Grillin' With Wolf: Arkansas State Baby Back Ribs

Arkansas State is the second largest college in Arkansas and is located on Crowley's Ridge in Jonesboro. ASU was founded as an agricultural school in 1909 and changed names multiple times finally settling on their current name in 1933. The Red Wolves, who are part of Sun Belt, finished 4-8 last year. ASU has put a lot of players in the NFL such as Ray Brown, Tyrell Johnson, Ken Jones, Ron Meeks, and Elbert Shelley. What comes to mind when you think of Arkansas? Barbeque should. Arkansas BBQ may not be as well known as NC, TN, TX, or KS, but is that because of the food or the people? Rex Nelson wrote an interesting article with his view that Arkansas BBQ is not often spoken of because the people of the state are modest.. Arkansas barbeque is almost always pork and is a mix between sauce and rub. So here is my interpretation of Arkansas baby back ribs.


Film Study: BBQ-Scented Potpourri

After re-watching the ECU game, I feel a lot better now about the team going forward than I did Saturday afternoon. Watching the game live wasn't easy on my eyes. The penalties, turnovers, special teams gaffs and little mistakes added up and overshadowed what was otherwise a clinic in power football supported by a tremendous defensive performance. We controlled the clock for 37:22, rushed for 241 yards, held ECU to 112 total yards and only won by seven points. We spotted ECU 92 yards on penalties, turned the ball over twice, only threw for 91 yards, got lucky ECU dropped some balls, missed a gimme field goal, shanked some punts and won by seven points. There's a very thin line separating wins and losses, and I'm happy as hell we're on the right side of it.

This week's film study won't have a theme, but will be a hodgepodge of things that caught my attention.

East Carolina Game Review (Focus on the Front 7)

Okay folks, lets not press the panic button yet. Yes, the Hokie offense struggled against a weak East Carolina defense, but the score of this game really should have been at least 26-10. I think this team shows a lot of promise, but there is vast room for improvement.

Before I focus on the critical, I would like to note some positives about the game.

Defensive line

Week 2 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary.

  • LSU or Alabama - Last week you guys convinced me LSU should be in top slot, and for right now I'm leaving them there, but an argument can be made that Alabama deserves it. Both the Tide and Tigers have blown out lesser competition and strangled a top 25 opponent. I believe Oregon is better than PSU, but LSU won what was essentially a home game while Alabama did their dirty work on the road.
  • Texas - I have them higher than most. They're talented, but they don't have an identity. There may be a quarterback controversy developing, starter Garrett Gilbert was yanked for a rotation of underclassmen-- Case McCoy and David Ash. It wasn't a sexy win, but they beat what I believe to be a pretty good BYU and like him or not (I don't), Mack Brown is a damn good head coach.
  • Auburn - They took every punch Mississippi State threw and stood tall in end. They don't have Cam Newton, but they still have Michael Dyer, an under appreciated running back.
  • Michigan St. - Meh.


Any time LT3 runs someone over, it's getting GIFed.

Hey, do you guys remember this time last year when we were 0-2? That sucked. Thankfully it's 2011 and we're 2-0. An ugly, ain't no winning second prize in a beauty contest 2-0, but that's our record an I'm thankful for it. The Frankinator always says the biggest improvement comes between week one and two and right now I'm not buying it. Well...

The defense held ECU to 112 total yards (compared to 361 yards last season) and picked off a pass (that should have been a pair of passes). The defense straight hammed, and it's a relief to know we can once again bumble around on offense and win a game because the defense is there to get our back. Bud's ain't fooling around like last season.

Logan Thomas: 8/20 91 yards a pick and 11 carries for 66 yards.

/decreases Hype-O-Meter

ECU Live Blog

The live blog starts at 3:30. Eric will be moderating and approving your comments in between parenting, so hang in there if you don't see yourself showing up. #BeerControlFather I'll be there via Joe-mobile. Go Hokies!

East Carolina Preview

Who: #11 Virginia Tech Hokies (1-0, 0-0 ACC) @ East Carolina Pirates (0-1, 0-0 Conference USA)

Time: 3:40 PM

TV Coverage: Fox Sports Net (Ron Thulin, JC Pearson, Jeremy Bloom)

Venue: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, NC (50,000 – Grass)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 11-5

  • Last Meeting (2010): Virginia Tech 49, East Carolina 27
  • This is Virginia Tech's first true "road" non-conference game since a 16-3 victory in Greenville in 2009
  • The Hokies are 4-2 all-time at East Carolina, including three straight victories dating back to 1994
  • Tech has won 9 of the last 10 meetings with ECU, with the only loss being the season opener in Charlotte in 2008
  • Since 1994, VT has won 14 consecutive true "road" games in the state of North Carolina

Injury Report

  • FS Theron Norman – Probable (shoulder)
  • LB Telvion Clark – Probable (ankle)
  • WR D.J. Coles – Probable (shoulder)
  • OL Michael Via – Probable (knee)

The Opponent: The East Carolina Pirates open their home slate with a visit from Virginia Tech Saturday in Greenville. The Pirates are coming off a 56-37 loss to South Carolina in Charlotte last Saturday, a game in which they held a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.

Hokie Tracks Are Heading to Greenville

Are you hazy on just what-in-the-hell ECU's Air Raid offense is all about? Then checkout this piece from the TKP archives.

The Air Raid aerial philosophy is like a polished playground attack. There's not an overwhelming amount of passing plays. Rather, the same plays are ran out of many different formations. It also stresses quality, through repetition at practice, over quantity. Receivers work short routes over the middle of the field and to the sidelines trying to feel out and settle in space, and there's always an option to push it deep. Simply put the receivers try to get open and make a play. How our linebackers defend the short routes is going to be something to keep an eye on.

The chillest offensive line in the country?

This isn't a new or lofty request, a bunch of SEC schools provide scooters for the players to cruise around on. I've seen Georgia and Florida players riding them first hand. I'm not sure what Jaymes means by "carts", but I can only assume it's either golf carts riding on chromed out eights, go karts, or co-eds with broad shoulders. Whatever it may be just keep in mind that recruits like shiny things.

Six Pick: Week Two

That felt gooooood. Let's do another 14 more weeks. The shock (ongoing conference expansion) and awe (Maryland's uniforms) certainly kept Twitter abuzz for week one. This week I hope it's more about close games like the TCU-Baylor classic. Luckily, over the horizon are a large number of high quality games, so keep your eyes up and clicker close. To those paying attention, Notre Dame vs Michigan and South Carolina vs Georgia did not make this week's cut. The Irish and dawgs have to earn the right to make the Six Pick again. Though the Michigan throwback compilation by Adidas is almost badass enough to garner that spot.

Well my weekend plans are up in the air. As of this past Monday, I was Los Angeles bound for work. Using some marriage capital, I got the OK to head out a day early to catch Utah vs USC in the Coliseum. I am not going to lie, I was pretty geeked to see the legendary Coliseum and bum some fantastic West Coast IPAs in the parking lot. All sadly is for naught, as someone on the left coast dropped the ball. That does leave me with time and opportunity to go to ECU to see the Hokies take on the Pirates. Though there is a let down if you consider I am trading L.A. for Greenville. I've been to Greenville multiple times, visiting (getting torqued) family and friends who were attending ECU. This gives me some insight for my fellow Hokies heading down for the game. Go to B's BBQ, this is not a suggestion. It's a hole in the wall, where they have no time for websites or even telephones, they are all about pork and fried chicken. That 10 minutes added to the front end of your trip is well worth it as they are the best Eastern Carolina BBQ in town. Have thick skin, the Pirate fans are a faithful, delusional and enthusiastic bunch, some who will surely spit some anger your direction. Look with amusement, then carry on. Also, if scalping tickets, do not buy seats in the upper deck, those seats stank, I'd rather watch at a bar.

Offensive Line Review: Vs Appy State

One negative yet consistent theme for Hokie football throughout the 2000's has been weak early season offensive line play. That theme has stayed true regardless of changes from the I formation gap concepts of the 90's and early 2000's to the zone blocking schematic used today, and we have seen inconsistency early in seasons from both veteran groups and newcomers. I think most Hokie fans have come to expect early season offensive struggles, no matter how promising the outlook for the season.

App State Roll Call

We saw a lot of players, young and old, take the field during Saturday's drubbing. Because Tech isn't an elite team, I considered talking to Foster about getting some work in at Whip -- but it was too hot outside.

Even though I didn't get any good reps in on Saturday, I decided to talk about those who did -- all of them.

Obviously, it wasn't easy to come up with something for everyone who played against App State, but I at least typed a word in for each player.

1. Antone Exum - Exum didn't play a mistake-free game, but he made a lot of good plays, including setting the tempo early by hopping on that fumble. The beautiful thing about him is that he's good and I think he's going to get better and better.

2. Josh Oglesby - It was nice to see Josh get 10 carries. He had some tough yards and a touchdown. You have to love the effort on the 3rd-and-3 carry, when he looked up, saw nothing but defenders, reversed field and powered his way to a first down.

3. Logan Thomas - Almost everything has been said about LT3. His touch was off, but nothing to worry about. A little more air on some of his deep balls and I'll want Tech to go vertical every play. The thing I noticed most was his patience -- oh, and him trucking their safety for a first down.

Grillin' With Wolf: Parrot Wings

East Carolina University situated in Greenville, North Carolina is home to this week's opponent, the Pirates. Notable former students include Chris Johnson, Sandra Bullock, the guy who founded Golden Corral, James Maynard, wrestling owner Vince McMahon, and one of my favorite authors, Rick Atkinson. For our swashbuckling neighbors, we are going to make some "Parrot Wings". They pair great with 20-yard gains by David Wilson. I will be making mine in the true Buffalo style with 1/2 Frank's RedHot, 1/2 butter, and only served with blue cheese, but I will offer you guys some alternatives to try.


  • Whole chicken wings
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Blue Cheese
  • Butter
  • Frank's RedHot


Week 1 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments. Happy Labor Day everyone!

  • Boise State - For my money, Boise State's win was the weekend's most impressive. The Broncos raced out to a 21-point lead and methodically nursed it for the remainder of the game. If Boise State was a WWF superstar its finisher would be an armbar. There's nothing flashy about them, but they are fundamentally sound in all three phases of the game and do a suburb job of limiting mistakes. The only place Boise can go from here is down. As the teams ranked behind them play in, and win, their marquee games they'll, probably, eventually put together a more impressive resume.
  • LSU - The Tigers defense held the Ducks to 335 yards. Oregon averaged 530.69 yards per game in 2010. It's evident that Oregon's young offensive line wasn't up to the challenge Saturday night. They were either spinning their wheels, or getting pushed backwards. LSU would have been higher had their offense looked capable of beating an elite defense.
  • West Virginia - StlHokie made a good point last week, they are talented and led by veteran quarterback Geno Smith, and should be higher.
  • Notre Dame, Georgia and Auburn all get the ban hammer (for now) after their lifeless performances.



1-0. I cannot tell you how good that feels to write. Again, we're one-and-zero. That hasn't happened since 2008, but you don't need me to remind you of that. You were there for the losses, and you felt the pain and frustration. It's been a disappointing start to the last three years of Hokie football. But today, we got off on the right foot, finally. I'm ecstatic.

I hope this post will be a place where we can share all of our thoughts from the game. Mine are as follows:

-- The offense didn't look that much different than those called by Stinespring, but the execution was that much better. Rolling up 518 yards is all well and good, but not turning over the rock once, especially when the game was over two minutes into the second quarter, shows me the focus was there.

-- Logan had just an OK debut. His numbers were average, and he didn't make any costly mistakes, but he missed some wide open guys, over threw some balls, and fired some lasers when touch was needed. Tomorrow though, the only thing I'l remember is him lowering his shoulder and trucking some mountain-man back to Appalachia.

-- Gayle is going to live up to the hype. He dominated the line of scrimmage.

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 ...