Thursday, September 23, 2010

game preview: VMI

Date/Time: Saturday, September 25; 1:30 PM


History against the Keydets: 55-23-3

Last matchup: UVA 42, VMI 0; 1991

Last week: UVA bye; VMI bye

Line: N/A

Opposing blogs: none

Injury report: None, but WR Tim Smith is off the depth chart and won't play.

This week's uniform: blue jersey, blue pants

VMI season preview

Really, if you must schedule a I-AA program, this is the kind to schedule. No William & Mary or JMU, where they get their players believing they're every bit as good and sometimes prove themselves right. At VMI they just say things like "it's a great opportunity for our school" which translates as "oh boy $$$" since VMI hasn't played a BCS team since 2005 (and hasn't played a real one since forever because 2005 was Duke) and this probably doubles their athletic budget.


- Just play some goddam football.


- Overconfidence, basically.

- Well, VMI had a bye this week too and probably spent it coming up with crazy trick plays and if they have like twelve of them and if UVA is totally fooled by the first nine then maybe they score twelve touchdowns.

- Oh, fine. If UVA loses this game it will be a 3-0 score. For all the goodwill coming from the USC game, we forget that the offense managed one touchdown in eleven drives, followed by a goodwill score to make the result look better, aided by a bend-and-don't-care-if-we-break USC defense. VMI does have a few players on defense, specifically safety Byron Allen who is a tackle machine. They have the ability to shut down a running game - I don't know about a I-A running game, but William & Mary, despite shellacking VMI, only averaged 3.3 yards a carry and got nothing longer than 12 yards. Can they shut down UVA's? Probably not, but if they do, an INT-prone QB is INT-prone no matter who the opponent, and it's not a total leap of the imagination to envision the perfect storm where UVA's O-line is rusty from the bye and can't put together a running game, forcing Verica to the air where turnovers's not likely, but still.

Then again, VMI's starting nose tackle, Josh Wine, is 265 pounds, and B.J. Cabbell is 305. So.


VMI, as you'll notice, is 1-1, the win coming from the season opener against Lock Haven. That would be Division II Lock Haven. Lock Haven is not only a Division II team, it is a shitty D-II team. The Lock Haven Bald Eagles haven't won a football game since 2007.

Lock Haven stuffed the VMI running game for 47 yards on 23 carries.

UVA might score 10 points or they might score 49. But damn if VMI ought to be scoring. Their quarterbacks (they have yet to settle on one) are 32-for-80. William & Mary picked them off five times. And the running game has that whole Lock Haven fiasco going for it. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see VMI bring a trick play out of the book, something like what Presbyterian pulled off against Wake Forest. And if they score on that, fine. But this ought to be a shutout.

Ideally, this game is out of control midway through the second quarter, the second string starts to filter in at halftime, and the fourth quarter is a scrubfest. And that's probably what'll happen, because this is the kind of game where the only way to lose it is mentally, and Mike London's X's and O's are still unproven but his players' mental preparation appears to be top-notch.

If we do lose, I'm stowing away on the next rocket to Neptune and getting off sometime just past Jupiter.



Miami @ Pittsburgh, 7:30


Maryland vs. Florida Int'l, 12:00
NC State @ Georgia Tech, 12:00
Virginia Tech @ Boston College, 12:00
Duke vs. Army, 3:00
North Carolina @ Rutgers, 3:30
Wake Forest @ Florida State, 3:30

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