Hokie Happenings

Your sights and sounds of Blacksburg or wherever Hokie Nation is headed.

Enter Sandman and pictures of the homecoming parade are courtesy of the man, the myth, the legend, the @HokieTrooper.


"Sorry y'all, I was runnin' late." – '10 Offense

Yesterday our much ballyhooed offense, that we all expected to show up in the District, finally made good on the preseason hype.

Fake Towers

Any you've met at some point, "What's a Hokie?".
"I am", Hoda Kotb.

Here's another question, "What's a Demon Deacon?", or better yet, "What's a Wake Forest?" Oh, it's a city... meh.


Set For Wake

...Are you? I'm pumped. Central Michigan was a welcomed breather from ACC play, but I'm looking forward to getting back to the chase for another championship. The last time Wake traveled to Blacksburg was 1983. Al Groh was the coach, I was in the womb, Thriller topped the charts–predictably Wake lost.

So Frat Week

Six Pick: Week Seven

BCO's College Football TV Viewing Guide

Some weekends the College Football Gods give us great game after great game, and then there are weekends like this one. This Saturday offers up a ragtag collection of games surrounded by only a couple that are noteworthy. However don't blink, schedules like this are the ones that lead to upset Saturdays. So try as I might to write this weekend off, I think come Sunday morning one or two upsets will have occurred, maybe even a season defining one.

That said finding six games to preview this week was tough. How many times have you gone to the beer cooler at a grocery store spying the last sixer of your favorite beer only to find it missing one 12 oz soldier. That's this week's 6 pick. I am not going waste my time or yours in forcing a sixth game on you. It would ring hollow and read poorly because my heart is not in it. So in honor of those 5-packs and the Big Ten that really is 11 this week's column is going to be numerically incorrect.

Midseason ACC Roundtable

Brace for awesomeness, it's another edition of the ACC roundtable. From the Rumble Seat is hosting, check back there later today to see a summary of everyone's answers.

1. Half the regular season is now kaput. Has your team exceeded, met, or fell short of your preseason predictions?

While the Hokies have fallen short of my predicted 5-1 (loss @BC) start, I've exceeded my anticipated bourbon consumption by two handles of Maker's Mark.


Happy birthday Stiney! Or belated birthday as it were. I can't believe that I forget about your special day. Truth be told I've regularly forgot my mom's birthday every year since my freshman year in '01.

/dorm phone rings at around noon

Mom, "Hi Joe, how are you doing."
Joe, "Good, just finishing up homework."
Mom, "OK. Anything going on today, something special maybe?"
Joe, "No, not really."
Mom, "Nothing on your calendar then..."
Joe, "Nope."
Mom, "OK hun, I know you're busy I'll let you go, just remember Mommy loves you."
Joe, "Love you too."

Week 7 BlogPoll Ballot

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

  • Nate Costa didn't skip a bit a beat replacing injured quarterback Darron Thomas. The Ducks let Wazzu hang around too long for my liking, but they won by 20 and it's hard to knock a conference win on the road. The margin between Oregon and Ohio State is thin, and had Miami not looked completely lifeless against FSU I would have put the Buckeyes first, but I still like Oregon's win over Stanford better than any on Ohio State's resume, for now.
  • Oklahoma: Even if you don't want to give them huge props for their win over Texas, which in the context of that rivalry is huge, you have to respect their wins over FSU and now Air Force.
  • Nebraska: MARTINEZ!
  • LSU passes every test but the eye test. Maybe we all just need to accept that chaos and balls are as good a philosophy as any to win football games.
  • Should Arizona be lower, Oregon State higher?
  • Utah: Some course correction because their overtime win against Pitt isn't very impressive.

This ballot is a mess, I know it, you know it, so please help me.

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.