Q&A with MGoBlog

Below, Brian from MGoBlog gives MAN ANSWERS to my questions. Our answers to his questions are here (French took 1-8, I took 9-12).

1. Denard, Denard, Denard... I think most Hokies know about the freak-of-an-athlete you guys having running around the field at quarterback. How would you go about designing a game plan to contain him, and who's the second guy on offense VT's going to have to worry about stopping?

I would come after him and play a lot of robber zone stuff to take away intermediate routes when you do. Denard has been mistake-prone when pressured but when left to set his feet and throw he's been pretty accurate lately. You do put yourself at risk of Denard busting past your blitzers and giving up a big play, but that's somewhat offset by the chance he chucks an ugly interception.

The second guy to worry about is Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan's primary running back. He's a smallish, darting runner with the ability to juke in a phone booth and very good (but not great) top end speed. He cracked 1000 yards on the season with a late surge.

2011 Opponent Recap: Clemson

CLEM RECORD: 4-0 (1-0 ACC) (W 35-30 against #11 Florida State)

VT RECORD: 4-0 (W 30-10 against Marshall)

SCORE: (13) CLEM 23 – (11) VT 3

GAME SUMMARY: For the Hokies, this was a dual exhibit of missed opportunities and lack of execution. The offense was held to just 258 yards, and a conservative game plan resulted in constant pressure on quarterback Logan Thomas. Thomas was sacked four times. The following can be considered a microcosm of the Hokies’ offensive struggles throughout the game: down 3-0 in the second quarter, the Hokies advanced to Clemson’s 32-yard line, where the drive stalled. Instead of attempting a field goal or fourth down conversion, Tech punted. Touchback; a net gain of 12 yards. The following Clemson possession, Jayron Hosley was able to intercept Tajh Boyd and returned the ball to the Clemson 31. The Tech drive extinguished at the 7 yard line, and the Hokies were forced to settle for three. With around ten minutes remaining, down 17-3, Thomas was able to drive Tech to the Clemson 12-yard line, but the offense turned the ball over on downs. The Tigers responded with an 8-play, 88-yard touchdown drive to seal the victory.

Eastern Michigan Preview

Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3) vs Eastern Michigan Eagles (5-6)

When: Thursday, December 22 @ 7:00 p.m.

TV: ESPN3 (Quint Kessenich and Glenn Consor)

Where: Cassell Coliseum (9,847), Blacksburg, VA

The Opponent: The Hokies welcome Eastern Michigan to the Cassell on Thursday evening to wrap up their 2011 home slate. The Eagles are coming off a hard-fought 52-48 win at Radford on Tuesday that snapped a five-game losing streak. Under first year head coach Rob Murphy, EMU has battled the likes of Syracuse (lost by 36), Michigan State (lost by 32), and Purdue (lost by 25) this season.

The Eagles rank near 200 in the RPI and their best win came against IUPUI, which sits at #238 in the early season rankings. Here’s a look at their starting lineup:


Hopefully in New Orleans these will be more than just pixels on a computer screen. Created with Clark Ruhland's uniform builder.

I've been struggling to write this post for the last couple of days. I've been going back-and-forth in my head, trying to put my finger on why we want to see the Hokies decked out head-to-toe in all-maroon. It's undeniable they're sharp as hell. Stare at them for just a couple of seconds and they snarl and bite at you. They clock a 4-4 forty, they got heart. They're as "Virginia Tech" as the Hokie Stone that watches students get stung by the wind as they walk across the drillfield in the winter. They're simple, not overstated, perfect for a team that carries a lunchpail to work.

There's no mention of pants. Of course not, that Tweet ran out of characters, and it's not worth noting we'll wear the same old white pants. That was me being logical. However, my initial conclusion was presuming and irrational: @VT_Football neglected the pants because they want the all-maroon uniforms to be a surprise. That's what I want to believe.

2011 Opponent Recap: Marshall

MU RECORD: 1-2 (1-0 Conference USA) (L 44-7 against Ohio)

VT RECORD: 3-0 (W 26-7 against Arkansas State)

SCORE: (13) VT – 30 MU – 10

GAME SUMMARY: The pregame atmosphere was somber, as both teams took time to remember the 1970 plane crash that killed 75 members of the Marshall football program, including two graduates of Virginia Tech, Rick Tolley and Frank Loria. Loria, a fellow defensive back and teammate of Frank Beamer, was the first All-American at Virginia Tech. Like in their game against West Virginia, Marshall came out of the gates quick, moving the ball effectively against Tech until Jayron Hosley forced a fumble after giving up a 32-yard completion to Aaron Dobson. The defense quickly settled in, holding Marshall to just 251 yards total offense and sacking true freshman quarterback Rakeem Cato 5 times (J.R. Collins had half the team’s sacks).

2011 Opponent Recap: Arkansas State

ARKST RECORD: 1-1 (W 47-3 against Memphis)

VT RECORD: 2-0 (W 17-10 against ECU)

SCORE: (13) VT – 26 ARKST – 7

GAME SUMMARY: It was an ominous start for the Hokies. On the opening kickoff, return man Dyrell Roberts broke his arm and would be lost for the season. Arkansas State forced a Tech punt, then drove 59 yards to take a 7-0 lead (51 of those yards coming on a Taylor Stockemer reception). The ship would be righted, though, and Tech scored the final 26 points of the game, beginning with a safety caused by Kyle Fuller’s pass-rushing skills. Logan Thomas passed for 292 yards, and Danny Coale had his first 100-yard outing of the season (he finished with 128 yards on seven catches). Jayron Hosley added two more interceptions to his resume, bringing his career total to 11.

Hokies Crush Campbell, Host North Florida Tonight

After finishing up semester exams, Tech men's basketball team returned to the court Saturday to face a feisty Campbell squad that had already won at Iowa earlier in the season. The Hokies showed a bit of rust in the first half, shooting just 37 percent from the field, but opened things up with a 15-0 run to start the second half.

Tech went on to shoot 73 percent in the final 20 minutes, and coasted to a 85-60 victory over the Camels. The game showcased the reemergence of senior leaders Victor Davila and Dorenzo Hudson. Davila finished with 15 points, all in the second half, and connected on six of his nine buckets. Hudson tied for the team lead in scoring with 15, snapping a string of six consecutive games in which he failed to reach double digits. The Hokies' other three starters, Erick Green, Jarell Eddie, and Dorian Finney-Smith all reached double figures as well, adding 12, 11, and 10 respectively.

The Hokies forced 15 Campbell turnovers on the afternoon, converting them into 23 points. Tech also did a better job of getting in transition, notching 20 fast break points to the Camels' 8. The win was Tech's third in a row, moving its record to 8-3 while Campbell fell to 8-3 on the season.


12/19/11 - Someone associated with Virginia came to their senses, realized how ridiculous this video was and closed their YouTube account "UVAFillTheHill". I'm going to respect that and won't re-upload it.

"I Pledge" was the most UVA thing ever, now just one month later Virginia has outdone themselves, again, with a Kanye inspired "All of the Hoos" promotional video for their trip to the Chick-fil-A bowl. I don't even have to make fun of it. It stands alone, triumphantly, atop a pile of smug UVa. But I'm going to anyways.

0:00 - 0:35 Here's some typical we're-not-better-than-your-school-at-football-so-we're-going-to-imply-you're-dumb-and-snub-our-noses-at-your-(agri)culture UVa bullshit.

0:36 - 0:48 Where were these two clowns when Darth Vadar was trolling around the galaxy putting down the rebellion? YEAH, homemade, lightsaber looking, over-sized glow sticks. I bet these would be a hit at the next rave party brah. Let's just head bob like we're both E'd out, and jump on the table because don't give a fuck. WE'RE THE CHILLEST BROS EVER.


1:06 - 1:08 Superman ran for 13 yards against Virginia Tech.

2011 Opponent Recap: East Carolina

ECU RECORD: 0-1 (L 56-37 against University of South Carolina)

VT RECORD: 1-0 (W 66-13 against Appalachian State)

SCORE: (11) VT – 17 ECU – 10

GAME SUMMARY: Frank Beamer’s 200th victory at Virginia Tech was a tilt in which yards were hard to come by. Tech’s Lunch-Pail defense lived up to its reputation, holding ECU’s potent offense to a mere 112 total yards, and sacking Pirate quarterback Dominique Davis five times. ECU’s defense returned the favor; a week after giving up 56 points to the Gamecocks, the Pirates forced two turnovers, held Logan Thomas to under 100 yards passing, and did not allow David Wilson to score a touchdown. The Hokies themselves played a prominent role in their offense struggles, committing twelve penalties. In the second half, the Hokie defense did not allow any ECU drive to gain more than twenty yards, and Josh Oglesby capped 78- and 89-yard drives with rushing touchdowns.

Big Game in the Big Easy: The Bowl Hokies Have Craved

About two weeks ago I was taking a somber walk out of Bank of America stadium, lamenting over how the ACC championship loss was a sad way to end the season. The depression of was short-lived, replaced the next night by the elation of VT getting a bid to the Sugar Bowl.

Big game featuring two big name playcallers in the Big Easy. What more is there to ask for?

Best Bowl Game Scenario

Of course I'd rather have seen the Hokies get revenge against Clemson and earn another ACC title, but VT ended up with the best bowl scenario. A win would have sent VT to Miami for the 4th time in 5 seasons to play against a WVU team that hasn't been impressive. There is the rivalry with WVU, but Orange Bowl fatigue combined with a Wednesday night kickoff against a low ranked opponent would produce a ho-hum response from fans and the national media. Beating the Big East champion doesn't provide any real upside to national reputation either.

Hokie Tracks are Rapping about Lil' Wang

Lil' Wang practiced on Saturday for the first time since breaking his foot against ECU. That's great news as far as the future of the o-line is concerned. Both starting guards, Jaymes Brooks and Greg Nosal, are seniors. The coaches raved over Wang during spring practice and August camp and he figured to rotate at guard this season. In his only complete game of the season he played 29 snaps against Appalachian State and graded out at 89 percent. Michigan's two inside tackles are stout, and it'd be a huge boost for his progression to get work against them.

Hokie Basketball Recap and Look Ahead

First off, I'd like to apologize for the lack of basketball postings over the past couple weeks. It's been a hectic end to the semester, but basketball is back and so are the previews and recaps!

The Hokies currently sit at 6-3 on the season after a 78-67 win at Rhode Island on Wednesday. That win came after back-to-back tough losses at Minnesota and at home against Kansas State. In the Minnesota game, the Hokies once again fell victim to a slow start, falling behind 8-0 against a Golden Gopher squad that was missing its top two big men. However, Tech rallied back to take a three-point lead at the break. The game came down to the final minute and Tech had a 55-54 lead after an Erick Green layup with 23 seconds left. However, on the ensuing possession, Jarell Eddie committed a foul as Green slid off the elevated floor, banging his right shoulder on the concrete slab. Minnesota made the two free throws and Green made a miraculous comeback into the game with 9 seconds to go. After a Tech timeout, Robert Brown deflected the ball into the backcourt and was called for a backcourt violation (later ruled to be the wrong call). The Gophers made two free throws and Green's heroic heave at the buzzer clanked off the rim to give Minnesota a 58-55 victory.

Support the Crouse Family

Yesterday at a little after noon a man I didn't know from Adam senselessly lost his life in the line of duty protecting a place I love. I'm overwhelmed with a mess of emotions that I can't verbalize. All I can say is it feels like I lost a member of my own family.

By now you've probably heard Officer Crouse was survived by, among others, his wife, five children and step-children. My soul deflated and I slid down my office chair when I first read that. A wife was going to be without her husband, and her children were going to be without their father. It's a devastating conclusion to come to.

Hokies wanted to help. As the emotions unfolded in real time it almost seemed second nature to put the day's grief and on hold to try and help the Crouses. Hokies are helping. As of right now, these are the only two ways I know of to donate.

Hokie Tracks are Talking about the Sugar Bowl and Michigan.

Hokies going to New Orleans, we're still trying to finalize the details of the Unofficial Sugar Bowl Meetup (unofficial because the BCO can't make it). Please leave a note on that thread if you're planning to stop by and say hello, and if you're assertive enough leave a suggestion of where it should happen.

Regarding our traveling rep, Tech has been allotted 17,500 tickets. On Tuesday the athletic department announced Hokie Club members and season ticket holders had purchased 5,000 tickets. Yesterday @VT_Foootball Tweeted, "students purchased over 1,200 tickets in the first hour to the Sugar Bowl". The general public will be able to buy tickets starting Monday at noon. If we don't sellout our allotment, expect more backlash from the mainstream media.

For those of you watching at home, ESPN announced Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will be calling the game. Todd's Taste of the Town will no doubt leave him cringing in the fetal position; all that roux will clog up the intestines like lard down a drain pipe.

ACC Championship Game Roll Call

I felt like I traveled back in time on Saturday night. Not to just the first Clemson game this season, but to the Orange Bowl last year, October 17, 2009, September 8, 2007, September 30, 2006, November 5, 2005, etc.

All moments when a highly ranked Virginia Tech team folded in a big game.

Another night when nothing worked.

I can imagine how UVA felt two weeks ago -- probably very similar to how Tech felt on Saturday night.

It was a major disappointment. It was disappointing because you know every pundit who knocked Tech down the stretch smiled when they saw the score. While LSU, Oklahoma State and Kansas State all did what they had to do on Saturday, Virginia Tech could not get it done again.

This team, players and coaches, need to remember the more wins they rack up, the higher they climb in the rankings, the bigger the target on their back gets. Teams seem to show up and play Tech like its their Super Bowl, and when those teams have some semblance of talent and good coaching, Tech looks overwhelmed.

I've tried to keep my analysis as positive as possible this season, but I had a pretty tough time this week. If I don't have a lot of nice things to say, I'm just going to keep it short. There's really no sense in piling on.

1. Antone Exum - I almost vomited when he didn't fall on that Watkins fumble. But he opened the game aggressive and I thought he looked sharp much of the night.