Hello. Welcome to this week's installment of "Foe"Rensics, where we try to share information many people don't know about this week's football opponent1. Pittsburgh is a proud city (also known locally as MelonCarnegieHeinzville) with a strong industrial tradition that produces some blue collar football players. Frankly, they were idiots not to hire Bud Foster and bring the Lunchpail D north the 47 times they've changed head coaches in the last ten years. But, one school's stupidity is another's gain, I guess.
Obviously the biggest story of this week transcended the sports world. The government shutdown has been weighing on the minds of many. That's why this week I decided to commemorate the shut down in my own little #goacc way, by thinking about what each coach would do with their time if they had been furloughed.
Let's get to the rankings, shall we?
The Dave Shinskie Division
(Dregs of the conference)
14. Virginia (2-3, LW: L 48-27 vs Ball State): It's come to this, and what a long, strange trip it's been. Just over a month ago, the Cavaliers beat BYU to start the season and had a few (but not many) people thinking that they were better than expected. Now? I'm starting to wonder if there was any assistant coach/babysitter in the entire country that could help the travesty that is Mike London's ability to actually...you know...coach football.
What Mike London would do if furloughed: London would form a volunteer police department. It would initially be the best volunteer police force in the country due to his ability to recruit new members, but would fall apart after five weeks due to a lack of direction and organization. It would end in a mutiny and London going on a rogue-cop spree.
Sometimes I consider trying to provide an in depth analysis in this post. When that happens I grab the cord on my keyboard and
1. THIS IS LOGAN THOMAS
I'll start this week's film review with an admission. I did not watch the Hokies beat the Tar Heels live. I listened to the game on AM radio as I took my family to the Outer Banks for a week of fishing and boiled shrimp. As I listened to Bill Roth's and Mike Burnop's call, I felt many of the same emotions that HokieNation was feeling on Saturday: elation as the offense clicked on all cylinders early; hint of worry as the defense didn't seem quite as dominant as expected against a quarterback making his first start; frustration with the Hokies inability to ice the football game in the 3rd quarter as well as the lack of rushing yards. I went to the film to look for answers, at the same time, when I reviewed my Twitter timeline after enjoying a good dinner in Kitty Hawk, I was surprised at how dissatisfied many seemed to be with the win. UNC beat the stuffing out of the Hokies last season, and to turn around and get a convincing win after the physical pounding of the Georgia Tech game makes this a huge victory. Yes, there is room for improvement, but the film clearly indicates that Virginia Tech dominated this football game and the coaching staff and the fan base should be thrilled with how the team continues to improve.
Blocking and the Running Game: Stats Do Lie
A quick look at the stat sheet, the Hokies only netted 48 yards on 34 carries for a putrid 1.4 yards per carry. As a result, the natives got restless, and I read numerous complaints about the offensive line. I expected the film to reflect a major regression by the offensive line, but instead I quickly saw that the Virginia Tech offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage. Based on my rewatch, there were only three complete busts from the offensive line through the entire game (one on pass protection) and when keyed in on individual matchups, every Hokie offensive lineman was physically dominant.
Designing a game plan to stop the Hokies offense must be a nightmare. Scott Loeffler's unit has shown so many different formations, personnel groupings, and schemes that it's impossible for a defensive coordinator to know what's going to happen on any given play. A tight end, fullback, and running back all come in to the game? The Hokies can line up with five wide, or in a diamond pistol formation, or under center. Loeffler said he wanted to run a multiple offense, well there's no doubt that he's established multiple ways to move the ball. He's also played a crucial role in helping Frank Beamer add five more wins to his already impressive career total.
Everyone knows that Frank Beamer (and Loeffler and Grimes) want to run the ball. For the past decade every defensive coordinator that rolled into Blacksburg to oppose Tech had one goal, stop the run at whatever cost. Almost any success Virginia Tech has had rushing the ball this season has been from a spread formation, so it shouldn't be a surprise that UNC focused on stopping the run from the pistol and shotgun early. What was a little surprising though was the game plan Loeffler had to defeat that tactic.
I am breaking tradition by posting this in advance of Virginia losing to Duke, but the Hoos loss to Ball State accelerated my timeline.
Ricky Walker made a verbal pledge to the Hokies today during his official visit to Virginia Tech. Walker is a 6-2, 275 pound defensive tackle from Bethel High in Hampton, Virginia (where James Gayle played his high school ball), and both Rivals.com and 247Sports rank him a 4-star prospect. In 10 games last season he had 70 tackles, 11 sacks, and earned first-team all-Peninsula District and all-Eastern Region as a two-way player (DT and guard).
By French (#TeamPie), Mason (recently bought an iPhone 4s), Joe (#TeamCake), and joelestra (number cruncher)
Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 1-0) against North Carolina Tar Heels (1-3, 0-1)
Virginia Tech is 7-2 against North Carolina in ACC games. The Hokies suffered that second loss last season. In 2012, the Tar Heels won at home 48-34. UNC out rushed Tech by nearly 300 yards (339 to 40). This week Frank Beamer has repeatedly used the word "pounded" to describe what the Heels did to his Hokies last season.
Well, needless to say the computers were wrong last week! Let's hope they're not wrong this week though, as they are universally in agreement that VT should win this game:
Hello. Welcome back to "Foe"Rensics, where we dive inside the heads of our opponents every week to understand what makes their football program tick. This week we were planning on doing a hat themed preview since North Carolinians are very fond of hats but you run out of jokes after "fedora" and "bowler", turns out. So, without further ado, let's all take a trip to Chapel Hill and get to your questions!