1W) Get Spaz to read previous weeks Keys to the Game
Seriously I think BCMike and I put in a good bit of effort to make this blog not just
entertaining but have a lot of technical thoughts put together. I personally don't believe Spaz puts the same thought into his game plan.
So this week I will be emailing him and GDF a link to our keys of the game, repeatedly, and I encourage all of readers to do the same. Most of our previous keys to the game , tend to be like groundhog day as we see the same mistakes week-in, week out, lets see some improvement!
2M) Match VT's early intensity
You know Wesley, I'm going to have to agree with you. I'm not sure how much time Spaz & Co. put into the game plan, but it really couldn't hurt to take a look at our keys. Can't get much worse. Maybe they did for the UMass game..?
My first key here is a simple one‹one we have not done the last two times Spaz has lead us into Blacksburg to get embarrassed on an epic level we need to match VT's intensity out of the games. The crowd will be hopping (after more than two to three hours of tailgating), jumping up and down, rocking out Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and the Hokies will be geeked early on. I'm here to tell you from watching VT at home on TV and in person, this team seriously feeds off of it's fans more than most.
If our guys enter the game timid and unsure, we'll get humiliated like we have the last two trips to Lane Stadium. If our guys can get themselves excited and ready to play (please note that I am learning from our staff and putting the blame/pressure on the players, not our coaches), we could have a chance to pull the upset…but if we get down big early, the crowd and that team will swallow us up.
3W) Tight Ends Utilized
Guess this Is just back to harping on number 1, but we HAVE GOT TO UTILIZE THE TE's, have to. Not just an additional blocker either, as potential receivers. Even if the DL is pushing the OL back the TE's should have an area to work as a escape valve for Chase, hopefully the Bye week they were able to test this.
4M) O-Line Pass blocking like the 2nd half of Clemson
Yes, it got ugly early in Death Valley last week, but the team did come back a little bit in the 2nd half. Particularly, it seemed like Chase had much more time to throw and really did make the most out of it. The first quarter or so I thought the O-Line was trying to murder Chase by allowing shot after shot to come his way, but they did not sure how or what was different‹in the second half.
I think I'm in the majority that believes that Chase is our guy, but it doesn't matter who is back there if we don't give him time. Yes, he still needs to get better at the short passes and hit the occasional wide-open deep man, but he's more than serviceable if we provide him time to throw.
That's on the O-Line. We don't do that, we frankly don't have a chance.
5W) Pressure Logan Thomas
You know , Logan Thomas was supposed to be the 5th coming of Michael Vick, well he isn't , and I am sure I will get hit over the head for saying this , but I do not think he is as good of QB as Chase Rettig, he may get protected a bit better and have some different options, but true talent, I don't think he has. That being said I would love to see us get into this QB's head, by having some blitz patterns chasing him around and making him very uncomfortable!
6M) Swigert breaks out...again
It's no secret that we'll need numerous players to step up and have career-type days if we're going to knock off the Hokies on Saturday.
My candidate? Bobby Swagger. He had a fantastic game vs. Clemson two weeks ago and looks to be forming a bit of chemistry with Chase.
We need the WR's to step up big-time vs. the talented VT secondary, and Bobby will be the one to lead that charge.
7W) Freese Making them count
Swagger, haha. You know I agree with your point, but I think you have the wrong receiver, I would probably have chosen Amidon, he has really impressed me as a gritty tough runner, although Swagger is showing some good skills.
Call me wearing the grotesquely maroon glasses, but I think this game will be close, and we are going to need Freese to show that he is the man, which I think he is very capable of doing.. Expect Freese to raise his longest Fgs.
8M) Beware of Long-Ball Logan
One, the kid is über calm under pressure. Almost to a fault so. Yes, we can pressure him like any other QB, but he doesn't get "Glennon flustered" like a previous Hokies QB would.
Second, he's learning. He's not quite there yet, but you can actually see incremental improvement week after week. Yes, he still makes "rookie" mistakes, but he's making fewer and fewer of them as the season progresses. Three, he throws a very, very pretty ball. I know this really doesn't have much impact on the game, but you'll see what I mean when you watch the game. It's a bit of a long wind up, and perhaps it's just the abnormally long frame for a QB, but it's a pretty passing motion and produces a very pretty thrown ball.
Lastly, and this is to my point at number 8, he throws a very nice deep ball. This probably isn't hurt by the tight spiral the kid throws, but some guys are just very good deep ball throwers--much more than the rest of their passes--a la Auburn's Jason Campbell.
It's this fourth one that we really have to watch out for. We need to respect the fact that while he's only a Sophomore and has only been the starter for a handful of games, he's cool under pressure enough to allow a big play to develop and put the ball where it needs to be deep down the field.
9W) Youth earns its stripes
BC has some youth, but in its secondary it is VERY evident. Kinda keying on Mikes pick on number 8, I really want our Secondary to show up and play strong, at times the 10 yard cushion / zone makes sense, but your tackles have to be VERY good, well lets see that tackling!
10M) Tune out the critics, have fun
It can't be easy being a player at BC right now. We're in the midst of one of our worst seasons in several decades and we're entering the toughest part of our schedule.
The writing is on the wall that Coach Spaz will be fired at the end of the year, and that means a lot of change and uncertainty. Critics, writers, fans, alums, blogs (like ours), etc., have all been boisterous in their dislike of where the program and team currently is and where it appears it's going.
However, for the players to grow, have fun, and develop--they just need to play the game. Just have fun, guys. Go out and enjoy competing with each other against a great opponent. Give it your all, work as a team to accomplish the great upset. Learn from each other. Lean on each other. Hopefully this team will grow together as we plow through the bottom half of our schedule and if we can have some fun while doing so, I bet we'll manage a couple upsets along the way.
Wesley drafted: Give Spaz our Keys, TE's utilized, pressure Logan Thomas, Freese, Youth stepping up
BCMike drafted: Match VT intensity, O-Line pass block, Swigert, beware of long ball, have fun