These football games are too big a deal for one person to break down all by my lonesome, so once again I've turned for assistance to the blog nebula to help make this happen. For the fourth year in a row, we are pleased to welcome furrer4heisman, owner and proprietor of Gobbler Country, to share in a Q&A session. I think the other half will go up over there tomorrow; I'll do my best to get it linked if possible but the day is pretty much spoken for between going to the Lions game and then the usual family stuff. (Here you go.) At any rate check it out. I mean, if you're bothering with reading this stuff on Thanksgiving Day, you might as well. It's always a pleasure to exchange questions with F4H and his is the best VT blog out there, so please don't kick the Hokie.
1. I've asked everybody this in case the compiled answers come in handy some time, so now it's your turn: Thoughts on ACC expansion? What do you think about the new arrivals, and who, if anyone, should be next? And what if the opportunity came for VT to leave the ACC?
I like the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh. I know a lot of people don't. Obviously it spreads the ACC's sphere of influence farther north and it makes the conference more stable. When the conference added Syracuse and Pitt, there wasn't a football powerhouse available that was going to be willing to come to the conference.
Cuse and Pitt are two programs that have had their share of glory days. Those seem like a distant memory right now, but I do like the two coaches that are there. Of course, these decisions should be made solely on how the football program is doing right this second. These are permanent decisions and I think the ACC did a good job being proactive.
As far as the future? For Virginia Tech I was happy with the ACC as its home before the addition of Cuse and Pitt and I'm even happier now. Selfishly I'd like the Hokies to be in the SEC because those are a lot shorter drives/flights for me. For the ACC, I think the dream would be to add Notre Dame and UConn. If anything, it would really piss BC off and that would humor me.
2. Please explain the Duke game.
How about you explain your Duke games from 2008-2010, big guy? (ed.: Easy - assy defense.) Well, we threw a pick at the goalline, threw a pick in the end zone and missed a field goal in the first half. Then we punted on every possession in the second. It was one of those things where watching it I knew THEY weren't going to score, but I was also pretty sure we weren't going to score either. The way I described it in the post game recap was something I won't repeat on your space.
3. How have injuries affected the VT defense this year?
Our two-deep currently has 15 freshmen or sophomores, including seven on the defensive line. Despite all the injuries, they've been surprisingly steady. Even the last two games when they've been without an outside linebacker and have had to play five defensive backs they've been solid. The problem is when they're on the field too long against a team that's willing to just run the ball at them. A big part of this game will be our offense's ability to sustain drives and keep the defense rested.
4. How has the offseason coaching staff shakeup worked out, both in the recruiting realm and on the field?
So far it's been fine. I really don't follow recruiting, but it seems Cornell Brown and Shane Beamer have given it a shot in the arm. I've been pleased with Mike O'Cain's play-calling for the most part, but there are times where he seems to out-think himself. There were a couple of questionable calls against UNC, but he had a really good game plan for attacking its defense.
5. Please tell me that "George George III" is a real person who exists for real.
Not only does he exist, but this week we're putting in a special GEORGECAT package where he lines up behind center and Logan Thomas lines up at tight end. I expect it to result in a 55-point victory.
(Ed.: You really have to appreciate that not one, but three generations of parents have had the balls to name their kid George George.)
6. In the event you win this game and then the ACCCG as well, which would Hokies fans consider a better season: going to the Orange Bowl and stomping whatever the Big East has to offer, or having the dominoes fall into place just right, getting to the BCS title game, and getting stomped by LSU?
No question going to the BCSCG and getting stomped by LSU. If you don't want to be in that setting regardless of outcome you have no place in this game.
7. Evaluate Logan Thomas's passing for us.
He's been a lot better than I thought he'd be. Right now he has a better completion percentage than Tyrod Taylor had last year. His yards per attempt are lower, but that's because his deep-ball accuracy isn't as good. Most importantly he's been solid in his decision making and hasn't made a lot of ill-advised throws. He just has to get more consistent.
8. And....prediction time. Are you and/or the rest of Hokieland nervous?
I'm always nervous about this game whether UVa is 8-3 or 3-8 coming in. It's a rivalry game and it always gives me butterflies. As for the rest of the fans, I think they're confident. I actually think they'd be less confident about this game if UVa had lost to FSU and handed us the division title. Now with a trip to Charlotte on the line I think most of our fan base is confident that the Hokies will come in prepared and focused and take care of business. I'm taking the Hokies, but I don't think we'll cover. I think it'll be low-scoring. Something like 20-16.