Friday, November 28, 2008

game preview: Cousin Eddie


History against the Hokies: 37-47-5

Last matchup: VT 33, UVA 21, 2007 in Charlottesville

Last week: Clemson 13, UVA 3; VT 14, Duke 3

Line: VT by 8

Virginia Tech season preview here.

VT blogs: Gobbler Country, College Game Balls

This is pretty much it right here. I'm a Virginia fan, a Michigan fan, and a Detroit Lions fan, and if you take a look back at how things have gone for these three teams, you'll get a pretty good idea of how I've enjoyed the 2008 football campaign. This is the last chance for the Hoos. Win, and the season is pretty much redeemed: a victory over those other guys and a possible bowl berth makes the whole season worth something. Lose, and it's a near-complete washout. Which sets us up perfectly for what hopefully will not be this season's last....


- Big plays. You know that NBA 09 commercial with Kevin Garnett, and KG's telling his posse why they can't be his video game posse? "You're garbage, and you're even more garbage than he is." I'm not sure which offense is more garbage than which, but there is no comebackability in either one. We used up all our magic in the UNC game. So the first time someone misses a tackle to break loose a big-gain touchdown, or returns a pick-six or something, that might well be the difference maker in the whole game. We have to be the one coming up with a big play and not be the one missing a tackle on a 70-yard run.

- For the love of God Verica please please please make the right decision with the ball. In Verica's five losses, he has 3 TD's and 11 picks; in his four wins, it's 5 TD's and 4 picks. His completion percentage is 58% in the losses and 72% in the wins. It'll help if the receivers get open, because when they don't, Verica's prone to trying to force it. But the INTs are a huge factor in our losses, and Verica should have it drilled into his head that the defense is playing well, the VT offense is flat terrible, and there's nothing wrong with a punt if the alternative is a pickoff.

- Make the offensive line watch tape of the Maryland game over and over again. Find out whatever it is they did right in that game and do it again. They gained the touch, and then lost it. Fix it, and Cedric Peerman can make the VT nightmares come true.


- Again, the big plays. When the offenses are both terrible, it comes down to who makes 'em. Let Tech make a big play, especially early, and we'll spend the rest of the game trying to come back. Failing to contain Tyrod Taylor would be a very good way to let Tech make that play.

- Fail to match VT's emotion. They're at home with a hostile crowd behind them, and they know that a win puts the Orange Bowl in their grasp. Obviously, they'll be fired up. If the usual road blues set in, the game will be over in the first quarter like the Wake Forest game was.


Yeeessh. Tech's got the same putrid offense we do, which means there's hope. But when the offenses are equally stinky, look to the defense; and there's little doubt Tech has the better one. And they're at home. Those are the signs that point to bad things. But I've been harping on the big plays, and I think whoever makes the first one wins the game. If we can return a Taylor interception for six, it'll quiet the crowd and give us the emotional advantage. If VT breaks off a big run or blocks a punt, the Hokies will ride the tidal wave to a victory. Either way, first to 20 wins, if either offense can manage as many as three scores.


Georgia Tech at Georgia, 12:00. Clean, old-fashioned hate.
Miami at NC State, 12:00. Wolfpack looking for bowl eligibility.
Clemson vs. South Carolina, 12:00. Hey, maybe they'll fight again.
Florida State vs. Florida, 3:30. Winner is the Florida state champion.
Maryland at Boston College, 3:30. BC goes to Tampa with a win.
North Carolina at Duke, 3:30. It's not basketball, but there's a bell at stake here.
Wake Forest at Vanderbilt, 7:00. Huh.

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