FBS Mission Statement:

We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.

Friday, December 30, 2011

SERIOUSLY WHO THE FUCK IS GOING TO KICK FOR US???

Kicker Tyler Weiss has been sent back to Roanoke by bus from New Orleans, thanks to missing a 1 AM team curfew.

Unbe-goddam-lievable.

Friday, December 23, 2011

You've Got To Be Fucking Kidding Me

Cody Journell has been suspended indefinitely. He's charged with felony home invasion. This is serious, serious shit that could land CJ not only off the team but in prison.

I miss Shayne Graham.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Hits: Buying Time Edition

Sorry for the silence, folks. I'm still here. Just not really. It's crunch time in the Illinois Hokie household, with the Christmas countdown still just barely in the double digits and much to be done. So please accept this randomness as my lame excuse to buy time until I can sit down and put a more meaningful blog post together.

He Did What?
With his 274 yard performance against Clemson in the ACCCG, Logan Thomas (who, if you haven't heard, stands 6'6", weighs 254 pounds, and came to VT expecting to play tight end) passed for more yardage in a single season than any other quarterback under Frank Beamer, claiming the title from Tyrod Taylor. Logan's 2,799 passing yards puts him 444 yards behind all-time single season passing yardage leader Don Strock, and if LT gets his per game average against Michigan he will become just the second Hokie QB to ever throw for over 3,000 yards in a season. LT has also set records under Beamer for attempts and completions.

Someone's Catching All Those Passes
Jarrett Boykin also broke the single season receptions record at VT with his three grabs against Clemson. He's now hauled in 57 catches on the year. Danny Coale is currently sitting at 52 receptions. In terms of yardage, Boykin sits at 2,854 yards in his career, while Coale is at 2,541. They are the first two receivers in Virginia Tech football history to go over 2,500 receiving yards in a career. It should also be noted, just because I like pointing it out, that Danny Coale was rated as a two star recruit by Rivals.

Forde Ounces to Freedom
Pat Forde, formerly of ESPN and currently of Yahoo! Sports, is leading the charge of moral indignation about Virginia Tech's Sugar Bowl invite. Forde fired his first salvo against the Hokies with this piece, penned shortly after the announcement was official. To be fair, there was a TON of backlash against the Hokies immediately following the announcement, and at first Forde was just more noise. Forde proved he intends on staying the course by calling the Sugar Bowl "a joke of a matchup" in this piece, written two days later, and then continued the drubbing a week later in this analysis. At this point it's fair to say we can expect all of December to be reserved for bashing the Hokies in Forde's column. Be sure to follow Pat on Twitter at @YahooForde to keep up to date on the Hokie Bashing. (By the way, did you know you can send people messages through Twitter? Interesting.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shots Fired On Campus With Confirmed Fatalities

There are confirmed reports of gunshots fired on campus at VT with a police officer and another victim confirmed dead. At this time the suspect remains at large. He's described as a white male wearing grey sweatpants, a maroon hoodie, and a gray hat with neon green brim.

If you are anywhere near campus, go inside, lock your door, and stay there.

UPDATE: Everyone already knows this I'm sure, but the lockdown is over. I'm hearing that the second victim might have been the shooter but I don't think this has been confirmed.

To our readers on campus, please just give a quick shout in the comments to let me know you're all right.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Clemson Recap: A Quick Ride Down the Slippery Slope

On the Hokies' first play from scrimmage, Mike O'Cain calls the zone read. A good call to open the game. Like we've seen before, Logan Thomas holds the ball between him and David Wilson for a loooooooong time, then pulls it back and commits to a run up the gut. He makes positive yardage but is met HARD by the Clemson defensive tackle. LT fights for positive yardage and starts to go down a little funny, kind of backward and to the side. Instinct overrides fundamentals and LT sticks out his hand - still clutching the football - in an attempt to brace himself. The ball pops free and Clemson recovers just outside of their own red zone.

Well, I think to myself, here we go again.


I liken that play to that moment when you're teetering at the very top of the track, before the roller coaster goes plummeting down the other side. Because the entire rest of this game made me want to throw up.

Addressing the defense first, I am not shocked to see us give up 38 to Clemson on the second go round. Since we first played the Tigers in early October we were down a starting mike, a starting whip, and backup whip, and a starting defensive tackle. Kyle Fuller was playing out of position at whip, which put Cris Hill at field corner. That meant when Jayron went out with his stinger we had backups playing both corner spots, one of them a freshman. I suspected that eventually the next man up in this defense was going to be unable to perform at a high level, and we finally saw that in the ACCCG. The only adjustment Clemson had to make at halftime on offense was "throw to Bonner's man," and that's exactly what they did. Now please do not misunderstand me, Detrick Bonner is going to be a BEAST by the time he graduates, and being pressed into so much playing time in critical situations this season is just going to help him marinate as a player. But against Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins, Bonner was outmatched. So was Hill, for that matter. Had we been able to play Hosley and Fuller at the corners all night then perhaps things would have been different, but we couldn't and they weren't.

I just want to take a moment here and tell all of the people who were grumbling that Jayron didn't "look hurt" during the game to just shut the fuck up. Seriously. You have obviously never had a stinger, or you'd realize that they aren't visible injuries until you try to push yourself physically. Jayron would have played if he could.

But anyway, I knew going into this game there was a good shot Clemson was going to put up more points against our defense the second time around. But I expected our offense to be able to match them.

The opening fumble aside, LT did not have a complete clusterfuck of a game, regardless of what the scoreboard said. Despite press coverage on his receivers all night, which gives our offensive scheme fits and has for years, LT still managed to complete half his passes for 276 yards and an absolutely beautiful touchdown pass to DJ Coles. He threw two picks, both in the second half after Clemson had blown the game wide open and VT was in full-on pass mode. And he looked very indecisive at times, holding the ball for too long before committing to a run or throwing the ball away, and was probably trying to overcompensate for that later when he drew and unfortunate intentional grounding call. Was it a great game for LT? No. But he still played pretty well for as craptacular of a night as it was, and I guarantee you the young man can learn a lot from this game. The problem on offense was not LT.

The offensive line. Sweet fucking Jesus, this shit again? A big, physical defensive line shreds Newsome's line all damn night. Again. I see it. I assume all the Hokies watching from the stands or on TV see it. Why the fuck does Beamer not see it. Once again, Newsome and his zone blocking scheme has zero answers when it's trench warfare up front. I am so fucking tired of this guy still drawing a paycheck. Newsome's ineptitude prevented David Wilson from ever getting a decent hole to run through, which accomplished one of Clemson's primary objectives on defense: make us one dimensional. It's pretty well established now that the formula for shutting down VT is to eliminate the run and play man press coverage on the corners.

I have to give credit to Mike O'Cain for his play calling when it became apparent what Clemson's defensive gameplan was. Mike did his best to call plays that are designed to exploit aggressive defenses. We saw screen passes to Wilson, coupled with a very nice go route from the backfield that I wish we had seen more of this season. We saw some quick slants to DJ Coles and Marcus Davis. We saw some delayed QB draws. In general O'Cain was calling the things you want to be called in the situation we were in. The problem is, they were getting routinely blown up due to the O line's lack of answers for Clemson's pass rush. Balls were getting tipped all night, and when passes from your 6'6" QB with an over the top release are getting tipped, you know their defensive line is getting into the backfield way too damn quickly.

I mentioned in the comments on another post that I was very frustrated by how little O'Cain actually had to work with in the situation he found himself in against Clemson. Stiney and O'Cain need to use the bowl practices and a good chuck of the offseason developing a package of plays specifically for use against aggressive press coverage that don't rely on the run, because with our performance against Clemson this season you can bet we're about to see a lot of defenses do their best Tiger impression against us. Our offense is still predominantly geared toward intermediate and long passes. Now in general, with the way LT throws a longer ball, there's nothing wrong with that. But we also need an answer for what Clemson did to us defensively, and we need to figure out a way to nickle and dime our way down the field when a defense refuses to give us the time we need to let the longer plays develop.

In response to the officiating of this game, I'm just going to say it was bad and move on. I don't harp on officiating, and I don't like fans who do. There is no defense for how bad these officials were in the conference championship game, and I do sincerely hope John Swofford addresses some of the terrible calls and non-calls. During the game I certainly felt like we were having to play both Clemson and the refs, which was frustrating. But more frustrating than that was the fact that we let it get into our heads. We started playing some very sloppy football as our emotions got the best of us. I would have loved to have seen a well officiated game, but even moreso I would have loved to see our players maintain their composure when bad calls started to go against us. Football is a game of controlled aggression, and usually the team that can better control their aggression wins.

I will say this about the officials, though. Through refusing to call horse collar tackles and helmet to helmet hits they allowed for a very dangerous game to be played. Had someone been seriously injured, whether a Hokie or a Tiger, it would have been on their heads. For this reason - and not for any hypothetical contribution they made toward the Hokies' loss - this officiating crew should be addressed by the conference.

So by the end of the night you had a banged up defense with backups pressed into too many starting roles and players having to play out of position. You had an offense with no answers on the offensive line.  You had a playbook lacking against press coverage. You had a team that lost composure over some questionable officiating.

You don't win those, folks.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Response to the Critics

This is out of sequence, as I had wanted to do my recap of the ACCCG before responding to the criticisms Virginia Tech has faced from the national sports media upon being selected to play in the Sugar Bowl. But that's where my head has been the last couple of days, so that's why I'm going to write about first. This is the official FBS response to VT's critics:

We make no apologies for being selected by the Sugar Bowl, and fuck you for implying that we should.

The criteria for at-large selections by BCS bowls are very clear. The teams eligible for selection after all automatic bids are filled must have at least nine wins and must be ranked in the top 14 of the final BCS rankings. Virginia Tech fulfilled both of these requirements. There is no arguing that fact.

The word I've heard thrown around most over the last 48 hours is "deserve." Every hack trying to make an op-ed name for himself is screaming that Virginia Tech doesn't "deserve" to be in the Sugar Bowl, or that Kansas State or Boise State "deserve" to be there more. In response to that noise, Will Munny said it best.

Deserve's got nothing to do with it.
This happens just about every year when college football pundits get their annual playoff hardon and want to project the seeding of their own imaginary playoff system onto the selection process of the BCS bowls. But the bowls - especially the BCS bowls outside of the national championship game - are not a meritocracy. The selection process is less job interview and more beauty pageant. Teams with better resumes are routinely passed up for teams with more easily mobilized fan bases. The Hokies have been on the other end of that equation before, in 2000 when we finished the regular season with a single loss and a #5 ranking but got passed over for #11 Notre Dame, who put more asses in seats. It's the way it works.

Make no mistake, Kansas State had a phenomenal year. They are a very good football team worthy or recognition and acclaim. But they do not "deserve" to be in the Sugar Bowl more than we do because there is nothing to be found anywhere in any of the bylaws of the Bowl Championship Series that when making at-large selections the bowl committees should look at the resumes of the teams they are considering. All of this feigned moral indignation is a play to fill broadcasting hours and grab ratings, or the bitter rumblings of anti-BCS curmudgeons like Dan Wetzel.

Look, don't get me wrong. I don't particularly like the BCS. I think it's a pretty ridiculous method of crowning a national champion. But I don't exacerbate the problem by trying to make it more than it is. It isn't a playoff. Outside of the national championship game it is in no way designed to reward the best teams in college football. It's a bunch of bowls that have a contractual agreement with each other, and like all bowls they try to select participants that make for interesting matchups that guarantee sellout crowds and high television ratings. In pairing Virginia Tech and Michigan for their first ever meeting on the field, the Sugar Bowl committee hit a grand slam. Virginia Tech is the overall winningest team over the past sixteen years. Michigan is one of the most storied programs in the history of college football. And the Sugar Bowl has put them on the same football field for the first time ever. This is a great matchup and a great storyline.

There are six teams playing in a BCS bowl this year that actually "deserve" to be there: LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Clemson. Those are your automatic qualifiers. They did what it took to guarantee their spot at the big money table: they won their conference. Outside of those six teams, it's a popularity contest. And this time around Virginia Tech is the cool kid with the keys to the convertible, while K-State and Boise are sitting in their mom's basement playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm Feeling Really Blog Post Happy All of a Sudden

Let me again re-iterate that I don't think a couple calls (or non-calls) here or there, as horrible as they were, cost us a 28-point whooping. Momentum is an un-measurable commodity, so I reserve the right to whine about it for at least 2 more weeks. In the end, I'm ecstatic to have still drawn the Sugar Bowl - so kudos to Hokie Fans everywhere - and our propensity to travel well and spend dollars!

But to put some of the discussion to rest:

Horse collar tackle was banned in the NFL in 2005 offseason (the "Roy Williams" rule, Oklahoma Sooner/Dallas Cowboy Roy).

The CFL (what's that all aboot, eh?) banned it in 2007.

NCAA football (all divisions) caught up in the 2008-2009 season.

"Horse-Collar" Tackle (Rule 9-1-2-p). With this new rule, the committee addresses the potential hazard to a ball carrier that is grabbed by the inside collar of the jersey or shoulder pad and quickly jerked down. The rule prohibits all players from grabbing the inside back collar of the shoulder pads or jersey, or the inside collar of the side of the shoulder pads or jersey, and immediately pulling the runner down. This does not apply to a runner who is inside the tackle box or to a quarterback who is in the pocket. A key element is the immediacy of the runner being pulled down, because of the risk of injury. The horse-collar tackle is a personal foul and the penalty is 15 yards.

Click here, or here.

I Think He Got It

Borrowed from Dic Tailgate. But I think he got it. What's Beamer's recourse to send pics like this to the head of ACC officials, or maybe one of the horse collars on Logan?



Not that I think this one play is a 28 point play, don't get me wrong. But momentum is a fickle beast. And, something as clear and blatant as this, although not worth 28 pionts - is just flat unacceptable for an official to miss. If I miss something this blatant and obvious in my job and cost my team (company), there are consequences. I'm just saying.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So...

We wear our ass for a hat not once but twice this season and still finish ranked higher and with the better bowl.

Suck it, Clemson.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Clemson Knee-Jerk

I always rewatch the game to break it down dispassionately before I write up my recap, and I'll do that here. This is not my game recap, but I want to get some of what I'm mulling over in the heat of the moment into a post while I'm still in the moment.

First of all, whiners blame the officiating, but GOD DAMN was that terrible. They called a roughing the passer on a blocked punt but missed a blatant horse collar tackle on our QB and a late hit out of bounds against one of our receivers. And that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure I'll find more.

More disheartening than all the bad calls, though, was the fact that it made our team lose composure. We started getting legitimate calls against us because we started playing undisciplined football. We got emotional, which goes against what Frank Beamer preaches. Don't panic, hang in there, take advantage of opportunities. We were the less disciplined team in the second half.

I don't know about the lack of carries by Wilson. I know the sideline reporter said he did not have an injury that was sidelining him, but you don't retape a player's ankle in the middle of the game for no reason, and I know I caught a glimpse of him on the sidelines on his hands and knees at one point. And late in the game he did NOT look like himself on some carries. I know DW is a gladiator and wants to be in the game even if he's missing a leg, but if the coaches were limiting him out of concern for his health then I can't fault that.

Defense and offense both came up way short here, but I have to fault the offense a bit more there if only because the defense was down Jayron Hosley. Dietrick Bonner had a terrible game, but I'm not going to crucify a freshman pressed into prime time duty against what is honestly a world class corps of receivers.

Their D line absolutely SHREDDED us. If you want to know why we make their defense look all world while every other team in the bowl subdivision steamrolls them it's because Curt Newsome's blocking scheme has ZERO ANSWER for big, physical D lines. Newsome has become the albatross around our knecks, more so than even Stiney in this admin's humble opinion. Cut our losses and cut Newsome. Now. Stiney is a good enough positions coach to take over the entire offensive line as well as tight ends, which opens up another coaching position to bring some new blood in somewhere.

We abandoned the zone read after the negative result on the first play of the game. Typical and frustrating to see. By the time we reincorporated that play into our game play Clemson's defense was playing with their ears pinned back.

Brent Mushberger and Kirk Herbstreit are just fucking horrible.

All that being said, I still think LT is going to come out the other end of this ass kicking a better QB. He threw a lot of picks tonight, but they all came after we were in panic pass mode and their secondary was sitting back to read routes. Dude still needs to tuck that ball on scrambles, though. Teach him, Mike O'Cain. You've done a great job bringing him along so far. Help him learn from his mistakes tonight.

Bring on the Chikin Bowl and an SEC also ran.

ACC Championship Game Open Thread

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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