Around the Big East
by Matthew McKinley, 10/18/02
Start the grill, tap the keg, and rev up the tailgate, because it’s a Saturday home game coming up! Yes, that’s right, folks, the Hokies are back at home on a Saturday afternoon for the first time this year! You got The Walk, you got the flyover, you got the tailgate, and most importantly, you got the #3 ranked Hokies on the field. Ahhh, Autumn Saturdays. It’s a great time to be a Hokie.
Oh, and don’t miss the Mini-Rooting Guide I put at the bottom of the article. Just a little sumpin’-sumpin’ for auld lang syne.
Here we go, dude…..
(#3) Virginia Tech 28, Boston College 23
In an ugly, penalty-infested game, the Hokies eke out a win in Alumni Stadium on the strength of the running game. The Hokies threw only 7 passes, but they really didn’t need to, as they ran for 334 yards on 61 carries. The defense did their job as well, holding BC to 86 yards rushing. But it was special teams that allowed the Eagles to keep it close, as they amassed 279 yards on punt and kickoff returns. Man, I’d love to be a fly on the wall as they break down the special teams on tape.
(#1) Miami 28, (#14) Florida State 27
Y’all can thank me now. Two years ago in this game, when Miami scored late to take the lead, I said to a fellow Hokie at some tailgate, "You know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see FSU drive the length of the field and kick Wide Right III." And they did. This Saturday, as the Hurricanes were punting, I said to nobody in particular at Damon’s, "You know what I’d like to see this time? I’d like to see FSU drive back down and miss the kick, not Wide Right IV, but Wide Left I." And that’s what happened.
FSU ran all day on the ‘Canes, and held their offense mostly in check, but when push came to shove, Dorsey led Miami to two 4th quarter TD drives to win the game. One stat of note: FSU ran for a whopping 296 yards on the day and only completed 8 passes, showing that the Canes can be vulnerable to a strong ground game along with an efficient passing game. That we got, folks. December 7 just got a little bit more interesting.
Temple 17, Syracuse 16
Oh, the humanity. Or maybe the Vogonity. I swear, watching Syracuse on the field this year must be worse than listening to Vogon poetry. "Oh freddled gruntbuggly thy micturations are to me, As plurdled gabbleblotchits on a lurgid bee. Groop I implore thee my foonting turlingdromes…." AAUUUUGGHH! Painful, painful stuff. Up 10-3 at the beginning of the fourth, Temple scores twice, and Syracuse drives down the field to tie, but misses the extra point. *sigh* In their first win this year over a 1-A opponent, Temple RB Sharps runs for 124 yards, while QB McGann throws for 340 yards and 2 TDs.
(#7) Notre Dame 14, Pittsburgh 6
Here’s a shocker. The Irish got almost half of their total yards on the first drive of the 2nd quarter, an 80 yard TD drive, and their other score was a 1 yd TD run after a fumble recovery on the Pitt(sburgh) 12 yard line. Ouch. Without that fumble, Pitt(sburgh) would’ve been in position to win the game with a FG in the 4th quarter. Pitt(sburgh) outgained the Irish 367 to 165 in a day where they seemed to move the ball at will in the 1st half (at least until the red zone) and not at all in the 2nd. But the Irish squeak by again, and the nation of ND haters has to pin their hopes on Air Force.
West Virginia 40, Rutgers 0
The ‘Eers racked up 243 yards on the ground and scored 2 defensive TDs as they cruised to victory over the Scarlet Knights, holding them to a meager 90 total yards. You know, RUT[S]gers reminds me of a high school cheer: "Peaches and cream! Peaches and cream! We’re the boys from the RUT[S]gers team! We’re not rough and we’re not tough, but boy are we determined. Rah." I think that just about sums up their team.
Temple (2-4) @ Connecticut (2-4), Saturday @ 12:00pm, WFSB
Talk about a yawn-fest. How did this game get on TV and not the #3 Hokies? Sometimes I just don’t understand the media.
Navy (1-5) @ Boston College (3-2), Saturday @ 12:00pm, no TV
You think they’re going to take last week’s frustration out on Navy? Just watch this one, it’ll be a bloodbath…..whoops! No TV. *sigh*
Syracuse (1-5) @ West Virginia (4-2), Saturday @ 12:00pm, ESPN Gameplan
Alright, guys, just go ahead and stick a fork in yourselves. You’re done for the season, let somebody else try to make the BE look good. As the Vogon guard would shout, "Resistance is futile!" Maybe he can be promoted past Senior Officer in Charge of Shouting to the position of Syracuse Head Coach.
Rutgers (1-5) @ (#3) Virginia Tech (6-0), Saturday @ 1:00pm, no TV
Beamer & Co. will probably use this game to fine tune the passing game. Yeah, right. Look for a lot of runs, and 3 passes maximum in the 2nd half. C’mon, y’all, you KNOW we don’t pass with a 49 point lead! AAAAAAAA……BEAT THE HELL OUTTA RUT[S]GERS……WHOOP!
Since we’re back on track with the Saturday noon games, there’s no pick for the Saturday noon timeslot, because you’re in the stadium watching the Hokies play, right? Here are a few games to point the satellite dish at when you get back to the tailgate.
(#13) Iowa State (6-1) @ (#2) Oklahoma (6-0), Saturday @ 3:30pm, ABC Regional
This is my Game of the Week, although Ohio State @ Wisconsin at the same time slot looks pretty good too. But since we’ll be tailgating, you only have one game to watch, and I pick this one. The coverage map has this one playing over most of the country, including DC, so most of you at home can see it. If not, get out to your local sports bar. Trust me on this one, I think Seneca Wallace beats the Sooners and helps us move up to #2.
South Carolina (5-2) @ (#12) Louisiana State (5-1), Saturday @ 7:45pm, ESPN2
There’s a couple of decent games on around this time (Auburn/Florida @ 6:45, ESPN; Texas/K-State @ 7, FSN; even UCLA/Cal on TBS @ 7), but this one should be the best one to watch. USC only lost to UVa because of 7 turnovers, and it seems like they’ve solved that problem. LSU is rolling, with the 2nd best defense in the country (next to ours, of course, sorry Aggies). A win here might move them into the Top 10, which is good for our chances at a BCS bowl in the unlikely event of a Hokie loss in Miami.
(#7) Notre Dame (6-0) @ (#15) Air Force (6-0), Saturday @ 10:00pm, ESPN
This one is important for the Hokies. ND has been struggling, but still winning, as of late, and though Pitt(sburgh) couldn’t do it, I think that Air Force might be able to. Why? Because they don’t turn the ball over. This is an Insomniac Special that you don’t want to miss. Especially if Notre Dame loses.
I thought I’d add this in because I sorta miss doing the Weekend Rooting Guide from last year. It was a heck of a lot more work (and BigDave seems to be doing pretty well with his PATT Rooting Guide on the Football Board), but I figure I can pick a few games that Hokies could root on to help out the team. Here goes:
Iowa State over Oklahoma – helps the Hokies move into the #2 slot in both polls.
Wisconsin over Ohio State – Ohio State bothers me, they need a loss.
Arizona State over Oregon – Oregon needs to lose.
Air Force over Notre Dame – the Irish REALLY need to lose
These four are no-brainers. I didn’t pick against Georgia, though, because Vandy has no chance.
Kansas State over Texas – It’d be fun to see the wheels fall off after last weekend’s loss to OU.
Auburn over Florida – that way, we can root for a 4-loss UF to beat Georgia, and……
Western Michigan over Bowling Green – because they need more wins
Have fun this weekend, and don’t pace yourselves. It’s an early game. =^)