Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hokie Blog Swap #1

As we often do during game week, we are sharing some observations with the blogs representing our opposing teams.  We did a summer exchange with Justin at Virginia Tech Blog, and we're happy to reprise it coming into the game.  I think it is a little different than we anticipated in that we didn't expect to have the Hokies come into the game on a loss, much less a pretty big loss, and that has the potential of changing the dynamic.

1. So, casual observers of your program (me) have observed that you seem to lay one egg per
year. Any chance there might be two? How have the Hokies played after a loss?

Actually, the Hokies do have a history of dropping two in a row. In 2010, we started the season with a loss to Boise State then lost to JMU in week two. In 2009, we lost to Georgia Tech and UNC in consecutive weeks. In 2008, we lost to Boston College and Florida State in consecutive weeks as well.

If you want to include our ACC Championship game loss last season along with our Sugar Bowl loss to Michigan, we’ve lost 2 straight games in each of the past four seasons. So, getting over the initial loss is something this program struggles to do. However, all of those losses have come to conference opponents. Normally, the Hokies fare well against MAC and non-BCS opponents. Especially at home in Lane Stadium.

2. When we talked over the off-season, you were very excited about Logan Thomas. To me, it
appears he has been underwhelming given the expectations. How would you evaluate his play?

If I had to grade him, I would give Logan Thomas a B-minus for the first three weeks. This is an offense that entered this season replacing eight starters from a year ago. I think a few VT writers, including myself, took that lightly. Through three games, we don’t have a consistent rushing attack like we did a year ago with David Wilson (New York Giants). Plus, our receivers are still inconsistent even though they’re better YAC guys than Jarrett Boykin (Green Bay Packers) and Danny Coale (Dallas Cowboys).

I think Thomas is just feeling too much pressure. I think he has that “If I don’t make a play, nobody else will” mentality to him right now. Our Quarterback’s coach Mike O’Cain alluded to that after Saturday’s loss. Plus, without a consistent rushing attack, Thomas doesn’t have a running game to lean on when the passing game doesn’t work. That’s the bigger issue right now. Once the running game sorts itself out, I think you’ll see an improved Logan Thomas out there throwing darts all over the field again.

3. Tell us a little bit about Marcus Davis. He appears to be doing some eye-popping stuff.

Davis is our biggest offensive threat right now. He’s a 6’4”, 232-pound receiver that ran a 4.41 this offseason. He’s a guy you have to account for each and every snap on defense just because he’s capable of making a big play at any moment. However, I think he could still be better than the stats he’s putting up. Some of that may be because he started his career as a quarterback. Davis was a QB in high school and the Tech coaches redshirted him in year one as a QB. He didn’t move to wide receiver until the end of his first spring practice. So, he’s really a R-Junior when you take that into account.

Davis has developed into our go-to-guy in our passing game so Bowling Green will need to devise a defensive strategy to limit his chances in the passing game. We also have two other 5th year seniors (Corey Fuller and Dyrell Roberts) who are troublesome as well. I wouldn’t advise focusing too much on Davis but he can be a problem when he plays well.

4. Pittsburgh certainly moved the ball Saturday--to the tune of 27 first downs. Did they find
something in the Hokie defense or was it just one of those days?

Oh man. I’m hoping it was just one of those days. We’ve had players tell the media this week that they took Pittsburgh too lightly because they lost to Youngstown State. Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster even admitted last night on our weekly radio show that Thursday’s practice was one of the worst we’ve had in awhile. He even said at one point he about started practice over again.

So, I think we just came into the game without the proper focus. That happens but it’s frustrating as hell for us fans. I doubt you see the same effort again this week though, much to the dismay of Bowling Green fans.

5. How's the health of the Hokie team heading into the BG game?

We’ve had a lot of injuries last year but so far, our health is pretty good for week four (knock on wood). We will be without starting left guard David Wang this week. He sprained his ankle last week against Pittsburgh. R-Sophomore Matt Arkema filled in for him and did an average job. I think for this week, the Hokies will likely move 5th year senior Michael Via over to left guard and let R-Sophomore Brent Benedict start at right guard. That would be our optimal lineup. Arkema has potential but man he looked lost at times last weekend.

I don’t think R-junior linebacker Tariq Edwards will play this weekend. He has practiced this week but he’s still overcoming off-season surgery on his leg. He has yet to play this season. He plays our Backer position on defense.

Our top cornerback, Kyle Fuller, missed the 2nd half of last week’s game with a shoulder injury but to my knowledge, he’ll start on Saturday. I haven’t heard of any potential problems there. He never left the side line last weekend so it didn’t appear that his injury was serious.

Other than that, we’re in pretty good shape health wise.


FYI, you can click here to see how I answered their questions, if that would interest you.


Noel said...

VT looking to get their running game going. . . spells "uh-oh" to this Falcon Follower! Seems in recent years that BG is the tonic to fix struggling running games. Hopefully we don't let them run over us while keeping their big WR locked down.

Great stuff, love the blog swaps and enjoy reading the questions they ask you as well!

Orange said...

Thanks Noel!