Hello. Welcome to this week's "Foe"Rensics feature, where we make up stuff about our opponents to make them more interesting. The good news is, this week, Maryland lives in this crazy alternative universe where normal doesn't exist, so I don't even really have to be creative this week. Let's get to work!
Before I get to the power rankings, I want to share a quick story.
During my last two years of college I was working as hard as I could to make myself better at broadcasting. I had worked with IMG in Blacksburg, calling play-by-play of all sorts games of the "Olympic sports" variety (volleyball, soccer, wrestling, etc...), but during the spring there was a lot more down time.
In order to keep my reps up, I would go to Hokie baseball games and practice calling them into a recorder, "The three-one to Pinder," and so on. I used to do this on the grassy hill behind the away dugout, so no one could hear me as I made a fool of myself talking into a recorder like a crazy person. Well, to teach me a lesson in vocal confidence, my boss (Andrew Allegretta) told me before one baseball game that I had to sit in the stands with the rest of the spectators.
Needless to say...I was petrified.
After a brief hiatus the #BUZZCAP is back and has less analysis than ever!
1. BREAKING THE CANES
As best as I can tell Mark Giannotto reported the story first, but David Teel followed up with more firm details.
I hate to interrupt the near-apocalyptic vortex that is rooting for this Virginia Tech football team, but basketball season is back! Who's ready for depressing double digit losses and something unplanned to go dramatically wrong? I mean, we've already gone through the 2012 football season, so we're all used to all of those things by now.
I realize that the team has already played one game, so this isn't technically a "preview", but I'm going to ask myself a bunch of questions that I expect to be issues that will develop over the season, and answer them to the best of my ability.
How bad is this team going to be? Wow, let's cut right to the chase, shall we? In short, this team is not going to be good. The combination of youth, that of both the team and the coaching staff, usually doesn't bode well, no matter how talented either side is. That being said, I'm convinced that the team's final record is not going to represent the way the team plays...but we'll get to that. The record will be bad. I'm talking...really bad. Like possibly single-digit wins bad.
Against Miami, the offense did what I expected them to do all season long. An offense that controls the clock and focuses on picking up first downs. An offense that protects the football and puts Foster's defense in favorable positions. An offense that scores in the red zone. An offense that runs the ball. Loeffler trusted his offensive line, and in the second half he leaned on Edmunds and Coleman to get first downs and keep the ball away from the big play Miami offense. This is what I envisioned when Loeffler was hired.
If you haven't read French's review of the run game yet... what the heck is wrong with you? It's a celebration of the first game this season where the rushing offense truly "broke out". I won't try and improve on the run game analysis (it's not possible), but I will say that the ground game's maturation came at the perfect time.
It was more enjoyable to watch the film this week after two gut-wrenching Sunday's in a row. After a shaky start, the Hokies benefited from several Miami special teams turnovers and the running game finally complimented the ever-improving passing attack. Also, some of the burden of picking up short yardage was lifted off Logan Thomas' shoulders, and you saw the result. A huge part of Saturday's success can't be documented with X's and O's. Some might say that Virginia Tech benefited by some lucky bounces, but A.J. Hughes stuck his head in on a bigger, stronger, and faster player to knock the first ball loose. Derek DiNardo chased down the Artie Burns to strip the ball from behind. Kalvin Cline punched the Stanford fumble away from a Miami defender so D.J. Coles could dive on the loose ball. Demitri Knowles hustled after the play to be in position to recover the Byrn fumble in the end zone. Trey Edmunds made several Hurricanes miss on a critical third down conversion when he was dead to rights on a pass in the flat. These were all effort plays. The Hokies offense outworked the Hurricanes defense.
There will be a Thekeyplay.com tailgate this Saturday (11/16/13) at 8:00 AM before the Maryland game. The spot is Lot 9, 0291. There will be some food (deer, burgers, dogs) and drinks provided, but those are bound to run out. If you're planning on staying for a while, please bring something to contribute; whether that's food to share, drinks, or tailgating supplies (chairs, trash bags, whatever).
Most importantly, it's a charity event. If you are planning on coming by at all, even to say hello for a minute, you are required to bring $5 or more in cash, canned goods, or supplies from this list.
The donations will benefit The Women's Resource Center Of The New River Valley.
This was the first of many momentum shifting plays against Miami. A.J. Hughes, the punter, form tackled a ball carrier and forced a fumble. Boom.
Was that as good for you as it was for me?
This is going to be short, sweet, and all about Logan Thomas. Forget the fact we scored points fumbling into the end zone, and that chaos was our 12th man. (RAIN PLUS MIAMI EQUALS A REAL GOOD TIME.) This game was Logan Thomas at his best, and I'm really happy for him. At the beginning of the week the media asked if he was confident in remaining the starter. Fans got after him following poor performances against Duke and at Boston College. We highlighted the mistakes on the film. Then...
HE PLAYED THIS GAME. 25 of 31 for 366 yards, 2 touchdowns through the air, and 42 yards rushing. He did that, and I'm not sure I've ever been happier for a kid. Stats aside, I'm not sure if Logan has ever looked as comfortable and confident in the pocket.
He delivered another big win on the road, and I'm happy that's tonight's narrative.