ACC Championship Game Primer: Photo Edition

Hey y'all, the Primer is back again. From the bottom of my bourbon-soaked heart, I sincerely hope that everyone had a most excellent Thanksgiving with family and friends...and perhaps made some new friends in the successful #occupyScottStadium endeavor. It was quite heart-warming to hear the raucous chant of "LET'S GO! HOKIES!" through the TV. 

While celebrating a superb effort against our in-state rivals is dandy, this football team still has two more challenges ahead before we close the books on the 2011 season. Our last game, of course, depends on our effort in a couple of days down in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a rematch with a 9-3 Clemson outfit.

ACC Championship Preview: Act Like You Have Been There

Well folks, our long journey has brought us full circle. The Hokies arrive in Charlotte prepared to face a Clemson team which dominated them in Blacksburg several months ago. The Hokies have improved their level of play since that loss, as several key receivers have returned to health, Logan Thomas has gone from a question mark to THE ANSWER, and the defense has seen growth from their young players standing in for injured defensive stalwarts. Clemson however, stumbles into this game as losers of 3 of their last 4, including being dominated at the hands of South Carolina (who was without several top offensive weapons including Marcus Lattimore.) Vegas has established the Hokies as solid favorites, despite Clemson's win in Blacksburg.

MascotMock™: 8-Ball the Tiger

Yes, this is a retread from earlier in the season, but that mock was so incredibly awesome we need to double up on ole 8-Ball.  Check out the first Mock here for some inspiration.  Good work last week.  I'm fairly certain if we keep Mocking, the team will keep winning.  My humble weekly offering:

Game Review: My Own Scoop of Humble Pie and Wahoo Shame

Damn that was satisfying. I will write that again. Damn that was satisfying. Following our festive consumption of succulent turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a tall glass of Avery Brewery Joe’s Pilsner, we nervously spent our time with family and friends nervously awaiting perhaps the most important football game to take place between Virginia and Virginia Tech in the last decade. I know I did. I ground on my teeth while I slept envisioning Logan Thomas running away from UVA’s pass rush. I woke up at 6:00AM Saturday morning in a cold sweat after a nightmare where UVA successfully bled the Hokie defense with short passes and power off tackle runs. I won’t lie to the readers of The Key Play. I was a nervous wreck.

UVA Roll Call

Like many of you, I was with family this weekend. At one point in the second half, I heard my mom say "I've never heard Adam laugh so much during a football game."

But I couldn't help it. It was simply beautiful to watch. Everything about shutting out UVA feels right, doesn't it?

There isn't going to be much discussion about the second team guys, because it wouldn't be a good read. But there's plenty about the guys who played the majority of the game.

1. Antone Exum - It was another hit-or-miss game for Exum. He made a lot of plays, and was all over the field, but I saw him beat at least 2-3 times on big UVA gains. Overall, way more good than bad.

2. Josh Oglesby - I thought UVA really committed to stopping the run and it led to a lot of short carries. And because Josh had six carries, I think it was about impossible for him to get going.

3. Logan Thomas - He looked great from the very first offensive snap. You can tell, like Bryan Randall, like Tyrod Taylor, he loves winning. He plays with a fire in his belly. The block on David's should-have-been-a touchdown was flat out awesome.

4. David Wilson - As I said about Oglesby, I thought there often wasn't a lot of space to run the football, but he kept chipping away and snapped off five runs of more than 15 yards, and they all seemed to come at very opportune times. It's a real treat to watch him run the ball.

BITCH PLEASE, PART II. THE EPILOGUE.

This afternoon we dominated Virginia in every meaningful statistic, from turnovers to the final score, but I'm going to spare you the details. They're not necessary. When you look at a beautiful painting, swag-ass new piece of tech or a hot co-ed you don't care about what kind of paint the artist used, the type of metal in your hand, even though it feels silky smooth, or what her parents look like. When you see greatness, you appreciate it for what it is.

Look at them all leave, via VTBox who is once again doing the Lord's work.

RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS, RUTS.

Virginia is a good football team. They won eight games, including a couple against respectable opponents. That's why all of us --the team, fans, your humble writers-- poured our souls into this week. We embarrassed UVa today. We wanted this week, all of us, and we got it. It was a dominant performance.

No problem brah, I can take you up and down the field and then commemorate the occasion on your jersey. H/T Hokie_Wartooth

UVA Preview

Who: #6/4 Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1, 6-1 ACC) vs #24/25 Virginia Cavaliers (8-3, 5-2 ACC)

Time: 3:36 PM

TV Coverage: ABC/ESPN2 (Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore, Lisa Salters)

Venue: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA (61,500 – Grass)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 50-37-5

  • Last Meeting (2010): Virginia Tech 37, Virginia 7
  • The Hokies have won seven consecutive meetings with UVA, winning by an average score of 32-11.
  • Tech has won 11 of the last 12 meetings, with the lone loss being a 35-21 defeat at UVA in 2003.
  • The Hokies hold a 6-2 advantage when both teams are ranked. However, this is just the third time since 1999 that UVA has been ranked.

Injury Report

  • OL David Wang – Out (Foot)
  • Alonzo Tweedy and C Andrew Miller – Expected to Play

The Opponent: There’s really not much to be said about this game that hasn’t already been said. Plain and simple, this is for all the marbles. A Tech win equals another ACC Championship berth and the potential for an Orange Bowl appearance. A Tech loss probably sends Tech to either Atlanta or Orlando and sends UVA to the ACC Championship in Mike London’s second year. UVA has closed the gap in London’s tenure and this is their test to truly see how close they are to Virginia Tech.

Grillin' With Wolf: Bourbon Marinated Tri-Tip Kabobs

What can I say about the Cavs that you don't already know? Like many of you, at one time I considered UVA as a college option. When I was 11 my father had a job offer at the Boar's Head Inn located about 5 miles away from UVA's campus. The area was so pretty that I had it in my mind that I might want to go to school there one day. (I remind you that my only idea of college at this time was Christopher Newport and Old Dominion University). Soon I started watching college football. I ended up following a QB named Maurice DeShazo. I watched as DeShazo threw 22 touchdowns in 1993 and he sealed my life long love for Hokie football.

Like most of you I planned on Mike London's second season to be as bad as his first. I thought we'd win in another cake walk. I am glad to admit that I was wrong, and that this game actually has meaning. So for this renewed rivalry, I will be grilling up bourbon marinated Tri-Tip kabobs for the game. I wanted something easy before the trip to Charlotte.

Ingredients

I PLEDGE: Agriculture-style.

As you all know, Lane Stadium North issued an ABP to all Wahoos to guarantee that Scott Stadium would be filled to capacity this coming Saturday. Thankfully, the UVA ticket office was able to accomplish its goal... but with no help from its apathetic fan base. Virginia Tech Hokies gobbled (no pun intended) up a majority of the remaining tickets. Alas, for the Cavaliers, it seemed that the YouTube sensation "I PLEDGE" video was for naught.

Because of the overwhelming response by Tech fans, I decided to put together our own set of pledges:

Hokies Are Thomas' Team

Quarterback is the most visible position on the field. They will always get the star treatment; people love to build them up when they succeed, and tear them down if they don't meet expectations. For a sophomore first year starting quarterback, Logan Thomas came into the season with unrealistic, and quite frankly unfair expectations. However, he has emerged from of a rocky start, and has taken ownership of the team.

Hyped Start

The Logan Thomas Hype-O-Meter documented instances of articles that pushed Logan's expectations in the off season. A lot of Hokies thought LT would immediately play like Heisman winner Cam Newton because of their physical similarities. Virginia Tech fans were also spoiled by Tyrod Taylor who performed great the last two years. Last spring, and the clutch pass in the '10 Miami game helped to justify all the Logan hype.

No. 5 Syracuse Preview

We interrupt your previously scheduled hate week to bring you a little side dish of basketball. The Hokies take on No. 5 Syracuse at the Garden tonight. Here's a preview:

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (3-0) vs No. 5 Syracuse Orange (4-0)

When: Wednesday, November 23 @ 9:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN2 (Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Doris Burke, Andy Katz)

Where: Madison Square Garden (19,544), New York, NY

The Opponent: After years of failing to reach the world’s greatest arena in the postseason NIT, the Hokies advance to MSG with wins over Monmouth and Florida International in this year’s preseason NIT. The prize? A meeting with one of the best teams in the nation, the Syracuse Orange.

Jim Boeheim’s squad has started off the season at 4-0, easily dispatching of Fordham, Albany, Manhattan, and Colgate, all by at least 24 points. The main reason for the success is the offense, as the Orange has scored 90 points in three of its four games. SU is balanced and obviously has a lot of talent and depth that can cause a lot of problems for their opponents.

Here’s a look at their starting lineup:

Six Pick: Week 13

I told you the madness would come, but even I didn't realize it would be this damn crazy. It's not done with, either. Two weeks of big games among good, but flawed teams, means more late nights and ever changing BCS game scenarios. I had a dozen legit games to choose from before narrowing down to these 6. My apologies to Notre Dame at Stanford, FSU at Florida, Clemson at South Carolina and others, it was impossible to get them all in.

Sadly #beercontrolfather has a busy week, as I am sure the rest of you do too. The time crunch kept this week's Six Pick brief, but I love this week. It's not because of the short work week, or the turkey, it's because of college football. It's not just any ole week, either it's rivalry or hate week. These games are the most intense between the teams, fans and coaches. Get the meat sweats, drink hard from the bottle and most importantly soak in the passion, the energy and all the HATE. Here's to hoping college football has saved it's the best for last.

Friday, November 25th

3 Arkansas at 1 LSU -12 --Battle for the Golden Boot-- 2:30 pm CBS

MascotMock™: AscotMock Edition

Editor's Note: I didn't think it'd be possible for Box to outdo his work over the last couple of months, but here we are. Let's get out mock on. --Joe

Well, we're now 3-0 on the new and improved MascotMock™.  Thanks for the patience and hard work but lets really hit it hard this week.  These "people" deserve nothing but our unrelenting disrespect and teasing.  Lots of material so no excuses not to help out and degrade our enemies.

Hate Week: UVA Game Preview

Here it is. One big game that has implications on Commonwealth bragging rights, recruiting supremacy, an ACC championship, a BCS bowl, and a long shot at playing for a national championship. Any Hokie football player, whose focus is not 100% on not only winning in Charlottesville on Saturday, but making an emphatic statement of dominance, should be punched right in the dick.

From a matchup perspective, UNC provides Virginia Tech with a pretty good "scout team" look for what UVA does and does not do. UVA uses a multiple pro-set offense and a base 4-3 defense, both very similar to what we saw from UNC. I have only watched one UVA game this season (the debacle against Florida State) and I saw the following tendencies.

UNC Roll Call

First, let me say something to the seniors reading this. I hope you enjoyed watching a win as a student for the last time. My senior night was also a win over UNC -- I have many fun memories from that night, a brief period where I have no memories, then ending with some good memories. OK, enough about me.

A few minutes into the game, I thought to myself, and tweeted, "Why does UNC always play this game like it's their Super Bowl?"

About a minute later, Ryan Houston fumbles, Derrick Hopkins recovers and they show Ryan crying on the sideline. I felt validated. OK, seriously, enough about me. But you get my point, right?

The crazy part is, for some unknown reason, it seemed UNC's intensity caught the guys off guard. We looked flat. (Also, an illegal formation penalty on the first play of the game? How does that happen?)

But what's most important is their short memory and refocus. I was pleased to see them respond in a strong way on offense. Also, when we gave up the second touchdown, did you see how pissed Foster got? I love that.

Lastly, if I'm a UNC fan, I'd be losing my mind about the officiating. However, I'm chalking it up to the ball bouncing our way. With the injuries we've had, I call it even (I know UNC doesn't give a damn, but whatever).

Let's talk about our guys:

1. Antone Exum - Hello, Mr. Exum. I think he gets the game ball on defense. Great display of tackling.

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