You Got No Fear of the Underdog

Whether you've been watching the Hokies for years, or are an out of state freshman adjusting to life in a community obsessed with maroon and orange realizing the phrase "a drinking town with a football problem" isn't an understatement, you've probably figured out one thing. As of late we thrive the most and play our best football when we're the underdog. What's that all about anyways? I wish I knew. If I could explain it I'd: compile my findings, drive to Blacksburg and do everything I could to get five minutes of the Frankinator's time. It's frustrating though, because just like being glad, sad or mad you can't make yourself feel like an underdog. As it applies to football, a team has to prove their supporters wrong and turn them into their critics. They have to hear the negativity and doubt in order to feel insecure. Unfortunately for us losing to Boise State wasn't enough, we had to be embarrassed by James Madison to hit rock bottom.

Fortunately for us resolve is a tradition in Blacksburg.

David Wilson eats Chick-fil-A on Sundays.

Every week since August I've heard and learned some new tidbit about David Wilson, each more awesome than the last. This is what we know so far, some of it factual, some of it not, all of it plausible:

David Wilson has 50 ties.

The BT runs on David Wilson time.

Don Draper mixes David Wilson's Gatorade.

Davd Wilson catches rabbits during practice.

Six Pick: Week Five

Greetings college football junkies, the schedule makers have prepared a treat for us this weekend. If week two was dubbed "Monster Saturday" than week five is Lo-Carb, all the energy and excitement, but with less of the sugary bullshit from the worldwide leader.

As my picks so far show (45%), I am no expert, but last week's 2-4 record has made me refocus...

"I promise you one thing. A lot of good will come out of this. You will never see any handicapper in the entire country pick as hard as I will the rest of the season. You will never see a guy choosing teams for entertainment purposes only push the rest of this collective group as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a drunker prognosticator gamble harder than I will the rest of the season."*

If I don't deliver, one thing you will not see is me crying and needing Joe and Josh to pick me up.

Red Zone Woes

By the eye test, the production inside the red zone so far this year has been pretty paltry. Our inability to score points inside the twenties most certainly cost us the game against JMU, was damning to the cause against Boise State and made last week's game against BC a lot tighter than it should have been. I went back watched and re-watched each one of our red zone plays and charted them for you (after the jump). Here are my conclusions, leave any of your thoughts below.

  • The designed runs out of the shotgun are averaging 0 yards an attempt! (-3, 2, 1, 0, 4, -4) It is beyond my comprehension why they're still being run. There's not even an outlier to support the idea that if run enough a big gain will come.
  • Ignoring extra points and two point conversions the Hokies have scored 72 of a possible 108 (66.67%) points in 18 red zone attempts: 9 touchdowns and 6 field goals.
  • Where's the Wild Turkey?
  • Most of the time the opposing defense seems to know what's coming before the snap. Here are my ideas to break up the monotony: we need to throw more from under center and call more screens, draws, options and play action passes (with better fakes by Tyrod). We aren't doing enough to keep defenses off balance. While it's very true there's only one football, the asset to having a stable of playmakers is the threat of any one of them touching the ball.

Week 5 BlogPoll Ballot

My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the movers, shakers and frozen.

  • Auburn - They derailed South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore and moved the ball on the ground with ease.
  • Big 12 - Texas got pistol whipped by UCLA, while Nebraska and Oklahoma slept walked through games against South Dakota State and Cincinnati, respectively.
  • LSU - They have an abundance of talent and should be ranked higher based on the strength of their wins, but they just look extremely disorganized and they're simply a mess offensively.
  • Miami - As long as Miami's defense continues to smother their opponents Jacory Harris can get away with playing loose with the football. He needs to make better decisions.
  • Arkansas, South Carolina - They both had chances to earn a statement win, but were doomed by late interceptions.

As always, if you believe I've committed any major errors tell me why below and I'll take it under consideration when I submit my final ballot.

SHUTOUT

I didn't think we'd win this game.

A lot of other Hokies didn't think we'd win this game, but, you know what?

Everybody in unison, "What Joe?"

We won the game.

Do you know what else? Something else magnificent that happened today?

Everybody in unison, "What Joe?"

BC didn't score a point against us.

So you know what? What we didn't hear today this afternoon?

Everybody in unison, "What Joe?"

Red Sox: Done. Pats: Sunday. Bruins: Preseason. Celtics: Offseason. Clam Chowder: Out of Season.

So... Let's talk about BC.

Virginia Tech is to Boston College, as Maggie Simpson is to Baby Gerald.

I think that best sums up my feelings about Boston College.

Against Boise State and James Madison Jeron Gouveia-Winslow struggled to make plays at Whip linebacker. To counter ECU's Air Raid the Hokies abandoned their base 4-3 defense for most of the game and featured two new looks: the Nickel and 30. Both formations featured athletic freshman free safety Antone Exum. In the Nickel he replaced Gouveia-Winslow and in the 30 he was substituted in for a defensive lineman. Exum ended up playing marvelously in his first career start, grading out highest among defensive players. The question now is, what defense will we see on Saturday?

Six Pick: Week Four

BCO's College Football TV Viewing Guide

Week 4 is upon us, and it's another good one. It's heavy on southern football teams with five of the six games featuring at least one team from below the Mason-Dixon Line. One game has my attention because of what might happen before it, as much as during it. I admit it, I would give my left nut to hear the titillating conversation between the Mad Hatter and Stewey when they speak at midfield before the game. I can only guess, but I think it would go something like this...

Well gol-ley Lyle, there's a lot of people here, haven't even had a battery thrown my way yet.

What pantywaist let's that shit happen? I'd beat some ass.

Extends fist for pound.

Blank stare. Lifts cap, wipes away sweat from forehead.

Hell if I know Lance? I wish eers standin' to my back would stop trying to throw them across the field. They keep hittin' my head.

Removes his cap, shows knots.

Damn! And I thought these drunk Cajuns were a handful. You must make a lot of bread to take that abuse.

Awkward silence...

I gotta say, I like how you managed your timeouts during that Marshall comeback. How'd you know when to call 'em?

Easy Lex, see Devine over there, he's got a couple of kids. We let 'em on the bench. Well... whenever I look over and see one gone, I call a timeout so we can go find 'em.

Deep thought for a split second.

Good idea, my kids get bored when we're on offense and...

A confused looking Gary Crowton bumbles over to interrupt the conversation.

Excuse me coach, I need help again.

Frantically flips though a thin playbook pointing at diagrams.

I can't remember what comes first: the one-yard up the gut, bubble screen for loss, or the botched pass where Jordan Jefferson runs for his life and gets sacked...

Shakes his head.

Damn it Gary, can't you see I'm talking strategics here? I told you, we run it up the middle twice, so they don't expect the pass on 3rd and long! Gotta go Stew.

K Lars...

Shakes Miles' hand.

I'm gunna go meet Tony the Tiger, see ya after the game.

Whistles while singing.

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog, We're splitting the scene, We're full of beans, hot dog, HOT DOG!*

Ok, well, I don't think Gary Crowton would interrupt the two. He would just do rock paper scissors against himself to choose the play, like usual.

Let the games begin...

According to Wilson, Williams is Out Against Boston College

A little breaking news tonight. I caught up with RB David Wilson after practice to see how much better he’s feeling about life compared to this time last week, when he was saying he wished he had redshirted because of his lack of a role in the offense.

Wilson, unprompted, said the Hokies will be without star RB Ryan Williams – who injured a hamstring Saturday against East Carolina – this week at Boston College.

Williams did not practice today, standing on the sideline in a blue, no-contact jersey. Wilson thinks Darren Evans will start but he expects to also get a good number of carries against the Eagles.

Punt Baldwin into a Black Hole

I said this would be up bright and early this morning. I apologize, but I'm running a little behind.

Here's an interesting statistic from a completely unfair sample: we are currently 1-0 against teams we've mocked this year.

I never realized he was an extra on The Simpsons either.

Week 4 BlogPoll Ballot

My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the movers, shakers and frozen.

  • Oregon - The Ducks are scoring the most and giving up the least points a game.
  • West Virginia - Quarterback Geno Smith is polished and confident, but we'll see what happens in Death Valley this Saturday night.
  • Arizona - The Wildcat's stingy defense held Iowa to 29 rushing yards.
  • Michigan - It seems like for every bit good the offense is, the defense is equally bad.

As always, if you believe I've committed any major errors tell me why below and I'll take it under consideration when I submit my final ballot.

Hokie Happenings

Shots of Lane Stadium from Saturday. Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures, keep 'em coming to @thekeyplay or thekeyplay [at] gmail [dot] com.

Skipper! via @hokietrooper

Worsham Field is looking gorgeous. via @hokietrooper

The Walk. via @hokietrooper

"The loneliest pirate in the boneyard." via @shawnelledge

LET'S CELEBRATE!


via: VTJawo

We're 1-2, but I'll be damned if I don't feel better than Don Draper after winning a Clio. Winning football and bourbon will do that to a guy. How about them Hokies? I'm just ecstatic I don't have to write another post about losing. Here are some bourbon powered notes.

Negativity Time is Over.


The badass drawing was done by Hokie alumnus Shannon Smith. After you're done reading here, get over to his blog there.

The last game that mattered this much was against the 'Canes in 2003. If you've been reading and following my writing here then 1) virtual high five 2) you know that's my all time favorite game. The buildup to the '03 season was very similar to this one. Everyone expected us to be in contention for the National Championship, because we showed some glimpses of excellence in '02, and, well, talent wise we were loaded. Things were looking promising until we sentenced hundreds of couches to death by gasoline and match on a Wednesday night in Morgantown.

But, it was supposed to be our year...

ECU Air Raid

On Saturday the Hokies young defense will be tasked with stopping one of the most potent offensive schemes in the country, the Air Raid. First year ECU head coach and former Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill hired colleague and former Texas Tech assistant offensive coach Lincoln Riley, an understudy to Mike Leach, as his offensive coordinator. ECU is averaging 481.5 yards of offense (18th nationally) and 50 points (7th nationally) over their first two games. Albeit, that high production has come against Tulsa (99th nationally total defense) and Memphis (112th) whose secondaries could be best described as porous. The high output still impresses me because it's inexperienced personnel doing the heavy lifting.

Six Pick: Week Three

BCO's College Football TV Viewing Guide

Week 3 is here, and after Saturday night many teams will already be a quarter way through their season. This isn't 'Monster Saturday' on paper, but I am hoping it will be a redemption week for the ACC and compelling for viewers. The slight letdown in national games, coupled with the egg VT has laid to start the season has left me a bit unmotivated. I am not going to lie, I struggled to write this. Monday morning, I felt as if Bud Foster had chewed my ass out for 15 minutes but when Tuesday rolled around it's like he picked me up, told me it was going to be alright and guided me with a steady hand. You, the readers will get my best effort. I am pumped for the weekend, so let's get to the games!

From my holed up man cave, the games this week...

ACC Roundtable - Ineptitude Edition

The fine folks at the Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat are hosting this week's roundtable. In their words it's all about, "admitting that your team is flawed, accepting this fact, and moving forward". Expect a roundup of everyone's answers to be posted on their site tomorrow. I'll update here with a link when it drops.

1. Enough with the MVP's and the National Title Talk... What ACC teams are going to be bowl eligible by November Who will be left out in the cold?

Eligible:

And Now for Some Words on David Wilson

In the middle of August camp David Wilson made it clear that he wanted to play in 2010. If he received significant playing time that is. By his own word, that meant 10 touches a game. He trained throughout the offseason like he was the lone starter, posting the team's top 40-yard dash time (4.29s tied with Rock Carmichael) and breaking the team power clean record for running backs (331 lbs). On August, 30th the Frankinator announced David would play.

We're planning to play David. Billy met with him yesterday and David has really been exceptional in our preseason and he brings another element back their at tailback and I think that he can help this football team be successful. He wants to do it. I think you need to get your best football players on the field, and he's one of them. In the preseason practices he's been outstanding in every scrimmage.

via: BeamerBlog

As fans the consensus opinion was not redshirting Wilson was the right move. Throwing everything we had at 2010 was bold, and Wilson would be another weapon in the arsenal used to conquer the opposition with. Before the first snap against Boise State we assumed the offense would be able to sustain drives, therefore increasing the number of plays and making it easier to spread one ball around. Unfortunately, so far this season nothing has gone to plan.

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