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October 8, 2013

In The Hokies Head

Filed under: Football,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 9:00 am

Credit to the Virginia Tech players for honesty, they aren’t pretending it’s just another game. This game on Saturday is a bit personal.

“Dang, everything, man,” said [linebacker Tariq] Edwards regarding what stands out to him about last season’s loss at Pittsburgh, which travels Saturday to Lane Stadium to play No. 24 Tech (5-1 overall, 2-0 ACC). “Watching that game, it’s kind of disgusting just to watch it.”

“Sometimes, in football, you don’t want to use the revenge word, but revenge is a must as far as I put it right now.”

Where are the, “that was last year, this is a new season, we’ve moved on,” cliches?

How about Logan Thomas the quarterback who threw three interceptions a year ago against Pitt?

“I think (Pittsburgh is) still kind of a revenge-type game,” said Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, who added Monday he felt like his abdominal strain is about 95 percent healed, but his sprained right foot was still sore. “Obviously, we wanted to get (the UNC game) back from last year, and we want to get (the Pittsburgh game) back from last year. The way they put a beating on us, we want to turn it around, especially since we get another chance to play these guys at home.”

So…. not an aberration.

And one more.

Though Tech has an off week on the schedule just after the Pittsburgh game, Tech’s players insist there’s no chance for a letdown after reeling off five consecutive wins this season. Tech is ranked in The Associated Press poll this week for the first time all season.

The last time Tech was ranked? Heading into last season’s game against Pittsburgh, when the Hokies were No. 13. It’s been a long climb back into the rankings.

“I think all we’re thinking about right now is Pitt,” said Tech wide receiver Willie Byrn, who added he feels about 85 percent healed from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. “How they kind of whooped on us last year. I don’t think we’re thinking about the bye week. We’re just focused on Saturday and executing so we can get a little bit of revenge.”

“We just want to go out there and try to beat them and give them a little bit of a taste of what they gave us last year.”

Byrn had 0 receptions in last years game.

At least VT head coach Frank Beamer will be able to put it in perspective. After all, the other three losses in this losing streak were ten years ago with a completely different coach and team. Surely one shocking loss last year isn’t making this into something bigger. Right?

“It’s just a team that we’ve had a hard time beating. Whether it’s matchups or whatever, it’s a team that we haven’t had great success against. I think they’re very, very tough.”

You rarely — if ever — see this kind of open talk of revenge. About struggling against a particular team, when it isn’t a rival. Make no mistake, Pitt and VT can’t claim rivalry status. Yet, Pitt is in their head. Weird.

If Pitt wants to win this game on Saturday, they have to strike first and have the Hokies become self-fulfilling in what happens in the game.





“I love the smell of Napalm in the morning… that smell… it’s the smell of victory”.

We start strong and win this becoming the watershed game of the year and potentially this program

Comment by Pittscript 10.08.13 @ 9:05 am

Wish this was the night game.

Comment by gc 10.08.13 @ 9:11 am

Can’t wait!

Comment by Pittastic 10.08.13 @ 9:26 am

Plus: Savage over Tino for this game. The passing game should be much, much better. Let’s utilize Holtz and Orndoff, they’ve been quiet lately.

Minus: UVA was the first game I missed Rushel Shell. Bennett doesn’t seem to have it this year and Conner struggled as well as the line. Got to open some holes.

Plus: I feel very confident in Pitt’s run D. We have been able to stop the run since the read and react days of Paul Rhodes. Va Tech isn’t throwing as much this year and I have nightmares of Vinopal and K’Wan chasing Hokies on long pass patterns.

Comment by AJ 10.08.13 @ 9:50 am

Maybe…it…can…turn…into…a…rivalry.

Need to punch ’em in the mouth early. Lets hope Chryst has ’em ready. It’s going to be a dogfight.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.08.13 @ 10:11 am

How do you get inside a Hokie’s head when you can’t even figure out WTF a Hokie is? What’s a Hokie head even look like, very confusing!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.08.13 @ 11:29 am

I only missed watching one game last year–VTech. Hours after the game was over I checked the score and was stunned.
Just to help out the team, I’ll go to my daughters’ cheerleading competition that is happening at exactly the same time as the game. Well after the game is over I’ll check the score and hopefully will be just as happily surprised as last year.
H2P

Comment by Caw Miller 10.08.13 @ 11:31 am

Why not a rivalry? We play them every year, we battle over some recruits with them, their uniforms are hideously ugly, and they are geographically the 3ND closest team in-conference. (UVA is 1st, then Syracuse is 3rd. I didn’t bother to look ’em all up but I can tell you Miami is last!)

Comment by TartanPanther 10.08.13 @ 11:35 am

OK, that’s it, no need to even play the game! It’s all over already for VIrginia Tech, Willie Byrn tipped his hand and clearly showed the team’s mindset coming into this game with his following quote, “We just want to go out there and try to beat them and give them a little bit of a taste of what they gave us last year.”

Any Star Wars disciple, worth his weight in wookie poop, knows exactly what Yoda’s philosophy on that comment is,,,,

“there is no TRY, DO or DO NOT, but there is no try.

May the FORCE be with us! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.08.13 @ 11:44 am

I agree with Atlanta Panther, We need to start this one quick again, just like we have all season.

Not only punch them in the mouth, I say knock out a couple teeth too. Wait a second, do Hokie’s even have teeth? What the hell is a Hokie, anyhow, still very confused?

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.08.13 @ 11:49 am

Dr. Tom, I think people must get pretty bored down there in Virgina. Hokie Hy? Wahoo Hoos? Byproducts of an understimulated mind if you ask me.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 10.08.13 @ 12:39 pm

In Pitt’s initial drive last year, Tino completed a long bomb to Street to the 5 yard. Va Tech apparently never got over the shock.

Maybe this year on the first drive, Savage can complete an 8 yard turn-in.

Comment by wbb 10.08.13 @ 1:29 pm

@Atlanta Panther
Or maybe an overstimulated mind. I just had some serious apple-based moonshine a few days ago. These boys in the mountains near Blacksburg know how to party. Let’s just hope that they are drinking to drown their sorrows on Saturday night.
H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 10.08.13 @ 1:37 pm

It could be a great rivalry, nice place to go to, welcoming fans. They enjoy coming here, they were very pleasant last year even though they lost.

Usually have quality teams, as good a rival as any in the ACC so far.

Hope we are in their heads on Saturday.

Comment by gc 10.08.13 @ 1:48 pm

The two things I think of first when I think of Virginia Tech is the campus shooter incident that was such a tragedy, and the scum bag Michael Vick. I am sure the school is a fine place to get an education, and that they graduate lots of wonderful people, however I am glad Pitt doesn’t have these types of sick images associated with our name.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.08.13 @ 2:06 pm

I heard a radio commercial last night featuring the fact that Larry Fitzgerald was returning to school to get his degree. Do you think they will retire his jersey at the University of Pheonix too?

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.08.13 @ 2:16 pm

I know this is off topic but I could use some help, particularly from Tx Panther. I am moving from Pgh to San Antonio next month, and am setting up my TV service. Anyone have suggestions on how to get as many Pitt and Pens games? From what I understand, my options are Time Warner or AT&T. Thanks!

Comment by TheBigA 10.08.13 @ 2:25 pm

I’ve always found the Hokie fans to be a civilized lot, especially relative to the fans of the state university that resides between us and them. Tech has been a model program the last 20+ years, and I would take their kind of success at Pitt all day.

Pitt always seems to get up for VT, hope this year is more of the same. Gotta establish a running game though or it will be a long day for Mr. Savage.

If Pitt gets good and competes for the Coastal consistently, this will become more of a rivalry.

Comment by Iron Duke 10.08.13 @ 2:26 pm

I’m nervous playing a team that’s coming into a bye week.

It becomes their bowl game, sort of.

Comment by steve1 10.08.13 @ 2:43 pm

@ steve1, logically, VT should be the nervous nellies playing us coming OFF of a bye week. An additional full week of preparation to size up your opponent should be our Ace in the hole. Pitt has a history of squandering that extra prep time however. But, as many of us have noticed this year, this teams seems NOT to be the “same old Pitt” at this point in the season.

So let’s hope that Chryst has the troops well prepared and ready to rumble. I’d love to see the Panthers once again be productive on offense right out of the shute. I just don’t see this VT team being able to match TD’s with us if it turns into an offensive free for all.

Grab the lead early and don’t look back would be a good strategy for Pitt in this one.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.08.13 @ 3:06 pm

Steve: I’d rather be the team coming off a bye than the team headed into one. The team coming off the bye is rested and has focused on the opponent for 2 weeks. The team about to go on a bye may be tired and if they get down early, may lack the fight to come back.

With more than 8 days to prepare between non-bowl games, Chryst is 3-1 and the only loss was to Syracuse. With more than 8 days, he has wins over VT, Rutgers, and New Mexico. His 2 best wins came with plenty of time to prepare. That’s not a coincidence.

Comment by Justin 10.08.13 @ 3:14 pm

TheBigA, here are the ACC affiliate stations in Texas including KCWX-D2 Digital Channel 5 in San Antonio:

Texas
El Paso TX KVIA-D2 CW The CW El Paso http://www.kvia.com
Lubbock TX KCBD-2 This TV KCBD-DT2 http://www.kcbd.com
San Antonio TX KCWX-D2 IND Digital Channel 5 http://www.kcwx.com

Comment by wbb 10.08.13 @ 3:18 pm

Oh, forgot to mention: Cuse was coming off of a bye week too, so any advantage the bye week presented was equalized. So realistically speaking, 3-0 with 9+ days to prepare when the opponent doesn’t also have a bye.

Comment by Justin 10.08.13 @ 3:18 pm

What is there to worry about, if we get beat we were supposed to lose anyway. We win and everyone will be hopping on the bandwagon. Either way barring serious injuries we should be looking ok going into next week. This game has more upside than down. VT is the one under pressure not us. We have had 2 weeks to get healthy and prepared, I like our position.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.08.13 @ 3:19 pm

First, I don’t buy into the idea of college-aged kids getting tired from Saturday to Saturday.

Second,while I don’t have the energy to delve into stats, I do have the sense that they would prove me right: teams going into a bye week win more often than not.

Nobody likes to be called a loser for one week, let alone two.

Comment by steve1 10.08.13 @ 3:24 pm

I don’t think it’s a matter of being tired. It’s more of a matter of getting healthy.

I also think that teams are not mentally prepared many times after a big, emotional games. Last year’s ND game was a perfect example. ND just came of of a very emotional win at Oklahoma, and the sleepwalked thru the 1st 3 quarters vs us. The, 6 days later Pitt sllepwalked thru the 1st 3 quarters vs UConn.

2 examples this past week: Georgia came off an emotional win va LSU the week before and was licky to beat Tennessee this past week. OSU played very well at home in a close game vs Wisc, then pulls a game out of their butt vs Northwestern.

Comment by wbb 10.08.13 @ 3:35 pm

Steve 1, The logic of your “being called a loser theory” doesn’t strike me as a much of a factor however I agree that fatigue off of a single weeks rest probably isn’t either. I do think the extra week to practice and prepare should be an advantage.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.08.13 @ 3:37 pm

Your arguments are reasonable ones.

Still would like to see the stats.

Comment by steve1 10.08.13 @ 3:41 pm

I’m done researching. Here’s the best I can muster:

link to hamptonroads.com

Comment by steve1 10.08.13 @ 3:49 pm

BigA, I’m in AZ and I have DirecTv. They have a sports package that includes almost all of the regional sports channels (FoxSports, RootSports, etc – 40-50 of them). I’ve been able watch every game so far this year without the Gameplan. Almost all the hoops games were on this past winter as well. Plus I think they are giving the NFL package away for free for new subscribers. Not sure about NHL though, I’m pretty sure Pens games will be blacked out unless they are a national game or you have CenterIce. Not sure if satellite is a option, but I’d say 80% of the non-ESPN games are available to me in both sports.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 10.08.13 @ 4:07 pm

If we keep beating the Gobblers er I mean Hokies, this will become a big rivalry again as it was sort of in the BigEast.

Beating them made our season several years and launched us bowlward (hey I just made up a new word)

Did Logan Thomas grow since last year, this guy is huge now. 6’6″ and 260 lbs. He’s way bigger than ALL of our linebackers and dwarfs Todd Thomas. Maybe Ejuan Price would be a better spy on him as Thomas excels at pass coverage and is more important to the overall defense cohesion.

Comment by EMel 10.08.13 @ 4:07 pm

Agree with Chas and other posters, we need to jump on these turkeys early.

Then they start thinking, PITT just has their number.

Since PC scripts the first series of plays, maybe also the 2nd series, gotta score on them BEFORE they make any adjustments on defense.

As I’m not real confident in our ability to adjust back to their adjustments during the game.

We need to be up like 17-7 or 24-10 at the half.
I’ll take 10-3 as well.

Comment by EMel 10.08.13 @ 4:15 pm

Go with Time Warner for TV & internet. ATT Uverse is much slower than Road Runner (we used to have T.W. in Houston but now Comcast – rungs rings around ATT.

You only need ATT for the Longhorn network (if you want to watch that crap)

Comment by TonyinHouston 10.08.13 @ 4:20 pm

lol Here’s something just as confusing as their nickname Hokies is.

One of their team colors is Chicago Maroon. haha

1) What is Chicago Maroon ? (other than the name of the student newspaper at the University of Chicago) Also a Maroon was one of Bugs Bunny’s favorite insults.

2)Why would a team in southern Virginia use anything Chicago ?

This is one fooked up confused school ! :-)

Comment by EMel 10.08.13 @ 4:49 pm

@Emel, The guy who had the turkey pull him in a cart in 1913 had to be a real maroon.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.08.13 @ 5:13 pm

Concur sos22……what a maroon !!

Comment by EMel 10.08.13 @ 5:27 pm

Comment by EMel 10.08.13 @ 5:29 pm

Almost all Pitt games are live on ESPN or ESPN3. Make sure you get ESPN3 on your computer through the cable service. Not sure about Penguins.

Hope Pitt gives free kids tickets for ODU. Better than empty seats on TV.

Comment by Frank MD 10.08.13 @ 6:18 pm

The problem with giving away tickets is that the people who already bought them must first donate them. I seem to recall that all but 8K to 10K of our season tickets were sold for this season. I would bet that most, if not all of the lower bowl was sold out with season tickets. A good third of those people did not show up for the VA game. The sad bottom line is that you will see even more empty seats for the ODU game than you did at the VA game.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.08.13 @ 6:50 pm

Something to watch in Pitt – VT game.

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Frank MD 10.08.13 @ 8:07 pm

Look on Stubhub…tickets are already being ‘donated’…you can go the game for less than a dollar.

Comment by milobloom 10.08.13 @ 9:39 pm

It will be the best dollar you’ve ever spent. Well, second best after the Canadian Ballet.

Comment by TX Panther 10.08.13 @ 9:48 pm

Attn. Pitt blatherers.

We need to hit that above link hard that Frank MD posted.

Tyler is way behind to some schmuck Hokie as the biggest freshman impact player in the ACC.

Heck Tyler is way ahead of the next freshman NATIONALLY in Total yards per Game.

Also someone needs to send that link to the Pitt news and other Pitt centric sites.

Let’s all get behind this small thing we can do for our team !

Comment by EMel 10.08.13 @ 9:50 pm

Big A in Fort Worth the best is Verizon Fios !

Comment by Upittbaseball 10.08.13 @ 10:55 pm

Well we should get to see who is better on the field, on Saturday, Boyd or their corner. Should be a great match-up.

Comment by gc 10.09.13 @ 4:12 am

@Emel

You asked about the Maroon. This is from the same site where I found the “Stull wins $5 in the competition for the new fight song” info.
———————–

Since the university had a new name and a new yell, new college colors seemed to be a desirable next step. During 1896, a committee was formed to find a suitable combination of colors to replace the original colors of black and gray, which appeared in stripes on athletic uniforms and presented an image resembling prison uniforms.

The committee selected burnt orange and Chicago maroon after discovering that no other college utilized this particular combination of colors. Burnt orange and Chicago maroon were officially adopted and were first worn during a football game versus nearby Roanoke College on Oct. 26, 1896.
————————–

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 10.09.13 @ 7:31 am

Tyler Boyd is so damned much fun to watch play.

Seeing him in camp he was really impressive but most of us guys watching (beat writers, SID dept. personnel etc…) thought that he’d be played as a second string for the first few games until he got his feet under him, especially the blocking part. He could run patterns and make catches though, that much was evident.

Well, we were wrong and thank goodness for that. He is truly way more advanced both physically and mentally (football intellect and ability to handle more responsibility mostly) than 99% of the kids coming out of HS. Remember that he didn’t hardly play WR at all during his four years at Clariton; he was the QB and RB.

As highly touted as Jon Baldwin was coming into the PITT program back in 2008 the reason he hardly played at all in the first half of his FR year (link to espn.go.com) was because he couldn’t block to save his life and had a hard time grasping Cav’s rather elementary playbook. Baldwin had six reception in his first six games; Boyd has 23 in only four.

Seeing what Boyd has done right out of the blocks shows what a true “star” player is at that early stage. I don’t throw that word around lightly, IMO it is way overused, but there it is – Boyd is a star.

Comment by Reed 10.09.13 @ 7:38 am

they should have stuck with the black and gray. Every time I see those maroon unis, I have to chuckle

Comment by wbb 10.09.13 @ 8:19 am

OK, I promise this is the last one. Here is the background on the turkey from the same VT site
—————————-

FROM GOBBLER TO HOKIEBIRD

The HokieBird
The origin of the term “Gobblers” is disputed, with one story claiming it was coined in the early 1900s as a description of how student athletes would “gobble” up their more than ample servings of food. Another story attributes it to the fact that the 1909 football coach, Branch Bocock, wanted to stimulate better spirit amongst his players and initiated them into an impromptu and informal “Gobbler Club.”

Thus, the name was already popular when Fred Meade, a local resident chosen by the student body to serve as the school’s mascot, had a large turkey pull him in a cart at a football game in 1913. The school’s president halted the cart after one game because he thought it was cruel to the turkey. Meade continued to parade his mascot, which he had trained to gobble on command, up and down the sidelines — and did so until another “turkey trainer” took over in 1924 to continue the tradition. Enthusiastic fans and sports writers adopted the “Gobbler” nickname and began to use it regularly.

In 1936, a costumed Gobbler joined the live gobbler for at least one game. The use of a live gobbler mascot continued into the 1950s, and the first permanent costumed Gobbler took the field in the fall of 1962.

But the “Gobbler” was not to last, at least in name. In the late 1970s, the university hired a football coach who heard the theory that the Gobbler mascot was based on athletes gobbling down their food. The coach didn’t like the image, so he began promoting the “Hokie” nickname.

In 1982, the appearance of the Gobbler mascot costume was changed to one that looked like a maroon cardinal with a snood, and references first appeared to it as “the Hokie mascot,” “the Hokie,” and “the Hokie bird.” The costume worn by today’s HokieBird made its first appearance in 1987. HokieBird has won national mascot competitions and has been so popular that the mascot landed an appearance on Animal Planet’s “Turkey Secrets.”
———————-

All we need to know and probably way too much more. H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 10.09.13 @ 8:24 am

so in other words, the Hokie is kind of like a mythological bird … like a Roc!

Comment by wbb 10.09.13 @ 8:28 am

Thanks pmdH2p, so now we know that we can’t knock out any teeth when we come right out and punch them Hokies in the mouth. We’ll have to settle for breaking their BLEEPING beaks!

Getting up for this game during the week, with all of the $hit that I’m starting to get via the local Northern Virginia Hokie nation fans that know that I’m a die hard Pitt fan. Funny thing it, they’re all touting how awesome their defense is but when I ask them about how they’re going to handle the Street/Boyd tandum they give me a blank stare. Most VT fans still don’t know about Boyd AT ALL! All self absorbed in their own glory being 5-1 and ONLY LOSING TO LAST YEAR’S NATIONAL CHAMPS, BS.

I’m telling you, if the “team” comes in with the same attitudes that I’m getting from their fans, these guys will be setting themselves up all over again for a trap game against the Panthers. If we can get both our Offense and Defense working this weekend, we are going to beat these guys.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.09.13 @ 10:15 am

Dr Tom, how are you on beak repair?

Comment by wbb 10.09.13 @ 10:19 am

Horrible, I have no experience in beak prosthodontics at all. If I attempted it, because of my complete lack of training, I’d be labeled a QUACK! Get it?

Sometimes I even make myself giggle.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.09.13 @ 12:25 pm

Dr Tom, good one. I thought for a while that you DUCKed my quesion, but glad you didn’t CHICKEN out

Comment by wbb 10.09.13 @ 2:25 pm

@ Dr Tom

Giggling is better than gobbling any day of the week. The real question is whether your hygienist can floss and properly clean a beak.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 10.09.13 @ 2:27 pm

@pmdH2P
During 1896, a committee was formed to find a suitable combination of colors to replace the original colors of black and gray, which appeared in stripes on athletic uniforms and presented an image resembling prison uniforms.
Comment by pmdH2P 10.09.13 @ 7:31 am

Nicely done pmd.

And the prison stripes are indeed somewhat appropriate for some ! :-)

Comment by EMel 10.09.13 @ 3:46 pm

wbb – watch it with the FOWL mouth jokes.

Comment by Reed 10.10.13 @ 6:51 am

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