Six Pick: Week Four

It's week four and the season is coming into focus, for good and bad. It is looking more and more like there are a couple of dominant teams at the top, followed by a whole bunch of others that will beat each another up throughout the season. That's okay because it means chaos from week to week. Matchups, desire, luck and fat little girlfriends are going to decide the record for the other 115 schools even more than usual. By no means do I think Bama, LSU, Oregon and FSU can't slip up to inferior teams and take a bad loss. We've all seen too many "great" teams take one on the chin when they weren't prepared, but as of now, they pass the eyeball test and look above the rest.

It's our turn. "Our" being the Atlantic Coast Conference, the much maligned punch line over the last decade. The two best teams in the ACC are FSU and Clemson, and they get to shine on ABC primetime Saturday night. Let's hope they don't disappoint, the nation wants a good show, not some ugly game full of Ron Cherry and turnovers. Even if you hate both teams and the whole conference solidarity thing, {cough} ESS-EEE-SEE {cough} pisses you off, you have to agree the ACC's reputation and image needs this to go right. I love me some #goacc jokes at "our" expense, but for this night, I want an intense, physical, beautiful football from our foes that shows "our" conference belongs. Is that so bad?

Q&A with FalconBlog

This week I did a Q&A with BJ of FalconBlog. My answers are on his blog. Thanks to BJ for his time, enjoy

TKP: Okay, the Falcon's scoring offense is one of the worst in the country (16.7 ppg). What were the offensive expectations going into the season? Is there any particular reason for these struggles?

O&B: Well, one thing is that when you watch the game on Saturday, you won't be seeing the 116th best offense in the country. You might see the 70th but you aren't going to see the 116th. The team has struggled for a few reasons: pre-snap penalties, dropped passes and missed FGs. You can at least do better on the first two. Anyway, our offensive expectations were to be better than this, and while the running game has been pretty satisfying, we're disappointed with the passing game, especially the conservative playcalling.

TKP: MACtion is it's own little cult fan favorite. Do the Falcons run a spread attack? If so, what kind? If not, what offense do they run?

Bowling Green Football Primer, Photo Edition

This week, the Hokies look to rebound from their loss by taking on Bowling Green State University. The Falcons currently sit at 1-2, but have valuable road expereince in big time environments, as they started the season at the Swamp (a 27-14 defeat).

BGSU is coming off a rough 27-15 rivalry loss to Toledo. The Falcons and the Rockets play for the Battle of I-75 Trophy (sometimes referred to as the Peace Pipe) each year. Unfortunately, the Falcons had not claimed a victory in the series since 2009.

Statistics that will make you sad

Sustaining drives is an important charge for any offense. Among other things, longer drives allow more time for the defense to rest, help to win the all important field position battle, and provide more scoring opportunities. Tech has not done a good job at moving the chains. When I found out the Hokies average just 18.33 first downs a game (94th nationally), I decided to do a little bit of analysis.

Lamenting Pitt

It's taken me a lot longer than it should have to talk about last weekend's "game". I put "game" in quotations because it was more or less a very one-sided boxing match. Today is Tuesday. I've sat on my thoughts for over 48 hours, mainly to avoid writing a "chicken little sky-is-falling" type piece and/or a depressing "this is my senior year and the team pretty much just gave me the finger" rage post.

I've finally come to accept the loss, and now understand the team for what it is: an adequately talented young group with a ton of holes. Even holes that Tech fans and writers didn't see coming. There are probably only two positions that don't worry me in some way: kicker and punter. Everything else seems to have some sort of question mark, and you know what? I think I'm about to break it down, position by position.

I'm not French. I can't break down plays and tell you what happened. I'm just going into this with blind, haphazard opinions.

Quarterback

Logan Thomas is worrying just about everyone now. He doesn't look comfortable in the new offense, and the worst part is that the switch was supposed to benefit him. To better utilize him! To summarize something Joe said, at least when we ran the crappy old offense that everyone hated, we knew how to run it. I really hope to see him turn it around...because he's really our hope to be competitive in games.

Running Back

Pitt Film Review: Unravelling What Went Wrong

If you're not getting better, then you are getting worse.

The Hokies were not able to use the Austin Peay game to build depth and rest some beat up players, and I think that three football games in 13 days really caught up to the Tech, especially the rough nature of the Georgia Tech game.

At the same time, this was a beat down of the worst kind. Clemson, Stanford, LSU, and Alabama had terrific football teams. I can't recall feeling this frustrated over a loss since Boston College on Thursday night a few years ago. Every concern raised here over the past two weeks was exposed in a drastic fashion. We knew the offense was not explosive. In order to be successful their execution had to be outstanding to sustain long drives. Yet on every critical play, one mistake—either blocking, reading a block, flub on a route, or horrid decision making/mechanics by the quarterback—derailed the play. Defensively, we knew that the secondary was one bruised shoulder away from being a disaster, and we saw that scenario play out in macabre fashion.

Bounce Back

Editor's Note: I'm still bummed over the loss, but there's still a long season in front of us. Mikey's piece put that into perspective for me. Bumped to the front. --Joe

Ronny Vandyke Double Block Dot GIF

This was the final block that sprung Kyshoen Jarrett.

After the debacle Saturday, I figured we could all use this. It seems like every time RVD is on the field he's making a play, which makes me wonder why RVD isn't on the field more.

Pitt.

Pitt.

*That's the post. French will have the film review by Monday morning and my guess is it won't be sunshine and lollipops. Remember, we can still win the ACC. -- THIS MESSAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY BEAMER CO.

More than Superficial: Pitt

This week I'm asking more questions than providing answers. Tech's first two games were a bit of a scheduling anomaly. The Hokies spent all summer preparing to defend Paul Johnson's option and Al Groh's 3-4, then had just 5 days to turn around and square away a I-AA team. Now that the Hokies have had a full week to rest, regroup, watch film, and practice, will we see that week one to two improvement that the Frankinator often speaks about, but didn't happen last Saturday?

Will the o-line get a push inside? For the most part, the Hokies front five held their own in pass protection against the Bees and Peay(s), but as a group didn't dominate the line of scrimmage. Andrew Miller is listed as probable with an ankle injury, but practiced this week. The reserves got snaps inside last Saturday: Caleb Farris at center, Brent Benedict and Matt Arkema at guard. Pitt's defensive line played on their heels against Cincinnati, and is group that should be owned by the Hokie big uglies.

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