41... George Del Ricco.


via: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

In the mid-90's, George Del Ricco put his indelible stamp on the Mike linebacker position. Hokie fans grew very familiar with the sound of Del Ricco's name being called over the Lane Stadium loudspeaker as he was credited with yet another tackle. Del Ricco had 130 and 137 tackles in 1994 and 1995, by far the two highest single-season tackle totals for a Tech defender since 1987, when defensive tackle Scott Hill was credited with an amazing 177 tackles.

I'll have More Wild Turkey Please

It's November 2008. The offense is struggling. T-Mobile was sidelined in last week's loss to Florida State. Our chance to repeat as ACC Champions is looking bleak. Ranked Maryland is coming to town on Thursday night. Bryan Stinespring decided now's the right time to crack open the Wild Turkey to shoot some life into the struggling offense.

The Wild Turkey is just a badass name for a set of plays run out of the single-wing formation. The single-wing isn't anything new and can be traced all the way back to Pop Warner. What makes the Wild Turkey, or any team's Wild ________, so sexy is the quarterback is replaced by a playmaker. "THE KID WITH THE JETS IS GETTING' THE BALL, WE'S GONNA SCORE." That doesn't happen as often as play callers would like or fans think. However, because it's relatively simple for an offense to install, yet extremely effective at breaking defensive reads and keys, it's successful.

Let's get back to the game. Greg Boone (BOOOOOOONNNNEEEEEE) took a handful of snaps out of the Wild Turkey. Statistically speaking his performance was insignificant. Darren Evans went ham, rushed for a school record 253 yards and totally overshadowed the Wild Turkey's debut. However, the Turkey did help to resuscitate the offense. Both players and fans were energized watching big Boone hurl his massive body through the Terp defense. And at the end of the day, that energy level and potential is why I (and I'm sure most of you) love the Wild Turkey.

The Turkey was kicked in 2009. Possible reasons include Boone's sprained right sternoclavicular joint, the emergence of other playmakers, etc... That was unfortunate.

This season there's a plethora of veteran talent returning so let's take a look at the players who may command the Turkey...

46... Jamel Smith.


via: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Smith was a four-year letterman and a three-year starter for Virginia Tech from 1996-99. He finished his career with 301 tackles with 27 tackles for losses, including six sacks. Smith was voted second team All-America by the Associated Press in 1999 and first team All-Big East Conference. He was a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker, as he led the Hokies with 89 tackles (52 solos) as a senior with eight TFL and one sack. He also led Tech in tackles as a junior with 99 stops.

47... Nekos Brown.

Trivia*:

  1. Which Hokie had 47 total tackles in 2009?
  2. The Hokies played in their _____ game, a 47-0 win against James Madison in 1999.
  3. The win against JMU started a __ home winning streak.

If anyone has pictures of general Hokie awesomeness that they'd like featured on the countdown email them to me (thekeyplay [at] gmail [dot] com). I'd appreciate it.

*The first person to leave a comment with the correct answer(s) gets a point. Each correct answer is worth a point. At the end of the season the most points wins a free tee from GameDay Passion.

Dewayne Alford Accepts Hokies' Offer

Dewayne Alford has the potential to be an impact player in college, at least our coaches think so. Aside from Tech, Alford had only received offers from I-AA schools James Madison and Old Dominion. The following is from Doug Doughty.

Nansemond River coach Tracey Parker said Alford has some of the same attributes as Chris Ellis, who played for Parker at Bethel High School in Hampton before an outstanding college career as a defensive end for the Hokies.

49...

This picture is absolutely beautiful. Look at the eyes. One pair is intense, focused on the double-team, the other wide at the sight of opportunity.


via: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Ladies and gentleman there are 49 days until Virginia Tech football kicks off. Let's go!

Trivia*:

Patrick Stevens Ranks Hokies 6th

That seems counterintuitive, since Taylor has started 28 games over the last three seasons. But consider that in those starts, he's faced a deficit of more than a possession just five times.

Sure, he led a comeback from down 17-3 against North Carolina in 2008 (going 5-for-8 for 53 yards in three scoring drives in the second half; the Hokie rally included a 30-yard touchdown drive preceded by a fumble recovery and a 45-yard field goal set up by a Tar Heel personal foul).

There were also four setups with a deficit of at least two possessions --- Boston College and Miami in 2008, Alabama and Georgia Tech last year --- that didn't work out so well.

Key Reads: Weekend Roundup

Collegiate programs' success is measured on gridiron, hardwood

A third-place finish in the Directors' Cup is all well and good, but until Craig Littlepage can find a way to get success from his football and men’s basketball programs, there’s not a whole lot to brag about in Charlottesville.

Wah-hoo. Blah.

That's the closing paragraph of a brutally blunt take down of Jefferson's 3rd place Director's Cup finish. It's a must read.

What Will You Consider a Successful Season?

In sixty days (Yes! Only sixty more days. OK, excitement contained.) Virginia Tech will kickoff its season against Boise State in The Clash in the Capital. Some Hokies will say that it's a make or break game for the 2010 season. Others will argue that the outcomes of Georgia Tech, at North Carolina and at Miami will define the season. And some will go home happy if we just beat UVa. So let's break it down.

The Hoos, and only the Hoos matter.

These Hokies are fine with going 1-11 as long as the one win is against UVa. Other wins are just gravy poured on top of the Commonwealth Cup. Mmm Gravy. This has always been a minority opinion and now that we've beaten UVa 10 of the last 11 years it is almost non-existent. By my best guess, this thinking was popular back in day when beating UVa was really the only thing we were capable of doing.

If you subscribe to this theory, consider this, UVa is now beating UVa. Also, it never gets old.

Bowlin'

6-6, 8-4, 7-5 it really doesn't matter to these guys. Why? Because they're going on VAY-CAY-TION! There's only a few things to do in Southwest Virginia during December: drink, watch football and be cold. So why not drink, watch live football AND take in some local cuisine and attractions all while being warm. They justify the on the field performance by the logic of, "we've won at least as many as we've lost."

10 Wins

Since 2004 we've won at least ten games year, the only other team to do so is Texas. You've heard this all before, but the gist of it is overlooked. The streak exemplifies our consistent excellence at winning each season. However, it has become something of a consolation prize, like in '05 and '06 when we seemed capable of something more.

HOOSUX

On my way to Blacksburg for the spring game he was in front of me on I-66. I tailed him, and by tailed I mean ass-to-ass, for 20 miles and could never get close enough to get a shot. Huge props to @Barron18.


It's not a question, but a definitive statement.

And while we are at it let's pile on. UVa scheduled a home and home in 2013-14 with, drum roll please, UTSA.

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