The A-Line It is what it is, unless it is not
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2010
21
Sep

Winning and ….

A funny thing happened after the Lane scoreboard had ticked down to 0:00 for the fourth and final time last Saturday. Tech had won! That was quite the unusual outcome, for this season so far, anyway. So much for the 0-12!

The Tech team and coaching staff, seemingly remembering that they are supposed to be a pretty good team, after a tight First Half,  used a combination of coaching adjustments, a dedication to the running game after what was thought to be the star runner went out with an injury, superior athletes and what looked to be Skippy taking the ECU defense with him to Directional Florida to wear down the Strawgraspers and roll to a relatively easy win.

My all-time favorite subset among the message board loon groups belong to those of ECU. Whether it is declaring themselves, over and over,  the best football program in their state despite much [all] evidence to the contrary,   declaring that because Mikey once ordering vinegar-based barbecue at a restaurant as proof of ECU’s imminent invitation to the Li’l E they have been [not so] patiently awaiting these past two decades, or grasping at any other available straw that convinces the Strawgraspers that their program is light years ahead of Alabama or Texas, the ECU loons remain in a class by themselves. Such was the case last weekend.

My never-ending search for comic relief brought me to my preferred ECU message board. Sure enough, the same people who last week had been loudly weauxfing about how badly they would destroy an overrated [as usual] Tech team and what a joke and usual sign of disrespect was that 20-point betting spread, were now claiming yet another nefarious plot against their heroes.

It seems the ACC office, whose first order of business every day is to meet and determine how they can again screw ECU, had ordered the league’s referees to make sure that Tech covered the spread that most everybody considered excessive. Proof was offered by a strawgrasping Strawgrasper who claimed that he had been told by a bookie earlier in the week that ‘fix was in.’ Well, that settles that!

As we pause to reflect on how wonderful it is to finally have that evil ACC actually working for us, perhaps a microsecond or two ought to be spent on how Tech actually won. After a first thirty minutes’ demonstration of the problems that had plagued Tech for the first two games, lousy o-line play and a defense that again demonstrated great difficulty mastering that fundamental football fundamental of tackling, Tech got it together.

A halftime tweaking of the blitz package and an emphasis on the tried and true Tech running game staple enabled the Hokies to turn the tide, seize control of the game and coast home. Shades of the Tech teams of old! The secondary even got into the act, picking off a couple of passes, one returned for what had become a rarity around the Tech program, a defensive score. About the only thing missing was a blocked punt, but…..

It certainly was nice to finally win a game in 2010, especially in convincing fashion. But, things get just a bit tougher, starting this weekend. The ACC looms. With the annual MNC bluster ended after the very first game, as it usually is, the conference games are what counts. JMU and ECU fleshed out the schedule. While the results may have offered some insight as to why the Li’l E keeps inviting I-AA teams to upgrade and join rather than inviting the Strawgraspers, that is not Tech’s concern. The ACC games are the much more important ones. They begin with a trip to the Corleone Compound, where Tech hasn’t won since 2002.

Until last year’s hammering in Lane, Tech had lost three straight regular-season games to Fredo. Of course, the Hokies had turned the tables in two ACC championship wins over their Beantown rivals. If you had to win one, lose one, it is best to win the contest with ‘Championship’ affixed. But, beating them during the regular season would be nice too, as last year was. It could get tricky.

Perhaps the worst team on Tech’s schedule popped up at a most opportune time. The young, inexperienced and mistake-prone Hokies [did nobody pay attention to this team before the ACC votes were cast?] now tangle with historically for the last six years has been one of the best. Maybe as he watches film this week, Bud should invite into the room Stiney and Newsome, so they might observe exactly what a very good o-line looks like.

Around the rest of the ACC, NC State is beginning to attract attention. While it was not a great leap to project the Wolfpack at 3-0 at the season’s quarter-turn, it was not thought by many they would be the only one sporting the ACC’s best record. The conference is still having great difficulty turning August talk into September play. While State did knock off Cincy, losses by ACC teams to Auburn, Stanford and the Cousins  piled yet more evidence of league football futility onto an already impressive pile. *Sigh* And, if this wasn’t bad enough, whispers are that it could get worse, and not just in football.

As if the multiple NCAA investigations into Butch’s sterling 0-2 program [‘the best 0-2 and scandal-ridden team in the country’] was not bad enough, the quiet talk among the Hill People is that the investigators are now also taking a look at that holiest of holies, Ol’ Roy’s program. Yikes! It really is hard to imagine Ol’ Roy attempting to follow Butch’s lead and claiming that he pays no attention whatsoever to anything happening in his program and denying any responsibility or accountability.Can Blake be blamed for basketball problems, too?

And then there are the Canes, ‘the team Butch cleaned up.’ Naming a student lounge after a major contributor who has pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme is a nice touch. Only at Miami could a fat Cane  following up his copping to federal charges by claiming he handed much of the cash and loot bilked from investors to Canes’ players be considered cleaning up the program. More to come on that one.

We’re not even out of September and already the ACC has followed up its August bragging by becoming, yet again, the punching bag for the rest of the BCS, making more headlines about the latest claims of rule-breaking than OOC wins. At least from here on most of the losses will be within the league. Hopefully, with the elusive first win under their belt, at least a few of the upcoming losses will be to Tech.

1 Comment

  1. JDanWuff — September 21, 2010 #

    Well,  the Pie-ats certainly did well for themselves for a half.  Too bad there are two to play in a complete game.  Between their message board, Lee_Folwer tweets, and the Tar Pit,  I have had about as much comedy as I can stand.

    Franks will still probably win 8-10 games and be playing in the highly watched ACC Championship Game.  Butch will continue to be real close.  And the EZU folks will proclaim “the best football program in NC” status as they stumble to 6-6.

    The Wolves will wait one more year.  Too many RS-Fr and RS-So linemen this year.

    Reply

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