DUKE LIVE BLOG

"Just like basketball."

*clap, clap, clap*

I think Lester is trying to get arrested by the fashion police. We're wearing maroon helmets, white jerseys and orange pants. The first time we've done so since a 1994 win against ECU.

The chat console is after the jump.

Duke Football Primer: Photo Edition

Where they play: Wade Wallace Stadium 

The Blue Devils have earned the NCAA's Academic Achievment Award more than any other football program. 

The media perenially tabs the Blue Devils as ACC football dark horses... 

...but usually they stick to the hardcourt. 

The future of the ACC?

This is Bill Cosby Decked out in Maroon*


via @virginia_tech

Is the Frankinator consulting with comedian Bill Cosby about the kicking game and how to proceed under the hypothetical situation that Cody Journell can't play? I don't know, you tell me!

You seeeeeeeeee, the Myer has, to, kick, the ball more consistently. It pewwwwwwwwwwwww goes the distance, just doesn't always split the bars.

When asked about how his chat with Cosby went, Beamer responded:

Real strong comedian right there, good staff of writers around him.

/raises his two fists to his chest and slowly pumps them back and forth in short bursts.

He's always well-prepared, has that "want-to". His sets are real consistent: great intro, punchlines always get after ya, finishes strong.

/serious face

Great comedians make great jokes, and that's what Bill's always done.

*And just subtle amounts of orange, Lester please take note.

Duke Preview

Who: #15/15 Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1, 3-1 ACC) @ Duke Blue Devils (3-4, 1-2 ACC)

Time: 12:30 PM

TV Coverage: ACC Network (Tim Brant, Dave Archer, Scott Pryzwansky)

Venue: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC (33,941 – Grass)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 11-7

  • Last Meeting (2010): Virginia Tech 44, Duke 7
  • Coach Beamer is a perfect 7-0 against Duke
  • The Hokies have won 10 straight games against the Blue Devils, dating back to 1981
  • In 7 ACC contests, the Hokies have outscored Duke by an average of 37-8

Injury Report

  • LB Alonzo Tweedy – Out (ankle)
  • OL Mark Shuman – Out (knee/ankle)

The Opponent: The Hokies start the final third of their season by facing the first of four consecutive Coastal Division opponents. This Duke team has continued a trend of Blue Devil teams under David Cutcliffe, slowly working its way into a competitive nature. The Blue Devils are more consistent than in years past, but they still have their Duke moments, such as losing to Richmond for their third consecutive time.

At 3-4, the Blue Devils possess wins over Boston College, Tulane, and FIU. They, too, finish the season with all Coastal Division games, but they play all five division opponents in a row, starting with Tech.

MIAMI-VIRGINIA LIVE BLOG

Because why not? The live blog starts at 8:00 and the console is after the jump.

Now, Where Do We Go From Here?

The Hokies' regular season is two-thirds over. In the first eight games there were some bumps along the way. Oh, and the Clemson game too. That was a head-on collision into a Jersey barrier that no one saw us speeding into. Or maybe we didn't care to notice? The airbags deployed, and we moved on from the wreck, but it hurt like hell. Don't drink the Kool-Aid and drive. Now, where do we go from here?

Forward. OK, that was an obvious answer, but all of realistic goals --beating Virginia, earning a spot in the ACC Championship Game, playing in the Orange Bowl-- set by the team at the start of the season (and even the unrealistic one, but I'm not mentioning that) are in front of us, just starting to come into view over the horizon. A better question, what's it going to take to get there?

A Healthy Defense

We lose defensive tackles Antoine Hopkins and Kwamaine Battle for the year, Corey Marshall and Luther Maddy step up. The Hyphen's turnaround season got cut short, Alonzo Tweedy shows he can play, then tweaks his ankle. Detrick Bonner made All-American Jayron Hosley's absence a little more tolerable. Tyrel Wilson earned the Frankinator's praise trying to fill James Gayle's large shadow against Boston College. Tackling machine Bruce Taylor went down, Barquell Rivers didn't skip a beat. Kyle Fuller and Cris Hill have been human Band-Aids, treating any and all trauma suffered by the secondary.

Six Pick: Week Nine

One upset Saturday down, with at least another one to come ... but when? Stay tuned. Like the rest of October, there are only a couple of marquee games this weekend. But, you never know when a Texas Tech will strike, shake the foundation, and move Boise State get that much closer to the national title game. Speaking of national title games, we are only week away from that de facto one, and I am giddy with excitement. A mini-viewing party is in the works at Casa de BCO, complete with beer, BBQ, cornhole and college football at its highest level. ::Breathe:: I am putting the cart before the horse. First, let's see what this weekend brings.

VT Football Winning Streaks & Week 2 BCS "Projections"

Not a whole lot of time for me this week, as I'm in the San Francisco Bay area for work, so I figured I'd throw out a few quick numbers nuggets to the TKP readers.  First, a look at Virginia Tech's active winning streaks, and then a look BCS Bowl projections as if the season ended today.

Grillin' With Wolf: Blue Devil Burgers

Durham, North Carolina is the current home of Duke University. It was founded in Trinity in 1838 and moved there in 1892. The name was changed to Duke in 1924 in honor of Washington Duke, an American tobacco industrialist. The Blue Devils have won 7 ACC football championships, the last one in 1989 under Steve Spurrier. They have not had a winning season since 1994. However, they can still brag about beating the Hoo's and consistently graduating more athletes than most schools in the country. Duke has put out more alumni than I care to mention, although Ken Jeong is probably the best they have to offer. In honor of one of my favorite mascots in the country to hate, we are going to make Blue Devil Burgers (and by Blue Devil I mean blue cheese Habanero).

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef (stick to a fattier beef so that the burgers don't shrink and dry out, 85/15 is the leanest I usually go)
  • 3-4 Habaneros
  • 1-2 cups chunked blue cheese
  • Medium egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh made hamburger buns

Boston College Roll Call

I picked a great year to watch each game twice. This is a really fun team, on both sides of the ball.

I saw a Darryl Slater tweet about this being the only season under Frank in which a QB has completed at least 22 passes in three games. Is that true?

Sadly, it's going to be tough down the stretch. Guys are dropping like drunk sorority girls trying to navigate the TOTS stairs at last call.

But this is a solid group of football players, and I'm excited about the fourth quarter of the season. Let's take a look at how they did on Saturday:

1. Antone Exum - He got lucky on the first play of the second quarter, but otherwise I thought he had another nice day. He made a beautiful play on that near-INT and tattooed some BC scrub. Nice work.

2. Josh Oglesby - Go back and watch the last drive of the first half. Josh had a really tough catch, but more importantly, killed it in the pass protection department. Job well done.

3. Logan Thomas - What do you do if you're supposed to tackle him? Not only does he blast fools, he lets them know exactly what happened. I'd like to see him take it up the middle of the field more when he pulls it down, otherwise, I really have no criticism. Just a beast.

Week 8 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I need you guys to keep me in check. So leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary.

  • Oklahoma, Wisconsin - How far should they drop? I know Oklahoma's resume isn't as impressive with Florida State, Texas and Mizzou struggling, but based on their talent I still think they are the best one loss team in the country. Up until Saturday the Badgers played no one and beat everyone, save Nebraska. So I am not holding a last second loss via a once-a-season Hail Mary touchdown against them.
  • Michigan State - They might be too high. I conveniently swept the beat down they took earlier in the year from a more and more average looking Irish under the rug. Two of their biggest wins at Ohio State and against Wisconsin were squeakers.
  • The Cocks - They drop two spots after beating the bye week; poll-itics.
  • West Virginia - Am I being too hard after their loss in the Dome?
  • Who's missing - The bottom five are a mess. If you can make an argument for a team not ranked that you think should be there I am all ears.

Post Game Ranting: A Quick Game Overview

Well, that was certainly interesting wasn't it fellow Hokie fans? I have not had a chance yet to review the game film, but after watching the Hokies 30-14 win over Boston College yesterday, I wanted to share some quick observations as they stand fresh in my mind before I watch the film and find out that I am all wrong.

Bruce Taylor will Have Season-Ending Surgery Tuesday

The Key Play.com was greeted by an unpleasant email from a source informing us Bruce Taylor will have season-ending surgery on his foot that he injured in the third quarter against Boston College on Saturday. Our source was unable to confirm the severity of the injury or the rumor that it is a Lisfranc sprain.

Bruce Taylor's 2011 Stats

Tackles Sacks Pass
Breakups
QB Hurries
Ast Solo Asst
Loss
Solo
Loss
Loss
Yds
Ast Solo Yards
32 21 6 4 36 2 4 27 0 3

Taylor led the Hokies with 53 tackles. His leadership and presence anchoring the defense at Mike linebacker cannot be represented by a statistic, nor be overvalued. He will be greatly missed.

Barquell Rivers, who suffered and has been working to return to form from a ruptured quadriceps tendon in 2010, relieved Taylor and shined on the field. Look for Rivers to be Taylor's permanent replacement. And if you're keeping track at home Bruce is our 3rd starting defender sidelined for the season (G-W, A. Hopkins).

Well wishes for a speedy recovery Bruce.

VIRGINIA TECH - BOSTON COLLEGE OPEN THREAD


Box gone ham.

Unfortunately, there's no fancy live blog this week because no one will be around to moderate it. Box, Kevin and I will be at the game, the BCO has #BeerControlFather duties, and Adam is in Chi Town eating at The Wiener's Circle. I didn't want to leave you guys high and dry though. Post your pre-game, in game, and postgame comments and thoughts here. If you don't already have one, you'll need an account to post. The ship is yours, treat her right.

Boston College Preview

Who: #16/T14 Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1, 2-1 ACC) vs Boston College Eagles (1-5, 0-3 ACC)

Time: 3:00 PM

TV Coverage: RSN (Rich Waltz, Keith Jones, Jenn Hildreth)

Venue: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA (66,233 – Grass)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 13-6

  • Last Meeting (2010): Virginia Tech 19, Boston College 0
  • The Hokies have won the last three meetings between the two, dating back to the 2008 ACC Championship
  • Boston College has scored in just three of the last 14 quarters against the Hokies
  • In 2009, Boston College had 3 yards of offense in the first half in a 48-14 loss

Injury Report

  • WR E.L. Smiling – Out for Season (wrist)
  • OL Mark Shuman – Out (knee/ankle)
  • TE Eric Martin – Out (shoulder)
  • OL David Wang – Out (foot)
  • CB Jayron Hosley – Doubtful (hamstring)

The Opponent: The Hokies return home for Homecoming to face the M*A*S*H unit known as Boston College. The Eagles enter Saturday’s contest at 1-5 and have faced a rash of injuries to critical players, making Virginia Tech’s injury problems seem minute. BC has lost five starters to injury and an additional two players left the team.

High Level Offensive Review of Wake Forest Game

This week, I spent most of my film review focused on the defensive line troubles that plagued the Hokies against Miami, but I did watch one live speed review of most of the offensive series. Using the themes we have discussed in the past, I will give my high level impressions of the Hokie offense this week.

Six Pick: Week Eight

It's week eight and currently there are ten unbeaten teams left. That means hand wringing about what happens when 5 of these teams are unscathed at season's end. Really!?! Get back to me in mid November, until then lets just watch these teams beat each other and wait for the annual "Shock the World Saturday" to redefine expectations. This could be that week because it's another so-so lot of games. Makes me wish I was going to Blacksburg to tailgate and watch BC vs VT. Instead, I'll suffer through the games for you, hoping for upsets so I can troll other fans on Twitter.

Mock Interview: An Eagle Eye on Boston College

Editor's Note: Bumped to the front because this week we're having fun making a lot of stuff up.

Early this week I made the way up to Chestnut Hill to get a glimpse into the hearts and minds of Coach Spaziani along with a player or two. Some of the highlights are below:

Coach Spaz, may I call you Spaz? It just rolls easier off the tongue. Looking down the barrel of a 1-5 start where do you think your team has to go from here? What keys for success have you used to inspire your squad?

1st Quarter Second Guesses: Focus on the Defensive Line (Wake Forest)

After the defensive line debacle versus Miami, I took the opportunity to examine how the depleted Hokie defensive line performed against Wake Forest. With the Hokies schedule including pro-style power I running teams like UNC and UVA, as well as a wishbone Georgia Tech team, developing backup defensive linemen who can not only fill in for injured guys now, but who can also play important snaps late in the season, is crucial for Virginia Tech to win the ACC this year.
1st Quarter:
1st defensive series:
1st and 10- bootleg, defensive line flows, the whip apparently has bootleg responsibilities. Good coverage by Exum.

The Virginia Letters

Sitting at Virginia's football game-week press conference this afternoon, I was surprised to hear Associated Press reporter Hank Kurz ask defensive end Jake Snyder if he'd heard how U.Va. had recently sent letters to football recruits that basically said by the time they read the letter U.Va. will have already beaten Georgia Tech.

Snyder said he hadn't heard about it. I immediately went to Kurz and inquired about where he'd gotten the info about the alleged letters to recruits. He said U.Va. defensive coordinator Jim Reid told him after the Georgia Tech game the Cavaliers had sent out the letters.

Sounds like a pretty reputable source to me, but I'll try to get further confirmation. Either way, that's the kind of sexy line in a love letter to a recruit that makes a prospect take notice, especially if a program can back it up like U.Va. did with Saturday's 24-21 win against No. 12 Georgia Tech.

via: http://weblogs.dailypress.com/sports/college/accblog/2011/10/virginia_shows_confidence_in_r.html

This isn't the first time Virginia has passed along a letter to a recruit, far from it. In fact, snail-mail communication with prospective players is a practice that began under Al Groh, and is continued by disciple Mike London. A The Key Play.com investigation has obtained copies of correspondence through the years.

DATED: OCTOBER 15, 2002 -- RECIPIENT: XAVIER ADIBI

Xavier,

You're going to have to sell yourself a little bit better son. Are you worth that scholarship? I've seen a lot of other players move better than you and they can make all the open field tackles too. How are you going to separate yourself from the pack for me?

I'm still not convinced,

Virginia Head Coach Al Groh

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