Greg Nosal has more Toughness in his Pinky, than you do in your entire body.

The tip of Nosal's pinky finger was severed and went missing during the CMU game when it got caught up in a face mask. The prudent course of action, have the rest of the finger wrapped and continue playing of course. The piece was later found in Nosal's glove, and was sewn on after the game.

To summarize, on Saturday afternoons Greg Nosal's agenda is to plow the field with the ass of anyone who crosses his face. he'll continue doing so with or without the cooperation of his appendages.

About Those Third Down Conversions (or lack thereof)

The biggest negative from yesterday's win was our oh-for on third downs. I don't like taking statistics at face value so I decided to breakdown each play.

1st Quarter

3rd and 4

Both Andre Smith and Dyrell Roberts run 5-yard routes past the line to gain, a curl and out respectively. Smith was open with a 2-yard cushion and drops, not a perfect, but catchable ball. Even if he made the catch the Hokies were flagged for an illegal shift.

3rd and 5

From what I can see on the ESPN U film (H/T @vtphreak4evr) this looks like this is a much more aggressive play call by Stinespring. The receivers are running routes well past the first down and both Andre Smith and David Wilson are tasked as blockers (Wilson leaks out of the backfield when no blitz comes). Tyrod puts a ball right on D.J. Coles' hands and it's dropped. Having a receiving option underneath for just the necessary 5 yards would have been wise, but Coles has to make that catch.

Goofus and Gallant

I distinctly remember a few things about going to the doctor as a child. The vivid memories are all about the time spent in the waiting room, or should I say rooms, as there were two: a sick and well room. Neither had a door and they were adjacent to each other, separated only by a wood framed glass wall. The well room had the better toys: Tonka trucks, G.I. Joes and Legos while the sick room had Highlights. Who goes to the doctor when they're not sick? As long as it took to be seen, I'd read that thing cover to cover, and as I got older I'd pen mustaches and glasses on the people inside.

Six Pick: Week Six

Week 5 of the college football season delivered many entertaining contests, here's hoping week 6 continues the ride. Last week I failed myself and readers with another round of poor prognosticating. This week I am going to try and find my groove a different way. I will not watch one game on the list. It's not because they are dogs, actually this is a solid slate of games. Instead, I will be spending a crisp October Saturday outdoors, tailgating and attending the Old Dominion-Cal Poly game. I will be taking my lovely wife, an ODU alum on our date night to watch football with friends while enjoying some beers, brats and of course cornhole. I will miss the rest of the action, but thanks to my Droid I will not be blind to the results.

The keen observer will notice that the next three weeks of Six Pick will be Virginia Tech free. Don't worry, the final four games all make the cut. Here are the games I hope you get to watch...

What to do with Ryan Williams.

In August who of you would have guessed through five games Ryan Williams would only have 139 rushing yards? Did anyone think he'd miss two (or more) games with a hamstring injury? Raise your hand if you were convinced David Wilson would redshirt. I'm raising my left hand and shaking my head no. With my right hand I'm eating a heavy on the mayonnaise tuna fish sandwich that's been seasoned with Old Bay and held together by a honey wheat bagel, but that's besides the point which is football is unpredictable.

Central Magnet Man

Contrary to popular belief, there's no statistical evidence that proves mocking mascots equals winning. Oh, by the way, the mascot mock is now 3-0 on the season.

As jmichons pointed out it would be in bad taste to mock the Chippewa. So we are all going to have to step our game up and take it to the "Flying C".

It's not as clever as Admiral Ackbar for Ole Miss, and without tooting my own horn it borders on flattering, but if Central Michigan is in need of a mascot...

Hokie Happenings

A big thanks to Lindsay (@linze2) for these pictures of both the view from and guts of Carter Finley Stadium.

Not pictured but written underneath: please throw them at visiting fans.

"[It's] as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible amazing has happened."

Everyone keep 'em coming to @thekeyplay or thekeyplay [at] gmail [dot] com.

Week 6 BlogPoll Ballot

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

  • Alabama is clearly the best team in the country, second best is likely going to change from week to week as of right now: Oregon, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Boise State and TCU are neck and neck and all can make a claim to be bridesmaid. The Ducks get the nod for now after their impressive comeback over Stanford.
  • Boise State's WAC blowouts don't impress me in the least.
  • It's hard to justify dropping LSU after their 5-0 start and win over Tennessee. But I did so anyways. They notched a sloppy victory against a bad Vols team, turning the ball over 4 times and are still undecided at quarterback.
  • Michigan - Denard for Heisman, that defense for the dumpster.

I need more help with this week's ballot than you're probably willing to give me. Are Boise State, Auburn, and Wisconsin too low? Are Michigan State and Arizona too high?

I don't know what to say.

And what the fuck can I say? Does anyone have an intelligent opinion? I don't. How do we go from playing like crap to playing like champions in a quarter? Again, I don't know. All I know, and I say this with my heart is I can't quit these Hokies. We just beat a ranked team, we're on a three game winning streak, personally my life is in the shitter, but you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything, because I love Virginia Tech football.

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?

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