VT Beat: Hoops and Helmets

Welcome to the VT Beat. In the past week we have seen the men’s basketball team get upset by Georgia Southern and some of our former Hokie favorites shine on the NFL stage. I don’t know about you guys but I really miss Hokie football. It’s almost like we didn’t have a “real” season this year because of how poorly the team performed. The good news is that we are a week away from seeing our guys on the field again, and I can’t wait.

Men’s Basketball Weekly

This past Saturday the Men’s Basketball team suffered a disappointing loss to Georgia Southern. On top of that, freshman Marshall Wood fractured his foot and thus will be another hit to an already depleted roster.  This is a game (and a player) that the Hokies cannot afford to lose. Just as quickly as they rose up the ranks and were in contention to enter the top 25, the Hokies have completely fallen out. Depth, rebounding, size, and inconsistent scoring are issues the Hokies have struggled with and will likely continue to struggle with all year long.

Depth/Size – Tech now has just 7 scholarship players active on the team. With Wood going down, C.J. Barksdale will need to stay healthy and out of foul trouble.

Rebounding- Despite an easy schedule, Tech still ranks 46th in the country in rebounds per game, and 150th in rebounding margin. This ranking will go down as the schedule becomes more difficult.

Inconsistent scoring – Currently the Hokies rank 11th in the country in scoring but 85th in shooting percentage. What this should tell you is that they go ice cold at times. That’s exactly what happened Saturday against Georgia Southern. They fell behind 8-0 to start the game and never led. The Hokies have been living and dying by the 3-pointer. On Saturday they went 6 of 27 and that’s just too many possessions to come away with nothing.

The Hokies will be an interesting team to watch this year. It will be ugly at times with poor shooting and walk-on players on the floor late in games. However, there will be games that the Hokies will play well and compete with the better teams in the ACC. Erick Green is still the second best scorer in the nation statistically. But he will need help in order to compete in the ACC.

NFL Hokies Tracker – Below is a list of current NFL players that played at Virginia Tech. I will update their stats each week so that we can all keep an eye on some of the former Hokie standouts.

(Player name, team, position, jersey number, this week’s stats)

-Brandon Flowers (Kansas City, Cornerback, #24) Started. 3 tackles, 1 PD

-Xavier Adibi (Tennessee, Linebacker, #58) No stats

-Jason Worilds (Pittsburgh, Linebacker, #93) 1 tackle

-Darryl Tapp (Philadelphia, Defensive End, #55) No stats

-DeAngelo Hall (Washington, Cornerback, #23) 7 tackles

-Will Montgomery (Washington, Center, #63) Started

-Joshua Morgan ( Washington , Receiver, #15) 4 rec., 60 yds

-Tyrod Taylor (Baltimore, Quarterback, #5) No stats

-David Wilson (New York Giants, Running Back, #22) 55 yds. rushing, 11 yds. receiving, 22.0 yds. per KOR

-Kam Chancellor ( Seattle, Safety, #31) 2 tackles

-Jeff King (Arizona, Tight End, #87) 1 rec., 7 yds

-Jarrett Boykin ( Green Bay, Receiver, #11) 1 Reception, 4 yards

-Duane Brown (Houston, Offensive Tackle, #76) No Stats

-Rashad “Roc” Carmichael ( Houston, Defensive Back, #20) No Stats

-Shayne Graham (Houston, Kicker, #17) 5 FGs, 2 PATs

The following players on rosters but currently injured:

Injured: TB Darren Evans (TEN); S Cody Grimm (TB); TB Ryan Williams (ARI)
Inactive: QB Michael Vick (PHI) – concussion; Eddie Royal (SD) – hamstring; LB James Anderson (CAR) – back, eye; PS: WR Danny Coale (DAL) – torn ACL

Off the Beaten Path – “Cheer up Hokie Fans. Everyone goes through this…”

Most of us have had to take a verbal thrashing over the Hokies mediocre football season this year. Whether it was family, friends, ESPN, or the half-drunk jerk at your local bar that notices your hat or shirt and takes the time to ask you “What’s wrong with the Hokies this year?”. We have all got it. Well I took the time to look at the final BCS standings this year and wanted to point out that every team in the current top 10 has had a down year since the Hokies entered the ACC in 2004. See below. I have listed the worst record each program has had since 2004. Some schools have had several bad years.

#1 Notre Dame went 3-9 in 2007.

#2 Alabama went 6-7 in 2006.

#3 Florida went 7-6 in 2011.

#4 Oregon went 5-6 in 2004.

#5 Kansas State didn’t finish a season with more than 7 wins between 2004-2010.

#6 Stanford went 1-11 in 2006.

#7 Georgia went 6-7 in 2010.

#8 LSU went 8-5 in 2008.

#9 Texas A&M went 4-8 in 2008.

#10 South Carolina went 6-6 in 2007.

Every program has down years. Teams like South Carolina, Texas A&M, Stanford, Kansas State and Notre Dame have had many down years recently. The great thing about college football is that you can recover quickly. I’m not saying Virginia Tech is going to win a National Championship next year, but the road to recovery isn’t as long as it looks. So just remember that this .500 year isn’t as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Was it disappointing? Absolutely. But the Hokies will be back soon.

Don’s Tidbits

Update to last week’s Off the Beaten Path Article regarding Indianapolis Colts coach Bruce Arians. It appears that Chuck Pagano’s health has gotten better and he will be returning this Sunday. Great news for Chuck!

-VT announced the helmets they will be wearing for the bowl game on Friday. I have copied a picture below from the @VTFBEquipment Twitter feed – click for a larger version. I wish we would just wear our normal uniforms for a while…

Hokie Football will be back on December 28th when they take on Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl. ESPN will be broadcasting the game at 5:30pm (So make sure you get home in time for kickoff!)

What to look for this week:

1.)    Hokies in the NFL. Lots of former Hokies are going to be involved in important NFL games this weekend. Reference my article to find the Hokies involved in the game you’re watching so that you can root along.

2.)    VT Basketball. Hokie hoops will be taking part in two games this weekend as part of the Las Vegas Continental Tire Tournament they are participating in. On Saturday they will face Bradley and Sunday they will play either Colorado State or Portland depending on who wins those games.

3.)    College football bowl games. 16 Bowl games will be played over the next week. Other than the Russell Athletic Bowl I am looking forward to the Baylor/UCLA matchup the most.

Until next week… Have fun. Be Safe. Go Hokies!

Don Deibler is a college football enthusiast and Virginia Tech alumnus who has had a passion for college sports since he was a young child. Outside of the ACC, he follows Notre Dame and South Carolina intently. He currently lives in Frederick, Maryland where he works in the mortgage banking industry and is in training for Air Traffic Control. You can reach him at [email protected].

Follow Inside the ACC on Twitter at @InsideTheACC.

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