Tech's Secondary Still Likely to be Depleted vs. UNC, Setting Up a Tough Matchup Against Sam Howell

Will the Hokies have enough on defense to contain a potent UNC offense?

UNC QB Sam Howell will test a Tech secondary that's likely to once again be without some players Saturday. [Mark Umansky]

The Hokies managed to pull out a win against Duke even with a badly depleted secondary, but Justin Fuente knows that he might not get so lucky against UNC.

Fuente is, of course, hopeful that he will have some of his starters in the defensive backfield available this week (to say nothing of the defensive coaches guiding the secondary). But just as Tech was surprised to discover that five of its top DBs would be unavailable against the Blue Devils, Fuente is allowing for the possibility that he'll have to get creative again to slow down QB Sam Howell and company.

"I don't feel like it's the same big sweeping numbers [of players quarantined] as before, it's smaller," Fuente told reporters Monday. "This one happened to be more concentrated in terms of position and that's what scares you. It can get so concentrated that it can really put your team in jeopardy. We were really on thin ice there, so hopefully it gets better as the week goes on."

Fuente said he is hopeful that Defensive Coordinator Justin Hamilton and "some players" absent Saturday will be able to return, but he confessed that he's "not exactly positive on the whole timetable right now."

He added that the team receives its final batch of Covid-19 test rules either Friday night or Saturday morning each week, meaning that "we have to play a lot of what ifs and have a plan to be able to field a team based on a variety of varying circumstances." And he said all that difficulty is compounded by not being able to meet in a traditional fashion with his full staff, considering that CBs coach Ryan Smith was also forced to quarantine for the Duke game.

That being said, Fuente quipped that "Sam Howell is a bigger hurdle than Coach Hamilton conducting meetings via Zoom."

Howell has been up and down in his first two games this year β€”he's completing 65% of his passes, with three touchdowns and interceptions apiece β€” but Fuente believes he has more than earned the preseason accolades that pegged him as one of the top quarterbacks in the conference (if not the country).

"He took some heavy shots in games and just kept getting back up," Fuente said. "He's just an incredibly accurate passer."

Howell will certainly test Tech's secondary if it's missing players once more, and that is where Fuente hopes that the Hokies can replicate some of their success bringing pressure against Duke. Tech managed a total of seven sacks against the Blue Devils, denying Chase Brice at least some opportunities to pick on inexperienced DBs.

"That was something that we had to have last week: it wasn't an option," Fuente said. "We had to find a way to get some pressure and try to help those guys in the back end."

But Fuente said he didn't want the team to lose focus on UNC's run game, either. The Heels are averaging about 168 yards per game on the ground right now, and if that keeps up, Fuente fully expects that "ultimately gives you the chance to push the ball down the field and have the sort of big plays they're accustomed to."

"We've given up some rushing yards, and part of it is how we're designed right now," Fuente said. "It's going to be important to find a way to try to create pressure for Sam in the backfield when he's throwing the ball but also stay sound in the run game."

At least the admiration seems to run both ways, in what will be a rare battle of two ranked ACC teams.

"They should be a top 10 team," UNC's Mack Brown told reporters. "They are really underrated and that shows you the fallacy of early season ratings."

Herbert's Big Arrival

It seems RB Khalil Herbert's performance in Tech's first two games is part of what so impressed Brown.

"I've never seen anything like that," he said, referring to Herbert's 315 combined yards against Duke and N.C. State.

Certainly, the Kansas transfer has been a pleasant surprise for Fuente as well, who never quite managed to find a true feature back in his four previous seasons in Blacksburg.

Fuente said he remains confident that "we have good guys that can fill in" for Herbert, pointing to Raheem Blackshear and longer tenured Hokies like Jalen Holston and Keshawn King, but he does certainly hope to give Herbert plenty of work to see what he can do.

"Having Khalil back there certainly makes us better," Fuente said. "We're going to be careful about it, but in the first game he only had six carries."

Herbert certainly showed flashes at Kansas β€” he was the team's leading rusher last year before a misunderstanding between Herbert and the coaching staff sent him looking elsewhere β€” so Fuente said he had every confidence that Herbert would be able to contribute to the team. But it was Herbert's personality off the field that truly convinced Fuente to take him on.

"It was pretty obvious pretty quickly that he was a guy, from a talent perspective, that can help," Fuente said. "most of our investigation became into Khalil and what was he like, and from every corner of his life people stood on the table and said this is a great young man...so for whatever reason, things didn't work out there but he's been as advertised in terms of quality of person, quality of family, just a great addition on and off the field at Virginia Tech."

His talent will face its toughest test against UNC, however. The Tar Heels are the top run defense in the country at the moment, allowing a total of just 108 yards across their first two games.

"They are extremely impressive there," Fuente said.

No Answers at QB

Herbert may have the starting slot locked down at running back, but QB still sounds like anyone's game.

Fuente said before the Duke game that he expected to give Hendon Hooker some time on the field, but he reversed course Saturday and put the ball firmly in Braxton Burmeister's hands. He's being even more cryptic in the run-up to the UNC game.

"We'll go out there and practice this week and continue to evaluate it and try to make the best decision we can," Fuente said when asked who his starter would be this week.

In the two weeks before the UVA game, Fuente said the choice was clear: "It was Hendon who gave us the best chance to win."

But he said the 2019 starter has "missed time since then," convincing him to give Burmeister a shot. The results have been mixed: he was effective against N.C. State but more inconsistent against Duke, completing just nine of his 25 passes but still running for 64 yards and two scores.

Hooker has had some more time back with the program, but will Fuente want to make a switch heading into a road game against a top-10 team? Fans will have to wait until Saturday to find out, it would seem.

"I'm not being coy with the whole thing, it's just things change so quickly," Fuente said. "Getting guys up to speed and out there playing, we just have to play it by ear."

Comments

We might still have a depleted secondary, but peep that Saturday forecast in Chapel Hill πŸ‘€.

Might be a day that favors the team with the better rushing attack 😏.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

nice so they're gonna blame losing on the rain again

I feel like now's a good time to trot out an image I made about 4 years ago for times like this.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Checked their message boards and it seems that that are already complaining that this might be the case.

Yeah but that could also compound our punt returning woes...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

If we score every drive, we won't need to punt...

We put the K in Kwality

I don't think he meant us punting, I think he meant how bad we've been fielding punts. Although we did have that one weird, rugby like punt, but we're normally solid on our punts.

Just block them all. Problem solved.

INT, INT, INT, INT, INT, INT, INT, INT, game over

We put the K in Kwality

This would make Saturday a SUPER fun game! INTs or sacks would be equally entertaining.

INT, TD, INT, TD, INT, TD, INT, TD, INT, TD, INT, TD, INT, TD, INT, game over

FTFY

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Just put Herbert back to receive punts.

Got to love that weather forecast if we are still down ~7 DB's this weekend. No doubt. It very much could be the difference between a win and a loss.

They are one of the best teams in the country at stopping the run. This will be the best test of our rushing game till we play Miami or Clemson I think.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Well, they played Syracuse and BC. I mean BC only put up 84 total rushing yards against Duke and we put up 324 against them. Syracuse put up 63 rushing yards against UNC, but only 51 against Pitt. We're not talking world beaters in the rushing department. So leading the country sounds great and all, but wait until they face an opponent with a real rushing attack.

Our run game can be fine if the O-line continues to wear down UNC's d-line. They need to take care of the initial blocks, not rush past to try to block the second level. GO HOKIES!!

We will also need accurate passing attach to force UNC not just focus on the run.

But to be fair, you can't say we've faced an opponent with a real rush defense either. The knife cuts both ways because it's way too earlier to tell who is contenders and who is pretenders, especially with Covid. UNC is going to be a big step up from NC State and Duke on both sides of the ball, that I can assure you. I'm not sure why we are so quick to dismiss that.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

All I did was use common opponents (Duke) to infer that BC doesn't have nearly as strong a run game as we do. Duke, despite being 0-4 has two of the leading pass rushers in, what is it, the P5? Their DB's also looked like they were covering pretty well. And one of the reasons Duke isn't doing better is because they've been a turnover machine. Syracuse, their other opponent, has a total of 730 offensive yards across 3 games, or less than 250 yards per game. BC hasn't scored more than 26 points, including only 24 against Texas State. So, yeah, UNC's defense has looked pretty good against what appears to be some pretty bad competition. But Duke's defense probably isn't as bad as you're thinking. So don't think you can definitively say that UNC will be a big step up over Duke's D.

So don't think you can definitively say that UNC will be a big step up over Duke's D.

No one can definitely say anything other than UNC allows the least amount of rushing yards per game in the country. But thank you for ignoring my greater point.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I can hold (by myself) every team of 5 year olds to zero or less rushing yards. It doesn't mean I'm in any way good at stopping a real rushing attack. From there, I was making the same point that UNC has played what appears to be REALLY bad rushing teams. Stopping very inferior talent isn't difficult. That was the point that I was making (that you ignored) by blindly repeating back that they allow the least amount of rushing yards per game. You even said yourself that it's too early to know who is contenders and who is pretenders, but are somehow convinced that UNC's defense will be a big step up from Duke's (which I addressed by common opponent - BC playing both Duke and UNC (and BC averaging 70 yards rushing for ALL RUSHERS - that's freaking abysmal)). Syracuse (UNC's other opponent) averages less than 100 yards rushing per game, with their only good game rushing against GT. You had 2 points as far as I can tell - I guess the greater one being that we need to wait to see how we do against a really good rushing defense and UNC will be a big step up. I think you were saying that UNC would be a really good rushing defense, and I was countering that point. I'm not at all convinced that they're really good - they've done well against really crappy rushing teams (see my point about me being able to stop all teams of 5 year olds). To your point of wait until we see how we do against a really good rushing defense - as far as I can tell, we'll have to wait until Pitt (Pitt held NC State to 62 rushing yards).

On the other hand, for the conference - we lead in rushing average, and it's not even close. We AVERAGE 319 yards per game. The next closest is ND with 90 yards/game less at 229, then Miami at 224 and GT at 221. BC and Syracuse are the two worst rushing teams in the conference, with BC averaging 70.3 And that's having played their out of conference, Texas State, and only putting up 87 rushing yards against them. Syracuse averages 94 yards per game, but they did play both UNC and Pitt. So UNC may be good, but I very seriously doubt they're leading the country good. My guess is we'll put up at least 200 rushing yards against them and they won't be leading the country anymore. Then we'll see what we have against Pitt.

But thank you for ignoring my greater point.

You could have just said I didn't address your main point about us playing a really good rushing defense. You don't have to be sarcastic - makes you look like an ass.

makes you look like an ass.

Says the guy who tackles 5-year-olds just for the hell of it. Shame on you! Leave those kids alone, they just want to play football!

As it turns out, the low man doesn't always win.

lol - good point. I do, in practice, refrain from tackling 5 year olds. I just stiff arm them to a stop until the whistle blows.

So UNC may be good, but I very seriously doubt they're leading the country good.

They are in fact leading the country in least amount of rushing yards per game allowed. Again, there's context to that. Fifty yards per game is a great average even against bad competition. But as I said, it's hard to place a lot of value in that this early in the season. All I'm trying to say is this is going to be a tough game. But you insist on doing these mental gymnastics to convince me otherwise. UNC is ranked high for a reason. Call it hype, but they are by all measures the best team we have played yet on both sides of the ball. If pointing out that you're ignoring that makes me look like an ass, then that's fine.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I know everything is bigger in Texas but that kid weighs more at 6 than I did when I graduated high school.

Lol, sarcasm makes you an ass now? What kind of world are we devolving to? Errybody so sensitive.

UNC is 37th in defensive SP+, Duke is 40th. UNC is 23rd in FPI's defensive efficiency ranking, Duke is 35th. Both metrics are adjusted for opponent. I'm not sure you can say/be assured they'll be a big step up on that side of the ball.

The huge difference will be facing UNC's offense, where they rank fully 50 spots ahead of either Duke or NCST in SP+

Don't worry, someone will come in and refute UNC's offense shortly.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

nice deflection... lol

Lets GO!!!!

I'm not deflecting anything. Just pointing out how quick we are to dismiss UNC without acknowledging that by the same logic we can be dismissed.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I dunno, Duke's DEs are two really good players, they aren't chumps on that DL.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Syracuse and BC are also 69th(nice) and 70th out of 74 teams in rushing offense each with three games played. I'm not sold on UNC as an elite run defense just yet. Good, but not elite.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

They're deserving of an asterisk beside that stat considering no BIG10 defense has seen the field yet. OSU, Penn St, and Wisco all finished top 10 last year and 7 BIG10 finished in the top 25

For the first time in a long time I feel like our o line is nasty af- and for the first time in a while I feel like our run game Is on fleek.

I am looking forward to seeing what they do this week. This game will separate the men from the boys

AGREED!! The O-line will make or break our whole offense. Herbert and Blackshear (and hopefully Hooker) all benefit from their dominate performance. I think they will be ready to prove themselves.

On fleek? Is that still a thing? I thought it had a two week run about 2 years ago?

We put the K in Kwality

Right here. Fleek was one of those weird ones that didn't hang around long.

On fleek?

Doesn't he coach at Minnesota now?

We put the K in Kwality

on fleek?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

peep that Saturday forecast in Chapel Hill

Herbert on Saturday:

Herbert has quickly become a fond fixture to all of us! (I'm also giving prop to the O-line , too).

According to AccuWeather, the amount of precipitation is 0.11 for the day. Unless that 0.11 all comes from noon to 3PM, doesn't seem like enough rain to dramatically alter the course of play. I wouldn't expect a sloppy game, but perhaps a slip here and there could get a WR open deep or a RB into a running lane.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

Yesterday it was calling for 2" πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

Such is life with forecasts.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

interesting. will have to keep an eye on it.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

I like the playing coy at QB talk but we all know it is Hooker time against the heels because of reasons...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Thanks for all the good info, Koma. Not sure how I missed that Herbert accidentally transferred from Kansas. Weird, but I'll take it.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

referring to Herbert's 315 combined yards against Duke and N.C. State.

and that doesn't even factor in KR yards

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

or receiving yards

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

553 all purpose yards in two games is phenomenal. I don't think it's sustainable to keep up that kind of production but it's friggin impressive nonetheless and is an indicator of good things to come, IMO. His running threat should absolutely open up passing opportunities. If we can get a QB who can consistently and accurately take advantage of that we'll be in great shape. I hope that happens this weekend because UNCs offense will surely test our defense more than either NC State or Duke. We'll probably need to score lots of points to win

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I think the formula is pretty clear here, just some good ole Beamer ball to beat UNC: feed Herbert, control TOP, limit turnovers, solid special teams and force Howell to go the length of the field to score.

I like the idea of moving Howell backwards with sacks better. I'd love to see him battered to show his weaknesses.

Sam is a quality QB. VERY accurate, from what I've seen. I don't want him or anyone else to get hurt. I'm basically a cripple from my busted up football knees. If I had known what life would be like in my mid-80's I promise u I would have never played, as much fun as it was.

Mid 80's!? Cheers Bogeyhokie.

If I had known what life would be like in my mid-80's

I hope I get to say this one day.

Cheers to you good sir!

Is coronavirus over yet?

The lack of depth is concerning, but I think we could all see that the defense wasn't the unit having the most trouble Saturday.

Until Herb put the team on his back in the second half the offense did not look great. The line definitely did not look like the same one that dominated NC State for four quarters. That's with almost 100% of the offensive personnel back. If we're going to win this game, the line has to play like it did against State and we can't have any of those drops on key plays (several of which came on near perfect throws)

Dukes D-line had a lot to do with that. They are very good.

ehhh don't know about that. Duke has a very good line and after settling into the game, we put up huge numbers (38 points, 325 rush yards). With our backup QB in the game.

This was a Duke team that had only put up 13 vs ND, 6 against ND, and 20 vs UVA.

Against UNC, with little to no depth at defensive back, this could turn into a shootout real quick. We need some of those guys back; that side of the ball is my biggest worry right now.

I agree. The box score shows we had a lot fewer punts than it felt like watching the game. Really need Waller and Chatman back. Also if Deablo's testing negative and just out for contact tracing, we maybe should consider bending the rules (he'll have already been out over a week). Otherwise Matheny is gonna get picked on all game

Also if Deablo's testing negative and just out for contact tracing, we maybe should consider bending the rules (he'll have already been out over a week)

This is a truly horrible take. While as a fan I understand the desire to have our full roster for an important game, it should be obvious that the medical records and contact tracing efforts are all documented and it's not possible to "bend the rules" without forging medical documentation. We want no part of the national outrage, embarrassment, and liability that would result from that.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Yeah breh not 100% serious, but also what do you think the SEC schools, Clemson and Miami are doing? If they have a starter who (going off the assumption) was out for contact tracing, sat for 8-9 days, and tested negative during that whole period. Would he play or would he sit that 10th day?

I think he would sit that 10th day. A coach would have to be batshit insane to risk his job and open up the university to a lawsuit.

That said, I wouldn't be shocked if there was some pressure to fudge the contact date with a positive case by a day or two when it is initially recorded. I don't know the exact protocols and whether they depend on the player testing positive to list contacts from memory or are somehow monitored by the coaching or medical staff. Ultimately, I suspect that most few teams that are not having issues either had outbreaks prior to the season or they are not conducting in-person learning.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

but also what do you think the SEC schools, Clemson and Miami are doing?

If LSU is indication, passing around the 'rona like candy to go ahead and get it over with.

Virginia Tech Class of 2013
Mining and Minerals Engineering

Sailing the Eastern Seas....on a ship filled with sand....

Fuente seems to not know all the details of timelines or return and such. Seems like it's up to the Docs. Can't imagine SEC and ACC teams like the ClemCanes are over riding the Docs.

JP

Duke's strength going into the game was defense, and their weakness was by far was their putrid offense. In that context, our offense won us the game vs Duke, and will have to again against UNC if our secondary is going to be out again.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

The line looked better in the 2nd half. Herbert was running untouched a lot. Dukes DE's are much better than State's so there's that too.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Im glad Fuente has to make the QB decision and not me.

I hate rude behavior in a man. Won't tolerate it.

It's a good thing he doesn't coach the team like I play NCAA. "My starting QB is back after no practice for 2 weeks? Great, let's start him immediately because he has a higher OVR."

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

"My WR has 99 SPD. He's now my QB. It's Triple Option time."

My main concern, with not being terribly efficient or accurate in the passing game, is that BB will be facing a much better secondary this week than in the previous two. The windows will be tighter and the DBs will be closing on the ball much faster.

And if Hooker starts, how rusty will he be?

The OL is really gonna need to take this one over for us to have a chance.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I'm a little confused. Maybe it's just coachspeak and he doesn't want to tip his hand but how does Fuente seem to not know whether secondary guys are going to be back? Legitimate injuries (like Waller) that's understandable but with the covid stuff aren't they just automatically out for 14 days, so he should know they're definitely out already?

He seems to imply there's an opportunity to test negative and come back but from everything we've heard (admittedly little) about their policies that opportunity shouldn't exist.

Is the policy different if they were out solely due to contact tracing? Like if they test negative 3 times before Saturday they might be able to play?

I don't think they release who is out due to contact tracing or an actual positive test.

I think it is mostly coachspeak but there are some uncertainties for players recovering from positive and some variability in when the contact was made that was traced. All things the coach knows but not gonna talk about. Better to keep the opponent guessing and not game planning for specific weaknesses.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

Because at Tech it's completely out of his hands. The medical working group controls when they come back and are fully cleared.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Yeah, but what I'm saying if the policy is a hard 14 days regardless of any negative tests (which is what I've seen reported/assumed about our program's policy for a month now) it wouldn't matter what the medical people say or don't say, all you'd need is a calendar to know that they can't play against UNC.

That's only for contact tracing with a positive test you can test out of it.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

True and there are other variables like false positive tests (believe one of the DB's has one). It's 10 days and not 14 for contact tracing. Also, if you test positive you also have pass an echo at TECH - that requires available capacity at Montgomery and other dynamics.

Bottom-line is that what sounds simple is not simple and as respiratory season starts to develop this could get trickier and evolve. I expect a lot of week to week changes.

So we are able to test out of it. I was worried we had a hard stop on the amount of time you're required to sit out.

So if tisdale tests negative Wednesday, negative Friday he can likely go?

We really need him back out there, he fits our defensive scheme perfectly.

But I keep hearing over and over again that it's contact tracing πŸ™„

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Its 10 days from 1st positive test, if they are following CDC guidelines.

They may have a way of testing out of a false positive. Some support two negatives after 1 positive.

They may also have different rules regarding contact tracing. If contacted by a known positive, 14 days of quarantine is the standard, which based on an incubation time of 2 to 14 days, with the average incubation time of 5-7 days, and 97% cases having disease initiation prior to 12 days. Contact is difficult to define though. Is it contact when in a closed room for an hour meeting, but all masked and more than 6 ft from the positive individual? What about a 1 minute interaction with unmasked cashier picking up a pizza order from Papa johns that turns out to be asymptomatically positive? What about having a locker next to someone that tested negatively on Friday but positively on Monday and spent significant time together on game day Saturday? There is no definitive answer.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

At one point in time the CDC defined "contact" as within 6 ft for >15 minutes. Masks were actually not part of the equation but were recommended as a best practice. This is the policy we adopted at the federal level based on CDC guidelines, but I'm not sure if it has been updated and we just haven't reacted yet.

"Go Hokies!" - Thomas Jefferson
@HaydenDubya

Anyone have connections to the medical staff for athletics that could pull off a makeshift interview that would allow us to all gain better understanding on the procedures our team is following? Although, I realize this could be something they would want to keep tight lipped.

no keonta no j reed this week. covid :(

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

THIS SUCKS. WHY CANT WE GET THIS UNDER CONTROL.

because of the methods they have chosen to handle COVID. If you look for something hard enough, you tend to find alot of it.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: β€œGuys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

These are my thoughts exactly. Its hard not to feel like we are using a fine tooth comb and others not so much. I have no idea obviously because I am just a joe schmo on the internert.

I will keep my comments to myself because I am in the minority on this, and I'll leave it at this......but if we started testing for flu the way we are for SARS COV19, it would scare people. There's a big difference between infection and actual disease, and it's something that has been lost in all of this.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: β€œGuys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

I will keep my comments to myself

You almost had it, it was right there

Definitely should have kept it to yourself.

I will keep my comments to myself

Was this post downvoted to oblivion because it is considered political?

I think because commentary on COVID, especially what are strictly people's opinions as to whether it's a big deal or not is what got things testy in the COVID threads and got some of them shut down. Him saying something about keeping his opinions to himself made it seem like he probably knew better than to say it in the first place, but did anyways

We're tightly moderating threads and comments with respect to COVID. When a TKPer compares flu to COVID, it's inviting a conversation we don't want to happen on TKP anymore.

And Joe that wasn't my intent and I haven't been around for a while so wasn't aware of the climate. So I humbly apologize for the offense people took on this. This stuff is driving me crazy but by no means did I mean to come off offensive or was attempting to start a conversation. Poorly worded and thought out...yes.
and I meant to suggest that I didn't want to get into a discussion on it, just to point out the effect.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: β€œGuys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

No worries, and really no harm done. The nuance here is that even though you don't/didn't want to discuss it, by posting you (unintentionally) invited someone(s) to respond.

I appreciate the follow-up.

When we shut down the COVID threads it was made clear TKP was no longer the place for that kind of discourse beyond the immediate team impacts such as players missing games and similar things.

Thank you all for the clarification. I didn't dare open those COVID threads, so I wasn't aware of all that going on, so hearing the context was helpful.

It's a shame. There are some smart dudes on here that gave information that had more of the science to it (compared to the news), but easier to understand than medical/scientific journals. And fernley had terrific input as well. I liked coming here for all that, but they really did get contentious, so think Joe did the right thing shutting them down.

Or perhaps Caleb Farley wasn't far off in his comments?

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Do we know how many are out from positive tests and how many are out due to contact tracing? If it's mostly contact tracing, it means we're trying to get it under control. It's just way harder since we didn't send all our students home like some other schools did.
We could look at all sorts of things related to how Tech is handling it vs. other schools, whether our students in general are taking the precautions they should, etc. etc., but we can't go too far down the COVID rabbit hole though because we had how many threads get shut down. It sucks, and it certainly does seem like Tech is having more people out from it. But at this point, I don't know how much will change in terms of how many people we'll have out from week to week.

There's no obligation for any parties involved to share whether they are positive tests or contact tracing for each player out. However, there have been little nuggets here and there that suggested it's not just "contact tracing gone mad" as some have suggested. There have been a good number of positive tests at this point.

As far as differentiating from other schools, teams like Clemson have a ton of guys who are still exempt from having to be tested via the conference rules. After you have tested positive and recovered you don't have to do testing for 90 days, which may be pushed even further back. They had a big outbreak this summer when players returned.

I know about privacy issues. I'd just thought I'd seen it suggested that it might be a lot of contact tracing. I was just curious if anybody knew. That's rough we've had so many positive tests. Hope everybody can recover quickly.

And I figure our rates would be higher given us keeping our students on campus. I'm not going to complain - we handled it one way, other schools handled it differently. I think it makes it harder on the coaches to field a team from week to week, but think they've been doing a great job given the constraints.

Time for Zion to step up!

Source?

source is keonta lol

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Considering he is friends with the player I am guessing him!

DRINK

Ok, but how would I know that from his post?

Regular poster, I guess I just knew from reading TKP.

sorry I don't post to much anymore and ive been mia for a while I guess I should have clarified. talked with keonta this am he called me hes really upset. felt like this weeks game was a huge opportunity for him to make some plays in the passing game he felt like he was just getting comfortable and hes feet under him to where he could be a little more aggressive and not think so much. wanted to really show out because he knows unc wants to pass the ball a lot and that they have a "Heisman qb" that VT wants to silence. said the energy is different and the hate for unc is real from fu and practice was intense and different yesterday. found out this am that he tested positive and he wont be able to play. good news is he thinks waller will play this week but doesn't know if diablo will be back. DD has to test negative later this week. that's all the info I got.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Appreciate the info!

Awesome info. Much appreciated. This is truly insider information.

Chatman back as well correct? Also any idea about Tisdale? I think we missed him somewhat in run support Saturday

don't think Tisdale will be back but no source on it. he test positive so 10-14 days is the quarantine period.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Waller and DD back would be HUGE. Oh please oh please oh please

No kidding. And Chatman. We really can't afford any more positives though.

I would assume that DD is at least asymptomatic if he tested positive 6 days ago and is still hoping to play.

I thought there was a false positive from the testing last week, heard rumblings it might have been DD.

No one knows for sure, but Chatman said in his instagram story that he is back so everyone is assuming it is him.

Thanks for the detailed info. I don't really keep track who has what relationships so reminding me is helpful.

Wish him a quick recovery if you get the chance!

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Given how much you've done for kids in your area, I've been wondering how you've been doing with all the turmoil in recruiting and high school sports. Anyways, it's good to see you around here.

Thanks for sharing!

Not good news at all. Beyond this news, we have no idea what the Friday evening/Saturday morning results will look like. We could be in worse shape defensively than we were against Duke.

I'm really confused as to why we've been struggling with this for 5 weeks now.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I'm really confused as to why we've been struggling with this for 5 weeks now.

It's the nature of the virus. Chazz explained it above.

If contacted by a known positive, 14 days of quarantine is the standard, which based on an incubation time of 2 to 14 days, with the average incubation time of 5-7 days, and 97% cases having disease initiation prior to 12 days.

The bottom line is we are trying to play a full contact team sport in the middle of a pandemic with a highly contagious virus that takes 1-2 weeks to spread. Piecing together the timeline, the virus was detected within the team during the week of September 6, but you have to remember that not everybody was infected at once. I believe the team is taking measures to prevent the spread but in many ways we effectively just "flattened the curve" within the team. Short of total isolation by the team (i.e. a bubble) over the entire course of the season or having it run rampant through the entire team over the course of ~3 weeks to the point that all games during that period would be canceled, it was going to be extremely difficult to stop the virus from making its way through the team as, again, we are still doing all activities related to playing a full contact team sport in the middle of a pandemic.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I certainly get all of this. I'm a simple minded individual no doubt, but I'm still not understanding why its taken so long to work its way through (I'm certainly not questioning what was mentioned above) the team and staff.

And if we (the ACC) is strict on contact tracing, wouldn't everyone on Duke's roster (or NCSU for that matter) who had been tackled by someone need to be in protocol as well? No need to respond necessarily, these are just thoughts/questions I have.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I'm still not understanding why its taken so long to work its way through (I'm certainly not questioning what was mentioned above) the team and staff.

I edited my last post because initially I only grazed on the answer to that question. I believe what we are seeing is that we have effectively "flattened the curve" within the team. The team has taken precautions that slow the spread, but completely stopping it was going to be extremely difficult short of stopping all football related activities and creating a "bubble" to provide full isolation going forward or allowing the virus to run rampant and infect as many as possible in as short of a timeframe as possible.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Thanks for the update Smithey. Your input is always greatly appreciated.

FWIW, Justus Reed is doing the presser right now. That's a good sign.

I can't imagine he would be up there if he was a positive.

agreed. just going off what keonta told me. hope that maybe he was a false P and can play both would be huge losses.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Really any loss on defense feels like a major blow when we've already had so much attrition.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Do we have any insight on how false positives are being handled? Like are you tested again/out of schedule if it comes up positive?

(add if applicable) /s

I don't believe you can test out of a false positive. My son plays DIII baseball, and they have been tested twice/week since going back to school. On 9/25, he evidently came up positive on a test taken on 9/23, and they sent him home. A scary couple of days, for sure, but he had no symptoms and we were sure it was a false positive. His gf, his roommate, and his roommate's gf were all put in protocol, although they were negative. They all live together in a single room at college, so you would think they would all be positive if my son was. In fact, no one else at the entire school tested positive that week.

Once back home, I had him tested immediately and he was negative. I got myself tested a couple of days later (negative). However, the school is strictly following the 10-day protocol guidelines and none of the four kids were able to come back to school until yesterday.

Understood. I wonder if Keonta misheard something, or something got lost in translation. If Keonta feels that way already after two games in his true freshman year I'd say he is going to be fine. Even this season he is going to go up against Miami and Clemson (twice)

Fingers crossed that this is a follow up on that?

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

It still blows my mind that some schools seem to have almost no issues, and others like ours, are playing with 3/4 of a roster every week. I still really suspect that there are some programs taking this more seriously than others, and that at least partially explains it.

Supposedly the UNC football team already got their outbreak out of the way during the offseason, and I'm not accusing them specifically. Just seems suspicious to me that we can have the numbers we do and other schools can seem to hum along like it's a normal season.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

It's probably a combination of

1) It actually being worse at VT than elsewhere
2) VT being more transparent/strict about contact tracing
3) Other school not being as transparent/strict with contact tracing
4) VT, despite being more strict, not doing as good a job of containing it

Yes. ND had 7 positives come back and only 4 players out for contact tracing. I don't buy their accountablility one bit.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

it would seem that the definition of "contact" varies widely from school to school

Duke's QB was awful. Howell isn't. Let's hope we can get some pressure on him, so we can play zone in the back end with the young guys/walk on's. Will be a high scoring game if VT's offense plays well. UNC's defense is better than both Duke and NC State, so we shall see.

Likely won't need Matheny this week

Methinks this is a cryptic "DD is going to be back."

Is coronavirus over yet?

Who's gonna slide in for Keonta then?

Think so. The 10 day clock for the guys that tested positive on Wednesday last week expires on Friday at the latest. Clock starts when it is believed the virus is contracted, so that would mean Tuesday (at the latest) plus 10 days comes out to Friday. This is all assuming a negative test prior to Saturday of course.

Wait.... there is a 10 day clock on these guys? What happened to using the 24 hour salyva test?

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

How are we supposed to push his Heisman campaign if he doesn't play?

Anyone know why Dazz Newsome hasn't been a huge factor this year?

Hard to say with only two games played this year. Someone could argue Tre hasn't been a huge factor this year so far, but we all would be pretty confident that he will continue to factor into the offense.

Total speculation on my part, but would Tre be one of the players who had Covid leading up to the cancelled Uva game? It could explain why he's been on the field, but with a seeming limited number of plays drawn for him so far.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

My personal assessment is that we haven't been able to/needed to pass the ball very well through the first two games. We've had a couple good downfield completions, but with only 20 completions through the first two games there simply hasn't been a lot of catchable footballs to go around.

Tre's caught 4, the team leaders TRob and JMitchell have 6 a piece but they've gotten into the EZ so those stick out more. I think it's just been small sample variance at this point.

Agreed. Noticed Tre really wasn't a factor against Duke. Tavion was the #1, 2, 3 option it seemed.

So Justus Reed spoke today in the presser. It was done virtually which would eliminate the risk of spread, but why would he speak if he was positive and not playing Saturday? Am I missing something?

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

Either the reports of him being out were inaccurate or we've got a little gamesmanship going in our zoom press conferences.

we've got a little gamesmanship going

Yeah, this is never a terrible idea. If the team has no idea who is playing especially your big play guys it makes it impossible to ignore them. Announcing who is definitely in or out this early would ultimately hurt VT as UNC can focus their gameplan/practice. Spend all week working double teams against j reed in pass pro. Now he's not playing you've lost time you could have spent focusing that effort somewhere else.

(add if applicable) /s

But he said the 2019 starter has "missed time since then," convincing him to give Burmeister a shot. The results have been mixed: he was effective against N.C. State but more inconsistent against Duke, completing just nine of his 25 passes but still running for 64 yards and two scores.

In my opinion Burmeister Meister Bur looked worse against Duke than he did against NCSt, yet it was against NCSt where Quincy came in and had two touchdowns. I'm curious why we didn't see QP in at all against Duke.

Burmeister suffered an injury against NCST. He had crazy cramps in his hand/forearm from landing on the ball funny. Couldn't field the shotgun snap cleanly or handle the mesh. So QP got in the game in the 2nd quarter and proceeded to drop fade passes against the 1on1 coverage for 2 TD.

Once Burmeister got his hand loosened up in the 3rd quarter (didn't you hear the mustard story?) he was back in the game. Wasn't that successful at completing passes or picking up yards himself but we still scored a FG in the 3rd with him at the helm and got into 1st & goal with his screen pass to Herbert in the 4th. Seems like they went with a rotation from that point onward , or his cramps flared back up, because QP did come back into the game for that 1st & goal situation and ended up punching it in. Burmeister then completed the 2 point conversion and later in the 4th, QP was at the helm for the final possession that ended with taking a knee at the goal line.

I suppose its possible that it was still bothering him, but that would be surprising if hand cramping was still a problem a week later.

Could be the cramps weren't exactly cramps but symptoms of something like tendonitis from the injury? Like trigger finger is when your finger staying bent, like a cramp, but is from inflamed tendon.

I agree. Offense did not inspire a lot of confidence in the first half. Found myself asking why we are having to rely once again on our (comically depleted) defense to keep us in the game. Expected to see QP get a shot at some point to give us a spark. Turns out we didn't need it and I'm glad everything turned out alright but it does worry me going forward.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Smash the over on this game holy shit.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

at the rate both of these teams are dealing with defensive attrition we might be looking at a barn burner this weekend. Whoever gets the ball last kind of scenario.

Sigh. I hate UVA.

No kidding - I'm suddenly feeling pretty damn good about our chances! Our O-line against their D-line and a weak secondary? Even if they do well against us, I feel like our D has enough stops in them for us to be able to outscore them.

Passing game needs to be much more consistent. Corn tried to loosen Duke up early- smart plan, but the passes have to connect. That will be key early vs. UNC. Other key is intermediate passing game is still a glaring weak spot in our defense. JHAM has the backers playing more of the LOS than Bud ever did, but that hasn't helped.

We do have good-ish receivers (they made some great catches against NC State but dropped some passes against Duke) - hopefully them having to play backups in the secondary means our receivers will be able to get more open so even if the passes aren't as great it'll be easier for the receivers to make the plays.

True, I was thinking more about our D-line being able to collapse the pocket quickly enough to force Howell into some bad throws or getting sacks and forcing 3 and outs more than stopping the pass necessarily.

Let's fucking gooooooo

VB born, class of '14

The O/U is currently at 60.5 for anyone who wants to bite.... Wow

Taking the over. Haaaaard

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

well, I was going to take the week off betting since last week was a train wreck (1 bama TD from losing a 1st half spread bet and going unwinfeated)...and after betting the Tech/UNCheat over, I somehow have a full bet slip.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I think it's fairly unlikely that we see a 5 DL front from UNC, especially with a starting DT out. They ran a lot of 50 stack against BC, which is a fairly typical look out of an odd front like UNC runs, but that was with 2-3 linebackers on the line of scrimmage.

Should be noted BC only had like a dozen called run plays for 40 yards. They didn't even try to run the ball.

Slow your roll folks - this is from deeper in that Twitter thread - It's not unexpected or even unplanned for from UNC's perspective

It's an unwritten law that it's my lunch pail. I've issued the challenge. If someone outworks me, they can get it.
Darryl Tapp

That is also a little incorrect. Raymond Vohasek (DT) and Jordan Tucker (OL) are likely both out too.

EDIT: This gives a little more weight to Vohasek being out. Kaimon Rucker is starting at DE for UNC this weekend. A 255 lb freshman DE against our O-line? Yes, please.

A true freshman and low 3* recruit (two P5 offers) at that. Not that stars mean everything, but this guy certainly isn't a blue-chipper.

A rolling ball of butcher knives

Sam Rogers would like a word

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Even if it's not unexpected or unplanned for - they're still out 2 starters.

If UNC declared someone academically ineligible they must not have good enough to play anyway. /s

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Myles Wolfolk (Safety, rSR) is the transfer / academic ineligible. His replacement, Morrison, played pretty well against BC.

with Duck and Conley out we might see more action for Cam'Ron Kelly (SO) and Patrice Rene (rSR) both coming back from ACL injuries last season. Kelly is a great athlete who got some prime time reps last season and Rene was a multi-year starter before his injury last year.

I wonder if Grimes will make an appearance on D. He's been playing on special teams early and looks like a man out there.

Is coronavirus over yet?

UNC is a good sport for keeping it fair. They should also make their players take classes if they really want to even the odds.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

UNC: we've been social distancing no-show classes since 1997.

We put the K in Kwality

Here is a recap of last years OT win. Totally forgot we had multiple QBs play. They are going to bring everything they have at us. Getting excited to watch Hokie football this weekend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0QUgvxCxY

That game will be several Aflac trivia questions years from now. Three QBs with a touchdown pass on the same team and the first game to use the new overtime shootout rules.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.