A nooner on ESPNU with once and future conference foe, Virginia Tech. A game that was greeted with great anticipation before the season started is now viewed with dread as to the outcome.
Somehow VT is only favored by 10 points or so. Apparently the oddsmakers are confused that this is a game in 2012, not 2002.
Brian from THE KEY PLAY got in touch with me to do a little Q&A exchange. I sent him my questions on Tuesday night, right before the latest round of expansiopocolypse hit — rendering some of my questions a little dated even before the responses came. My answers to his questions can be found here.
When Pitt joins the Big East in some 290 days, The Key Play will definitely be a part of the ACC link selection. One of the finer blogs out there, and like Pitt Blather not part of the SBN borg collective. You can also find them on Twitter at, well, THE KEY PLAY.
1. Sooooo. Logan Thomas. Really, really good. After that, any other offensive weapons you trust?
Well…that’s really been the problem thus far. After Thomas, no one has been a completely proven commodity. Everyone else is young and unproven. Marcus Davis is a receiver that has really everything you want physically (size, speed, vertical), but his hands and…well…effort have been inconsistent. The running backs have shown flashes, but it’s really hard to gain consistent confidence when you don’t get carries.
I think there are a lot of solid weapons…just no one that has my full confidence yet. And if the offense keeps playing like this, it may take a while to find confidence in one.
2. Let’s say you are an opposing offensive coordinator. How do you attack the VT defense? What really gives them trouble?
Um…can I say Clemson? Seriously though, spreading them out and finding the bad matchup. If there is a weakness to the defense it’s the depth at secondary, and if that causes Foster to try and put an outside linebacker on a slot receiver, there could be trouble. If you just try to run into the line and find holes up the middle…well good luck with that. You can probably console yourself in a corner with Paul Johnson.
3. Any advice in how to cope with an inexplicable loss to a 1-AA team?
In the words of the great Bluto Blutarsky: “My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.” After the Hokies lost to JMU, I didn’t leave my room for days. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to go to parties. I just wanted to dwell on what was then an 0-2 start. Other than that…hope your team wins 10 games, the ACC and makes you forget that it happened? That’s really all I have about that.
4. Couldn’t help but notice over the summer with the expansiopocolypse rumors swirling, that it seems many VT fans have SEC dreams. Can you explain how this scenario unfolds that allows VT to get out of the ACC and specifically from UVa, after all the political wrangling, favors and debts incurred that took place to get VT into the ACC? (Not intended to be snarky or an asshole. I’m actually very curious about this, because in every VT scenario I’ve come across, this aspect tends to get glossed over despite the amount of political pressure that would be expected.)
You are completely right. It’s a fascinating scenario that is unfolding, and it just shows how expansiopocolypse makes for short memories. Personally, I don’t think that it will ever happen, especially while the current administration is in power (Beamer and AD Jim Weaver specifically). They were there when Mark Warner (then governor of Virginia) used everything he had to pressure Virginia into voting us in. They love the ACC, and can’t talk enough about it (at least publicly). Also, in a sneaky move by the ACC, with the addition of Notre Dame they also raised the exit fee to 50 million dollars (aka a huge middle finger to Florida State and Clemson’s Big 12 dreams). So unless there is a new administration and the SEC wants to foot the $100 million bill for 2 ACC teams (my guess would be Tech and NC State) there’s no way they go.
But alllsooooo (WARING: COMPLETELY UNSUBSTANTIATED EXPANSIOPOCOLYPSE TALK) if Florida State and Clemson leave, that will probably start the dominos of ACC mass exodus. Miami and Georgia Tech may want to go to the Big 12 as well, which means Tech and NC State would get the hell out of dodge. The “smart” schools (Virginia, Maryland, UNC and Duke) go to the Big 10, and everyone else is screwed.
Again, I don’t believe anything I just wrote.
5. Penn State scandal to the north. UNC slow-mo scandal to the south. Hell, even Duke’s getting into the act. How do you take this much schadenfreude? Regarding the UNC academic scandal, though, what is the VT and even the rest of the ACC’s feelings towards this? Waiting for an actual punishment from the NCAA and/or the ACC. Or is it that somehow UNC will continue to get away with the claim that it was an academic scandal only that has nothing to do with athletics?
Eh, no one really cares. No matter what they think, their football team isn’t one of the big fishes, and haven’t been particularly relevant in November since Mack Brown was there. They’ll definitely get theirs, punishment wise though. It’s just that no one cares, because they’ll still probably be 7-5.
6. One more expansiopocolypse. Lately the ND to the ACC in all sports but football — but playing ACC teams 5-6 times/year — rumor has been popping up. What do you think about this rumor?
It sounds pretty accurate…I’ve heard this once or twice today. (OR FOR SEVEN CONSECUTIVE HOURS ON ESPN)
7. Really, do you see any scenario that doesn’t end in a VT win on Saturday?
If the offense puts up a 0, Pitt could win 3-0. Seriously though, if the offense struggles and they don’t return a Tino pass for a score, it could happen. I shudder every time I think about Tech going into Heinz field…I just tell myself that Rod Rutherford, Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Bryant are gone. THEY ARE GONE RIGHT?!?!
8. Final score?