Judgment Night: A Miami Preview

French's Miami Preview

[Virginia Tech Athletics \ Dave Knachel]

After last week's debacle in Pittsburgh, the Hokies find themselves in a must-win showdown against the Miami Hurricanes in Blacksburg on Thursday night. An offense without an identity, and a defense with a bad knack for giving up big plays at the least oppertuntune times, has left fans wondering if the program is regressing. The matchup with Miami represents a fulcrum moment for the re-emergence of the program. A loss against the Hurricanes is devastating to the rebuilding plan that was just beginning to show signs of promise.

Hurricane Weapons on Offense

The Hurricanes aren't back, but they present many of the same match up challenges that Pittsburgh presented on offense. Duke Johnson is one of the most explosive running backs in the country, averaging over 7 yards a carry. Tight end Clive Walford is one of the best tight ends in the conference. Receiver Stacy Coley has struggled so far in his sophomore season after catching 7 touchdowns as a freshman. However, his game-breaking speed turned a simple screen into a long touchdown against the Hokies last season. Speed merchant Phillip Dorsett already has 6 touchdown catches on the season. Miami will bring their full complement of weapons to Blacksburg. While Pitt had several outstanding individual players, the Panthers do not have the variety of weapons that the Hurricanes do.

Quarterback was supposed to be Miami's weakness this season. Projected starter Ryan Williams shredded his ACL in the spring. Top backup Kevin Olson was kicked off the team before the season started. Many expected former top recruit Jake Heaps, who washed out of BYU then Kansas, to win the job based on his experience. Instead, true freshman Brad Kaaya, a four-star recruit from California, beat out Heaps for the starting job in fall camp.

Kaaya has played better than what you'd expect from a true freshman. He is second in the ACC in passing yards per game (258.0). He distributes the ball well to his playmakers (seven Miami receivers have more than 10 catches). I was surprised to see that Kaaya has thrown 9 interceptions this season. On film, he looks like a strong game manager who takes what the defense gives him and checks down underneath coverage. The Miami coaching staff has also done a solid job of bringing Kaaya along slowly by featuring numerous screens and short passing plays early in games. As the season has progressed, Kaaya looks more and more like a potential star at quarterback.

Miami is a tough team to defend. The Hurricanes use a multitude of formations and offensive concepts, and they will throw from running formations and run from spread looks with equal effectiveness. Johnson is an explosive runner who gives outstanding effort on every run, and Kaaya has the arm strength to stretch the defense off play action when the running game is churning out yards.

Breaking Down the Running Game: Runs from the Spread

Up until this year, Miami has been a pro-zone style running offense, with the quarterback under center and a big offensive line paving the way for talented backs like Johnson. This season, Miami continues to use zone blocking concepts, but the Hurricanes have utilized Johnson as a runner more often from spread looks. This helps the Hurricanes keep their bevy of talented receivers on the field and creates space for Johnson to slash through on quick hitting inside zones. Here is a terrific example. The Hurricanes run a packaged inside zone look, with a wide receiver screen option to the top of the screen.

Miami's left tackle takes a zone step but gets inside leverage on the Duke defensive end and drives him outside. Johnson takes the handoff and makes his cut off the combination block of the left guard and center. The Duke middle linebacker fills inside, leaving defensive tackle to occupy the three gap. But, the Miami senior left guard John Feliciano gets his head on the outside shoulder of the Duke defensive tackle, effectively placing his body between the defensive tackle and the running lane. As Johnson makes his cut, the guard drives his legs to prevent the Duke defensive tackle from crossing his face and blocking the running lane. This is terrific technique coupled with tremendous effort and leg drive by the Hurricanes offensive line, and Johnson's speed exploits the narrow lane for a huge lane.

The Hurricanes offensive line is big, bad and gave tremendous effort against the Blue Devils, but Johnson is the engine that makes the offense go. On this play Miami runs a toss version of the zone stretch to the boundary from a three wide receiver one tight end formation.

The mobile Miami offensive line zone blocks to their right, but the right tackle gets overpowered by the Duke defensive end. The Blue Devils also get outstanding back side pursuit on the play. Johnson slashes in between two defenders and runs over a defensive back at the goal line for a touchdown. At 5'9", 206 pounds, Johnson isn't nearly as big as Pitt's James Conner. But Johnson runs just has hard and is much faster hitting the hole. If the Hokies do not fit their gaps properly and miss tackles, they will struggle to keep Miami in check.

When Johnson isn't getting the ball, Kaaya loves throwing to 6-4, 258 pound tight end Clive Walford. Kaaya is 6'4" and over 200 pounds, but he doesn't look big on film. He has a strong arm and throws very accurately, especially to the middle of the field. This makes play-action seam routes and post routes to both the tight end and his receivers very effective. Here, Kaaya hits receiver Herb Waters on a post route against a cover 3 zone. The throw is perfectly timed and hits Waters in stride.

While Kaaya has all the tools and the confidence of a veteran, he does make freshman mistakes. Several of his 9 picks have come on high throws where Kaaya was late and behind receivers on crossing routes, like this play against Georgia Tech.

Kaaya also threw a late interception against Nebraska on the same smash route concept that Michael Brewer has thrown two interceptions on this season. Kaaya has a strong arm and is confident, but if you can get a lead and put pressure on him, he can become erratic. While Miami looked fantastic against Duke and Cincinnati, they struggled to sustain drives against Georgia Tech, Nebraska, and Louisville. Miami is 127th nationally (24.66%) in third down conversions and is 92nd in red zone touchdowns (53.57%, 15 TDs in 28 trips). Inaccurate throws by Kaaya, coupled with the occasional brutal gaffe like this drop by Stacy Coley when Kaaya does deliver a great throw, have prevented the Hurricanes from finishing promising drives and scoring.

For the Hokies to win against the Hurricanes, the Virginia Tech must get a lead and then pressure Kaaya into mistakes. If the Hurricanes can establish the run and stick with it (Miami has tended to give up on the running game at critical moments against the Hokies in the Al Golden era), it will take a much better effort by the Hokie offense to win this game.

Attacking the Weakness of the Hurricane Defense

Erratic is a great way of describing the Miami defense. The Hurricanes gave up 85 yards rushing (only -2 yards for sacks) against a Duke team which excels at inside zone read option football. But Miami gave up 343 yards rushing against a similar style offense in Nebraska, and 318 yards rushing against Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes struggled to contain Trey Edmunds on outside zone runs last season. The Hurricanes have elite talent at defensive line (Anthony Chickillo), linebacker (Denzel Perryman and blitzing specialist Thurston Armbrister), but their effort is erratic. Let's take a look at this key play from the Miami game against Louisville. Louisville's offense most closely mirrors the Hokies stylistically, and Louisville's tailback Dominique Brown had 143 yards rushing on a variety of plays in Tech's playbook like inside zones, leads and whams.

Louisville runs a play similar to Tech's "G Lead" where the front side guard pulls and kicks out the outside linebacker (No. 34). The Cardinals tight end completely eats up the Hurricanes inside linebacker (Perryman) on the play side. Miami's tackle and center mash the play side end and nose. Perryman (who played really well most of the game) doesn't seem to make much of an effort to shed the block of the tight end, and Brown strolls into the end zone.

The Hokies have been very effective in short yardage running "G Lead" (pulling the play side guard-often Wyatt Teller, and blocking down the tackle and tight end.) Also, if Marshawn Williams is healthy, I would love to see Coach Loeffler use Williams and Caleb with the "G Lead" concept on normal down and distance and from multiple formations, as it can be effective from the pistol without a fullback to isolate on the linebacker. Given the tendency for the Hurricane linebackers to struggle when moving laterally, using a "G Lead" play from a normal formation could be the ticket to get the running game going.

Comments

The Gameplan for today:

STEP 1: Catch a trophy red drum. CHECK! BOOM!

STEP 2: Eat a corndog (Hokies are 3-0, including Ohio State, when I eat a corndog on gameday this year.) Corndog appointment has been scheduled for lunch.

STEP 3: Kick the piss out of the U. #AllMaroonEverythingStyle

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

French: I can't see the pic at work. How big was the Red? They're usually bigger in NC than here in FL. World record was caught on OBX. It used to hang in one of the tourist museums near Buxton back in the day. I think it was ~98 lbs and near or over 6 ft long...

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

It was just over 44 inches long. I didn't have a soft tape to get the girth. Probably around 35-40 pounds.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

It was just over 44 inches long. I didn't have a soft tape to get the girth. Probably around 35-40 pounds.

This week, in "Quotes to be Taken Out of Context"...

Absolutely Gorgeous! Big Reds are quite the battle. I will take that as Hokie luck for the game tonight!! Well Done Sir!
Slot here in FL is 18"-27" I catch plenty in the 40" range - released. Depending on season (and "match the hatch") we use live shrimp or live mullet. Artificials work some, but you can get surprised. Sometimes dead cut ladyfish works well.
What is NC law? Is that big good for consumption? Blackened Redfish is one of my top 5 meals - Yummmmm!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

slot is the same here. The fish was drop netted, unhooked, posed for a picture, and returned to the ocean in good order.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Beautiful Fish. I'm jealous man, I love surf fishing in the OBX.

"Eat, Drink and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We Die!" "Geaux Hokies is pronounced GUUH-X" - Andrew Jackson, 1815

Dear OL. Get a by god MEAN ON and road grade some Canes today.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Let us not underestimate the importance of this statement.

Tweedy can run like a dadgum antelope or whatever. I like to use scalded dog. Do antelopes lumber? Cheetah, OK. He runs like a cheetah. He's fast. - Bud Foster

GET ANGRY

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Dear French,

Could you make that a triple corn dog lunch today? My guys really could use the help.

Thanks,
Coach Searels

Leonard. Duh.

P.S. That sure is a pretty fish.

Thanks in advance on the corndogs...
Coach Searles

Leonard. Duh.

Somewhere in Bedford County, Jake Grove just snapped a fishing pole in half and put a football helmet on when he read that comment. Go Hokies!

"If you coach the way the fans want you to, you might find yourself sitting in the stands next to them" -Herm Edwards

well done on finding a picture of Wang playing center against Miami

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

Not sure how this got bumped down and I never saw it but this review confirms my thoughts regarding this Miami team. The nice part about Kaaya is that he's not a mobile guy and we shouldn't see him shredding us for any yards this game. He's yet to have a single game with positive rushing yards because the run game comes solely from Duke Johnson. Even then, the players that should be stars for Miami have not shone like expected. This is definitely a meeting of two teams at a crossroad in the season that should dictate the outcome for the remaining 4 games.

I've noticed a couple of recent front-page articles that don't show up in Active Discussions until a couple hours after they're posted, unless people start commenting. They show up in my RSS immediately, but the articles are sort of ghosts for a while. Joe, any ideas?

Great stuff, French. Now get yourself a corndog and some pie for extra good luck!

I saw a couple in my RSS Feed reader and then came back here to find them way down the tracker. Before I read this one, it said it was last posted 1 day and 7 hours ago, though I imagine that was when it was submitted and just wasn't made active until this morning.

I believe they show up on the front page as soon as they publish, but not immediately in active discussions unless someone comments. Also, I see it as posted this morning, where do you see the 1 day 7 hours?

HOKIE HOKIE HOKIE HI
'14 grad

It was on the tracker before there were any comments. In the "Last Reply" column it said 1 day and 7 hours ago.

Got it, I think: I bet the last post timestamp is messing it up. The tracker sorts by most recent post, so when the early submission posts get published they immediately drop to an older time

HOKIE HOKIE HOKIE HI
'14 grad

VTGuitar - what RSS reader do you use?

Twitter me

http://feeder.co/

Simple interface I found that installs easily in Chrome. No idea if it's good relative to others, but it works for me. I don't manage a whole lot of content, though, so maybe others have favorites to suggest.

Another great post French. I think which ever team has the ability to run and can stick to the run has the upper hand in this game.

GIVE IT TO ME ROSCOE!

Speed merchant....I like that.

This is my school
This is home

This is the game that either keeps us in the Coastal hunt or simply give us four games (and maybe a bowl game) to develop these young guys for next year. Personally, I say screw next season we can still win out and have a great chance at the division now! Winning would give much more encouragement and hope for next year, SO LET'S GO KICK ASS!! I haven't been too pumped the last few days because Pitt really took the wind out of my sails. But it's Thursday. In Lane. Against Miami. and I'm jacked.

Exit light, Enter night my friends...

Beat these guys and beat Virginia. That's all I ask for the rest of this season

This is my school
This is home

Ha, was talking to a friend just last night about how we'll probably roll tonight and then come out as flat as a pancake against BC.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

It happened last year...kicked Miami's tail then came out and fell on our faces against Maryland.

This year is very reminiscent of the 2003 season, which might have been the most up and down I've ever seen a VT team play. One week they look like they can beat anyone on the planet (2003 - Miami.... 2014 - Ohio State)... the next week, they get the doors blown off in a beatdown few saw coming (2003 - Pitt... 2014 - ECU). And really, that 2003 team was extremely young as well. We had a lot of talent while still riding the recruiting momentum from the National Title game, but we had basically just turned over the entire roster, and there were very few left who were on the 1999 squad. The really worrisome thing about that 2003 similarity... That was the last VT team who lost to UVa.

This year has sucked in terms of watching the team struggle as badly as they did against ECU, GT, and Pitt, but with the way we've been recruiting, and the talent we are seeing in place on both sides of the ball, with some more experience, and years to bulk up in the weight room, this team should be a beast down the line. We just have to get through this year, first.

This is my school
This is home

I think we will beat Miami tonight but I am also sure more losses lie ahead, namely BC.

Wasn't it the following year (2004) that Randall and co took us to the Sugar Bowl? I'm optimistic about next year but still hopeful this year we get the Coastal or at least beat Miami and UVA and make it to a bowl.

Yep... and then in 2005 we peaked at #3 in the country before falling to Miami, only to shoot ourselves in the foot as the #5 team against an unranked FSU in the ACC title game. We carried the recruiting momentum from those years to about 2010, and then the bottom kind of fell out

This is my school
This is home

porque

We put the K in Kwality

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

My prediction for this game - See the November 2012 game vs the Seminoles.

1. Chilly Thursday night
2. Good crowd energy
3. Defense comes out in RAGE mode.
4. Offense struggles
5. Somebody wins it in the last 2 minutes - just hope its not the team from Florida.

Leonard. Duh.

Any chance of rain? We all know hurricanes don't like rain... ;)

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:
โ€œI served in the United States Navy"

Last I heard was potentially bitter cold, but no rain.

I think our D will be better this game. Motuopuoduomuoluoaka will have benefited from a week of 1st team practice snaps, and film study.

Our DBs just get better every week.

Luther Maddy is out, but our backup DTs are responding well.

I think we keep Miami pretty well stymied offensively.

So that means we just need 3 touchdowns from our Offense.

.
.
.

Somebody hold me?

Motatuapuawaka was also a spring enrollee, so he has a little more exp under his belt than a normal freshman.

I am not sure what to do with my hands now

He is a redshirt freshman, class of 2013, and was with the team last fall.

If I see our o-line block like that clip from the Louisville O-line I will weep tears of joy.
Huge, huge game not only on the field for this team but also for the future with many many talented guys making the trek to the 'burg tonight. We have shit the bed in big recruiting games the past 2 years (duke last year, ga-tech this year).

I hope to see a team playing for it's life tonight hitting any and everything that moves and playing sound football for 4 quarters, & a raucous crowd won't hurt either.

UVA: Jefferson's biggest mistake

@pbowman6

Gald it's looking to be a chilly night in blacksburg. whenever we play miami late in the season and there is some freak warm weather day we always blow it. I believe the last time gameday was in Blacksburg it was like that. It was November and it was a freakish 62 degrees and sunny. Corso picked the Canes to beat us and I could feel it due to the weather. Of course we got beat and were pretty highly ranked. Anytime they come to town and it's cold and/or rainy we usually play well.

Though I'm a bit of a debby downer. The Pitt game crushed me. I haven't been excited for this game at all because I have no idea how the team is going to come out an play. I usually love Thursday night games and was exicted to see them on the schedule this year and against Miami. I'm afraid if we lose tonight we'll strart to spiral out of control. I hope we win, naturally, and will be watching but would really like to see a dominant performance.

I believe there is supposed to be a lot of recruits at the game tonight as well. A great atmosphere and a solid win would be great for the team and the recruits in a attendance. Hopefully we get back on track tonight. GO HOKIES!

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I think you need to watch this Dozer trailer to get your mind right and get pumped.

The Pitt game crushes us every other year, but it's Miami week and you should be excited to see an electric Lane. Get your mind right and LET'S GO!

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

โ€œWhen life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spiritโ€ David Wilson

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

All this talk of corn dogs made me wonder if I had accidentally logged on to an LSU website.

For the Hokies to win against the Hurricanes, the Virginia Tech must get a lead and then pressure Kaaya into mistakes

I see one fundamental problem with this plan...

Look, I'm really not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but it's going to require a major out-of-character performance from the offense this season in order for us to win this, especially using this strategy, because you need to "get the lead" first (i.e. score points). I hope more than anything that I'm wrong, more than anything in the world, but I'm in major "I'll believe it when I see it" mode right now.

I imagine this is going to be close through the 3rd. I imagine Miami will make enough mistakes to keep us in it while our offense struggles to put points on the board. I see our young, thin, D holding on for dear life but eventually allowing a big play or two by the end to seal it. I know that this is pretty much the script for every one of our losses so I'm not really going out on a limb, but IIWII.

Sorry, I know everyone here hates posts like this, but I'm just calling it like I see it. I really want to be positive about this, so I won't belabor the point beyond what I have just written right here.

In 4 of 7 games, we scored first. In a 5th game, we scored the first TD. We've put points on the board on our first posession 4 times in 7 games. I hope our team comes out with the same fire we've grown to expect from them on a Thursday night, but getting out in front is fully within the realm of possibility. Maybe it's just me, but I'm not impressed by Miami. The only worry I have is Dorsett. I think we can hold Coley in check, but Dorsett could blow up our secondary.

Yep, neither Dorsett nor D. Johnson played against us last year, but I still worry about Coley as we know he's got speed but is susceptible to punter fumblilitis. They have all 3 for this game and a better than expected freshman playing QB...in Lane...on a Thursday night! Agree, Miami are not world beaters and this game is winnable for us, we just need to execute and not let costly penalties kill us again.

I interpreted "get out to an early lead" to mean "get Miami in a hole early so they abandon the run game and are forced to start thowing. Use that to force mistakes to build on existing hole."

Scoring the first 3 or 7 points isn't really enough of a hole to force your opponent to abandon using their most potent offensive weapon in Duke Johnson.

I agree. We need more than a single TD lead on them, but at least we're capable of scoring early. There have been years where that's not been the case. I disagree that Duke is their most potent weapon. He's going to be a 1000 yard back, but he was underwhelming for what he's capable of for the first 4 games of the year.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/d145af037d7550a674e5da72214fc153/tumblr_mxx24a7wMc1qa3pfso1_400.gif

31-13 The Fighting All Maroon Everythings

@VTimHokie85

It should be noted on that Louisville TD that Perryman had asked to come out of the game the play before and was shook off by the sideline. He was gassed and that entire defense was gassed. Miami does not have quality depth in their front 7. In every game that they've lost they have gotten ground down and could not stop the run in the second half. They were right with GT, Nebraska, and Louisville at halftime until the depth issue showed up.

This means that getting ahead, getting off the field on 3rd down on defense, and being able to run the ball is that much more important.

Ii told all u lost morons that if u hadn't cried stiney would be fine! U want change cunts gl maybe this moron french that teaches 3 yr old with way 2 many videos

Any chance you could write that in English?

I could but why? Mouths like u brought va.tech football back 2 where it started.Yea u should talk bith

Post again with profanity directed at our members. Please. So I can ban you myself.

Don't wait.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

Oh he's done. Took my bait nicely. He was at -17 and I didn't have another post to hit for the remaining -10, but he did that below. I took great pleasure. You don't come onto TKP and pull crap like that.

Thanks for this, and for all y'all do to make/keep this site wonderful.

French, you can coach my 3 yo team anytime! But just like this guy, they won't have the patience for all the videos unless they have a lot more bright colors. Just my $0.02.

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I could but why? Mouths like u brought va.tech football back 2 where it started.Yea u should talk bith

That'll do. Do not come on TKP and harangue our members with incoherent rants. Goodbye.

v

That was fun. First time I got to use my -10. And then this guy made me use it three times.

I'm just impressed with the use of "harangue".

WOW! FRENCH IF WE WERE PLAYING PEEWEE BALL UD BE RIGHT ON.Like i told u young morons ,and im 36/u cried wanting a new off.cord.so thanks 4 that.Were not florida state.its over ur mouths finished it.yea lets get rid of beamer? Then well be la.tech and foster cute hes a sxitzo.blitz if that doesnt work then blitz.JUST PATHETIC coach a team FRENCH! Peewee parents would run u outta town.Sad,dont bother talking 2 me.IM shocked anyone would read the book u type 2 explain a sweep.WHAT A JOKE

Wow. We're down 24 to 0 and we're still going short yardage on offense.... But then again, what else can we do. Since the running game, even when working, fumbles the ball so really we dont have a offense. I wonder how many recruits we scarred off tonight. Jalen Dalton might decide on UNC since UNC has an offense, they just need help on defense and he plays defense...

Go Hokies!

Sad thing is, I'm not even surprised by this loss. I was expecting it.

Go Hokies!

Final judgement? I don't even know where to start....

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Okay I do take exception to that last remark by either Palmer or Pollack. Same team? Are you a moron? We lost Shai and Edmunds to injury on offense. We lost Maddy, the guy we were depending to seal our interior D-Line as well as one of our DBs to injury. All four players are out for the year. Same team, way to BS for OSU ESPN.

Go Hokies!

http://i.imgur.com/kIE4h.gif

Sigh...

Just listened to Coach Beamer's post game interview. Two quotes caught my ear..."another year we have a really good chance to be a good football team", "getting ready to get back where we are supposed to be".

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

'98 set up '99-'02. '03 set up '04-'11. he's not exactly wrong, either.

VT '10--US Citizen; (804) Virginian By Birth; (210) Texan By the Grace of God.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

I also root for: The Keydets, TexAggies, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and Braves.

Absolutely there's nothing wrong with what he said.

I think we've had over 20 true freshmen play over the last two years, so I would expect with another good recruiting class and player development his comments will bear out.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Mike and Bill just echoed what I was thinking, that it was out of the norm for Beamer to talk so specifically about the future in his post game interviews.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

There was a point in the third quarter when it became obvious that our defense had given up. I have never seen that before, and I've watched VT games since before Frank was hired. Perhaps the coaching staff has also given up on this season, and Frank just inadvertently alluded to it.

I was thinking the same thing but then Dadi had a goaline stand (however little it mattered at that point) pretty much by himself. I think they were tired, beat up, but I think that they still played with (for?) pride at the end

we can only hope

VT '10--US Citizen; (804) Virginian By Birth; (210) Texan By the Grace of God.

Rick Monday... You Made a Great Play...

I also root for: The Keydets, TexAggies, NY Giants, NY Rangers, and Braves.

That not exactly true either.

Tech has traditionally been good at recruiting players and making them better over a 4 year span. Classes of 1995 - 1997 led tech in the championship year. 19 (4*) players in those classes

Class of 1995 - Jamel Smith LB

Class of 1996- Kicker Graham (4*), LB Cory Bird, RB Andre Kendrick (4*), RB Shyrone Stith (2*)

Class of 1997 - Receiver Andr Davis (2*), LB Ben Taylor (3*)

Class of 1998 was led by Vick who did start but the rest were not top players til the 2002 season. Jake Grove a 2* recruit in 1998 didn't hit his excellence til 2003

Look man..please #HokieNation don't give up on these guys. We're young and banged up..this happens. Happy for a loyal hokie, mark leal..he played well when given the chance. Talked to some of the recruits..not scared off. They want to see atmosphere more than wins, for the most part. The booing couldn't have helped, though..

T_Sprad3

Yeah, I wasn't down with the booing.

This is going to be great for the ACC.

You know, I get upset like the rest of everyone here when we lose because every loss is one step away from a National Championship berth. We're now way past the point of any chance of it happening this year. The caliber of play has diminished significantly since losing to ECU and I can only wonder if we'll have anything for our highlight reel.

There are still some games left in the season but I go into the weekend feeling bitter as to how come Virginia Tech, with the winningest active coach in a Division I program, lacks a Championship trophy. We should be on this list:

http://www.ncaa.com/history/football/fbs

But now the mantra of "maybe next year" begins to echo a bit more loudly and I resent it.

It's also quite humbling how every team that's beat us since the Ohio State game has set records doing so.

Bah, I'm just at work, venting, and can't wait to leave...maybe next year we'll have a really great team.

get some dum-dums!