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Good luck Tigers...

Curious Hokie

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Sorry, 'bout all the non-Sugar Bowl discussion. We tend to be a little ADD around here if the subject is SEC football, coaching rumors, and such. :P

Anyway, I would love to put a pounding on you guys to sway enough voters in the AP to get a national title, but I don't think it's likely. Too good of a VT defense.

How are things in Blacksburg? Everyone still happy with Beamer? Seems like he was on top of the world back in '99. Did it spoil the fanbase or are they still happy with a consistent winner that breaks through for a conference title and a BCS bowl every few years?

I just wonder. I hope the Auburn fans will be realistic next season and not be pissy if we drop off a little next season while trying to replace Caddy, Ronnie and Jason.

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What's to discuss ? Auburn is going to pound VT much like it did uga. I see VT and uga as being pretty equal, with no David Greene or David Pollak on your side.

Ok, all smack talk aside, this should be a dandy of a game. I expect a real tight game down to the wire.

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Welcome, CH, to one of the best football forums around. Post ofen and enjoy! :):au:

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OK, let's see some discussion. I'm not all that familiar with Va Tech's team. I know the peripherals about the Hokies (won-loss record, game scores & all) but I didn't see them play much at all this year outside of the SC opener & the Miami game. I was impressed with the turn around from the beginning of the season. The defense looked really impressive against the 'Canes. Also your QB, Randall, is just the type of dual threat that concerns me against our own D -- if he can escape the initial pass rush he's going to be a problem in the open field. Our FG kicking team has not been stellar. Va Tech is known for their special teams play and that could be an issue with a FG or punt that's not got off cleanly. Our OC, Al Borges, likes to script the plays in the 1st couple of series to see how the defense reacts and then he makes his adjustments. We haven't had to play from behind except for two games all season. AU has made a habit of scoring on teams early and then enlarging the score by 2 or 3 TDs & putting in the subs. Va Tech's only chance is to stop the AU offense early & control the ball when they do get it and use up a lot of clock every time they score. Not an easy task. A turnover or 2 for an early score will help your cause immensly.

AU has a good mix of seniors & underclassmenn. The starting backfield of 5th-yr seniors Campbell, Brown & true senior Williams is as veteran as they come -- you've got two 1,000-yd rushers and a QB who has been Heisman-like impressive this season. All 3 were voted 1st team All SEC. Many of the backups on both offense & defense have seen a good deal of playing time throughout the season. We have one starting LB that's out with a broken bone in his wrist. Depth is a big plus for AU this year. Hasn't always been this way.

Now ... how 'bout some of you Hokies tell us about your team: strengths vs weaknesses, young or old, things like that.

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OK, now THAT is what I'm talking about. Some good-natured smack, some points about your team, and some questions on the Hokies. I knew this was a good board.

First, the question about how Beamer is doing in Blacksburg. Hokie fans are spoiled IMO. Like you say, in '99 he was God's gift to coaches. That was followed by '00 when we had another good year in Vick's 2nd year, although his injury hampered us a bit. Following that we have had 3 straight years of high expectations---all 3 years we started very strong and then had a "November swoon" as it is commonly referred to. What did that lead to? Amazingly, many people calling for Beamer's head.

Amazing that pre-1993, while VT had an occasional very good year, we were not a household name by any mean. Now we have been in a bowl game every year since '93 Independence Bowl, and SOME people think that we should win every single game or fire the coach. I wasn't happy either, don't get me wrong, but the staff did their homework in the offseason and tweaked the offense and defense both, and we came back very strong. Now Beamer is highly regarded again, but you know how fans are. We have a ton coming back next year, and if we don't win the ACC again, some will call for his head.

On to VT's team...a try-to-be-quick look at each position:

Offense: We run a lot of different stuff now. Option, power, isolations, misdirections, short passing, deep balls. We do everything from 4 WR to 2 WR/2TE to traditional I-formation. We are a run-first team, but Stinespring (OC) has opened it up more this year and made us more balanced. Sometimes he has struggled with a game plan to attack a defense, but the second half of the season he has been lights-out.

QB-Sr, 3-year starter, Randall is good. The best "leader" I've seen in Blacksburg---a A+ person and someone you would be very proud of to call your son. He isn't a "great" QB IMO but very solid...his arm is decent but not great. He has shown much more zip this year though. Still struggles with consistency at times. His pocket presence has been worlds better, especially late in the season, in knowing when to tuck and run. He has good, not great, speed. Very good at making people miss, and very strong as a runner---doesn't go down easy. Behind him we only have a true freshman that has played very little (Sean Glennon)...throws a great pass but almost zero experience. Randall can't get hurt.

RB-Jrs Imoh and Humes will get the carries (Jr Hamilton may also get a few). Imoh is 5'7, but powerful 200 pounds and a beast in the weight room---hard to bring down. Good speed, great side movement. Humes is the power guy, about 230 lb...hurt last summer and didn't look himself until the last couple of games. Imoh fighting a hammy injury and Humes took over and looked great against UVa and Miami. A great combo, and the Sugar will be the first game all year that both are fully healthy. We'll rotate series early, and could go with the "hot hand" as the game goes on. Our FB is a walk-on Jesse Allen...another weight room monster, a little inconsistent but getting better. Decent hands out of the back field (we throw to the FB in the flat). We do run a lot of 1-back sets though. Neither Imoh or Humes are like our latest of Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs, but both are solid.

WR-Fr Hyman and Fr-Royal will start. Both can motor. Royal is a little shorter, but the VA player of the year last year and is explosive (blew by Rolle of Miami on a TD). We also play So-Clowney, Fr-Harper, Fr-Morgan a ton. Sr-Johnson will play a bit too. We rotate our WRs a lot. As you see, very young here, but all of them can fly. Possibly our biggest surprise this year is how deep and talented we are here. Clowney is my personal fav...he can fly (track star) and is playing tough---makes the nasty downfield blocks and goes across the middle. People usually ignore our WRs but they are good enough to beat teams. They are streaky, but it seems that each game someone is "off" and someone else steps in and makes the plays.

TE-We have a good rotation of 3 guys. Jr-King and Sr-Mazzetta get the majority of the snaps, with Fr-Brown getting some plays too. King and Mazzetta are very similar...both good size, about 260. Both have unbelievable hands and we throw to the TEs a lot---especially on seam and corner routes. The Fr-Brown is about 275 and can run...a true physical specimen. We have high hopes for him in the future.

OL-Starters of Sr-Dunn, Sr-Miller, Jr-Montgomery, Jr-Murphy, and Jr-Martin. We are very thin on the OL with only Jr-Butler getting a lot of snaps in the backups. The group was shaky early in the year (as shown by 10 sacks against NCState, but in their defense several of them were Randall or the RBs fault). The last several games they seem to start slow but pick up steam and really control the line fairly well in the 2nd half. I would say they are pretty good, but definitely not great. Martin has been fighting a sprained ankle (missed about 95% of the Miami game) and I don't think is fully healed, but expected to play. Montgomery at C is the leader.

Defense plays an 8-man front. 4-2-5 or 4-4-3, you decide. A hybrid defense that we have had great success with. We do bring our Rover (SS) up to make 8 men in the box a lot, especially against run teams. In the past we have done a lot of one-on-one island coverages on the outside, but this year we are mostly a 2-deep shell coverage with our safeties. We shift a lot, change coverage a lot, (man-free, cover 2, cover 3, robber coverages). We do blitz occasionally, including the Rover and CB having blitzes. I love this defense---aggressive and flies all over the field.

DL---Starters of Jr-Tapp and So-Burchette and DE, and Sr-Davis and Jr-J.Lewis at DT have been absolutely dominant. They whipped Miami and UVA's OLs all over the place. The best thing is we play a ton of guys on the DL. At DE Davis will also get some snaps (his original and future NFL position), as will backup Fr-Ellis and Sr-Lallis. Jr-Trott could get a few snaps, he missed most of the year with a back injury. At DT Sr-K.Lewis (Lewis guys are brothers), Jr-Sandidge, Fr-Powell, Fr-Robertson all will see playing time. Our DL is very deep, very fast. Our pass rush has done so well that we actually do not blitz much any more even though we still play aggressive.

LB---Starters at our 2 inside spots will probably be Sr-Baaqee and Fr-Hall. Fr-Adibi will play a ton. The last couple of games they would rotate with each guy playing 4 series and sitting 2 (Baaqee plays both spots). Hall is a big, physical, run-stopper. Adibi, hurt for half the year, can absolutely fly. He lost some weight during his injury time and is a little small at the moment (215) but has really played well. Hall and Adibi are future stars, and their jersey #s lead to chants of "Dial 9-1-1!!!" with Hall being 9, Adibi 11. Baaqee has started for a few years and is an effort guy. He can be a weak spot because he isn't quite fast enough or quite big enough to play LB IMO. BUT he usually leads the team in tackles and never quits on a play. I would say we are very good here, but we still do not fill gaps the best in the world on power runs.

Whip/Rover---In our D the whip is kind of like an OLB, and the Rover a SS, but a little different. Both have some responsibilities of each. Jr-Anderson and So-Rouse will rotate at Whip, and both are in the 220 range and can move. They have been unsung heroes this year...not flashy but steady and doing their job. Sr-Griffin will get most of the snaps at Rover, with Sr-Daniels getting a few. Griffin is a head-hunter...looks for the big hit and has laid some people out this year. He is subject to the play-action a bit. Daniels is physical and very smart but lacks a little speed which keeps him from playing as much.

CB-Sr-Green and Jr-Williams are both great corners. Williams got toasted by Bush in the USC game and has really grown up since then. He is big, about 6'3" 225 and physical in run support. Freak athlete, chased down UVa's RB that can fly from behind on a long run saving a TD. He is considering leaving early as some say he is a 1st round pick. Green is my favorite player...solid, does things right. People rarely throw at him. He is an NFL pick too, probably 3rd round or so. "The Predator" due to his hair. Behind them Fr-Minor will get some snaps, and he is also our nickel-back for pass situations. Minor has been great in his limited time.

FS---Sr-Fuller is a playmaker and the QB of our defense. Makes the right calls, good reads. Pretty good in run support although he isn't very big. Good at coming down and playing man-up when we blitz (he played corner last year). Daniels will also get a few snaps here.

Special teams-KO man Fr-Develli has been a boost...lots of touchbacks and a strong leg. K So-Pace has been very good, close to the lead in scoring in the country, but had the miss at the end against NCState. P Sr-Burns started the year great...had a bad stretch in the middle...but finished strong. Our coverage teams are average. Return guys (Royal, Clowney, Hyman, Imoh) all have the potential to break the big one. Our special teams have been up and down this year, not a good year in the Beamerball dept. even though we still have the reputation. We have blocked a couple, and Beamer always studies to find ways to go after a punter.

We have a lot of talent all over. Offense is sluggish at times but has found the drives and plays when we needed it, Special teams are streaky, defense has been dominant. Very good potential of NFL draft picks this year in DT/DE-Davis, CB-Green, QB-Randall, FS-Fuller, OT-Dunn, CB-Williams (if he comes out). Rov-Griffin, TE-Mazzetta, and OG-Miller all will get looks too.

All in all, we are young. With Vick taking over the reins next year...if we can find a secondary and our OL can pick it up a notch, we could challenge for #1.

Sorry so long-winded, hope it was worth it.


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wow, killed that thread.........do you have a life? ;)

Here's what I have time for

Auburn CAN lose this game but, if Auburn plays above average this game is not in doubt in the 4th quarter.

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