A Fan of the Game

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Column: Miami overhyped

This is the full version of my column in the Collegiate Times:

Column: Miami Overhyped

Ray Nimmo

For the last several years, when the University of Miami wins a game, the media proclaims the U is back.

And unfortunately for Hurricanes fans, the U never really is back.

Once again, the media jumped on the Canes bandwagon following Miami’s 33-17 rout of Georgia Tech last Thursday.

Jacory Harris

Miami quarterback Jacory Harris

Sure, Canes quarterback Jacory Harris was 20-25 with 270 yards passing and threw 3 touchdowns, but the Yellow Jackets’ passing defense ranks 85th in the NCAA.

In Georgia Tech’s first game, they allowed Jacksonville State quarterback Marques Ivory to be 23-38 and throw 193 yards and two touchdowns.

So before crowning Harris as the next Jim Kelly or Vinny Testaverde, gain some perspective.

The first game Harris played this season against Florida State could easily have been a loss for the Canes; however, it quickly turned into a Harris lovefest.

Harris threw two interceptions in the contest, bringing his career total to nine compared with 17 touchdowns. When Harris faces a real defense on Saturday, people will find out just how good he is.

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster will have his crew ready for the biggest Atlantic Coast Conference game of the year.

Harris has only been sacked once this year and hasn’t faced much pressure from defenses. Expect a lot of blitz packages and pressure from defensive end Jason Worilds. The Hokies will get to the quarterback and force Harris to make bad decisions.

It will then be up to the ball-hawking secondary to make the necessary plays to shutdown Miami’s speedy wide receivers.

There are a few problems, though.

While the defensive gameplan will, without a doubt, be an excellent counter to Miami’s offense, the execution is in question.

The Hokies defense has not performed up to typical lunch pail standards.

Tech is ranked 77th in total defense. They haven’t been out of the top-10 in that category since 2003.

Pinpointing the problem is nevertheless difficult.

The young linebacking corps? Injuries in the secondary? Defensive line not living up to the billing?

What about the offense? Because of their impotence and consistent three-and-out play, the defense must be on the field for more than half the game. Look back to the Alabama game. When was the last time you saw a Tech defense that worn out at the end of a game?

These are some of the best athletes in the country, and there is no excuse for being that tired with the high-class conditioning that goes on at Tech.

The defense did answer the bell against Nebraska by not allowing a touchdown, and employing a bend-but-

Virginia Tech vs. Miami

Virginia Tech vs. Miami

don’t-break mentality.

Miami is not Nebraska, though. The Canes may actually have better athletes the Alabama and Nebraska, so it’s paramount the offense find a rhythm early to keep the defense well-rested.

This game has much bigger implications than the previous three. This one counts. No excuses. With Miami being in the Coastal Division and already boasting a 2-0 record in the ACC, this game could very well decide the Hokies’ ACC title hopes.

The players and coaches know it, though.

“This game might as well be the ACC Championship game,” running back Ryan Williams said. “It’s big for us. It’s real big for us. We have to come out fighting strong from the first quarter through the fourth quarter.”

Coincidentally, Williams grew up a Miami fan, and looked up to previous Canes running backs: Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis and Frank Gore.

Williams has the Miami-type swagger. He showcased it against Nebraska when he did his variation of the “Dirty Bird” touchdown dance—he calls it the “Dirty Hokie.”

Williams redshirted last season and didn’t take part in last year’s 16-14 loss at Miami.

He will be here this time around, in Lane Stadium. The last time the Canes traveled to Blacksburg, the Hokies destroyed them 44-14.

The Canes did take care of the Hokies in 2005, in Lane, 27-7—a game that will hereby be forgotten, but the Hokies are 4-2 against Miami the last six meetings.

Tech knows how to beat the U, and the media has forgotten it. Miami jumped in the rankings from No. 20 to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll this week. With that jump, they leapfrogged No. 11 Tech.

Perhaps someone should notify the authorities the Hokies are three-time ACC champions. Miami has won the ACC championship exactly zero times.

The ACC championship runs through Blacksburg, so don’t sweat the Miami swagger.

Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor

Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor

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September 25, 2009 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WTHWWT – Week 9 (Ray)

Well, it’s back to the grind of churning out a lot these posts. I got a lot wrong this week so I won’t waste anymore time with the anecdotes.

New York Jets 26 Buffalo 17

Buffalo. Buffalo. Buffalo. What happened? You had a chance to pull away a bit from the Jets but let them back in with your loss. You held Favre without a touchdown pass which is good but you just couldn’t get things done. Trent Edwards’ 2 INT did not help the cause either, nor did the pitiful offensive line performance. I really want to see Buffalo succeed but right now, they are acting as another of the many Jekyll and Hyde teams.

Baltimore 37 Cleveland 27

Allow me to issue a formal apology to Mr. Flacco. I do not know what I was thinking picking Cleveland. I am deeply sorry and my condolences go out to you. Ray Rice had 154 yards on the ground which is amazing. Not much else to say about this game. Good job Baltimore.

Tampa Bay 30 Kansas City 27

Come on Chiefs! What are you doing choking away the game! Tyler Thigpen even had a TD reception off a WR reverse pass! It was perfection. You deserve it. Go play the Lions and have 0 fans. Your effort disgusts me, much like Nathan does every time he wakes up in the morning. You allowed Jeff freaking Garcia to throw for 339 yards. Despicable. You’re dead to me Kansas City.

Tennessee 19 Green Bay 16

Congratulations to the Titans for being cemented as worst 8-0 team in NFL history. Man, this team is bad. They are nowhere near contenders. They will lose in the first round of the playoffs. You heard it here first. The Packers cannot play defense worth a lick. For some reason they released Kabeer Gbaja Biamila. That made no sense. Al Harris’ injury is still hurting the pass defense. Atari Bigby should go back to riding pine and let Aaron Rouse play more. This just makes me sick that a team such as the Titans is undefeated when they are clearly a 4-4 team at best. They will get what they deserve. I am sticking to my word — not picking the Titans until they lose.

LenDale White getting in his weekly buffet, eh, I mea workout

LenDale White getting in his weekly buffet, eh, I mean workout


Miami 26 Denver 17

Now here is a game that was truly disgusting. The Broncos, known for an amazing rushing attack year in and year out, put up a phenomenal 14 yards rushing! That meant the game was on Jay Cutler’s shoulders, but unfortunately those shoulders were able to throw 3 interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. There was so much promise in this team early on, and now they are going down the toilet. At least Eddie Royal got a touchdown today.

Atlanta 24 Oakland 0

Props to me for picking a team to score 0 points. I feel honored. The Raiders were able to put up 77 total yards during the game and only had the ball for 14:45. If anybody can find a more crappy performance, be my guest. It is time for the Raiders to fold and go away for good. Let’s play a little game of Russian Roulette with the Chiefs, Lions, and Raiders. Hopefully, the ball can split, via fission and land on all three teams. I’ve got no problem with deadweight loss.

Raiders owner Al Davis trying his hand at trivia.

Raiders owner Al Davis trying his hand at trivia.

– Ray

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Execution Day II; WTHWWT – Week 5 (Ray)

This NFL season is turning out to be one of the weirdest I have ever seen. Teams keep blowing their 4th quarter leads, there is a new injury every week, and the teams that do win do not deserve to. Let me get started.

Tennessee 13 Baltimore 10

The Titans are the weakest 5-0 team I have seen in my life. They are not that good and are way overrated. Kerry Collins is nothing special and neither is their running game. Their defense is good but there is no way they should be 5-0 right now. The Ravens should have won this game, hands down. They let it slip away from them, when they had the Titans where they wanted them. I see the Titans as an average .500 team still, despite their record.

Atlanta 27 Green Bay 24

I hate Matt Ryan. Let me get that statement out of the way first. The Packers defense has reverted back to the old days of letting people score all over them. Al Harris’ injury has been big and Charles Woodson has not been 100% either. The Pack must get Ryan Grant more involved. As soon as they get behind, it is all put on Aaron Rodgers. Stick with Ryan Grant. It works when he gets the ball. The Packers are still 2-0 in the NFC North, which is important, but if they cannot beat teams like Tampa and Atlanta, I am going to have to start picking against them.

Indianapolis 31 Houston 27

I had this game picked! Sage Rosenfels decided he wanted to blow a 17 point lead with 5 freakin’ minutes left. Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Houston has got to learn how to seal a deal. I realize they are winless but come on, every team needs to have some sort of victory escape plan. The Colts have cemented the fact that they are average. This win proves nothing about them, besides that they are terrible. Peyton looks mediocre, as does Addai. They better pick it up if they want to even MAKE the playoffs.

Washington 23 Philadelphia 17

I am not ready to concede that Washington is a good team. I just can’t seem to fit them in with the elite teams in the NFL (there really aren’t any though). The defense is pretty good, but nothing spectacular. Clinton Portis is a solid back, but can be fairly inconsistent. Jason Campbell is improving but when the big game comes around in December and January, I think he will crack. Get on me all you want Skins fans, your team is not as good as you think. It is all one, big mirage.

New England 30 San Francisco 21

This was a last minute change for me.  Woe is me for picking against Bill Bellicheck after a bye week, but what the hell?  I thought the 49ers could take advantage of being at home and they didn’t play poorly, they just turned the ball over too much – 3 INT.  The Patriots had the ball for almost 40 minutes, and that is why they won.  J.T. O’Sullivan is definitely a competent quarterback, but it is becoming clear to me that teams these days do not care as much about the run anymore.  Frank Gore only had 12 carries.  Frank is a very, very good back.  The Big Dawg’s gotta eat.  Give him the ball more San Francisco!

Minnesota 30 New Orleans 27

OK, evidentally I have some sort of NFC North curse where whoever I pick does the opposite.  The Saints deserved this win and they blew it.  Martin Gramatica blew it.  Fire him right now.  He is garbage beyond belief.  Sign Morten Anderson.  Gramatica sucks.  Reggie Bush had two punt return touchdowns and Brees had over 300+ yards passing.  The defense played well.  But the Saints decide to take so many penalties and have turnovers galore.  Adrian Peterson was invisible.  This is all on Gramatica.  The NFL’s worst kicker.

October 5, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment