#16 Virginia Tech=38, Wake Forest=17
That’s how someone described this 21 point A.c.c. road victory down at Winston-Salem in a game that saw VT chasing by a 10-zip margin with just over 21 minutes played vs. the upset minded Wake Forest Deacons on Saturday night.
As nice as this Hokie road-win was, VT left a good 14-21 points on the field this weekend in Carolina as VT came out a bit flat overall, downright nearly critically physically beat-up on defense and something less than crisp on offense to begin this contest.
Our health did not get any better on Saturday night either; although our in-game performance index slowly yet surely climbed in the right direction for most of the night, or at least for the final 40-odd minutes of scrumming vs. the Wake Forest Deacons.
Right now, to me, and this is a backwards looking departure from the standard sports writing norm, the one thing that this youngling 2011 VT football club needs is rest, not reps. That will have to wait another 15 days before we can afford to give the boys some real-live downtime and some much needed Training Room R&R after we play at Duke.
As for now, VT has another 8 quarters of what we all hope will only amount to glorified scrimmaging on tap before VT begins what Vince Lombardi once coined to be: “the BIG push” with back-to-back Thursday night dates at Georgia Tech and then home for North Carolina after that.
Right now, the Virginia Tech football team that I just saw playing on the road and spotting the Deacon’s a 10-point head start will have a tough time catching up to both Gah.Tech and to U.N.C. in consecutive weeks. That said, the Virginia Tech football team that I just saw is nowhere near its 2011 ceiling, if it can only breakthrough in terms of well-being or outright health. Sometime, anytime or in the meantime before November the tenth and our nationally televised date down in the ATL on ESPN prime-time Thursday night football gets here.
According to my calculations, that leaves the good Tech with ~25 days to get things right with the O&M world for Lombardi’s “BIG push”.
1st quarter 14:05 remaining:
Don’t know about you, though I really wanted to see the rarefied Offensive Tripping penalty on #3 for Wake vs. Fuller on this one. #3 was clearly not gonna get to the errant Price overthrow; though Fuller might have. I have to presume that the lack of offensive catchability is the inherent basis for waving this penalty off as uncatchable; as opposed to the defenders ability to get to the football and potentially make the interception. I’d love to hear if the Rulebook only recognizes catchable vs. uncatchable in offensive terms alone.
1st quarter, opening drive:
The base 4-3, then the Nickel, then back to the base 4-3 and then the seldom seen dime at the end. No wonder Bud Lite was flat to begin this contest and we had personnel substitution issues galore to begin this game.
1st quarter, 10:04 remaining:
Textbook coaching here folks; you’re a dLineman, and your guy pulls? You jump right in his hip pocket and follow him right to the play and that is exactly what L.Mady does on this one.
Wanna add a shout-out to fellow rookie Hokie dLineman Mr. Corey Marshall. Prior to Saturday night I had never noticed Marshall’s A-#1 prime asset until this contest. His reach or arm-length is nothing short of awesome! That means that Corey can get his hands on you before you can get your hands on him; and that gives Corey a very lengthy advantage indeed.
1st quarter, 6:53 remaining: (below pic)
The nearly audible “POP” you heard down at BB&T Field was not a big-league hit on this one. It was however Hosely’s left-hamstring giving way as you can very much see him come up lame down the stretch as he instinctively clutches his left-hammie with his left hand right as he tries to make the jump to light-speed. OUCH and God Bless.
1st quarter, 5:48 remaining:
If you are Mrs. Lanier watching this play; don’t. As you might wanna file a missing persons report on your boy as #34 stole him and I mean big time stole him right at the buzzer (or whistle) on this one folks. You just gotta keep you head on the proverbial swivel in football men, kinda like never flying a straight line in combat. When you stop running and the other guy has not, things end and badly for you. And on top of that #34 was rather well pleased with himself after the play on this one.
1st quarter, 4:27 remaining:
Tariq Edwards started 2011 out like a one man gangbuster that would have made Elliott Ness proud. Then, in the past 10-12 quarters of work, his play has tailed off a bit. Now you can see why … check out the new heavy wrap/brace on his damaged left-shoulder in this one. Tough to be effective when you have a shoulder injury on defense men. God Bless on that. (big PIC link)
1st quarter, 2:43 remaining:
The beat goes on and this time it is poor #75 Greg Nosal’s left-ankle that gets accidentally rolled up by #34 of Wake Forest over top of the Wilson Iso-play inside-zone pile into the right-side A-gap or 2-hole. If not for bad luck the Hokie Training Room would have no luck at all; as that BYE or OPEN week prior to Georgia Tech just can not get here soon enough. “Seventy-five” does stay in the game, and you can see him hoping on his right leg like a pogo stick after the very next play. Toughness, blood and guts this 2011 VT football squad does not want for; heath would be a welcome change of pace. (big PIC link)
2nd quarter, 14:03 remaining:
If you doubt how well xL (extra-Large or extra-Logan) is progressing, than just watch him progress through his reads and come off of his primary targer (Drager) and throw a dart on the Down-n-Out route to Boykin (off the scheming to get open shallow pick by Coale) over the right-side hashmark. Note that this very play threw the proverbial switch for L.T. and the VT offense alike. What changed? We stopped throwing to stationary targets and let our athletes do just that; out-athlete the less physically sophisticated Wake pass defenders in order to create separation or flat out get open. Try as we might, no matter how we dress it up; football still ain’t rocket-surgery folks.
2nd quarter, 13:37 remaining:
As pleasing as a 38-17 A.c.c. road win was over 4-1 Wake is, this is the second Touchdown throw we left out on the field in the initial 17 minutes of play; as this time L.T. overthrows Boykin on the Streak pattern after having overthrown D.Coale early on the medium distance Flag route. Yes, L.T.’s long ball still needs some work, though once he gets this down pat you won’t be able to stop #3 and nobody will be any happier than my boy #4 once he is give some room to breath.
2nd quarter, (time UNAVAILABLE, game-clock failure)
Observe how much more fluid L.T. moves inside the cup as he first moves the pocket to his left and back again to his right. Now observe the presence of the absence of his closed-patella knee-sleeves that he wore and that the Eye in the Sky detailed for you in the previous two weeks. Think his knees might just be feeling a bit better? Yup, me too, and it showed.
Hate to say, this as I am pirating my own half-time analysis on the TSL.com pay-MB; however, Bud might wanna run some tackling drills this week at practice; that is if he can scrape together 11 healthy bodies that are ready willing and able to do so. As of right now, I’m seeing something of a 2010 Bud Lite redux in breaking-tape. As VT is using a myriad of coverage’s, rotations, rolls and disguises in order to bend but don’t break and attempt to win the Turnover Margin battle in lieu of giving up south of ~325 per game. That’s about where Bud Lite is in its current depleted incarnation, and that would currently peg Bud Lite right at 25th or so give or take in Total Defense nation wide. (FYI: the national medium=380 yards allowed; or 60th best)
1-5 Boston College and Montel Harris’ trick knee; and Duke in any other sport than Lacrosse or men’s hoops ain’t much as opposition goes; ergo, I predict a holding pattern for the next two weeks in Total Defense for Bud Lite. However, now would be a wonderful time to get the 1’s (starters) some rest before our visit @ Gah.Tech and then back home for our game vs. U.N.C. gets here. Just like last year, Bud Lite has gotta tidy these basic entry-level fundamentals up while we still can and before it’s too late.
2nd quarter, 10:03 remaining:
Note my boy Wilson clutching his right-side liver-area after the right-side hit was delivered on the 27-screen by the mighty-mite of Wake Forest himself, one #50 Nikita Whitlock, who is a 5`10“ 259 lb. one man hustle clinic. I really liked Nikita’s level of want too, as inside of every 5`10“ 259 lb. perpetual motion Ng from Wake Forest, there is a Hokie trying to get out. (big PIC link)
I’ll tell you one of the things that is ‘rong with my boy Wilson, who seems to be missing the sixth out of his six turbo charged gears ever since our visit to E.C.U. One of the things –in addition to his 6-odd dings and dents- would be downfield blocking by the VT Wideouts. As I sure am seeing an inordinate amount of defenders come off of our Slot-Wr(s) to nab Wilson anywhere from 5-15 yards downfield right before he gets his red-line self fully revved up and wound all the way out. Note the 6:17 remaining 2-Q play where George George flattens Wilson downfield which makes the first-half count read: 21 points left out on the field. As Te blocking not named Drager is just about as suspect as Wr blocking not named Coale.
2nd quarter, 5:53 remaining: (see: above pic)
Note the LOS (line of scrimmage – black line); now note how many Hokies (orange line) are actually lined up on the line of scrimmage proper. As this sure looks like an illegal-formation thanks to Brooks who is leaning way far back in his 3-point stance and thereby ghosting the play (an obvious move to his left; in this case an open gate shield block). Even if Brooks was on the line-of-scrimmage –which he clearly is not- Tech would still have only had 6 guys on the LOS itself. I don’t know who drew this one up, though they need to read the rulebook and go back to the O&M drawing board on this one.
Little things like ^that^ sure went a long way toward stymieing a first-half that should have seen VT up by something in the neighborhood of a 33-10 margin at halftime.
2nd quarter, 5:10 remaining:
Let’s see, 219 years of Virginia Tech football … and how many VT Rb’s not named David Wilson are capable of this high-wire tip-toe sideline act? None, nil, nadda, nobody; that’s who, and if #4 needs an internship for first-summer 2012, I have three words with four syllables for him: Cirque du Soleil, or the circus of the Sun. (big PIC link)
2nd quarter, 3:42 remaining:
What in the “wide wide World of Sports” is #1 Exum doing mere inches away from the bounding oblong spheroid on an artificial surface as the visiting team playing on the road via any potential benefit of the Deacon doubt on this one? (big PIC link)
2nd quarter, 0:15 remaining:
I’m not sure if Rhodes Scholar candidate Chris Drager is a great blocking Te, nor am I sure if he is a Te with softer than soft hands. I am sure however that he is a pretty dang good blocking Te, a Te with pretty fair to middling mits and that means that #33 sure has a knack for making O’Cain and Stiney look smart in the Red Zone. Chris may not be catching a whole lotta passes overall numerically speaking; however when “thirty-three” does sang a pass it tends to be a big one (16 yard average per catch) and I for one would love to see us reward this senior who has scarified his body (A.C.L.) and always put the team first with a heady senior season TD throw in the next 6-7 games.
2nd quarter, 0:04 remaining:
Wish I had not watched every single second of the first 30 minutes of play men. If I had not, I would have avoided seeing #36 Chase Williams getting totally stolen on this VT kick-off. Yes, this was a perfectly legal good clean hit; and yes again, this is why coverage teams are known as “suicide squads” without a doubt.
Long-field Management (Lo.FM):©
|||| |||| | (1 VT TD)
|||| |||| ||||
|||| |||| (1 VT penalty, 1 TD)
|||| |||| |||| |||| (1 Wake INT)
In terms of some downright rugged looking Lo.FM analysis, neither team looks real good, do they? Does the Lo.FM predict a VT victory; yes, it does. Although it predicts a VT victory in a rather unattractive or potentially even outright fugly looking game. As VT only executed precisely two more positive Lo.FM plays on offense than Wake did; some of which was thinks to some newfangled quick-strike capability that I have detailed below. In O&M defensive terms, VT leveraged Wake into a nearly unprecedented 35 Lo.FM’s on the day. (VT had a surprising 27 Lo.FM’s–(about half of which were in the initial 20 minutes of scrimmaging mind you. The key here is that VT struggled intermediately, whereas except for one all-American hamstring going “snap”, VT really did hold Wake to a pitence of 3 points on the evening on one well earned FG making drive to open the game. (more on that below as well)
In reality, part of my usage of the term “good enough” on the subscribers message board was not so much as a not so sublte dig at Virginia Tech; as it was an intended sideswipe of home-standing Wake Forest themselves. Where was the Sasquatch sized Deacon oLine and more importantly, where was its push vs. such a beat all to hell VT front-wall, that is literally light in the seat, and as inexperienced of a front-4 as can be this side of 2003? Where was the 26th ranked Deacon stop-unit after having just allowed 473 yards on the night; 447 of which occurred during the final 37:17 of play, or basically a Deacon defense that allowed a staggering 20.56 yards per minute of Hokie time of possession in the very same final 37:17 of play!
That is just flat-out insane folks!
As you finally caught a real-live and bona fide glimpse of the quick-strike lightening capabilities that this 2011 Virginia Tech offense possesses; if/when it gets 100% in-synch and 100% on-track and 100% healthy up-front. Not since the game-breaking field-reversing days of Kevin Jones or the final season of MV1 himself (2000) have you seen such an electric O&M offensive unit. When VT throws the switch and applies voltage max and all circuits are good, VT can do a curious amount of damage . Check it out…VT scored quick as can be on the following drives:
- 7 points in 2:22 minutes
- 7 points in 2:08 minutes
- 7 points in 0:26 seconds
- 7 points in 2:24 minutes
- 7 points in 6:05 minutes
- 3 points in 4:54 minutes
Been a long damn time since any VT offense could simply roll in, drop a “do you come here often” pick-up line and go Wham, Bam, thank you Ma’am in two minutes and thirty-three seconds on average. Damn yo’, that’s faster than the proverbial 3-minute egg. Now consider that we left several other scoring plays (a maximum possibility of three) out on the field down at Wake Forest. Such does leave you wondering just how good this 2011 Virginia Tech offense can or eventually will become? It also left me wondering if such a high-throttle or pedal to the metal approach will do Bud Lite any long-term favors? That said, you take the points, always, gladly, and without being overly concerned otherwise.
On the other side of the ball we see a majorly depleted 2011 Bud Lite stop-unit that is now down no less than 5 full starters or 45% of its intended August camp based starting personnel. Such does leave you wondering just how good (or not so well) this 2011 Virginia Tech defense can or eventually will become? That said, Detrick Bonner and Tyrell Wilson truly distinguished themselves in relief of Hosely and Gayle respectively and that leaves me wondering where Bud Lite v.2o11 would have been at full-strength. Such said, until we do recover some health, this current flavor of 2011 Bud Lite has the same 2010 game opening elastic vibe to it that we saw last season. Go ahead and expect Bud Lite to surrender some 1-Q points from here on out, especially on the opening opposing offensive possession. Then go ahead and expect Bud Lite to adjust, and if need be readjust and simply out-fox the other side between the headsets. “Don’t worry, be Hokie.”