archest rival (and formerly 41st or 50th ranked) west Virginia university. On Saturday afternoon at high-noon for an all-in gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Oh, wait… there Eye go again, putting the horse before the cart. As someone had better bring me back down to myopic Terra Firma so we can begin to (strategically) discuss all things 2021 Vah.Tech football in longview terms after having tactically beaten a surprisingly gamey (early-on) Middle Tennessee State over in the New River Valley last Saturday afternoon. In a contest that saw heavily favored V.P.I. scrum their way to a mere single play lead for the initial 42-minutes of play! Nonetheless, we did win and yet we did not escape sans having one superstar eaten by the injury bug. Dangnation… and even when you win— a cruel mistress this oblong spheroid indeed. 

Season 60:01 into 2021:
Just about 1 full second into the game and I finally spied my little Eye on a steal! k.Smith really stole the odd-side wedge-buster of M.T.S.U. And frankly, there were a couple of other pretty sporty steals on Special-Teams by us/VeeTee on the day.

Game Duration:
If you follow my postings on TSL’s pay-MB… we indicated to you in-game -before my love affair with the ESPN+ ” or pause button really fell me behind- that these were NOT the ‘droids we were looking for. Mid.Tenn.State brought what they physically had. #44 on O was an overinflated bowling ball of a Fb playing Hb. The Raiders D was dropping what hammers they did have to boot. And the LOS (line-of-scrimmage) play was salty indeed. (Even combative with a little dirt thrown in for seasoning at times). On top of all of that -and yes, Eye do tend to favor this side- the Refs’ (pretty much) ate their flags and: “just let ’em play.”

i.e., this is not what we needed in the 2-hole with an ugly no.3 looming…

1Q 4:34 remaining:
To mix my sporting metaphor… “Game, set, match.” That’s your worst-case scenario here… as Mid.Tenn.State was playing some New Guinea rock-a-fellow-style football and headhunting all day. BAX did pass concussion protocol, “THX” @Coach God. Tho’ and trust me here… as I’ve dealt with this colorfulness in my playing career, personally… white-bread BAX will be served up a lotta, wheat.

WHOLE training-staff is typically a (sour), clue… : (

1Q 3:15 remaining:
BEST de-cleating blitz pick-up block I’ve seen in seasons, (plural).

As our big ole six-o nearly kayoed #6 of M.T.S.U. As Dzansi ate #6 up for B, L, and D and made #6 is very own personal beeyotch!

God Bless “6“. He got up after this and some/most would not.
No joke, and guess what the M.T.S.U. blitz did after this epic of a hit?
It slowed a bit— n’est-ce pas?


Just 3-plays later… po’ #6 got stolen by the pretty dang bad-azz double-D (DeIuliis, Drake) along the Blue Raider sideline at the end of the run. As six got 6-packed mo’ than once on the day.

1Q :15 remaining:
This is ageless gangsta 1o1 here post the BAX fade-pattern TD toss.

Hope I can even get one push-in at this doods stAGE of Life!

2Q 9:25 remaining:
Here is the ugly-looking Mitched-up (accidental) leg/knee submarine play— that sourcing says has tested worse than they in-game, thought(s). St.Nikon bless! He may be out a little minute, or three.

NOT a good look… : (


Look at the contortion in his right knee/upper tibia relative to his torso. Yuck!

2Q 8:25 remaining:
Eye ain’t NO fan of using another specialist as an F.G.A./P.A.T., holder. Want one of my backup Qb’s to hold here. (As that brings the element of a pass into play). Nonetheless, Dave Concepción could not have fielded this grounder any better and this could be the VeeTee catch of the year.

All-State ‘good hands’ people‘ 1o1…

2Q 1:03 remaining:
Now… for those of you who hate Fu’ and Corny?

Grab your gun and bring in the cat.”
––Admiral Adama

Whiskey Tango Helen is, dis?!?

Yah; pretty much… as who in the “Wide Wide World of Sports” thinks a sideline (hitch) pattern is a hot look on 1st-n-goal-to-go from your very own 4 (that’s negative your side of the field territory) yard line with 6o-odd-seconds left in a single-play game?!?

LOL… I mean this is Nerf League (bleep).huh?

(tho’ at least they threw it to the short-side of the field, as the only worse call would be to (risk) chucking it to the wide or Will-side). wow!
Literally, nearly a choker as she-neck apparel goes.

3Q 11:22 remaining:
right-De Griff’ (at top of the screen) really gets roughed up here… and this one is less than artistic, even trending… sketchy. As it appears like a paw got up under poor Jaylen Griffin’s facemask (St.Helen bless) and boy did our #41 go down like a sack of potatoes. A dead sack of potatoes at that. Dang… a hard-out this medieval Gridiron metaphor indeed.

Observe as well the intensity of response… as poor Griff’ is really hitting/pounding and kicking the Worsham Field natural surface while being tended to by our training staff. This too is never a good look as this takes a lotta pain for this type of “I’m really hurt” response to leak out.

(on top of all of that… notice as well that Griff’ has had a bum left shoulder for a spell as well).
Dangnation… may St.Christopher bless.

3Q 7:52 remaining:
Brockwõrst did not have his best day sportsmanship-wise nor just plain ole game-situation-recognition-wise. As here you can see him throwing a block-n-the-back (outside the Ot-box) with a resultant play for a major (6-points) already 12+ yards downfield and well on its way to paydirt.

LOL… was #98 really a threat to tackle our #nil?

Yes, this was a chippy or even a bit biting of a scrum vs. a surprisingly physical Mid.Tenn.State football team. Nevertheless, even if this is vs. Coach Bruce’s t.Brady and the Bucs, this {sic: technically illegal} block served what utility or purpose this far behind the play?

Game Duration/3Q 6:36 remaining:
Not real sure Eye’ve ever seen this one before… tho’ for the rulebook purists in all of you… which pick do you call (“whistle”) when you run not one, not two, three, that’s (3) damn picks right beside the Umpire?!?

LOL… does a triune pick somehow bypass the strictest sense of the letter of the law?

Helluva a play, if/when you get away with it…

…after all of ^that^ and 8 other plays that I did not bother to write up in the interest of moving the old-blue-n-gold needle along to next week…

…you do gotta give the Zebras at least one 10-8 round.
They were in a word… ‘consistent’.

A Strong hit (to his stomach/wind).

As they swallowed their whistle all day long and “just let ’em play.” And honestly, you can never ask for more than that as a baller. Codification works.

Fu’rther… among left out things now included…

Strong got dinged a couple of times, tho’ he came back in after each ding (riblets and/or wind-knocked-out, again). This with Keonta Jenkins pretty hobbled (bad foot, St.Sebastin bless).

My peeps say that BAX is a “little late with the ball” at times. Meaning he is seeing/reading the play correctly; it is just that his coming correct is latent. Needs to get the rock outta there (correctly) sooner/faster more so than he lacks pure arm talent. His arm-game is okay. Not epic, tho’ not a noodle arm either if/when he finds the right guy, quicker; visually. Drake DeIuliis is literally blocking his ass off. He is (potentially) gonna approach Aunt Jemima’s status if he keeps serving these many pancakes up. Really really strong finisher of blocks in space as well. #89 is fun to watch and he is my peep’s best find in the last 3-years. Garbutt is your early-season swaggest pick for Most Improved. He’s not only playing like his hair is on fire he is playing like his butt-hair is on fire too! Shew, someone lit a real spark under him (pun intended). And #45 is mucho stronger on his run-fills/fits at the point-of-attack than ever before. (As he suffered from a lotta off-field noise pollution last year that the ‘whispers’ say really took a toll; St.Justin bless!) Along similar Te lines… Wr-blocking is trending at a several-year high so far. Maybe at an O&M Fu’ era best if this keeps up? Which is some tasty Jafar-looking edge sealing game indeed.

And… PROPS at Raiders Wr Jimmy Marshall and OLb D.Q. Thomas… if they wanna come play @Tech? We good. As Thomas had himself a Rick Razzano kinda tackling day.

Seriously and ‘wow’. DeeQ was everywhere on double-digit
solo-stops on film. Dang…

4Q 15:00 remaining:
Mercifully enough, the game-clock really rolled here, did not take much more than 30-wristwatch minutes to complete the final stanza, and (hopefully) save us/VeeTee a little wear-n-tear.

Time To Throw (TTT)©:

Virginia Tech:
Qb pressured=12
Qb hurried=2
Qb hits=18 (1 TD!)
Sacked=1 (I thought Qb-run tho’).

Qb pressured=1o
Qb hurried=3
Qb hits=12

In all candor… looks like the much-vaunted TTT metric just took its 4th L all-time, right?

Caveat is… the Mid.Tenn.State Qb1-Qb2-Qb3 conspired to rush 7 times for negative 19 in reverse mind yah. (As 57% of their scorekeeper carries were sacks). Whereas Hokie Pivots combo’ed for a triskaidekaphobia 13 carries (only one of which may have been a sack) which were good enough for gobbling up a nearly shocking +113 gained on the ground! Eye did not catch that Qb-keeper sense in-game; did you? So, therefore, the Hokie Pivots took a lotta fire going downfield in the process of amassing a much-needed 48.3% of our rushing tally and virtually 30% of our total O overall! (Including 6-points to a cherry on top of all of that). Or, in other words… bet the over on the Qb-room having to meet in the whirlpool if this keeps up. As this will have to be TTT accounted for piecemeal and yet a Fu’fense has gotta eat, right?

(i.e., where else do you yardage, turn?)
FINISH what you, start!

Qb1-Qb2-Qb3 additionally… yes, it is true… going through three Qb’s with the game still being hotly contested will throw (bad pun) an O (potentially) outta sync. Granted. No argument here.

Still yet, even with the likable non-Ft.Knox hitting 75% modest for 17 whole yards passing, and with Mr. aTm man-bun hitting 0% on o for o passing… and even with 39% of our passing attack a “Buestling Buestling” set of screens. And with even mo’ throws within a handful of yards of the LOS (line-of-scrimmage)… I  as an ex-Flanker1 my own self… I need a better throw-fit sequence than ^^^that^^^.

As it is not like we are offering up a metric ton of deep-balls that are 50-50 at best/at most. And to be candid, been a long long while (like Greenwood/Cox era) since I’ve seen throw fits this truncated or narrowed in vertical pass-point terms downfield.

As any squad with a really strong 2nd-layer (Linebacking) pass-defense or any club that is comfortable in an under-flood-zone is gonna give us @Syracuse 1st-year-Fu’, fits.

Because our Association-looking shot-chat is largely at or near the rim.
As dialing long-distance on N.b.a. 3’s just ain’t our aerial, thing.

(o) (o)

If there is such a thing as tying for the silver-medal or 2nd-place in the tackling lead, and yet play a quiet game or a run-over game… DAX and Tis’ are surely it respectively.

DAX had two nice Solo stops and the rest was a little generous in terms of ‘contact made’ type of grading. Tis -sadly- got pancaked 4-times that I saw alone, and yet he two (foreshadowing intended) netted 2 fine Solo halts his ownself, and two other solo-tackles after that. However, he was also sporting a little bit of a gut. As you could visibly see him gassing at the end of longer timelier M.T.S.U. drives; (bent over gasping for air). Now you know why my peeps and I are so ‘needs to gain weight’ Ken Oxendine effect recalcitrant.

IF, you are a true armchair tape-breaking savant… your response to my bar-chart would be, what(s)?

The 1Q miss tac’ was bogus (on DAX)?

Could be… it was a near ankle-biting thing. Tough one to grade; right on the fence…

The even mo’ spurious thingy is… 3 of the 4 3rd-Q tackling misses were all on one broken field play. Breaks, angles, Coach Euclidean… all happen all at once like just like dat. Tho’ this is an O&M red-letter, ribbon tackling day!

Seriously… j.Ham’s stop-unit went Paul Bunyan and brought the at least get ’em in the dirt, wood. MIGHT, just be our best tacking day in Eye in the Sky history, ever. All-time! As this was some Running-Blacks (secondary self-name) and George DelRicco stopping— wow/dang, impressed!

(as this is the 1st-best per play tackling marker, ever❗️)

Longfield Management (Lo.FM)©:

Virginia Tech:
positive: |||| |||| || (2 MTSU penalties)
Swiss (neutral): | (1 MTSU penalty)
negative: |||| |

positive: |||| |||| (1 VT flag)
Swiss (neutral): |||| (1 fumble)
negative: |||| |||| || (2 MTSU penalties, 1 INT!)

The Lo.FM stands up a bit better to 1st, 2nd, middle and final glance scrutiny than the TTT vital did.

As M.T.S.U. was their own worst self-inflicted enemy at times and Fu’ and Corny did actually keep things on chain-gang schedule better after intermission when the Vice Squad slowly began to wear all things Blue Raider upfront, down.

The Hokies at least managed to avoid soiling the sheets when chasing the sticks. BAX managed to make three different sharp-looking escaping runs that tallied nice sized (+) or positive Lo.FM’s and hopefully the truly BIG positive play Lo.FM’s will eventually upperclassman Qb1, come.


Fu’, Corny, and subsequently the Fu’fense itself are nothing if not fast-starters; most weeks.

As they got it throw-fits cranking good-n-hard early-on, again.

1stQ metrics:

Still yet, the Game of Life -the same as the game of football- is not about where you start— it is however about where you, finish.

And as B.Patterson has pointed out… Fu’ and Corny appear to run outta script itself at times.
Making them better 40-yard dash guys than 100m dudes.

(o) (o)

On the other side… O&M eggs and j.Ham did slowly rachet up the defensive vice per massive situational substitution match-up terms. (This will get us a 12-men on the field flag at some point, however). They -to no blame of their own- were also beneficiaries of several R.P.O. misreads and several outright throw-point misses. As {sic: ad} Hockman had an uneven day as a Hockman family tree member, or a messy day as an outside-in non-nepotistic analyst. To the point that it almost had me wondering in-loud if he was a big dinged-up or had some nagging hurt that was lowering his potential A-game?

(That, or he is serially o-ver-ra-ted, by family-members and by analysts alike).

If you are a game-tape savant here as well… what did you see on-trend?

We saw our guy’s muck around with identification, pick-ups, reads, or just plain outnumbered Gap-security early on. Did not see too many guys getting pwned (Moore did once or twice, tho’ he’s in his rookie season of voting and of football gaming alike).

What we did see however were two critical things that really solid oLines tend to do really well…

  1. 1st up, Coach Vice and Co. got all these hard-to-read tells tagged and bagged a bit more as the game wore along. As M.T.S.U. does some nearly wild -if not exotic- blitz package looks that took a bit for us to unpack. (Or 1Q to 2Q’s give/take).
  2. 2nd up, they slowly yet surely wrested control of the LOS (line-of-scrimmage) away from a pretty dang fitful -to their credit- M.T.S.U. forward-7. Yes, the big ole lynchpin hybrid Ng/Dt getting hurt prolly did us no small favors on run-fits you will correctly point out (St.Culbreth bless). Granted. Tho’ this Vice Squad oLine started to assert themselves a bit mo’ as well. And that’s (hopefully) not only a sign of growing Top-9 or so depth; hopefully, it is a sign of some prospering S&C or blocking fitness/wellness to boot. i.e., we physically wore them down… not the other way around.

The most important takeaway from Middle Tennessee State is, what?

View Results

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the takeaway

🏈 👁️.Q. Award Winner:

Back-up or Fs2 and Vandy transfer: Tae Daley.
Who basically did not appear on tape at all.
Meaning unlike @U.n.c. last year, you
never once saw Tae get spayed.

2 tackles, 1 pass broken-up, and 0 yucked it up gaffs
really ain’t the worst look. Not at all.


xxx‘s & ooo‘s

Getting both KO-returns and Punt-returns St.Lazarus’ed and “back to life” is just a shiny look. It could very well prove to be a terminal outcome determining look before 2021 is all said and done too. As a short-field, FG-make or housing a full 6 could easily decide at least one game not named Richmond. Possibly more than that.

VT 168 return yards >>> M.T.S.U. 54

formulae football

Seven, that’s (7) different ball-carriers -slowly yet surely- churning out a bicentennial breaking 224 rushing and those seven all averaged 5.7 ypc or better. (or a 1st down every two totes).
This does not suck and is a pretty sporting calculus
for VicTory itself.

Additionally, M.T.S.U. only began one-possession beyond their own 25-yard line!
Can you say… total “field-position” killers? wow!
(And it was only on their own 40).
PROPS @Shibest!!!

VeeTee on the other hand enjoyed the luxury of beginning nearly 40% of their drives in very good field position and three of these were in positive field position or M.T.S.U. territory outright!
(can you say: “play-action” one of these on 1st-down and take at least one BIG play shot?)

That being squarely struck, only one, that’s (1) pass ≥25 yards may beat nobody directional State, granted. Tho’ I’d be pretty tempted to wager a U. S. Grant (fiddy) that it won’t
be beating you know… w.v.w.ho.

The Rest of the Story...

Notice from the TTT and Lo.FM metrics above… we only outgained the 113th pre-season ESPN ranked team by just south of 4o-yards on the day.

This after being outgained by the No.9 ranked team by virtually 70-yards on the night.

Do you see a trend here sports fans?

As for me and my peeps?

What we do not see is a whole lotta 2021... headroom.

Oh, wait, Eye meant: “me and my peeps and none other than Coach-Fu'”. Who basically admitted such here in a very unusually candid (or self-protecting), moment…

I don’t know that we are the team that can just blow the doors off people, that’s kind of not how we are built right now.” —Coach Fu’.

Now, what we do see -and this is actually to their credit- what we do see is a team that is already playing pretty close to ceiling football. And do not die of Virginia Tech upper-quad power-plant shock if that is code for doing a bit of Coaching Staff roofing on the side in their spare time.

Or, ceiling?

Or in other words… and even though this was not our 2021 A-game-punch, our margin of error is very very very narrow. As this game of inches will best be measured in 2021, centimeters; or, less.

Because Fu’ and Co. had serially mind the O&M store on the following…

  • 6th best in penalty yards!!! (3-cheers, as we cannot afford 1′ in a tight game).
  • 23rd best in all-important Turnover Margin. (Again, it ain’t Christmas, better to receive than to give here).
  • 9th best in Punt Returns and 11th best in KO-returns… (awesome! Did Eye mention our stellar return-games, yet?)
  • 24th best in Punting overall and 39th best in KO return defense.
  • All crowned by a juicy 9th best in opposing Qb’s sacked and 11th best in TFL (tackles for a loss) inflicted.
  • (And ALL of that reads smart enough, right?)

    It ain’t “smoke-n-mirrors” folks, it is ^^^

^^^that^^^ is precisely and entirely what is backing, or should I type: “supporting” the:

The 97th best offense.

The 69th best defense.

The 106th best passing attack.

And the 92nd best pass defense.

Or to present it in an equational form…

97th O➕69th D ≥  .5oo   97th O➕69th D

Meaning: R.A.T.T. …just how often does that team finish greater than 6-6?
(When both total O and D team metrics are south of average,
and one of them is D+ caliber)

•••  ——— •••  

Yes, our run-fits are relatively fit to lack Rb star-power by-the-bye.

Tho' that won't cardiac kid too many contests when we have to... chase!

So, in final words… Fu’ and Company MUST, absolutely must, remain within game-manager type of scoreboard striking distance for the duration of 2021, (or for this side of Richmond).

As the Fu’fense, in particular, lacks the burst, the twitch, the leverage, and the kinetic glamour to properly manage the 2021 portfolio any other way.

Because as you can see… we are getting or netting a lotta yards/field-position in very non-traditional or unorthodox, ways(s) so far not named: ∑ or Total O.

Which is not “smoke-n-mirrors” as others in the O&M 4th-Estate have derogatorily deigned to call it.
It is, however, carpentry. Whether it is a glass ceiling or “the roof, the roof, the roof
is on fire“… is up to you to decide.




Virginia Tech=35, Middle Tennessee State=14




6 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I really enjoy reading your write ups. You put a lot of thought and time in your writings. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Catbird132!

      They DO cover the most ground of any…
      …X’s/O’s, chemistry/lockeroom ethos, baller entertainment/humor, match-ups, and Longview strategic looks.

      “Thanks” @Coach God and @Prof God!!!
      (they are an amalgam of Both/Each)


  2. Thanks for,rhe article. Defense looks like it is BAK. Hoping that the offense can hit some
    throws downfield,. At some point, we will need to see the new and improved BB. And his receivers will need to,learn how to get open without schemes. Someone os,foing to have to fill Mitchell’s role, and at least be a decoy. BB may have to get his run on this week to be the toothless wonders

    1. BAX will have to run-max’ this week.
      Taking the seatbelt off.
      He may need close
      to 100 to win.

      Te blocking will be better now, ditto run-blocking overall– krazy as that sans Te1 seems.


  3. I still think our Offense can produce more points and yards in chunks than we have shown. I am not sure that we are designed to come from behind and pass every down (a skill that usually helps you steal a win). This team is really just like a lot of Beamer years where we never dominate but still win the division. Look at the 2011 season – not too many blowouts on that year but 11 -1 regular season. Hope its a year like that. Pitt, Miami, UVA look to be the best team left on the ACC slate. That isn’t exactly murderers row.

    1. It kinda is a lowercase Beamer growing era team.
      Eye to see the similarities.

      And who knows… …as one could argue Fu’ and Co. are due for some good breaks
      that made just nip a close contest or two… maybe.


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