Miami Preview

Who: #21/17 Virginia Tech Hokies (4-1, 0-1 ACC) vs Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-1 ACC)

Time: 3:36 PM

TV Coverage: ABC/ESPN (Mike Patrick, Craig James)

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

Series History: Miami leads 17-11

  • Last Meeting (2010): Virginia Tech 31, Miami 17
  • The Hokies have won two straight, four of the last five, and six of the last eight in the series
  • Miami won the first 12 games of the series from 1953-1994, but Virginia Tech has won 11 of the last 16
  • When the Hokies are ranked and Miami isn’t, the Hokies are 3-0

Injury Report

  • TE Eric Martin – Out (Shoulder)
  • DT Antoine Hopkins – Out for Season (ACL)

The Opponent: It’s Miami week, but you couldn’t tell based upon the lack of hype for this game. Entering this two game stretch against Clemson and Miami, I thought the Miami game was more important, and that’s now definitely true based upon what happened last week. Neither Tech nor Miami can afford to go 0-2 in conference with Georgia Tech playing the way they are now.

A Reminder.

Vintage VTPhreak4Evr

Did you really need a reminder?

Did you forget about that two-point conversion Ernest Wilford dropped to silence Lane in 2001? You could hear a pin drop. How about the 56 the 'Canes put on us the very next year? Maybe you remember Rocky McIntosh taking up residence in our backfield, and Miami throwing up 27 straight to our dome in 2005? Or Sebastian's foot twisting on the HokieBird's neck in '08? Does the word swagger ring a bell?

I can vividly remember the losses. The wins are a blissful blur; as they should be.


Box's latest handy work from the Mascot Mock.

Fuck Miami.

Am I the 1%?

Sorry about the title - I couldn't resist with all the dumbassery happening on Wall Street - but, what I am about to say just might be more unpopular than the Unpopular Opinion.  It's been a long 4 days (due to work kicking me in the junk ... repeatedly) since that fateful night, so only now am I catching up on Hokie Nation's response to the Clemson game.

My reaction to last Saturday?

A resounding Meh.  As in, "I don't really care."

Film Study: Miami

Before today the only Miami game I had watched was their Labor Day opener against Maryland. Although it was a 24-32 loss I was impressed with how competitive they were considering they had 9 players, most of which were either starters or on the two-deep, suspended (8 by the NCAA and wide receiver Aldarius Johnson was suspended indefinitely by Al Golden). The 'Canes that played on Labor Day are not the team that will travel to Blacksburg on Saturday, on paper they are much, much better. Aside from defensive end Olivier Vernon, all of their suspended players are eligible; 5 have been playing since the Maryland game.

I wanted to get a better idea of how the Hurricanes looked with a more complete roster so I watched the first half of Miami–Bethune-Cookman and the second half of Miami–Kansas State.

Miami was sloppy in the first half against I-AA Bethune-Cookman. They gave up a lot of big plays, and committed 6 penalties for 41 yards, their only penalties of the game. If the Wildcats don't fumble on the two-yard-line and miss a field goal, they take a 17-14 lead into the half, instead of being down 7-14. Miami would eventually blowout the Wildcats, 45-14.

Six Pick: Week Six

The week after the first loss is tough. The drive home feels like it takes twice as long. You're tired all day on Sunday from a few too many drinks and 3 hours of yelling. And of course Monday morning at work is never complete without being trolled by coworkers whose teams are more awful than yours. All of that would be easier to swallow if not for that lingering mushroom cloud of bad memories and constant thinking about all of Tech's weaknesses. All that sure makes me feel like writing two nights later, but the show must go on.

Grillin' With Wolf: Miami Fish Tacos

The U is located in Coral Gables, Florida about 14 miles south of downtown Miami. The University was founded in 1925, the NCAA most likely investigated later that year. Some notable alumni who aren't athletes are Ray Liotta, Sylvester Stallone, Gene Roddenberry, among others. The city of Miami is home to wonderful weather and an excellent selection of seafood. So I will make fish tacos, even though I know it would be great fun to grill up some ibis.

Ingredients

Clemson Roll Call

This space has been reserved for talking about individual performances on the field, and I will get to that. But I would be doing myself a disservice by not addressing what seem to be persistent issues with this team.

The play calling on Saturday night was a travesty. We were once again witness to a complete schooling on offense.

I'm fully aware that Logan left much to be desired, but the staff isn't getting him in positions to succeed -- which Clemson seems to do well. Sure, Logan was off on the slant to Boykin that resulted in a pick (albeit a non disastrous one), but that's no reason to shy away from it for the next 30 minutes. There's no intermediate passing game. They're sending three guys out there, two of them are running routes 20 yards down the field. Clemson could have stood still and they would have been covered. What is he supposed to do with the football?

And where are the designed runs for Logan? Early in the game, we had Clemson in a 2nd and 18, and the play call was a designed draw for Boyd, who took it 14 yards, setting up a third and short. While we probably would not have converted a 3rd and 4, we would have at least had a chance. And if it's 3rd and 1, Logan should be going for the dive 100 out of 100 times. I don't even want a fake dive pass. Dives every time. There's your Cam Newton comparison.

4-1

The chilled air, rain and wind whipping around Lane Stadium made Saturday's slap across the face sting that much more. It was a sobering wake up call. It was the same as it ever was. That game should have been remembered for the tremendous defensive performance orchestrated by Bud Foster. Freshman sensation Sammy Watkins was a non-factor, Tajh Boyd didn't distinguish himself. In their previous four games Clemson gobbled up yards with ease, Saturday night they had to claw for everything they got. Clemson wanted to run 80 plays, they had to settle for 67. Instead, I'll continue to try to answer the "what ifs" floating around my head.

What if David Wilson hadn't fumbled? What if Nosal hadn't jumped on 3rd and goal? What if Logan's shoulder was one hundred percent, would he have ran more, would we have called more running plays for him, would he have been more accurate? What if Eddie didn't blow his coverage, would it have taken some of the pressure off of the offense? What if Demler could've pinned Clemson deep? What if the offensive line played their last 30 minutes as well as their first 30? What if the offense's game plan was as airtight as the defense's?

Week 5 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary. This week's poll is especially messy.

  • Clemson - Beat back-to-back-to-back ranked teams and you're deserving of a top 5 ranking.
  • Nebraska - This informative EDSBS the Magazine article sums things up quite nicely.
  • Illinois - The fighting Zookers are 5-0, which really is an accomplishment in itself. Who knows how good they really are though. Their next test comes in two weeks against Ohio State.
  • Kansas State - Bill Snyder's head in a jar is doing one hell of a job coaching this year.
  • South Carolina - Garcia! Slam that beer.
  • Arizona State - Quietly making noise in the Pac-12. I like a team that's battle tested and can bounce back from a loss.
  • Virginia Tech - There's no offensive identity, and the special teams are a disaster. Bud Foster's tenacious defense is the only thing of merit, and the only reason why they're in this poll.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

The Key Play: Week 5

An Unpopular Opinion

Editor's Note: This. --Joe

I did my best to ensure that I wasn't only observing locally. I was seated in the east-side of North endzone. Immediately around me the following held true, and to the best of my ability, looking around further I saw more and more of the same.

Which of the following behaviors best describe fans in the North Endzone:
1. Cheering for the team on most defensive plays
2. Muttering about poor decision-making and playing
3. Staring blankly at the field
4. Complaining that they were too sober
5. Worrying about running out of airplane bottles

If you answered everything except #1, you would be correct.

Clemson Preview

Who: #11/10 Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0, 0-0 ACC) @ #13/15 Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC)

Time: 6:05 PM

TV Coverage: ESPN2 (Mark Jones, Ed Cunningham, Quint Kessenich)

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

Series History: Clemson leads 17-12-1

  • Last Meeting (2007): Virginia Tech 41, Clemson 23
  • Virginia Tech has won five straight games over Clemson dating back to 1998
  • During those five games, the Hokies have won by an average score of 35-12
  • Clemson has not won in Blacksburg since 1989
  • When ranked higher, the Hokies are a perfect 3-0 against the Tigers

Injury Report

Their Last Dance: Clemson

For college football teams last impressions are the ones that matter most. These are notes, observations and food for thought on our opponents' last game.

Clemson headed into an ACC Atlantic Division showdown with Florida State last weekend. The Tigers beat the Noles handily in Death Valley 35-30, a game they only trailed one time, 0-3. It wasn't my intention to, but I paid much more attention to the Clemson offense and its personnel. It was a fun offense to watch, although if it gets humming on Saturday, it will be better described by me as aggravating.

-- Only a few plays had quarterback Tajh Boyd lined up underneath the center, the rest were out of the shotgun or pistol. There were a lot of moving parts, motion before the snap and play fakes afterwards. To keep a fast tempo, and to meet their goal of 80+ snaps a game, Clemson called plays at the line of scrimmage.


A modern wing look, we'll see that formation a lot on Saturday night.

Q&A with Chili formerly of Block-C

Chili is the co-creator of the now-defunct Danny Ford Is God and Block-C blogs and continues to pine about blogging though he himself chose to end his own site. He is a Clemson grad, architect, and stand-up comedian living in Shanghai. For insight into the brittle psyche of a Clemson fan, and good laughs follow him at @DannyFordIsGod.

1. With only a third of the season over Tajh Boyd already has 15 touchdowns under his belt. He's got a big arm, is extremely accurate and can carry the ball on both designed and improvised plays. OK, I am done doling out praise. What are some of the things Boyd does bad, or are there some situations where he has the ball in his hands and you're on the edge of your seat?

Boyd is still young and relatively inexperienced. Last week Boyd had a bonehead play where as he was falling to the ground well behind the LOS, instead of taking the down for a big loss of yards he sort of half flicked the ball up in the air like an errant booger only to have it gobbled up for a pick-six by an FSU defensive lineman.

He still occasionally floats the ball out there to double coverage or in situations where he shouldn't. I always thought he had great promise as a QB, and still does, but we should also remember that Clemson's young receivers, especially Sammy Watkins, are pretty disgusting and could make any QB look better.

You mentioned Boyd's scrambling ability and, while he's more mobile than some of our past QBs, he still has a ways to go to make that a really viable part of the offense. Also, my man needs to learn to slide. He prefers to sort of flop to the ground and take a big pop from a d-lineman. No. Stop. Bad Tajh.

2. Two years ago Clemson won the ACC Atlantic, last season the Tigers finished 6-7. This year, at 4-0, the Clemson has already knocked off the defending national champions and the ACC favorites. What are some reasons for the turnaround and who are some of the lesser known, let's label them roll players, who have stepped up.

1st Quarter 2nd Guesses: Marshall game

I didn't get a chance to watch the game live this week, so I am probably prejudiced by some of the frustrating reports about the erratic performance of the Hokies this week. After a quick review of the first quarter, I walked away with the following impressions: 1) The defensive line and middle backers are a strength of this team. 2) Logan Thomas has some weaknesses, but the coaching staff is giving him much more responsibility than they gave Tyrod Taylor or Bryan Randall as a first year starter. 3) The offensive line has played better than you think they have, but they still play too high to drive people off the ball.

Six Pick: Week Five

My favorite month of the year. By the time October is over, the leaves will have gone from green to yellow, red and orange. The temperatures will have cooled, the humidity evaporated and many of college football pretenders disappeared. As we are now a third of the way through the regular season and each team's flaws are apparent. Improve your flaws, expose theirs, that's the game, especially for the final three games on this week's 6 Pick.

It's time. The training wheels left on our new quarterback during September are coming off. It's big boy football and it's time to find out how good this edition of the Hokies are. Having seen and doubted Clemson the last two weeks, we know this isn't your typical Clemson team. They are resilient and explosive on offense. They will test Bud Foster's improved defense. The defense likely can't win it alone, even with 66k yelling behind them. The running game needs to turn it up a notch and Logan Thomas has to be decisive and accurate when his number is called. Let's not put the cart before the horse, before this game there is a celebration of football and competition. I intend to drink lots of good beer, eat lots of animal flesh and partake in communion at the Clubhouse. So party up fellow Hokies, Saturday is when the fun really starts.

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