We had such high hopes for this column. We were going to get to talk about our epic return from the college football purgatory better known as Others Receiving Votes. How the program was back where it belonged. How we had found our character and personality. How perhaps we have finally accepted that winning 10 games and playing for an ACC Championship every year is good enough. How much progress we were making, getting better each week. No more bitching about the ineptitude of our offense. No more complaining about crappy schedules. No more lengthy analysis debating whether Logan Thomas is or is not the new Sean Glennon. (Editor’s note: he is not the new Sean Glennon. He is the new Al Clark, just taller and stronger). With all these things no longer relevant, we could return to our roots, complaining about noon kickoffs, Jim Weaver’s War on Tailgating, and our willingness to wear any helmet that Nike designs with total disregard for how ridiculous it may make us look.
And then Duke happened….The Great Debacle 2. It is quite difficult to put into words just how bad this loss was. Many have compared it to JMU, and the play was similar, but honestly, it was worse than JMU because the consequences are much more severe. We are unranked, again, and life in the ACC has gotten much more difficult.
The only thing possibly worse than suffering through losing to Duke 13-10 at home in person is trying to watch it in a St. Louis, Missouri bar where no one could care about the ACC. The amount of begging and pleading it took to get our game put on a tiny TV in the upstairs corner of Paddy O’s was incalculable. Plus, it was Central Standard Time, making it even more confusing because we almost missed kickoff, raising three perennial questions….why do we throw so many interceptions, why do we miss so many important field goals, and why can’t it just be the same time every where? Speaking of time, apparently we “fall back” on Saturday, which, in addition to sounding like what happened last Saturday, makes absolutely no sense. As we understand it, and, let’s be clear, we never can figure out which one is the good one and which one is the bad one, this standard time vs. daylight savings time is absurd. Why wouldn’t we want to save daylight all of the time?
Where were we? Oh yeah, St. Louis. If you have never been to the World Series, go. And take your Dad. And St. Louis is as good of a place as any. Cardinal fans are kind of like Va. Tech fans. They are ridiculously kind and friendly. There was a sign in the airport that says “St. Louis welcomes Red Sox fans” that was surrounded by about a dozen Red Sox fans pointing and laughing. Cardinals really want the visitors to have a good time and to acknowledge to how great the fans base is. The biggest difference is that Lane Stadium is insanely loud and Busch Stadium just thinks it is. But that is partially because the Cardinals are in the playoffs so often that they don’t get too worked up about it, and partially because they are wholesome Midwesterners and being insanely loud wouldn’t be polite. Some Boston fans that were sitting in front of us for Game 3 asked where they could go after the game that they wouldn’t get beaten up. This was met with raucous laughter and the answer that this wasn’t Philly, that they could go anywhere they wanted, and that most places would apologize and say, “if we had known you were coming we would have baked a pie.” Got to love flyover America. Makes us want to buy a truck.
So, what the hell happened? Excellent question. The good news is that Bud Foster continues to dominate the universe. We’ve said it many times already, and we stand by it again, we have the best defense in nation. This is the old school Va. Tech defense you have come to love. We lead the nation in interceptions (17), are second in sacks (3.5/game), and, not surprisingly, ninth in the country in punting (44.8 yds/punt). All of which should have added up to a 7-1 team with only a trap game at Boston College between it and a show-down with Miami for a top 10 ranking and a return to national relevancy. We held Duke to 13 points (they had been averaging 35.7 ppg), picked off four passes including 3 by Kendall Fuller (Hokie Update Player of the Game), and held them to 0-for-11 on third down.
Unfortunately, our offense had other plans. 4 INTs against Duke? What a joke. We mean this with as much Hokies Respect as we have left in our white plastic Hokies Respect cup which has been filled and emptied with great speed and volume this season for reasons that are self-explanatory…..Duke sucks. They are terrible. Especially defensively. We didn’t just throw 4 INTs. We threw 4 INTs to Duke! One of which was on what was supposed to be the game-winning drive. The only thing we can say in Logan Thomas’ defense is that we are changing uniforms so damn frequently, how could he possibly be expected to know who to throw the ball to? What makes it worse is that we outgained them and controlled time of possession. But we didn’t do the most simple of things, score points when in scoring position and not constantly turn the ball over. It’s frustrating because it seemed like we were finally making progress offensively and that everything little thing was going to be alright. But the stats don’t lie. Last year we averaged 25.1 points per game and 376.8 yards. This year is 21.5 and 335.8 – last and second to last in the conference. Not to mention that Cody Journell has gone completely insane. We recently impaneled a comprehensive team of university psychiatrists and psychologists to study the issue and their conclusion was to put on tweed coats with elbow patches, light up their pipes, and simply shrug their shoulders. If this continues, we are going to have to seriously consider going for two after every touchdown. So, how is it possible that lost to Duke? Coach Beamer lied to us, that’s how. Why would you do this to us Frank?
For those of you unschooled in the ways of this column, we will revisit a topic last addressed in 2008 but repeatedly emphasized and consistently ignored over the years.
Of greatest concern this week should not have been the Blue Devil offense or defense; it should have been the Student Government Association. Despite the near blinding effect it has on television viewers, the SGA planned an orange effect for the Duke game, and, as usual, it was wildly successful. We still cannot figure out this obsession with orange. Orange is a perfectly fine color if you don’t want to be shot by another hunter, but we are a maroon team. Miami, Clemson, Syracuse….orange teams. We wear maroon. Maroon is an I-just-blocked-your-punt-gonna-make-you-sweat-till-you-bleed-is-that-dope-enough-indeed color [editor's note: we have no idea why we decided to reference C+C Music Factory in a column in 2006, this was probably some type of bet/dare]. We hate orange, not just because it is hideous, but because of The Curse of the Orange. Every couple of years, a whole new batch of freshmen takes over, and we have to revisit this again. Here we go. During the 1994 season the team began to alternate uniforms like most people change underwear, employing nearly all possible combinations of orange, maroon and white jerseys. Rumors swirled that an orange helmet was being designed. Admittedly, the orange jerseys with white pants weren’t bad, but the maroon jerseys and orange pants made us look like a USFL team and/or court jesters. Then came the fateful day, November 19, 1994. Our beloved Hokies took the field at home against hated UVA dressed in all orange uniforms. Orange jerseys, orange pants, even orange socks. Numerous fans were rushed to Montgomery County Regional Hospital with retinal damage. Those remaining suffered through a worse fate, the ensuing 42-23 humiliation. As depression set in late in the second half, Jaquays and I became so fed up with the team that we joined two UVA girls sitting behind us during the fourth quarter and began cheering for the Wahoos. Even flirting with them didn’t cheer us up. That’s how bad it was. Interception after interception (five in total). It was like Grant Noel on speed. The girls thought we were adorable, but this only temporarily numbed the pain. When the final whistle blew, putting us out of our misery, Jaquays threw his belt from the top of Lane Stadium declaring it “tainted by the loss.” On that day we banished our QB’s name from our vocabulary, proclaiming before friend and foe, “We shall never again speak his name. He is dead to us. Henceforth he shall be known only as the D-word.” And we have not uttered his name once since. The fans were not alone in their disdain for the all-orange jerseys. Our fearless leader, Frank Beamer himself, exiled them for all time. Following the game and numerous times since, Beamer has stated that the all-orange uniforms were burned and will never return to Virginia Tech. Perhaps this is why our color is burnt orange. We lost our next game to Tennessee, a team known for its orange. Two years later, we were defeated in the Orange Bowl, and, since that fateful day, we are a less than impressive 4-3 against the Syracuse Orange. Despite this overwhelming evidence and despite the fact that our team wears maroon, we have become obsessed with orange. It’s like a damn Tang convention in the stadium. We know we can’t win this battle. It’s 67,000 against 1. How can you compete with a $6 t-shirt and catchy slogans like Orange Effect and Serving Up Victory Since 1872? (Seriously, who thinks this up? And when did we start listening to the SGA? And, oh by the way, we didn’t start playing football until 1892.) Look, we know we are a bunch of morons. We know we usually have no idea what the hell we are talking about. We know the only thing we are even remotely qualified to comment on is the perfect bourbon and coke (FYI – it’s red solo cup, fill with ice, ½ bourbon (preferably Maker’s Mark), ½ coke, pour back and forth in second red solo cup, and enjoy).
Turn up the wick, Beamer. Turn up the wick!
Fortunately, we play Boston College away this week, making it substantially more difficult to wear orange unis. The Eagles are 3-4 on the season, but new head coach Steve Addazio has them playing competitively in most games. Like most BC teams, they are big and physical, but not terribly athletic.
Defensively, this is a dream come true for Bud Foster. BC is ranked 108th in total offense, 111th in passing offense, and 92nd in points per game. QB Chase Rettig is 14-26 all time at Boston College and struggled the last two seasons against us. He can expect to get…wait for it….chased all over the field by our front four. BC is a run first, run second team. Their offensive threat is Sr. RB 227 lbs. Andre Williams who has already rushed for over 1000 yards and leads the ACC. We will focus on stopping the run, which we do well, and then we will punish Chase Rettig. It’s really a pretty simple formula, and this defense is so damn dominant that we are predicting 3 INTs.
Going the other way, BC’s defense isn’t great. They give up 181 rushing yards per game…but they haven’t seen our feared rushing attack. They give up 237 yards passing and opposing QBs complete 67% of their attempts….but they haven’t seen our stellar passing game. So, who the hell knows what will happen?
To win this game, we need to do what we were doing so well before the Duke game, take care of the ball and win field position battles. Offensively, we have to find some semblance of a rushing attack to create 3rd and short opportunities. Defensively, we just need to do what Bud Foster’s defense has been doing for two decades…dominate. If, however, we keep turning the ball over, failing to score in the red zone, and missing easy field goals, we will lose again, and you are going to need the…
2013 Va. Tech-Boston College Game Watching Drinking Game, because if you have to watch a noon game, you might as well use it as an excuse to drink. (The Tailgate Fever Empire, LLC is not responsible for any fights, illnesses, lost keys, hook ups with ugly people, break ups with significant others, overage charges for excessive drunk calls and/or text messages, law enforcement encounters, including but not limited to any attorneys fees incurred due to said law enforcement encounters, bar tabs, job losses, personal injury, property damage, purchase of unneeded and/or unwanted items, gambling debts, unintentional nudity, or concussions that may occur as a result of this game. Drink responsibly. Stay in school. Keep off grass.)
Bud Foster yells at someone – drink 1
Loeffler runs a play that you predicted – drink 2
You forgot that Loeffler was the OC and complained about Stinespring – drink 4
Someone in your group complains about our offensive line – social
Someone in your group suggests that Bud Foster take over the offense – drink 1
Andre Williams runs for a first down – drink 2
Dadi Nicolas records a sack – give away 1
Dadi Nicolas records a second sack – give away 2
Dadi Nicolas records a third sack – give away 3
Dadi Nicolas records a fourth sack – give away 4
You just thought to yourself “Who’s Your Dadi?” – give away 5
Chase Rettig runs off the field crying like a little girl – give away 9
Logan Thomas runs off the field crying like a little girl – yeah, right
Logan Thomas runs over a defender – give away 1
Logan Thomas throws an interception – drink 1
Logan Thomas throws a second interception – drink 2
Logan Thomas throws a third interception – drink 3
Logan Thomas throws a fourth interception – drink 4
Logan Thomas stops the game, holds a séance at midfield, and channels the spirit of Grant Noel – finish your drink
You find a way to blame Sean Glennon – give away 7
ABC pans to Beamer with a disgusted look on his face – drink 1
ABC pans to Beamer with an aw shucks look on his face – drink 1
Beamer wastes a timeout in the first half – drink 1
Beamer wastes a timeout in the second half – drink 4
ABC makes reference to Beamer approaching Joe Paterno for all time wins – drink however many wins he has to go
ABC makes reference to Logan Thomas approaching the D-word for #2 in all-time TDs – drink 3
You wonder aloud, “How close he is to the all-time INT record?” – give away 4
Detrick Bonner is beaten deep – drink 1
ABC shows the Doug Flutie clip – give away 1
ABC shows the Matt Ryan clip – give away 2
ABC is able to uncover any other Boston College highlight ever – give away 3
You fall asleep on the floor due to noon kickoff – drink 3
We see on field “talent” – drink 1
It isn’t a cheerleader – drink 2
You make a highly inappropriate comment about a cheerleader – drink 3
Your girlfriend/wife is sitting next to you – give away 5
She is weary a slutty Halloween costume – give away 6
Announcers make reference to blocked kicks, Beamerball, BC punter/FG kicker Nate Freese being terrified – drink 1
You just sang “Now when I say freeze you just freeze one time/When I say freeze ya’ll just stop on a dime” – give away 7
We almost block a kick and you sigh – drink 1
We actually block a kick – drink 2
You “called it” – give away 4
ABC shows Boston Superfans – drink 1
Superfans are singing Sweet Caroline – drink 2
And they are celebrating the World Series – drink 4
You actually went to Boston for the game – drink 5
You are Irish and are in Boston – what the hell are you doing at the game, drink 8
Noon kickoffs frighten you – drink 3
You declare, “Noon kickoffs don’t frighten me” – drink 1, give away 3
ABC shows the Lunch Pail – give away 1
ABC does an annoying feature on the Lunch Pail – give away 2
ABC does an annoying feature on Bud Foster’s Lunch Pail tattoo – give away 3
You immediately leave to get your own Lunch Pail tattoo – give away 300
Our games at Boston College are always hard-fought, ugly games, and we lose there a lot more often than we should. We were exceptionally worried about this game before losing to Duke, but now feel pretty good about our chances.
This is a must win game. It’s that simple. Gut check time, ladies.
Va. Tech 17, Boston College 10
Copyright 2013 by Hershey’s krackel. All rights reserved.