2011 Opponent Recap: East Carolina

ECU RECORD: 0-1 (L 56-37 against University of South Carolina)

VT RECORD: 1-0 (W 66-13 against Appalachian State)

SCORE: (11) VT – 17 ECU – 10

GAME SUMMARY: Frank Beamer’s 200th victory at Virginia Tech was a tilt in which yards were hard to come by. Tech’s Lunch-Pail defense lived up to its reputation, holding ECU’s potent offense to a mere 112 total yards, and sacking Pirate quarterback Dominique Davis five times. ECU’s defense returned the favor; a week after giving up 56 points to the Gamecocks, the Pirates forced two turnovers, held Logan Thomas to under 100 yards passing, and did not allow David Wilson to score a touchdown. The Hokies themselves played a prominent role in their offense struggles, committing twelve penalties. In the second half, the Hokie defense did not allow any ECU drive to gain more than twenty yards, and Josh Oglesby capped 78- and 89-yard drives with rushing touchdowns.

Big Game in the Big Easy: The Bowl Hokies Have Craved

About two weeks ago I was taking a somber walk out of Bank of America stadium, lamenting over how the ACC championship loss was a sad way to end the season. The depression of was short-lived, replaced the next night by the elation of VT getting a bid to the Sugar Bowl.

Big game featuring two big name playcallers in the Big Easy. What more is there to ask for?

Best Bowl Game Scenario

Of course I'd rather have seen the Hokies get revenge against Clemson and earn another ACC title, but VT ended up with the best bowl scenario. A win would have sent VT to Miami for the 4th time in 5 seasons to play against a WVU team that hasn't been impressive. There is the rivalry with WVU, but Orange Bowl fatigue combined with a Wednesday night kickoff against a low ranked opponent would produce a ho-hum response from fans and the national media. Beating the Big East champion doesn't provide any real upside to national reputation either.

Hokie Tracks are Rapping about Lil' Wang

Lil' Wang practiced on Saturday for the first time since breaking his foot against ECU. That's great news as far as the future of the o-line is concerned. Both starting guards, Jaymes Brooks and Greg Nosal, are seniors. The coaches raved over Wang during spring practice and August camp and he figured to rotate at guard this season. In his only complete game of the season he played 29 snaps against Appalachian State and graded out at 89 percent. Michigan's two inside tackles are stout, and it'd be a huge boost for his progression to get work against them.

Hokie Basketball Recap and Look Ahead

First off, I'd like to apologize for the lack of basketball postings over the past couple weeks. It's been a hectic end to the semester, but basketball is back and so are the previews and recaps!

The Hokies currently sit at 6-3 on the season after a 78-67 win at Rhode Island on Wednesday. That win came after back-to-back tough losses at Minnesota and at home against Kansas State. In the Minnesota game, the Hokies once again fell victim to a slow start, falling behind 8-0 against a Golden Gopher squad that was missing its top two big men. However, Tech rallied back to take a three-point lead at the break. The game came down to the final minute and Tech had a 55-54 lead after an Erick Green layup with 23 seconds left. However, on the ensuing possession, Jarell Eddie committed a foul as Green slid off the elevated floor, banging his right shoulder on the concrete slab. Minnesota made the two free throws and Green made a miraculous comeback into the game with 9 seconds to go. After a Tech timeout, Robert Brown deflected the ball into the backcourt and was called for a backcourt violation (later ruled to be the wrong call). The Gophers made two free throws and Green's heroic heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim to give Minnesota a 58-55 victory.

Support the Crouse Family

Yesterday at a little after noon a man I didn't know from Adam senselessly lost his life in the line of duty protecting a place I love. I'm overwhelmed with a mess of emotions that I can't verbalize. All I can say is it feels like I lost a member of my own family.

By now you've probably heard Officer Crouse was survived by, among others, his wife, five children and step-children. My soul deflated and I slid down my office chair when I first read that. A wife was going to be without her husband, and her children were going to be without their father. It's a devastating conclusion to come to.

Hokies wanted to help. As the emotions unfolded in real time it almost seemed second nature to put the day's grief and on hold to try and help the Crouses. Hokies are helping. As of right now, these are the only two ways I know of to donate.

Hokie Tracks are Talking about the Sugar Bowl and Michigan.

Hokies going to New Orleans, we're still trying to finalize the details of the Unofficial Sugar Bowl Meetup (unofficial because the BCO can't make it). Please leave a note on that thread if you're planning to stop by and say hello, and if you're assertive enough leave a suggestion of where it should happen.

Regarding our traveling rep, Tech has been allotted 17,500 tickets. On Tuesday the athletic department announced Hokie Club members and season ticket holders had purchased 5,000 tickets. Yesterday @VT_Foootball Tweeted, "students purchased over 1,200 tickets in the first hour to the Sugar Bowl". The general public will be able to buy tickets starting Monday at noon. If we don't sellout our allotment, expect more backlash from the mainstream media.

For those of you watching at home, ESPN announced Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be calling the game. Todd's Taste of the Town will no doubt leave him cringing in the fetal position; all that roux will clog up the intestines like lard down a drain pipe.

ACC Championship Game Roll Call

I felt like I traveled back in time on Saturday night. Not to just the first Clemson game this season, but to the Orange Bowl last year, October 17, 2009, September 8, 2007, September 30, 2006, November 5, 2005, etc.

All moments when a highly ranked Virginia Tech team folded in a big game.

Another night when nothing worked.

I can imagine how UVA felt two weeks ago -- probably very similar to how Tech felt on Saturday night.

It was a major disappointment. It was disappointing because you know every pundit who knocked Tech down the stretch smiled when they saw the score. While LSU, Oklahoma State and Kansas State all did what they had to do on Saturday, Virginia Tech could not get it done again.

This team, players and coaches, need to remember the more wins they rack up, the higher they climb in the rankings, the bigger the target on their back gets. Teams seem to show up and play Tech like its their Super Bowl, and when those teams have some semblance of talent and good coaching, Tech looks overwhelmed.

I've tried to keep my analysis as positive as possible this season, but I had a pretty tough time this week. If I don't have a lot of nice things to say, I'm just going to keep it short. There's really no sense in piling on.

1. Antone Exum - I almost vomited when he didn't fall on that Watkins fumble. But he opened the game aggressive and I thought he looked sharp much of the night.

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