@alparker11 offers up this picture of the ACC Championship Trophy chilling in the lounge outside the Blacksburg offices of Beamer Co. I would have filched it, the Frankinator has three others.
The Hokies finally got off the schnide Sunday afternoon, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 79-69 victory over Penn State. Despite playing without senior guard Dorenzo Hudson, the Hokies found a spark in sophomore Erick Green.
Green tied his career high with 15 points, including a crucial three-pointer to ignite a 10-0 second half run to counter an 8-0 run by Penn State. The Winchester, VA native played his best game as a Hokie, nailing 6-of-11 shots, including 2-of-5 from long distance.
Tech built an 11-point halftime lead after finally showing some offensive motion. Despite a week off, the Hokies were crisp on the offensive end, making extra passes and creating open shots. The balanced attack led to a 62.1% shooting percentage in the first half and a 44-33 advantage. On defense, the Hokies created multiple transition opportunities by gathering long rebounds and forcing the issue against a weak Nittany Lion squad.
Despite the 11-point advantage, the Hokies came out flat in the second half and saw their lead shrink to three before Green's clutch shooting. The Nittany Lions wouldn't go away, crawling back to within eight before the Hokies put the final nail in the coffin. In what could be considered the turning point of the season, Tech broke out a quick 6-0 run in 45 seconds that was punctuated by a Victor Davila block on one end and a thunderous dunk that forced a Penn State timeout.
Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (4-4, 1-2 home) vs Penn State Nittany Lions (7-2, 0-1 road)
When: Sunday, December 12 @ 1:00 p.m.
TV: Comcast Sportsnet
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, Virginia
The Opponent: The Hokies host their second Big Ten team in the Cassell this season as 7-2 Penn State comes to Blacksburg on a mini two-game win streak. Their 7-2 record is a tad misleading, as all seven of the victories have come against teams with RPI's higher than 122. The two losses were by a combined 36 points to Ole Miss and Maryland. Plus, their last two wins over Duquesne and Mount St. Mary's were each by four points.
The story with Penn State is guard Talor Battle (6-0, 170 lbs). The senior lit Tech up last year in State College, scoring 32 points before missing a tough layup that would've tied the game as time expired. Battle made five three-pointers in the game and was 12-of-26 from the field. This year, Battle again leads the Nittany Lions with 19.4 points per game. He's scored in double digits in all but one game this year, including 21 of the team's 39 in the 62-39 loss to Maryland.
Oregon is responsible for the only blemish on an otherwise pristine Stanford record (11-1). The Cardinal took an early, and what looked like, commanding 21-3 lead over the Ducks, but could not hold on as day turned to night in a raucous Autzen Stadium. I wouldn't say Stanford lost the game as much as Oregon won it. Sure, Stanford turned the ball over four times in the second half, including once on downs starting from 3rd and goal at the 1 (finally stopped on 4th and 1 from the 6). Additionally, Luck's two interceptions were desperate attempts to get back into a game that was slipping away. Therefore, I believe it was more a case of Oregon executing flawlessly on offense and pressuring Luck in the pocket–something that was severely missing from the first half.
After watching the replay last night, I know more than ever that this is an excellent, tough as nails, and well coached football team.
Stanford on Offense
Their physicality, tempo, varied formations and precise execution reminds me of a NFL team.
The "Diamond" formation is all the rage these days.
1. Virginia Tech and Florida State seemed to acquit the ACC Championship Game well this year, turning in an entertaining 44-33 game in front of a crowd of 72,379 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Assess the success of the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte in year one. How much of the success can be attributed to the host city, and how much can be attributed to the matchup? A little of A, a little of B?
We won, so regardless of attendance or television ratings it was quite successful for me. To speak to your point Brian, the reason why the game was "successful" was because it passed the eye test. It looked and sounded like a competitive football contest and not the Senior Bowl. The city and matchup were most definitely an equal parts catalyst for getting fans in the seats.
2. Would you like to see Charlotte become the permanent home of the ACC Football Championship? Or would you be in favor of some alternate Championship Game format? (continuing to rotate the location, move to campus a la the Pac 12, etc.) Explain.
The mascot mock is 4 time ACC Champions and will be making its third Orange Bowl appearance in four years. Now, let's get after that tree.
It's the return of Laser Eyes:
The cutout I used is here (1) with more to come later.
There's not a lot of movement in this week's poll. I'm still too hungover to move.
- Auburn tops the charts because I believe Oregon and Auburn have won football games the same way this season: overwhelming offense, just enough defense. I bumped Auburn up because they have a better body of work. The Tigers have defeated four teams in this poll to the Duck's one.
- I am not going to overly penalize the losers of the conference championship games. Florida State, South Carolina and Nebraska were considered second best before their games, and in each case that assertion held true afterwards.
- We'll know a lot more after bowl season.
My final ballot is due Wednesday and if you see anything crazy let me know below.
In the first of many previews of Stanford I take a look at some key statistics courtesy of cfbstats.com.
Stanford ranks first nationally in 3rd down conversions (57.76%), which makes their 24.8 first downs per game (9th) a little less surprising. Conversely, Virginia Tech is holding opponents to 34.95% 3rd down conversions (21st) and 17.3 total first downs (T-20th). Stanford also converts 73.33% of 4th downs (T-9th).
Stanford controls the clock. The Cardinal leads the nation in time of possession holding the ball an average 35:07.58 a game.
Stanford scores an average of 40.3 points per game (8th). They gain an average of 466.8 yards per game (14th). Stanford’s butter in the red zone putting up points in 88.41% of their trips (17th: 47 TDs, 14 FGs).
Stanford is third overall in turnover margin (1.17). Virginia Tech leads the nation in turnover margin (1.38).
Someone get Tyrod Taylor to talk to the mens basketball team because something needs to change. The Hokies lost their third straight game Sunday evening, falling to rival Virginia 57-54. Once ranked in the top 25, Tech now finds itself at 4-4 after eight games and 0-1 in ACC play. Not exactly what Hokie fans pictured with the amount of talent on the court. Sounds familiar doesn't it?
Maybe this team can take a cue from the Hokie football team, who after losing two games within a week to start the season, one to a ranked team and one to an in-state school, ripped off 11 straight wins and an ACC Championship. The basketball squad has repeated the football program's stumble, blowing a late lead to the ranked team and coming out flat against the in-state school, leading to an eventual loss. The seniors on the football team took charge after the two losses and made sure they wouldn't go out on a sour note. Now it's time for the basketball seniors to step up and play like they were expected to.
While sitting stunned in my seat in the student section during the first half Sunday, I questioned whether or not anybody aside from Malcolm Delaney actually cared. It looked as if the other four players on the court were sleepwalking, while Delaney was making up for a horrendous game against Purdue on Wednesday. Delaney finished with 26, nearly half of Tech's 54 points.
The Hokies will play the Stanford Cardinal on January 3rd. They better be ready to defend Tyrod Tyler*. Now we all need to figure out how to mock a tree.
*great job Lou Holtz
And that's number four.
I'm still decompressing from the win and the bourbon I drank last night, but that was a fantastic game. Even with backup quarterback E.J. Manuel starting over Christian Ponder the 'Noles gave us a fight, and they really really pushed us. But every time they punched, we swung back harder and stronger like I thought we would. It's taken time but the offense has turned into an unstoppable force that seems to put up points every time they have the ball. G-W, who I have criticized the hell out of, was responsible for getting the ball rolling with a pick six. He bested that with this quote that had me laughing for a solid 5 minutes this morning.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, it's Championship Saturday and this is your open thread for tonight's festivities.
For those of you who need wakeup music.
The BCO is on the ground in Charlotte and emailed in his thoughts for the game:
X's and O's matter, as does talent and execution, but to me this game is about the moment. This game is heavy, not unlike the Boise game where the team shrunk from the spotlight, made mental mistakes and played too hyped. You want the team to be confident and excited but not so jacked where they lose sense of responsibilities and don't play within themselves and the structure of the gameplan. I feel confident knowing they respond well when punched in the mouth, but this game is a different bird. This is the most important game in terms of leadership for Tyrod and Graves.
I became a temporary Terrapins fan when I found out Florida State would advance to the ACC Championship Game if NC State lost to Maryland. Yes, I felt dirty supporting those bozos, but I wanted us to play the 'Noles. When it came to fruition I popped off my Grandma's couch, swigged a mouthful of Maker's, pumped my fist, let out a hardy, "Woo!", then showered. For me it's not about redemption of championships lost five and ten years ago, and I do realize that of the two, the Wolfpack would provide the least amount of resistance on route to the Orange Bowl.
I think these Hokies are good. In fact, right now, as of December 3rd I think this team is unstoppable. Actions speak louder than words, so I want this team to be challenged and pushed, not merrily skip to the trophy. The Wolfpack already gave us a run for our money; I'm certain we'd run them out of the stadium in a second go around. I want and got the only marquee matchup available; bring on the 'Noles.
We made it, the regular season is just about over and concludes with championship week (be sure to explain the feeling to a Hoo sometime). There is no reason to be sad because the season is over, instead be happy for our Hokies rebounding and making it to another ACC Championship game. Be excited that Beamer now has a chance to beat F$U in a meaningful game. Believe and trust that he'll get it done. Party it up in the Queen City, find a tailgate that has a TV and watch some $EC football in prep for our big game. Finally, be loud, proud and take no crap from any 'Noles fan inside the BoA Stadium, IT'S OUR HOUSE this week!
It's an abbreviated Six Pick after over-consuming last week. I watched part, or all, of ten of the twelve games I previewed last week. By midnight on Saturday I was in a college football induced coma that put turkey day to shame. This week I am cutting the fat, no shitty Big East or Pac 10 games that will go unwatched by everyone except their respective fans and Matt Zemek. This week, it's a Four Pick, one of those $10-$15 four packs where the alcohol by volume is north of 10%. Each beer/game will get after you and be damn enjoyable too.
The Hokies failed to capitalize on their final significant non-conference opportunity for a quality win, falling to the Purdue Boilermakers 58-55 in overtime. The loss set Tech back to 4-3 on the season with rival UVA coming to town on Sunday.
Malcolm Delaney just simply didn’t show up, going 2-of-18 from the field in what could be his worst game in his four years at VT. Delaney finished with just 9 points, missed a fadeaway shot at end of regulation, and turned the ball over on Tech’s final possession of overtime, cementing the Purdue victory.
Tech was once again hampered by poor free throw shooting in clutch situations. Leading 50-49 with 21 seconds remaining in regulation, Terrell Bell only made 1-of-2 free throws and Purdue’s JuJuan Johnson took advantage, nailing a hook shot with 8.8 seconds remaining to tie the contest. In overtime, Dorenzo Hudson made just 1-of-2 free throws to give Tech a one-point lead, which was quickly erased when Johnson made a 15-foot shot to give the Boilermakers a 56-55 lead they would not relinquish. The Hokies finished 15-of-21 (71.4%) from the charity stripe.
Hudson also continued his season long struggle, making just 2-of-5 shots and finishing with 5 points. Seth Greenberg even went as far as to putting Erick Green in down the stretch in regulation instead of the slumping Hudson. The fact that Delaney and Hudson combined for just 14 points and the Hokies had a chance to win was astounding.