VT Season Game-by-Game Predictions by College Football News

A pretty rosy prediction from Pete Fiutak at College Football News. I'd have to say that I would agree with him on his 10-2 prediction, while I think 9-3 might be more likely. Clemson and Miami will be our two toughest tests talent wise but I think we end up 10-2 or 9-3 with a win against either Clem. or Mia. and a loss or two against a team that we should beat (ala Cuse or GT).


[Mod Edit: Update link to original article.]

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Paging Fifth Fuller....12-0 predictions en route

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

and horse's "10" ad nauseum

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I can't find the sesame street image I used to use. Maybe it got taken down.

I think 10-2 is perfectly reasonable.

On an unrelated note, I feel like you could do a "Caption This" for the Bronco picture:

"That brochure they gave me showed a lot more fans in Scott Stadium. I wonder how hard it would be to get out of my contract..."

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I think we can easily beat Miami...but who knows I heard the U is back...agian

"Uhh.. I think I just sharted. Yep, I sharted. Think anyone will notice? Crap, Crap, Crap. No, no one will notice. It's a home game. There's no one here."

Uhh.. I think I just sharted. Yep, I sharted. Think anyone will notice? Crap, Crap, Crap.

I like the "no one will notice, so I'll do it three more times."

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

With so many L's, at first glance it looked like there was an L next to LOLUVA's Open Date......makes sense to me, dawg!!

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates


"The Hokies are in town. They brought...what's the word...fans."

Wow, what a slideshow. The perfect medium for getting your point across with absolutely no analysis whatsoever

Seems legit!

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

I'll gladly be wrong, but there could easily be a slip up against Pitt, Duke, GT, or UNC.

I'm thinking 9-3

The @ Miami, @ GT, vs. Pitt stretch is just tough. All three of those games standing along would be easy to screw up. Playing them consecutively makes me even more worried. Going 2-1 there would be great, 3-0 would be special.

Please let me get the first Fvck Narduzzi in on this thread...

Pitt is going to take a step back this year since Canada is now at LSU. Not sure who they got to run that offense now.


Looking at the season.

A win over WVU and go ahead and plan for GameDay to be on campus for the Clemson game in a battle of 2 Top 15 ACC teams. If we somehow knock off the Tigers, holy shit look out.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

If we somehow knock off the Tigers, holy shit look out

Kent State can say this in July also.

Leonard. Duh.

True, but VT has a better chance of actually doing it.

Tiggers have to beat Auburn and Louisville before they play us, if Clemson's not undefeated, no game day for us.

Fortunately, the rest of the schedule that weekend looks pretty bleak. The other comparable match ups are Oregon/Cal, SCAR/TA&M, Tenn/UGA, Colorado/UCLA and Ole Miss/Bama - none of these games are guaranteed to have two good teams.

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Bama is playing LSU at home this year, so ESPN probably has that pencilled in for later in the season. Besides, they seem to go to Bama once or twice a year.

There's no way those west coast matchups get GameDay. Based on schedules I'd say Ole Miss @ Bama is the only game more likely to get it

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

If Oregon is undefeated and Cal has wins over UNC, Ole Miss and USC, (unlikely, I know) Gameday will definitely go there. If UCLA beats Stanford and TA&M, and Colorado beats Washington (more likely than the previous scenario, but still unlikely) they could also get gameday.

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I think you proved my point by outlining how unlikely those scenarios are. The over/under on wins for Cal is set at 3.5. UCLA is 6.5 and Colorado is 7.5. There's not a lot of excitement or expectations for those teams.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Not now, with the Freeze debacle. I think you can safely remove that game from GameDay contention.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

I think our season can be boiled down to the @ Miami, @ GT, vs. Pitt stretch. That should be what decides our Coastal fate.

10-2 seems very doable, 11-1 seems like a reasonable ceiling to put on this team, and 7-5 seems like worst case scenario.

All that said, I think we lose to Clemson, one of either Miami, GT, or Pitt, and a random "other" game (WVU, ECU, or go 1-2 in that stretch I mentioned previously). So put me down for a 9-3 prediction.

With a bowl game win, starting the 10 win season streak once again.

Honestly, undefeated in Charlotte is a reasonable ceiling for this team. Not that it is at all likely, but my argument is that, if we can get through Clemson, unscathed, it shows we're playing at a very high level this year, and we should run the table. Most realistic scenario is that we drop that one and at least one more, but I still give us a legit chance of pulling off that upset, especially in Lane in what would be a primetime GameDay experience.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I hear ya and I agree that every game on the schedule is winnable. I just don't think this team has that experience to go through the schedule unscathed. Even if we get through Clemson at 5-0 I still think it'd be a huge ask to go through our Coastal schedule without dropping one.

So yeah....12-0 is theoretically possible, but I think some inexperience makes it a bit unreasonable, even for a ceiling.

If both teams can make be 4-0 going into that game, children should be required to wear earplugs inside the stadium. Lane will be deafening.

“Stats are for losers.” -Mel Kiper Jr.

You're right about that, brother. That will easily be the biggest regular season game to date for the CJF regime.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

10-2 is a prediction I can easily live with and would be GREAT for the momentum of the program and recruiting.

I can easily see 10-2 but with unexpected losses, like beating Clemson but losing to Pitt & ECU, or beating WVU & Miami but losing to UNC (shudder) and GT (double shudder). I've seen too many of our teams win the ones we weren't supposed to and lose the ones we were.

edit: woof need more caffeine

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

At this point, I wouldn't even bat an eye at a baffling GT loss.

I say that every single season

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Sadly, we've been conditioned through the years to not bat an eye at that.

Teams we should beat:

50/50 Games:

Team we will probably lose:

IMHO I think we will go as bad as 8-4 or as good as 10-2. Clemson has been recruiting way to well to be "rebuilding" so I think we lose to them and I think in the 50/50 games, we could easily lose up to 3 of those.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Don't sleep on Duke

"Everything is either the best thing ever or the worst thing ever." - Fuente

Jones started to settle in pretty nicely towards the end of the year.

that's why I said "should" not "will"

I know any team on that "should" list can beat us outside of Delaware and ODU, but it all reality, we should beat those teams.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I think will should only be Delaware. ODU was a 10-win team last year and even though they aren't power 5 they could give us a sneaky good game if we come out flat like we did a couple of times last year. Hopefully we can wipe them off the field though.

JMU happened, I get it... but I think there is a snowballs chance in hell that ODU wins they game. It can be a 1 point win or a 100 point win, VT should win no matter what

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Delaware, ECU, ODU, BC, UVA are "cannot lose" type of games. Those teams are all significantly inferior this year. Keeping the Fuente train moving must absolutely include regularly beating these teams with relative ease.

UNC is not a 50/50 game. They lost their QB, top 3 receivers, and top 2 running backs on offense. If you followed the returning starters numbers over the years you could see this coming. They are in full on rebuild mode.

It's Time to go to Work

Not to mention a new coordinator for a defense that was absolutely awful against the run, mediocre at best overall last year.

Oh and we get them at home after a bye. Though to be fair they play LOLUVA the previous week so that is almost like having a bye too.

They had one interception last year AS A TEAM!

It's Time to go to Work

Was thinking the same. Swap Duke and UNC

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I would still not put them as a shoe in game or under the "should" list. They have recruited well enough where they have enough talent to field a decent team.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

If you can't label the game against UNC, in Lane Stadium, as a should win then putting anyone other than Delaware as a should win is a joke. UNC is looking at 5th or 6th in the Coastal this year and if the Hokies are a real threat to repeat as Division Champions they should roll.

It's Time to go to Work

because UNC still has recruited pretty well and VT has been know to play down to their opponent. Yes, anyone with a half of brain knows Delaware should be as close to a definite win, but I would also reference JMU who many said they exact same thing.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Playing down to your opponent literally means you are not on equal footing therefore giving the game "should win" status. I also don't understand the point in referencing a fluke loss from 7 years ago.

It's Time to go to Work

When writing the list, I saw teams under the should list would be a big disappointment if we lost to them. If we lost to UNC, I wouldn't be nearly as disappointed, still disappointed but not as much as the teams listed as should wins.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Okay I definitely see where you are coming from with that. Personally I would be less disappointed if we lost to Duke this year than to UNC just because the Duke QB looked fairly impressive last year.

It's Time to go to Work

I don't know about Delaware's returning talent, but ODU scares me, kinda like JMU around the time they beat us. I just hope we have our guard up for ALL games, and do not take ANYONE lightly. If CJF has our guys hungry and ready for every game, we'll be able to meet these expectations IMHO, especially if we can jell at the QB position.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

UNC is openly saying in their press tour that they are going to have to win with their defense this year. They had the 45th overall defense last year and lost their DC this year.

Not exactly an ideal situation for them.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I'm glad for a decent opponent on the first game. It'll be easier to see at least a benchmark for the season rather than starting off with W&M or Delaware.

On a side note I have no clue about our offense, just like everybody else. Defense will keep us in the tough ones though. Until I see what we trot out against WVU, I'll stick with the EnFuente we trust...

I'm constantly trying to tame my eternal optimism.

"Clemson and Miami will be our two toughest tests talent wise but I think we end up 10-2 or 9-3 with a win against either Clem. or Mia. and a loss or two against a team that we should beat (ala Cuse or GT)."

I cringe at the last part, but deep down I think that's true.

If it's any consolation we're 4-0 against "USA Today" photos, close behind is 247Sports at 4-1. "Getty" should give us some concern at 1-1. Of course we had a dominating performance against a stock Delaware U photo and finished 1-0.
Looks like 10-2 is definitely doable.

Realistically 10-2 isn't a stretch. There were a lot of question marks last year, not as many offensively, but I can see it happening. Honestly I'd consider 9 wins a successful season.


If we go 5-0, look out!

Year 3 is coming up!

Even if we do go 5-0, I don't think we need to "look out" for anything and keep the expectations under control even at that point as we have shown time after time to lose games we shouldn't

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I keep trying to tell myself that we're not under Frank anymore and that we shouldn't hold ourselves to that sentiment any longer. Even looking bad last year at Syracuse and Georgia Tech, we were in our first year under Fuente's system..so I'm giving him the benefit of a doubt.

I agree giving him the benefit of the doubt is fair but in all reality, its very hard to go through the season (including conference championships) undefeated or with 1 loss. Without doing any research, I am willing to bet there are less than 10 teams, maybe even closer to 5, that have 1 or 0 losses going into their bowl games.

I guess its the realist in me saying if we go 5-0 to start the season, it still wouldn't surprise me if we ended up 8-4 or 9-3 with the teams we play in the back end of the schedule who we have slipped up in a game we should have won, gives us a hard time (Pitt), or just a team where either team doesn't really rip off 5+ straight wins against the other.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Without doing any research, I am willing to bet there are less than 10 teams, maybe even closer to 5, that have 1 or 0 losses going into their bowl games.

Backing you up with the research...just looking at the final CFP rankings, so maybe there's some G5 teams with only 1 loss left off.

2016: 2 undefeated teams, 3 one loss teams (the four playoff teams plus Western Michigan)
2015: 1 undefeated team, 6 one loss teams (the four playoff teams plus Iowa, Ohio State, and Houston)
2014: 1 undefeated team, 5 one loss teams (the four playoff teams plus TCU and Baylor)

leg for the research... thanks for doing that and it looks like I was pretty close to my guess. And yes, like you mentioned, I was mainly focusing on P5 teams.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

That sentiment applies to every team in the country, save for MAYBE Bama. We should stop acting like occasionally losing big games or games we shouldn't is some VT specific failing, it happens to all teams

Did anyone else see how LOLUVA's projected record is so bad, the writer hyperlinked a preview of the good guys instead? BOOM!

Let's Go


We might beat UVA by 100 this year, look at their schedule before us, AT Pitt, GT, AT Louisville, AT Miami, then five days rest before we get ahold of them. Yeeesh.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

As mentioned in another thread, doesn't Vegas have LOLUVA winning 5 games next year!?
Anybody want to make some easy money with me!

"When you're green, you're growing. When you're ripe, you rot." -Ray Kroc

If I was going to be in Vegas any time this summer I'd put a couple hundred bucks on that. Going back in December, would make for a nice gambling slush fund for new years.

I've been cutting back on the drinking.

Is BC at UVA the opposite of the ACCCG?

Looking like the ACC pillowfight of the year.

UVa... because the FCS needs a gimme win, too

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I heard North Dakota State refused to schedule LOLUVa because they thought it would hurt their strength of schedule...

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2015 FCS semi - NDSU over Richmond, 33-7
2016 opening week - Richmond over UVA 37-20

Yes, transitive property checks out.

I want to believe, and I think it's possible, but 10 wins is a somewhat rosy prediction. I think we're the best team on our schedule aside from Clemson, so with that and the random upset, sure 10 wins is reasonable. But also, I don't think we know enough about this team to say that 3-0 is the expected result against the likes of Miami, Pitt, and GT.

Personally, if we can just repeat last year's results (sneak 10 wins with a bowl victory) that gives me something to be excited about in what should be a more developed team next year.

More developed offensively. Unless Coach Wiles finds some solid backups to rotate through on the DLine, the losses could mount quickly on Bud's D.

“I remember Lee Corso's car didn't get out of the parking lot.” -cFB

Ground Control to Major Tom...

Most new coaches who inherit a team tend to slump their sophomore year. It just happens.
The Hokies are going to start a QB that's never played a college down at game speed.
Isiah Ford and Bucky Hodges are gone. (I think we're really going to see how important those guys were last year, this year.)
No. Sam. Rogers. That will hurt.
TE is pretty much up in the air.
Still not sure who can step up and carry the ball more than a few times.
Not much Charlie Wiles-getting-a-good-night's-rest depth on the D line.
See above at linebacker.

On the bright side... Joey Slye, D-Block, and Brad Cornelsen.

I like the Hokies at 7-5, 8-4 this year. I think the defense will be alright. However, I don't think the offense is going to have enough weapons to shoot it out when it comes down to that. This team is not going to be able to spot a Notre Dame, or an Arkansas 24 pts before deciding to play ball.

Leonard. Duh.

+1. I'm expecting the offense to struggle at the start of the season but pick it up towards the end. I'm expecting the opposite trend for the defense - our starters are all studs, but we lack depth in too many key positions. At least 2 starters (probably more) are going to get hurt/injured, and either sit out multiple games or play at a lower level. I just hope that the offense can figure it out before depth starts to bite us on the defensive side.

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One thing I will say about the QB situation is that I think everyone is underestimating Josh Jackson. I realize he's never played, there's gunna be a learning curve, he doesn't have Bucky or Ford to throw to, etc. But I think he's gunna surprise a lot of people this year with his passing ability and decision making. I don't expect him to have as good a first season as Jerod did, especially on the ground, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happened.

Jerod had a monster year. Especially from our point of view, having not seen an offense like that in Blacksburg before.

However, when I rewatched our games, even the ones where we dominated, Jerod left a lot more plays out there than I expected. That's not a knock on him, trust me. But I don't think Jackson/whoever starts will have to be otherworldly to follow his lead.

We lost a little over half of our receiving production so that's obviously a concern, but I also think we might have a little more talent waiting in the wings (especially in terms of fit for the offense) than we're used to here.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Exactly what I'm saying. I think Jackson is capable of making some of the reads/deep throws Jerod missed, and having a pretty good year. I'm right there with you not trying to knock Jerod in any way, just that I think Jackson is capable of putting up a similarly impressive season despite his lack of experience. To go along with what you said about talent waiting in the receivers this year, I'm excited about Caleb Farley. He's a legit threat to burn defenses with speed, something I don't think we had a ton of last year.

What amazed me was how many plays the receiving corp left on the field.

That's true too. My main takeaway from watching last years offense was that it could be so much better, which is an incredible realization.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I agree. I remember people going nuts over Jackson after his first spring game where he played well. There was also some optimism about his future when he was listed as a competitor for the starting job last year (that may have been just to give Jerod some extra incentive).

The kid is talented, has been in the system for a little while now, and folks are knocking him because he hasn't played in a game yet. I really do think he'll be fine. I also think the young WRs will step up and be productive.

If they bring Jackson along slowly (or whoever ends up with the starting job), as I would expect, I think he could be a real force for us by season's end, barring injury.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

Most new coaches who inherit a team tend to slump their sophomore year. It just happens.

Where are you getting this? Typically year 1 is a bit of a slump and year 2 shows continue progress, with 3/4 being the breakthrough.


Second- and third-year coaches, however, thrived. Fifteen second-year coaches exceeded their projected rankings by an average of 12.2 spots; sixteen third-year coaches overachieved by an average of 10.8.

You're not wrong. But many of those points Leonard makes about a new QB, loss of big receivers, no stable run game, etc. are all valid. A lot of guys need to step up this year for the Hokies to win the Coastal. It's doable but it's by no means a certainty.

It's easy to get caught up in the hype from last year. But you are basically listing all my concerns. I still think this team is talented and will be fine, but to expect 10 wins is asking an awful lot given all the question marks we still have. Undoubtedly some of the questions you've listed will have pleasant surprises while others will disappoint.

That WVU game is gonna tell us little to nothing, largely because WVU is a question mark as well.

The biggest thing I hope to see from the WVU game is how our OL holds up against a completely new and inexperienced WVU front. If we can't get some push against them, I will be disappointed.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I'm glad we're playing WVU and not William & Mary. Despite the question marks, WVU looks to be an average team. If we can put together a decent game and follow it up with blow outs against UDel, Eastern Carolina, and ODU, then I will be riding high for Clemson.

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Oh if we're 4-0 going into Clemson I fully expect TKP to be, as the kids would say, "lit" that week. And trust me when I say I will be one of the one's contributing to that litness. I don't mind playing WVU week one, it's just that nobody knows if they are a Big 12 contender or if they'll be struggling to make a bowl this year.

You list some valid concerns. However, I will say that our offense last year was not the Fuente offense of Memphis.

Last year's offense was a variation of that to fit the unique skill sets of Evans-Ford-Hodges. Ford and Hodges were possession receivers. Despite being small and not having elite quickness, Ford was excellent at creating separation. Hodges was very fast for his size but did not have elite speed or quickness. To his credit, Evans did a nice job of feeding Ford and Hodges the ball, but the combination of his throws and their talents did not create much YAC.

The lone bright spot for YAC last year was Phillips. If he can continue that as WR1, we may have the right talents at QB to distribute the ball in space to shifty/fast WRs who can make something happen after the catch. I know we are thin and young at WR but we have much more overall talent there than Memphis did when they ranked 18th in passing yards per game, 11th and points per game, amassing 485 yards/game.

I think 2017 O has the skillset for precision throws/YAC that 2016 O did not have, so I predict we not only do not take a step back, but that we will actually improve upon last year's #s.

Good post.

I am optimistic about the offense this year. Don't get me wrong, we would be a contender if Evans, Ford, and Hodges all returned, but I think we'll be ok. I think Jackson could be a Bryan Randall type of player and I really think that the WRs will step up. It sounds like the coaches are really high on Patterson and Kumah had a good spring. Add Farley, the transfer from Ohio State, and Carroll and Pimpleton in the slot and I think this team could do some damage.

I actually think we'll have more depth at WR this year than last year.

I like the Jackson to Bryan Randall comparison. If he pans out to play like Randall did, we'll be a force on offense. I truly think Randall's skill set was underrated because he was not extremely flashy, but he seemed to do everything well enough to win, and played the position under great control, like a coach on the field. Jackson is the son of a long-time coach, so I can see that comparison as being legit.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

CJ Carroll might deserve an honorable mention for YAC

Was the TE comment /s? Fuente's system doesn't utilize the traditional TE. And we return Chris Cunningham who scored 4 TDs on 6 catches. He's a proven red zone threat who could expand into a bigger role. The RB situation isn't any worse than last year. I feel like Peoples can fill the Sam Rogers role pretty well. WR will be interesting but we still have Cam, who came into his own last year, and lots of young talent that will compete to see the field. Recall both Ford and Phillips started as freshman and while we've struggled to find consistency behind them it's clearly not impossible to find guys who can play early on. I trust that Fuente can identify those types of players and put them in a position to contribute.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I think one guy that will be surprisingly effective this year is Dalton Keene, his HS tape is legit, and the kid has good measurables. I'm excited to see him fill the H back role. We also have Smash and Dash, aka Peoples and McMillian, which I think will surprise everyone with a good year on the ground.

loluva is so bad they put Wake Forest as last place in the Coastal and the Atlantic and just left loluva off completely.

I think GT will be really tough this year. They're returning a lot, and we play them on the road the week after playing Miami on the road. Back to back road games + triple option is not fun.

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I'd say Justin Thomas leaving would be a big problem for them against VT, but their backup led them to a win last year. Not feeling great about that one.

Not even their QB position, but they're returning most of their OL, 4 receivers (Okay, I know that doesn't really matter) and (I think) most of their backs. Their also returning a bunch on Defense.

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Let's Settle with this as a counterpoint

Let's Go


NC State will beat Louisville and Clemson, but lose to BC? Like to get the writer to put some money on that one.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own


There is an awful lot of love for an NC State team that hasn't had a winning conference record under their current coach.

It's Time to go to Work

But they return so many pieces and have been competitive in every game they've played for 3 years. Expecting the experience to tell, and get them over the hump is not a stretch at all.

“I remember Lee Corso's car didn't get out of the parking lot.” -cFB

I'll give you this, if they are ever going to be a successful team under that coach and not just a perennial 2nd tier bowl team this year is when they will show it.

It's Time to go to Work

The problem is they have to play Louisville, FSU, and Clemson every year. If NC State was in the Coastal their W-L number may look a lot different. They're a good team and nobody on their schedule should take them lightly.

They have never done better than 3-5 in conference in a division where they play Syracuse, Boston College, and Wake every year. They have been a mediocre team up to this point. If they want to pass that conference win total it will have to be this year.

It's Time to go to Work

Again, playing FSU and Clemson every year is a guaranteed 2 losses for them usually. I'm not saying they're world beaters. They're just better than their record indicates.

I thought NCSU had a power over FSU much like LOLUVA over Miami?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

NCSU did sort of have the ability to mess with F$U when they had this goofball. I think he brought a little seminole insight to the pack but it was short lived. Wins over the Noles in 01, 02, 05, 06, under Amato and then '10 and '12 under O'Brien. None for Doeren.

He was a clown but NCSU had some of the best defenses in the Country when he was there if I recall correctly.

Chuck, that old barrell chested dude lol forgot all about him

“Stats are for losers.” -Mel Kiper Jr.

I assumed he'd be retired and living in some geriatric Florida swinger's community, but he apparently is coaching defense at Akron under HC Terry Bowden.

Anytime I see Amatos name I can't help but think of this video. Throwback to my student days


They haven't beaten a good team under Dave Doeren. The best team they have beaten was last year's UNC team that finished 8-5. In the same year they got their best win in four years they also managed to lose to East Carolina and Boston College.

It's Time to go to Work

Ahem...Eastern Carolina.

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I come from a huge NC State family, my dad went there and I live in the area. Dave Doeren is NOT GOOD. Many of the games they have lost have been a direct reflection of the calls he made ie ECU last year. I do not see them making a splash this year. Could be wrong though.

Again, playing FSU and Clemson every year is a guaranteed 2 losses for them usually. I'm not saying they're world beaters. They're just better than their record indicates.

But with WF, BC, and Syracuse, they should be looking at 3-2 to start with (even though they're 2-2 against BC in the last four years). That leaves Louisville, UNC, and the rotating Coastal team. They should be able to win some of those toss ups if they really were that good. Plus, it seems like they get up for the first three quarters of the FSU game each year, but can't pull out the win.

As for what their W-L would look like in the Coastal, NC State is 0-4 against the rotating Coastal teams under Doeren. (Duke, GT, VT, and Miami in that order.) They're 2-2 against UNC (away team always wins). This year they are at Pitt, so I guess 2018 will be their year when they finally get UVA.

Three of VT's ten wins last year were by three points (Pitt, Duke, Notre Dame), they dug a SERIOUS hole for themselves in the Arkansas bowl game, and lost a very winnable game vs Tennessee.

This year's team will have a lot to prove, and some pretty stiff competition vs Miami, Pitt, and GT.

They better focus on not turning the ball over if they want 10 wins this year.

better focus on not turning the ball over

...where's the boxing glove on a stick when you need it?!?!


I kinda look at it the other way, Virginia Tech ranked 71st in Turnover Margin and 68th in yards per play. The offense was turnover prone and wasn't explosive, yet still finished with 10 wins. A new head coach brings in a new offensive system and new offensive staff and the team managed to be productive enough to win close football games. Once this team starts eliminating the inherent inefficiencies related to a new offensive system, I can't help but think it's offensive numbers will improve... unless the talent drop off is truly that large. I don't think it is, but I could be wrong.

If the team continues to handcuff itself by turning the ball over then they won't sniff 10 wins. If they figure that out, it will be a fun season.

If we can't run the ball effectively with our running backs, we will be fortunate to win 9 games. We never really saw what McClease can do so he is a wild card in my mind. Peoples is a grind it out type runner which to me is what we need to do more of but Fuenelson doesn't seem to like that style of play calling.

Rb's effective (OL wil dictate) translates to 9 wins in my opinion.

Very good point.

So... I-formation a la 1999?

Let's Go


9-3 and I'm happy. 10-2 and I'm ecstatic.

7-5 and I am happy, anything better and I am overjoyed. 12-0 and I probably lose my mind.

I think 7-5 would be pushing it for me. That to me means we only won 1-2 games against teams who are expected to be competitive all season. Not saying I'm looking past them, but it'd be upsetting to lose to any of ODU, Delaware, ECU, UVA, and BC this season.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I'd have to agree here. 7-5 would be a disappointment for me. There is no way we should lose to Delaware or ODU, even if they did win 10 games last year. ECU lost their best weapon on offense and we dominated them last year. UVA will probably maybe could eventually beat us but I don't see it happening this year. We beat the brakes off of BC last year and I see no reason to think they can beat us this year. I would be very disappointing to lose any of these games, and we should be heavily favored in each. We should and hopefully will win 5 games against these teams. That means to be 7-5 we would have to go 2-5 against WVU, Clemson, UNC, Duke, Miami, GT, and Pitt. I could see us possibly losing 4 of those but we should be favored in all but 2 or 3. So my floor is 8-4 on a bad season. We could lose more, but I won't be happy.

7-5 would be a pretty big disappointment on many levels. That means we would have a QB that can't successfully lead an offense on sustained drives and a majorly underperforming defense who has top 5 in the nation capabilities from a talent perspective.

12-0 and I probably lose my mind run through the streets of Blacksburg with nothing but an orange and maroon speedo on with Enter Sandman blasting in the background and a giant Fuente face painted on my chest.

There we go, FTFY.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

don't be silly, there won't be a speedo present on that run

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies


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Perhaps he's a nevernude

“Stats are for losers.” -Mel Kiper Jr.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

7-5 would be a disappointment in my book.

On a scale of 1 to 10' with 10 being the best, 7-5 would be about a 2. 12-0 would be off the chart.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

My point is I am happy whenever we have a winning season. Do I want better, yes. Do I expect better, yes. Do I want to continue the bowl streak definitely.

Would you concede that 11-1 would be a 10, and that 6-6=0?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own


Agreed...from what I've read and seen...all 3 QBs are capable to lead this time to a season better than 7-5. If we go 7-5, Fuente would prob fire someone before the season is over..

How will Fuente know to fire someone before the season is over if we won't know that we're 7-5 until after the season is over. Is Fuente that good?

8-4 prediction for me.co think we learn the hard way how important Evans was for us. We will have growing pains with our new QB.

The way I'm getting past that is last year the entire offense was brand new to what they were asked to do. This year it's the QB and a couple others.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Well we also lost Ford and Bucky so even if you think a year longer in the offense compensates for the loss of Evans (which I certainly do not) then the loss of those two puts us further in the whole imo.

Meh, I think Cam is a better receiver for this offense than Bucky by far, and possibly even Ford in a way. We just need one guy to step up outside and someone to play the Sam role. Call me crazy but I think those are achievable goals.

Again, Evans was great but I don't understand why people are doubting a 10 win season due to a new QB when we did just that last year. In my mind, as long as we can account for the loss of Ford the offense will actually be better this year.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

I disagree. This sounds like the classic "diss the former player in order to boost the current player." System doesn't matter when it comes to top talent and Ford and Bucky had that. Cam is also fantastic. But I don't think he is better than either one of those.

Your second statement kinda goes along with my sentiment in a way, but from the opposite side. I'm positing that we got lucky as shit to have a guy like Evans step in a dominate. That is far rarer than a new QB coming in and struggling. Could the new QB have Evans' impact? Sure, it can happen, but I'm commenting on what is more likely to happen and having a player less impactful as Evans is more likely.

In what way was Bucky better than Cam last year?

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Bucky was a matchup nightmare. I don't disagree with you that Cam Phillips had a productive year but I think some of that can be attributed to the fact he flew largely under the radar for most of the year with defenses being most concerned with Hodges and Ford. You also can't deny Hodges was a legitimate redzone threat and was more likely to come down with 50/50 balls than Cam, not to mention he had 2 more touchdowns. I love Cam, and I think he's going to be a critical component and a leader on offense this year, but to say that he was a better receiver than Hodges last year is a bit of a stretch in my mind, even if he did end the year with more receiving yards than Bucky.

Cam gets drafted higher than both Bucky and Ford. He is more versatile and can play multiple positions including special teams. He was the rage that first summer when he and Ford came in.

Bucky is qn athletic freak but a God awful wideout. We all have joked about how he felp down on every catch but thats actually true. Peoples will help fill sam rogers role nicely and think deshwan mcclease will surprise alot of people. I think what people are commenting on is the fact that FuCorn tailored the offense to Evans. Evans was a good forward runnee but mediocre passer. Ford made Evans look good on many pamys but I have full faith that either Jackson or Hooker will excel in the offense. Might take them a couple games but i dont see a ton of struggle just from the way Fuente runs his offense.

I am not sure if there will be a "Sam Rogers" roll this year. Peoples will be a running back and not much more. We did not have a true H-Back last year as I thought Sam was more of a utility running back, but could not block well. This year I am expecting Dalton Keene to be a true H-Back that is bigger, faster and stronger than Sam Rogers.

Isn't Dalton Keene expected to play that roll? He is a freshman and won't know the offense like Rogers, but the kid got here early and it sounds like he had a good spring practice. He is probably a little bit more athletic than Rogers too.

I'm hoping that we will see more passes to the running backs out of the backfield also. I think McMillian can play that roll and McClease could really be a threat.

I think the athleticism of Keene is the key there. My understanding (from TKP reviews) is that as much as we all love Sam and how awesome he is, he was trying to play a roll that he didn't exactly fit, whereas Keene is perfectly suited for it. French has pretty much conditioned me to be disappointed if Keene isn't an upgrade in that position.

Cam was fortunate to not get the focus of the other team's top corners. He was a beast last year and I think he will continue that, but this is reminiscent of a certain Marcus Davis and Darrell Roberts. Danny Coale and Boykins leave and we thought that they would step right up. They couldn't. Even if Cam steps up we still have to fill the Bucky's spot AND then we certainly wont have a 3rd guy as good as Cam.

I think we are gonna especially miss Ford. He made so many crazy catches for us.

Interesting that you bring up Dyrell (I think that's who you meant?) I honestly can't remember back then what the hype level was for him to take over one of those spots. In some ways he reminds me of Bucky just in the lack of experience at receiver. Dyrell never really put the route running and hands part of the position together with his speed. It was too bad because he came out of the HS sports district I grew up in, where not too many guys end up D-1 football players and it was always fun to watch him for that reason, personally. As much as we make fun of Bucky over some of his drops/falling down, I feel like Dyrell had just as many exasperating plays. I seem to remember a few where he went up for a spectacular catch, only for the ball to go right between his hands and peg him in the forehead.

Also prior to Boykin and Coale leaving, Davis and Roberts only had ~500 and ~400 yards receiving in a season, respectively. Cam almost cleared 1000 last season. Big difference in those players on the stat line, let alone on the eye test.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Evans was great for us last year, but he definitely had his growing pains earlier in the season, learning a new system in just a few short months and the problems holding onto the ball. We have a lot more offensive personnel that know the Fuente-Cornelson system than last year, and I don't thing there will be much of a drop off in terms of talent. What we'll miss are the intangibles that guys like Evans, Rogers, and the like provided, which allowed us to stay in every game, even when we were down by 2+ touchdowns late in games. If Jackson gets the starting nod at QB, he'll come in with a year's more experience studying and running the current offense than Evans did last year, which could make for a smooth transition in terms of our offensive production. Like most of you all, the offensive line always seems to be my biggest concern on offense, just because it has not been as dominant and productive as it was in Beamer's heyday. Hopefully, we'll be getting back to having some smash-mouth offensive lines, and if that happens, we'll all be happy Hokies, cause that's where it all starts on offense.

"That man was violating a city ordinance, and I was just doing my duty to enforce it." - Mike Curtis

"You boys in there smokin' rope?"-Johnny Unitas (circa 1973) to his San Diego Chargers teammates

There is most definitely a drop off in offensive talent. I don't see how an begin to justify that reasoning.

There is a huge drop off in experience. I think it's hard to compare the talent we lost to what we have, as I have not seen them play much. A sUspect it will turn out to be some what similar in level, but different in strengths and weaknesses. The question for me is can Fuente and Corn maximize the talent there enough to minimize the loss of experience.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I think we loss talent at WR undoubtedly. No question. I love Cam, but he isn't Ford. Ford is the greatest WR in our schools history. And even if Cam came close to replacing Ford, we won't have someone as great as Cam as our 3rd option. We really were spoiled last season. I'm not saying we are gonna be at 2012 levels of talent, just that I don't see how people think there isn't a drop off.

There is a drop off. Absolutely. This team would be crazy dangerous if Evans, Ford, and Hodges returned for this season.

I will say that I think there will be more depth at WR this year. There will be more players that will contribute compared to last year. Phillips, Patterson, Farley, Kumah, and Carroll are all guys that I think will play a lot. Patterson and Kumah arrived early last year so they've had two springs under Fuente, which I think will be huge. Add Murphy, Pimpleton, and the transfer from Ohio State and I think 1-2 of those guys could also step in. I'm really hopeful that we'll be able to use the kid from OSU with his speed.

This is kinda what I'm saying. I'm in no way trying to say we won't feel the loss of Ford. But I do think we have many more players who fit the offense going into this season. I just feel like while there will probably be some dropped passes and blown routes along the way, by the back end of this season we'll actually see a more dangerous offense than last year.

Predicting a new QB's performance is impossible for sure. On that point I'll just defer to Fuente's track record.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

Now better depth I can get on board with. We were shallower for sure last year.

Ford is the greatest WR in our schools history.

Ford may have broken the records, but also was the first to have the advantage of a pass heavy system paired with a hurry up offense. He certainly is not the highest drafted in VT history, and I expect that if Fuente and Corn continue to be at VT we will see a lot more receivers put up great numbers compared to what receivers put up under Beamer. Ford was a great receiver, and will be difficult to replace, but was not biggest, fastest, strongest, or quickest. Great body control and work effort, that he worked hard to develop, and he got better with experience. I still think we will have a bigger drop in experience than in talent.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Can you imagine some of the greats in a CornFu offense? Boykin, Coale, Davis, Royal, etc...

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The sentiment with Ford has always been that despite his lack of measurables, he has had the best ability to create separation and definitely some of the best hands we have ever had. All while he was here last year people talked about how he was the best we have had. I know we will probably have more great receivers in the future, but for now he is the greatest, if not at least top 3 all-time in VT history. That's gonna be tough to replace.

AND consider that he broke the records with 2 different OC's and 2 differnt first-year starting QB's (neither of which were drafted into the NFL) while only playing college ball for 3 years. Same can't be said for any of the other wr's

BUT it can be said that the other WRs were drafted after playing in a Stinespring offense for their entire college careers.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

BUT lets use some critical thinking here. College success is not the same as NFL success.

Are you telling me that Royal, Morgan, Clowney, etc. wouldn't excel in Fuente's offense?

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

They are good players, so they would excel in most offenses. In college, talent transcends all, even scheme.

I have a bad feeling about his season and I don't know why. 8/9 wins feeling.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

If 9 wins is a bad feeling when trying to replace a top QB and top WR talent, then we are in good shape. Remember the past time we lost our 2 best WRs...? That could happen honestly. I know many of us will view things optimistically since its our team, but I think anywhere from 7 to 10 wins is in the realm of possibility.

I hope we're leaning on Travon Mac and the running game early on in the season, so our OL and WRs can get some confidence. I also hope we're able to rotate our DEs and DTs to the backups can get some experience...I'm concerned about Hill and Mihota and their injury history(i.e. Playing with one shoulder) and the fact that we have NO proven DT depth behind Walker and Settle...

My format remains Date/Opponent/Win|Loss% expectation with Best, Expected, and Worst Case outcomes to set the floor and ceiling of the prediction.

Sept 3 - West Virginia @ FedEx Field Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy - 55|45 : The fuckin COUSINS! I'm glad to see this rivalry be renewed after so long, even though it engenders much hate from both fan bases. WVU fans will tell you Grier will tear it up, but who knows esp in week 1 vs one of the best DC in the country. As long as we find a QB and a WR or two worth a damn I like our chances. The memory of Miami smooshing them in the bowl game weighs heavy coupled with the Big 12 being kind of a trash conference beyond the top 2 teams makes me feel like their W total last year might not be indicative of the state of the program. Losing your entire LB corp (i think with their lone returner down from injury for the first month) won't be good vs Fuente's offense either.
Sept 9 - Delaware - 95|5 : Short week gimme. They aren't quite the FCS program they used to be and I trust Fuente to have the team ready.
Sept 16 - @ ECU - 75|25 : Okay so that Duke QB we didn't have to face last year, guess we get 2 Duke QBs this year! I'm no longer worried about ECU with Fuente at the helm. They shouldn't have gotten rid of Ruffin.
Sept 23 - Old Dominion - 90|10 : First game in a series that will see us play down in the 757 eventually for recruiting purposes. They're a good squad, but I don't think they'll have the talent to hang with us having only been in FBS for a few years now. Give this a few years, this game will be our new ECU game with fans desperately wishing we didn't have to see them every year.
Sept 30 - Clemson - 40|60 : I think like last season this should be a fun competitive game, but Clemson has more depth and talent. It showed last year and being in Blacksburg helps, but I don't think we've caught up to them yet. Beat them we're prb ahead of schedule and a hype train can fire up.
Oct 7 - @ Boston College - 80|20 : Lollfer still the OC? Not too worried. Chestnut Hill is a ghost town of a stadium these days too so not much home field advantage there.
Oct 21 - UNC - 65|35 : I don't think Brandon Harris is the answer and they've never fielded more than a conscious defense under Fedora. I think they're stepping back this year and we should be able to get them even without a hurricane.
Oct 28 - Duke - 55|45 : Why is Duke always a fucking nightmare for us? Cutcliffe and his NFL god damned QBs that's why. We should win because I don't see their defense improving, but it's never an easy game and if they're improved could win this (they've done it before see 2013).
Nov 4 - @ Miami - 50|50 : Likely the Coastal title game if the media is to be believed. Whoever gets the better QB play will win as I expect both teams to be salty on defense. Richt concerns me since he can recruit like gang busters, but for now this is still a good rivalry game, total toss up.
Nov 11 - @ Georgia Tech - 50|50 : CPJ might make you mad, but you gotta respect his coaching chops (get it chop block o clock). Our games tend to be tight 1 possession affairs and I don't expect this to be any different. We're capable of totally shutting GT down, but see last year as reason never to sleep on them and not to expect an easy W.
Nov 18 - Pitt - 60|40 : Getting over our Heinz Field curse was huge last season, and they will not be scoring that many points this fall (Watson is a definite downgrade from Canada). Plus I think they're gonna be easier to run on this year. I think late in the season we should win this at home.
Nov 24 - @ Virginia - 100|0 : Suck it Wahoos. Bronco isn't beating us with the talent he's got there, and we're gonna have it 14 straight.

Best Case Scenario 10-2/6-2 ACC - You could swap an opening loss to WVU with another ACC game here if you wanted for this prediction. Either way, we're winning against the lesser programs on the schedule and I would target the Duke/Miami/GT run of weekends as the most likely to have losses in. In this scenario, the defense edges towards elite again, and our QB is a plus for the team while the run game actually works beyond our QB. We probably have a punchers chance in the ACCCG with a shot at the Orange Bowl. If PSU on their tear as 11-2 champs last year didn't make the playoff I wouldn't think this team would either.

Expected Scenario 9-3/5-3 ACC - I firmly believe we will beat WVU on opening weekend, but lose to Clemson and a couple other ACC squads to have a solid second season for Fuente that leaves the opportunity to win 10 in a bowl game again. This probably means we are close to the division title, but I would think this is a game behind the winner (Could it actually be Miami's year?). This record much like last year could be enough to get into the ACCCG. Florida bowl game a possibility.

Worst Case Scenario 7-5/4-4 ACC - Lose to WVU, sweep the remaining OOC then slog to a mediocre finish in the ACC behind inconsistent or inadequate QB play and a lack of playmakers at WR/RB. Bowl streak continues but it doesn't feel so great.

Good game-by-game analysis. According to your percentages though, the best case would be 11-1 but I agree alot of things have to click for us to get there. 9-3, 10-2 area seems most likely. I think when making preseason predictions, this one might be the hardest season in awhile, and it's not because of the VT question marks. Every team but Duke and somewhat UVA has lost their starting QB. In this day and age a good starting QB can be the difference between a 7-5 and a 10-2/11-1 season. I like are chances with the 10-2 based solely off the fact that our defense will be really solid and every big ACC game we play has an untested QB at the helm just like us.

I'd agree that 11-1 is the theoretical upper end, but I really struggle to see us not dropping 2 games in ACC play, or somehow just not being gelled in week one, between the ? marks you raised and just the chance the team has an off day. It's been a very long time since a VT team hasn't had at least 1 really awful off game a season, and unlike the olden days we probably don't have the depth and pure talent advantage to just out muscle that game. Felt like even at our absolutely best 11-1 is possible but would be really really unlikely. To that end 10-2 feels like the likely best case, with my expectations one below that. Anything beyond that is gravy!

Theoretically, 12-0 is the upper end.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

I used to dream that big before the 4 years prior to last.

I also remember even with truly deep talented teams how hard 12-0 is, so having never seen 12 wins I'd like to see it happen before I go predicting it anymore.

I wanna see Miami open up conference play by going 0-2 against FSU and Duke. I would laugh so hard.

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I always hope to see Miami and UVA be embarrassingly miserable. WVU too, but it's alright if they're okay this year to bouy our SOS.

I don't get why everyone seems to think that ECU will be a tough game while ODU will be a cake walk. ECU is coming off a 3-9 season where everything seemed to go off the rails once they came to Blacksburg, and of those 9 losses only one came by only one score. They lost their last 4 games to Tulsa by 21, SMU (who finished 5-7) by 24, Navy by 35, and Temple by 27.

ODU, on the other hand, went 10-3 and is riding a 6-game winning streak (which, fun fact, is longer than any other team on our schedule) since losing to Western Kentucky, a team which (no joke) would be ranked top-5 in S&P+ if only looking at the second half of 2016.

I know that the AAC has better teams overall than CUSA, but there is no way that a team that finished in the basement of the AAC is better than a team that finished tied atop their division in CUSA, and yet that is the general sentiment around here. ODU arrived in FBS more ready to play than any other team I can remember aside from App State and Marshall.

I think based on my percentages I feel quite confident we will win both and that neither should be a "hard game". My general logic is they've only been an FBS squad for 3 years. Moving from 65 scholarships to 85 and actually transitioning your roster to FBS levels takes time, competing in CUSA is still an easier path for than the AAC (how many ranked CUSA teams were there vs the AAC? HRM!?). Playing at home helps vs being on the road (Greeneville when we visit has been a sneaky good venue from folks I've talked to).

They've handled that change better than most, but they are only 1 year removed from a losing season and they've never been CLOSE vs any of the P5 competition they've played so far. That includes Maryland and Vanderbilt, 2 programs we would easily consider well below us in talent.

I feel quite clear they are going to be better as we play them for a long time and we're going to be pissed we have to see them after a few years, but they should never beat us. Losing to JMU was debacle enough for this program to endure. When you're setting expectations there has to be some idea of the level of your own program. If you really think ODU will be a hard game, our program is BAD like UVA bad. We aren't that kind of bad, and so no that sort of game should never really be a tough game. It should always be a relatively easy one, and I think Fuente is the sort of coach to ensure we don't play down to folks and really work the teams we should. S&P+ after 1 season backs that theory on him as a coach so no, ODU shouldn't be tough.

Beware of the creampuff inflated record.

ODU 2016 Schedule
W ~ 54-21 ~ Hampton
L ~ 31-7 ~ App St
L ~ 49-22 ~ NC State
W ~ 33-19 ~ UTSA
W ~ 52-17 ~ UNC Charlotte
W ~ 36-16 ~ UMass
L ~ 59-24 ~ W.Kentucky
W ~ 31-21 ~ UTEP
W ~ 38-14 ~ Marshall
W ~ 51-35 ~ S.Miss
W ~ 42-24 ~ Fl Atlantic
W ~ 42-28 ~ Fl International

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

My point wasn't that ODU should be a particularly tough game, but rather that they will likely be a much tougher opponent than ECU. ECU was getting blown out by teams not much better than the ones ODU was beating.

If we don't roll ECU again this year, we're having some issues, but I'm expecting ODU to keep it interesting at least until halftime, when lack of depth from their transition catches up with them.

I went back and watched the condensed version of the Clemson game on YouTube to try and see how well we matched up with them last year, and to get an idea of how we project as a team going into this year. I hadn't watched any of this game since it was live, so it was interesting to go back and review with a fresh perspective. Clemson was the best team in the nation last year, so this is a great standard by which to see how close we are to getting back to an elite level.

First off, I'll start with the offense. I was really puzzled with the play calling and some personnel decisions early in the game. As was the case in a lot of games last year, we seemed to start slow and fall behind early. We tried (unsuccessfully) for too long to get Rogers going at HB. We also didn't come out and try to get Jerod in rhythm in the quick passing game right out the gate. I don't know if this was by design to sort of settle him into the game slowly and prevent turnovers, but we struggled immensely early on. The offensive line had some moments where they struggled, but a lot of the big sacks were from Evans just being uncomfortable in the pocket and hanging onto the ball too long. Also, his accuracy was erratic all game. So many balls thrown low, high, behind the receivers. This led to a lot of stalled drives and missed opportunities. We finally got McMillian going a little bit in the second half (long TD run to keep us in the game) and we started getting in more of a rhythm with the passing game. Jerod was tough and put the team on his shoulders, but I can't help but think about all the missed opportunities he left on the field by not settling down in the pocket and delivering an accurate ball consistently.

Defensively, I am now a bit more concerned going into next year after watching this. I know we return a ton of experience, but Clemson looked 2 steps faster than our entire defense throughout the whole game. Our DBs struggled mightily in 1-on-1 coverage. There were some questionable PI calls, but their receivers were consistently beating our secondary. We also struggled to get good pressure from the front 4 all game. Our best drive and first three and out actually came with Big Tim and Walker in at DT. I think they will be a big improvement on DL, but I worry about depth.

So looking ahead, I am quietly optimistic on offense. We need the OL to make a step forward, and we need to find a consistent option at RB. But even though we lost Ford and Hodges, I think the skill set of the guys we have brought in to replace them better fit what Fuente wants to do offensively. The only thing missing as a group is experience. Having Cam back is also huge. If we can find a QB who can be consistent and accurate in the quick passing game, I think we may have another very potent offense.

Defensively, my heart tells me that this is a Bud Foster defense with a lot of experience, so I shouldn't worry. But my head tells me differently in watching the tape. I worry about size, speed, and depth still at critical places on defense. I think we are still a few years away from Foster having the talented depth that he wants across the board. I still think we will be very good, but elite offensive talent will give us trouble. We can't afford injuries either.

Best case scenario, I fully think this team is capable of 10 regular season wins and a return to the ACCCG. If we don't find a reliable option at QB who can make the routine throws consistently, I think we are more in the 7-8 win range. Another 10+ win season would show we are definitely building in the right direction.

I don't want to come off sounding like I'm knocking Jerod too badly, but your quote

Also, his accuracy was erratic all game. So many balls thrown low, high, behind the receivers. This led to a lot of stalled drives and missed opportunities.

Basically sums him up as our QB the entirety of last year.

His record setting performance was imo mostly a function of Fuente's construction of the offense and the skill talent around him. That basically encapsulates him as a player, streaky. When he was on we looked good to great(BC/UVA), when he wasn't (Syracuse/GT) we looked bad bad bad. Sadly his decision making handicapped us in a lot more than those games (UNC; Travon should have had way more touches he kept), which is why like Fuente I'm not too worried about the QB position necessarily holding us back. Our YAC was slim last year largely because Jerod couldn't hit guys in stride, our guys made him look really good.

The offense, provided the skill around the QB comes together, will be capable of the 10/11 win mark. I'm with you that if no one on the roster can at least replicate the mixed bag we got from Jerod, 7 is the ceiling, but I'm optimistic so it feels more like the floor as I feel we will get least that much out of the passing game from the next QB up.

I'm choosing to take solace in the fact that our guys will have another third of a season's experience by the time we play Clemson. It's not like we're opening the season against Bama or anything.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

True, and Clemson loses a bunch of talented players. Guys that had been playing together and developing chemistry for 3-4 years in the system and were essentially a machine by the time we played them last season en route to their national title. They will have a very talented players stepping up to take their place this year, but I give us a better shot at winning this year, also considering this game is in Blacksburg.

My main takeaway from rewatching the Clemson game is that we are definitely a program on the rise and have a bright future ahead of us under Fuente, but we need more quality depth across the board and more beef up front in order to truly rejoin the ranks of the elite teams. We will get there, and winning against the defending national champs this year would be a massive statement.