Appalachian State Preview

Who: #13 FBS Virginia Tech Hokies (11-3, 8-0 ACC in 2010) vs #2 FCS Appalachian State Mountaineers (10-3, 7-1 SoCon in 2010)

Time: 12:30 PM

TV Coverage: ACC Network/ESPN3 (Steve Martin, Dave Archer, Mike Hogewood)

Venue: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA (66,233 – Grass)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 3-0

  • Last Meeting (1982): Virginia Tech 34, Appalachian State 0
  • All three games in the series took place from 1979-1982 in Blacksburg
  • This is the first time Tech has opened at home since 2007, having lost 3 straight neutral-site openers

Injury Report

  • TE Eric Martin – Probable (shoulder)
  • RT/C Michael Via – Out (sprained knee)
  • FS Theron Norman – Out (shoulder)
  • OT Mark Shuman – Out (knee)

The Opponent: The Appalachian State Mountaineers come into Lane Stadium ranked No. 2 in the FCS polls. The six-time defending Southern Conference champions were the No. 1 seed in the FCS playoffs last year, but lost to Villanova in the quarterfinals. ASU won back-to-back-to-back national championships from 2005-07, and also upset No. 5 Michigan in the season opener in 2007, blocking a kick on the game’s final play to secure a 34-32 victory.

2011 Staff Predictions

We picked the outcome for each game, as well as, a confidence of win percentage. Basically we assigned the percentage chance (0-100%) of Tech winning a given game, and then derived our expected wins for the season by adding up the confidences and dividing by 100.

Some commentary follows the table after the jump. Feel free to agree or disagree with us, and leave your picks in the comments.

  Joe Eric Kevin Adam Joe
Date Opponent Outcome Confidence Outcome Confidence Outcome Confidence Outcome Confidence Outcome Confidence
S 9/3 Appalachian State W 100% W 99% W 90% W 90% W 95%
S 9/10 at East Carolina W 88% W 80% W 80% L 50% W 51%
S 9/17 Arkansas State W 97% W 99% W 100% W 100% W 99%
S 9/24 at Marshall W 88% W 95% W 95% W 95% W 85%
S 10/1 Clemson * W 75% L 51% W 60% L 50% W 65%
S 10/8 Miami * W 80% W 70% W 55% W 85% W 75%
S 10/15 at Wake Forest * W 85% W 80% W 95% W 95% W 90%
S 10/22 Boston College * W 70% W 75% W 85% W 85% W 70%
S 10/29 at Duke * W 95% W 90% W 90% W 90% W 85%
TR 11/10 at Georgia Tech * W 75% L 55% L 50% W 70% W 51%
TR 11/17 North Carolina * W 65% W 65% W 80% W 75% L 49%
S 11/26 at Virginia * W 85% W 90% W 90% W 95% W 80%
Expected Wins based on Confidence: 12-0 10.03 10-2 9.49 11-1 9.7 10-2 9.8 11-1 8.95

Six Pick: Week One

Welcome back, It's time for college football. I said, IT'S TIME FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL ... and with that, I present you the 2011 Six Pick, a hand crafted selection of the finest national games of the week. For you newbies; each week on our lil corner of the interwebs I take six games to task, discussing, making japes and prognosticating against the spread. I invite you, Hokies and non-Hokies alike to make your picks against me. I use Yahoo to set the spread. Each week I will tabulate the results and keep a running count as the season progresses to see who does the best. The end of the year winner will get something special, as determined by myself, joe and our schwag/cash flow. Enough about this, the scandals, realignments and east coast humidity, COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS BACK! Give me intense rivalries, silly GameDay mascot heads, drunj bands, drunjer fans, hot cheerleaders and bad Nike & Under Armour uniforms. Give me College Football.

Now that the new season is here, the college football gods have decided to ease you into the action with a couple of very good games surrounded by ok matchups. Yes, I know the season starts Thursday, but somewhere along the line the worldwide leader dropped the ball and could only schedule UNLV at Wisconsin. Are you kidding me? That's no way to kickoff College Football! So out of protest, that game will not be included. Clearly the Saturday night games are the main event of the weekend, even with a few stars missing in the Cowboy Classic and the abomination Nike is outfitting the dawgs in the Chicken Sammich Game.

Let's get it on ...

A Few Things To Remember About Logan Thomas

With the football season now just days away, it's prudent for all of us to take a quick timeout from watching Billdozer's video on loop and talk about something one last time.

Logan Thomas is a rookie quarterback.

Logan's physical presence and potential has earned massive amounts of attention for someone who is entering his first season as a starter of the No. 13 team in the country. And while the schedule is easy and things look insanely promising, we need to take a quick step back and look at all of this one more time and enter the season on a sane mental note.

Hokie Tracks Are Attending the Alumni Comedy Show

Jayron gets Sport Science'd

Both Appalachian State and the Hokies will rely on contributions from freshman during Saturday's game. Caleb Farris (center), Mark Leal (quarterback), Zack McCray (defensive end), Duan Perez-Means (defensive end), Luther Maddy (defensive tackle), Corey Marshall (defensive tackle), Boye Aromire (rover), Detrick Bonner (corner) are all listed as backups on Tech's two-deep. Appalachian state is starting freshman at left tackle, left guard, receiver and right defensive end. There are 290 starts among the 57 players listed on their roster, an average of 5 each. Their backup left tackle is also a freshman, his name is Shaq Counts. Finally, excerpts from the pronunciation guide, my favorite section of the game notes. Say 'em slow now: DRAY-gurr, Daddy, JARE-in Goo-VAY-uh.

David Teel chronicles the decision that led to Frank Beamer being our coach these last 25 years and not Bobby Ross.

Grillin' With Wolf: Beer Brats


My idea behind this series of posts was to come up with some unique dishes that shared a theme with each opponent, or their regional food. I designed dishes that are moderately easy to make, even for someone who normally does not work a grill. This will provide the least amount of work, maximum amount of flavor and freshness, and the ability to change up your weekly eats.

All of these recipes can be cooked on a gas or charcoal grill. I will let you know cooking times for each if they differ, and/or which grill I prefer to use. I will provide a list everything you will need to take with you for each recipe; an essential list is below.

Preseason BlogPoll Ballot

Again this season I'll be a SB Nation BlogPoll voter. The BlogPoll voting philosophy encourages transparency and scrutiny. Each Monday I'll post my ballot along with some bullet points explaining my reasonings for my not so obvious rankings. It's your job to keep me honest, and looking sane. I welcome your feedback telling me what I screwed up and how to fix it.

My preseason poll is after the jump.

It's Game Week.

billdozervt just impregnated the site.

For the last eight months I've been obsessively clinging to scraps; staying on top of recruiting, watching spring practice, analyzing depth charts and reading practice reports. It's game week now, and it's a relief for me to let the minutia of the offseason go and watch it fade away behind me. No sooner after it disappeared did I feverishly reach out with both hands to grab onto the season ahead. I didn't want to let it to slip on by and miss the ride.

I'm sure some of you can relate.

These next fifteen weeks are the most important fifteen weeks since the ones at the beginning of September 2010, and the fifteen weeks that will proceed September 2012. Watching, following and obsessing over our Hokies will no doubt be a frustrating, humbling, satisfying, suspenseful and entertaining trek this fall. It always is. This is a new team full of familiar faces and I'm most excited to see what kind of dynamic develops.

Our consistency during our tenure in the ACC has yielded excellence and success. It's also made for some boring Saturdays, even some of the losses became predictable. We knew how Stiney was going to call a series, we knew Tyrod would dazzle us, we knew Bud would get it done, we knew we were the team to beat in the ACC, but we'd only teased being elite.

Hokies Dress Roster for Appalachian State

One of the many reoccurring story lines during camp this August was which freshman and true freshman would dress, fill out the two-deep and possibly play. Friday night The Key reported Michael Via injured his ACL. The extent of that injury is still unknown. The Hokies 70 man dress roster was released today and it goes a long way to clearing up muddy water.

True freshman Boye Aromire, Caleb Farris, Kyshoen Jarrett, Luther Maddy, Ryan Malleck, Corey Marshall and Dadi Nicolas are all on dress the roster and redshirt freshman Matt Arkema, Riley Beiro, Detrick Bonner, Nick Dew, Derek DiNardo, Daniel Dyer, Joe St. Germain, Trey Gresh, Jonathan Halfhide, Mark Leal, Zack McCray, Duan Perez-Means and Chase Williams join them. Michael Via is not on the dress roster and is listed as injured. It's also worth noting Via underwent reconstructive knee surgery after an injury in the spring of 2009.

From all reports Via played pretty well filling in at right tackle for Blake DeChristopher these last couple of weeks. Via would have provided solid depth behind DeChristopher and center Andrew Miller. Now the Hokies are forced to rely on two unproven backups, right tackle Vinston Painter and center Caleb Farris. A deep offensive line was supposed to be a position of strength going into the season, injuries are doing their best to object.

Hokies Hit Em Up: Riding on our Rivalries

Heated rivalry games fueled by fiery fan bases are one of the great things about college football. If you can't take some ribbing about your team in stride you are probably better off not being a fan. It's less than a week to the start of the season, a perfect time to stoke the fire. I'll start by going in on the team that was the greatest rival to VT when I was in school, and is currently the biggest dumpster fire in the college sports world right now.

Miami aka "da U"

When I think of Miami I can't help but think of the song "Wanksta". "Damn Miami, in the 80s you were the man homie, what the F' happened to you?" I know the typical Miami refrain is to point to the fact that they have won national titles and even won one in 2001, but that was a decade and two fired coaches ago. Miami's last real hopes of a national title died at Lane Stadium in the fall of 2003 when the Hokies beat down the #2 team in the nation 31-7. With all of Miami's pride and history they closed the Orange Bowl by getting crushed by UVA. With all their swagger they have only a single bowl win in the last 5 years, which was by 1 point against Nevada. Program wise Miami is located in a very talent rich area and has a national presence so even despite outdated facilities, poor attendance, athletic department running in the red, rampant cheating, and lack of recent success they have been a formidable foe and a great rivalry game.

With all the prostitutes, strippers, and boat trips no wonder Miami didn't win; they must've been exhausted.

The recent news of allegations against Miami is the biggest topic besides expansion in college football right now. There are a litany of troublesome accusations including prostitutes, money for injuring opposing players, cash giveaways to recruits, and even an abortion. The Miami transfers have allegedly been squealing to maintain eligibility and even though the main informant is a felon there is a lot of documentation to develop a good case with no one stepping up to prove his accusations false. Miami probably deserves the death penalty if allegations are true but it's not the right thing to do, and even though I have a strong dislike for them, I don't want it to happen. Miami getting the death penalty would be horrible for the ACC, our scheduling, and even the city of Miami's economy, besides the NCAA doesn't have the balls to do it. I would love to see Miami heavily sanctioned with loss of scholarships and bowl game privileges for 5 years.

Hokie Tracks Weren't Allowed to Watch Wednesday's Scrimmage

9 Days.

The Hokies held their final scrimmage of August yesterday. It was not open to the public. Here's the complete report from

Defensive end James Gayle had a monster scrimmage, recording four sacks as the Hokies held the final scrimmage of preseason practice at Lane Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The scrimmage ended on a sore note for head coach Frank Beamer, who took an inadvertent elbow from quarterback Logan Thomas right above his left eye. Thomas started celebrating after throwing a touchdown pass on the final play of the scrimmage, and unintentionally hit Beamer, drawing blood. Tech's head coach headed for the training room and received four stitches.

"I didn't mean to do it," Thomas said. "After I did it, I turned around and saw his papers on the ground and saw the blood. I was thinking, ‘Oh, my.' I apologized to him. He didn't say anything, so I hope he's not mad."

Gayle, a redshirt sophomore from Hampton, Va., was the bigger story in the scrimmage. He finished with six tackles — four sacks and two other tackles for a loss. Behind him, Tech's first-team defense recorded eight sacks in the scrimmage.

"I messed up on the first couple of plays and sometimes it's something small that sets you off," Gayle said. "That kind of set me off.

"I feel like our defensive front four is going to be at the top in the ACC when it comes to sacks. All of our guys are athletic and fast, and I see us getting a lot more sacks than we did last year."

Tech's first-team units did not face each other in the scrimmage. The Hokies' scored four touchdowns, with three of those coming against the second-team defense.

David Wilson, who rushed for 36 yards on five carries, scored on a 14-yard run, while fellow tailback Michael Holmes scored on a 4-yard run. Thomas threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Danny Coale on the final play of the scrimmage.

Tech's first-team defense allowed just one score. Backup quarterback Mark Leal threw a swing pass to Daniel Dyer, who went 40 yards for a touchdown.

Thomas completed 15 of 23 for 140 yards and the one touchdown. Perhaps more importantly, he did not throw an interception.

"That's how you win games — don't turn the ball over and create turnovers," Thomas said. "My job is not to throw picks, so I was really happy with that today."

Leal completed 8 of 18 for 160 yards and a touchdown. He, too, did not throw an interception. Tony Gregory led all rushers with 40 yards on four carries, and Jarrett Boykin led all receivers with five catches for 44 yards. Marcus Davis and Coale caught three passes each.

Tech's other scoring came on two field goals. Cody Journell missed a 43-yarder, but atoned by hitting a 35-yarder. Justin Myer made a 36-yarder.

Telvion Clark led all tacklers with nine (5 solo). Jack Tyler, James Hopper, Luther Maddy and Antone Exum finished with five each.

What stands out more to me than the accolades describing what reads like a crisp scrimmage is the fact that the starters played against the reserves the entire way. So take it with a grain of salt. The kicking game is still entirely too inconsistent, and you'd have to believe right now punts would be the call over long field goal attempts. There are 48 seconds of highlights available as well as an interview with Coach Stinespring. Mark Leal throws a tiz-ight spiral, and what nice gentle touch on LT3's touchdown pass to Coale. Stiney noted poor execution by the first team o-line in 3rd down situations, and the scrimmage was bumped up to Wednesday from Saturday to give the team two more days to focus on the Appalachian State game plan.

2011-12 Basketball Schedule Released

We interrupt everybody's excitement about being 10 days away from Hokie football for a little roundball news...

The ACC announced its' 2011-2012 basketball slate this afternoon, culminating with the ACC Tournament, this year held at Phillips Arena in Atlanta from March 8-11. The Hokies have 32 games on the docket, including a potential 24 televised contests, 17 of which could end up on one of the ESPN Family of Networks. Here's some quick hits about the schedule:

The 2011 BCO Guide to Roadtrippin' the ACC

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for outlining that season's ultimate ACC roadtrip. This year for The Key Play I am resurrecting it. The king of college fooball roadtrips ... well college football in general is the SEC. RV's fill the lots for games at every school, and usually by mid week for the biggest games. Literally a rolling family of love/hate. Their fans are Livin' the Dream, so why not me?

In my mind in order for it to be accomplished for me, I imagine there was an alternate dimension like Phineas and Ferb. In that dimension I am a trust fund baby, in my mid twenties and do not have a receding hairline. I've left my house to the butler and packed my important belongings (a toothbrush, my cornhole set, 2 pair of jeans, a small collection Virgina Tech and brewery shirts and hats) into a Clubhouse Tailagate like Airstream. Hook that bullet up to my truck and hit the road for the fall. I do wonder if I can get it in a dark gun metal sheen, as an ode to the lunchpail. Of course I would need a first and second mate to accompany me on this journey, i.e. drag me back to the airstream from drinking, debauchery and potentially jail.

Read this first, then come on in.

Like a good many of you who will begin your college career's today I was an out-of-state student. I was probably playing with Micro Machines when Druck hit a streaking Holmes for the go-ahead touchdown in '95, and I didn't start following the Hokies closely until I considered Virginia Tech as a college choice in '991. I saw the Hokies paste Connecticut in my first game at Lane. Like any other "first" I had no idea how to handle myself. I didn't smuggle in any airplane bottles of bourbon, I sat in the west stands, and didn't care to do the Hokie Pokie.


After four year's and twenty-plus football games, I kind of found my way. Here's what I learned.

photographer: Steve Tatum

1) There are no assigned seats in the North End Zone. Yes, your ticket stub may seem as if it indicates a specific place for you to sit2, but it in fact does not. Why? Because you must stand the entire time. If you're lucky to obtain tickets in the NEZ the only place you will sit over the course of a game is on a toilet seat at halftime. And in Lane Stadium, I wouldn't recommend that. Why do you have to stand the entire game? There are two reasons actually.

Foremost, more people can cram into the NEZ that way; turn those shoulders yo. It's a given that people will make their way from other sections of Lane to sit in the NEZ, because the NEZ is the best place to watch the game. That's just a fact, and it needs no explanation.

Additionally, you can be louder while standing, and your main purpose for being in Lane is to be loud when necessary (see 5). Boston College fans aren't loud, they have to pump artificial noise into Alumni Stadium. That's why I mock them when I see them wearing their beloved "SuperFan" shirts. Being loud leads to awesome things, like Kellen Winslow Jr. totally flipping his shit in 2003 and Clemson fans throwing empty airplane bottles at Tommy Bowden in 2006. Semi-scientific explanation: you can stomp the bleachers harder and project your voice better while standing.

David Wilson Shines in Tech's Second Scrimmage

via: @markumansky

The scrimmage started at 11:00 AM and lasted 96 plays. The Hokies will hold their final, closed, scrimmage on Wednesday. Again I wasn't able to make it down to the 'Burg ($172 hotel room!), but followed along closely via #Hokies on Twitter and updates and video from

Thoughts on the Frankinator's remarks and the highlights.

  • Beamer is still looking for consistency in the kicking game. Even though he had an average afternoon Cody Journel will be the starting kicker. Scott Demler had, "good height" and will be the starting punter. Even though Beamer mentioned him as an option, Danny Coale didn't punt at all. It was fun while it lasted, RIP #Coale4Punter.
  • The coaches are still searching to fill the two-deep along the defensive line and in the defensive secondary.
  • James Gayle made a tremendous play to force Oglesby's fumble. He fought down into the line, pushed, who I believe to be George George, into the hole, and helped pop the ball out. Also, great awareness by Kyle Fuller to scoop and score.
  • I really like David Wilson's patience when he's carrying the ball. From everything I've seen, that includes today's touchdown run, he's doing a great job or letting his blocks set up, then accelerating once he's hit the hole.
  • Why isn't anyone covering DRAGERBOMB? To his credit that score looked entirely too easy.

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