A Fan of the Game

Sports Talk, Straight Talk

Virginia Tech demoralizes a nation. The Hokie Nation.

Nathan (Michigan) and my (Virginia Tech) college teams finally have something in common — they are the only ranked teams to lose to an FCS school.

Unbelievable.

I started to worry furing the first quarter against James Madison when the score wasn’t 21-0, and it all went downhill from there.

Coming into this season, every Hokie fan knew we had a lot to replace on defense, but the problems are far greater than anyone imagined. Even the most fundamental part of defense — tackling — is difficult for them.

Where do these players get off thinking they can just push people and they will go down? Why is it so hard to wrap up a player and bring them down?

Linebacker Bruce Taylor has already started making excuses saying practice tackling doesn’t equal game-speed tackling. Of course it doesn’t, but why don’t you start using proper technique and it won’t be a problem — especially against a second-rate opponent in JMU.

The Hokies are being featured in a "How Not To Tackle" DVD.

Jeron Gouveia-Winslow is struggling mightily in Cody Grimm’s old spot.

So, how much blame should be put on Bud Foster for the defense? About 50%. Allowing 33 points against Boise, then 21 against JMU should never happen under Foster. I could be giving him too much credit, but I think his schemes alone can limit teams to 15 points.

As for the absurdly bad offense, it’s time for a change. Bryan Stinespring has got to be in the bottom five for worst offensive coordinator in college football. With so much talent, how can Tech put up 16 points last week?

Tyrod is scrambling way too much. Every play he is rolling out of the pocket. Why? He is a good passer, and he used to have great chemistry with Danny Coale. I think I’ve seen Coale catch a handful of passes this year.

You’ve also got Ryan Williams, Darren Evans and David Wilson in the backfield, the latter of which is already saying he regrets not redshirting. The Hokies don’t need any more drama.

I could go on forever about the offense, but I’ll stop.

Last but not least, Frank Beamer. He’s now 1-26, I believe, against top-five teams. And now he’s lost to a FCS opponent. It’s time to start looking for a replacement now.

But the last thing we need is a Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno situation. Just because Beamer has gotten Tech on the map and a household name in college football doesn’t grant him an automatic 10 more years of mediocrity.

Clearly whatever he says to the team before big games fails. It’s like a broken record — a big game involving Tech? Put all your money on the Hokies losing. It sucks to even say that, but it’s true.

Everyone seems Bud Foster is the easy pick to step up. I’m not sure if that’s the right pick. I’d be worried about a Norv Turner situation — great coordinator, bad coach. Foster’s enthusiasm is unquestioned, though, and it just might be what all the Hokies need to hear.

Whatever the case, something needs to change now.

–Ray

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Guest Column: Playing for Life

Former afanofthegame blogger Nathan Skytta pops back in to tell the story of BYU’s dream of a national championship. The Cougars’ head coach Dave Rose overcame cancer last summer bringing more emotion into the 2009-10 college basketball season.

Note: Story written after first round and before second round of NCAA tournament.


After Brigham Young University’s coach Dave Rose beat pancreatic cancer last summer, the team and the school did not want this season to be just another season for the team.  After having a successful past few season, BYU wanted to continue their regular season domination of the Mountain West Conference this season and to advance into the deeper rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Even though the Cougars did not win the conference outright, they did finish second in the conference and that was enough to enter them into the tournament.

When BYU was matched up against the University of Florida, they knew that a challenge was ahead of them. BYU came into the matchup having lost seven straight first round matchups and knew Florida had won 12 games in a row.

They knew that it was going to be a big game for both teams, but for BYU, it meant something more. They hadn’t won a tournament game since 1993 and hadn’t advanced any further since 1981, when Danny Ainge was on the team.

BYU head coach Dave Rose won the most important battle of his life last summer — against cancer.

Led by James “Jimmer” Fredette, BYU defeated the Gators 99-92 in double overtime. Fredette led the team with 37 points, including knocking down two three-pointers in the second overtime. With the victory, the Cougars advanced to the second round of the tournament for the first time in 17 years.

“We had a second life, or a third life, or whatever it was,” Fredette said, “and I just wanted to go out there and try to get it done because I don’t know if I could have played another overtime.”

Florida didn’t make the game easy for the Cougars. In fact, if you ask the Gators, the game should have been theirs.

“You can’t complain about the looks we got at the end,” said Chandler Parsons, who landed game-winning shots at the final buzzer against North Carolina State and South Carolina this season. “We fought hard. Everyone was tired but they were just as tired as us.”

Parsons missed what were, at the time, potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime period. Fredette and his teammates did not allow Parsons or any other Gator clean shots during the second overtime, and therefore did not allow for what could have been a dramatic finish.

When asked what his thoughts were on the victory for his team Rose said, “This was a long time in coming for our program, and it’s a big win. One of the most important goals we had at the start of this season was to get into this tournament and advance, and we’re advancing. I’m proud of our guys.”

Probably the most fitting quote that could come from a cancer survivor, a coach, and a mentor to many athletes, Rose told the attending media members, “You’re playing for your life,” he said. It’s one and done at this point.”

BYU moves on to face Kansas State in the second round of the NCAA tournament, where the team will fight just like their coach has inspired them to do all season long. Their coach was successful at defeating his opponent, and that’s exactly what his team plans on doing until they can cut down the nets and raise the championship trophy.

–Nathan Skytta

April 2, 2010 Posted by | College Basketball | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 7 (Nathan)

I’m baaaack!!! After a fun filled weekend of sneaking in and out of a dorm, spending 3 months pay on my girlfriend, and scaring her five different times with the same clown mask (she is deathly afraid of clowns),  it’s back to reality and back to writing about those teams that disappointed me once again. The only reason these teams were picked was because Ray and I are trying to mix things up a little bit and to add some excitement for your viewing pleasure.

San Diego Padres vs. Buffalo Bills

Once again, the “Padres” disappointed me. I expected them to go into Buffalo and give them some sort of challenge. Buffalo coming off a bye week was well rested, and once again Trent Edwards was healthy. LaDanian Tomlinson needs to pick up his game or this team is going no where. San Diego should have given Buffalo a little more of a challenge, despite the fact they were probably looking forward to their long flight over the pond to play next week against New Orleans Saints, which leads me to my next disappointment

New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers

Reggie Bush injured plus a dominant performance by Carolina’s Defense adds up to a blowout in Carolina. Like San Diego, the Saints were probably looking forward to the meancing trip across the pond to England for next week’s matchup. Reggie Bush (knee injury) will not travel with the team to England, meanwhile he will be visiting Dr. James Andrews for another look at his injured knee. I do not know about everyone else, but I have never heard a positive story come out of Dr. Andrews’ office. Could Reggie Bush’s season be over? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins

One simple phrase can sum up this game: Baltimore is here to play and they are not going away anytime this season. Joe Flacco is their starting quarterback for the rest of the season, and he has rightfully earned that starting spot. He has led his team to a great season, and Sunday was no different. Miami’s shaky defense floundered in a game where they had a chance, but could not withstand the Baltimore offense (Yes, that was a truthful statement). It’s good to see Baltimore back in action.

New York Jets vs Oakland Raiders

Congrats to the Raiders. They actually won a game. Yes, they needed extra time to win, but its still a 1 in the win column, which is a lot better than a 0 (Cincinnati and Detroit). Brett Favre threw an amazing block that started a Jets rally late in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 57 yard FG to clinch the game for the home-standing Raiders. Win number 1 for new Raiders coach Tom Cable. Hopefully, there is more to come.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment