Monday, November 24, 2008

weekend review

In which I go back over the weekend and cover the news I ignored in favor of sitting on my butt and watching football. Today we'll just go sport by sport.

Starting with football. And it was not a good weekend in that department in this household. I forget exactly which touchdown it was that caused me to turn the Michigan game off, but it was just before the first UVA touchdown of the game. OH WAIT THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN because the referees like to rewrite the definition of penalties on the fly. Apparently the new definition of offensive pass interference is the same as the old AT&T slogan: "Reach out and touch someone."

Still, the refs are just a scapegoat. A convenient (and fun) scapegoat, but just a scapegoat. You don't win football games when your turnover margin is -3 and you can't manage to even average 2.5 yards per carry. The defense was splendid. The longest Clemson scoring drive was 30 yards, and they all started in our territory. Pity the offense has regressed all the way back to the Duke game. It is not a sign of good coaching on the offensive side of the ball that the longer the coaches have to think about the game plan, the worse the team performs.

So now we have one last chance. I wish Cousin Eddie was ranked this week so that the ACC gods would smite them, but the most they could muster was two measly votes in the coaches' poll. This is why rivalry games belong at the end of the season. No matter how badly your year has gone, you have one last shot at redemption. I feel bad for, say, Illinois fans, who get their biggest rivalry out of the way early and then spend the rest of the year trying to work up hatred for schools that view them as little more than a bump in the road. And this year, more so with the redemption thing than most. Win, and we can cheer on Al Groh for rescuing a season that seemed wasted, by squeaking out a bowl trip and a win over Tech, and we can screw them out of the ACCCG besides. Lose, and the whole season is a loss.

So. Now that you're all worked up to crush a Chokie, basketball! It's kind of exciting that VT lost to a rather lowly Big East team in Seton Hall (at least, they were pretty weak last year) but we're headed for that real soon ourselves if we don't shape up. Seriously, how much are we going to rely on a true freshman to bail us out of close games against crummy teams? Don't get me wrong. Landesberg is a damn hoss. If we get four years from this kid we'll be in awesome shape. But we're going to have plenty of struggles come the new year and the ACC season; I'd sure like to see an easy one against an opponent that is supposed to be an easy one. I predict ugliness and pain when ACC teams start showing up at JPJA unless we start shooting somewhere north of .400.

Soccer. A quick look at our opponent for tomorrow night's tournament game, UConn. Connecticut is a low-scoring team even by the low-scoring standards of soccer. Only once did they manage more than two goals in a game: a 4-0 win over St. Peter's. We have eight such games, for comparison's sake. A win gives us either a trip to Omaha to face Creighton, or, less likely, a home game against Tulsa.

Lacrosse - there is good and bad news here. The good news is that the early signing period netted nine players who will be 'Hoos next fall. The prize of the class is Connor English, a high-school All-American. That's not saying quite as much when you realize there are like 450 All-Americans, but English, obviously, is a junior, restoring the impressiveness to the feat. The other "name" in the class: Long. The third Long son, Howie, signed his letter too. His older brother Kyle is a baseball player at FSU, and you might have heard of Chris, the eldest. Quite an athletic family; another generation like that and they'll be taking on the Rolles.

The bad news is the passing of former laxer and team captain Will Barrow. Barrow had a bright lacrosse future ahead of him in MLL, and was still enrolled in school finishing his degree.

Now, back to football. There isn't much left of the high school season; in fact, Dominique Wallace very nearly saw his end Friday. But Chancellor rallied behind Wallace's four touchdowns and oh yeah, 215 yards. Perry Jones matched that total in Oscar Smith's 28-21 win over Ocean Lakes. Tucker Windle's team is also still alive in the North Carolina playoffs.

Recruiting update. It's that time of year where this stuff starts to get more and more interesting; hopefully though, Groh and staff won't have all the time in the world for recruiting after Saturday quite yet. Updates to the board, which is here, are as follows:

- DE Bernardo Nunez cut his list to five; board list is cut accordingly. He is bumped up to "Good" from "Fair" based on the comments in that article about two of his finalists being too far away, but the rest of the article kind of gives off a Maryland vibe.

- OT Oday Aboushi cut his list to three, but really two, based on the last quote in this pay article. He'll take visits to UVA, BC, and Maryland, but Maryland is running a clear third. EDIT: Never mind. BC commit. Will be removed from the board next update.

- Removed LB Jelani Jenkins, which should have been done a while ago.

Last feature, as always, is a quick spin around the ACC.....

Boston College won a squeaker against Wake, and Eagle in Atlanta fears for his life expectancy after that one.

Georgia Tech helped us out mightily by beating Miami, only thanks to our offense, they actually helped out the other Tech instead. The LegacyX4's text inbox filled up quick thanks to Gobber Country's furrer4heisman, who should probably drunk-post more.

UNC got spanked, spanky-style, by NC State. It's hard to feel too bad for Tareye or Buckheel considering his other team did pretty OK (against my other team dammit) but if UNC wanted to put on a How To Remain A Basketball School clinic, ToB thinks they did pretty well.

Last but not least, I'd be a bad, bad blogger if I didn't give you this: the master list of CHokie jokes. Posted at TheSabre by Guy Incognito.

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