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 8 (Nathan)

Me thinking the Cowgirls would lose.

Me thinking the Cowgirls would lose.

So, I’m seriously questioning what the hell I was thinking.

1. Picking and starting the 49ers’ players for my fantasy team? Fail

2. Thinking a team from Pennsylvania would actually do something to make me happy? Epic Fail

3. Thinking Dallas would lose again? Failtacular


New England Patriots 23 vs. St. Louis Rams 16
– Just when times were getting good for the Rams, the NFL declined the contract of Jim Haslett, stating that it was an illegal contract due to the agreement on Haslett winning 6 games, and then the Rams had to travel to New England, which is never a good thing (just ask Peyton Manning).  The Patriots won another game without Tom Brady and without a dominant rushing performance by anyone. Matt Cassel had two interceptions, and yet still led his team to a victory. Maybe he is that good… Maybe!

Dallas Cowgirls 13 vs. Tampa Bay Bucs 9 – So I pick Dallas and they lose. I pick against them and I lose. Brad Johnson led his team to victory and the Buccaneers just couldn’t get anything going. Maybe next week I won’t pick the Cowgirl game.

Reactions from Cowgirls players were positive after the W

Reactions from Cowgirls players were positive after the W

Miami Dolphins 25 vs. Buffalo Bills 16 – Chad Pennington threw for over 300 yards and the Dolphins withstood the offense of the Buffalo Bills, and survived to win. The Bills, maybe looking overlooking these next few games due to the easy schedule, just could not get any rushing going, and Trent Edwards is not proven enough yet to lead his team by just throwing the ball. Congrats Dick Jauron getting a contract extension. Well Deserved!

Cleveland Browns 23 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 17 – HEY LOOK THE BROWNS WON A GAME!!! I guess the state of Ohio has something to cheer about after The Ohio State Buckeyes lost and watched their National Championship chances implode right in front of their eyes! Congrats Joe Pa and Romeo Crennel.

Houston Texans 35 vs Cincinnati Bungals 6 – HELLO BENGALS… ARE YOU THERE? Its time you show up to give your opponents a game. You just let the Houston Texans walk all over you. I think its time for a change somewhere on the sidelines. When will y’all get sick of losing? Hopefully, its soon.

She isnt very happy with losing to Houston.

She isn't very happy with losing to Houston.

New York Giants 21 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 14 – Who thought a long snapper would decide the game? Well, the Steelers lost their long snapper due to injury, and his replacement took the word “long” literally and hiked the ball over the punters head and that led to a safety which tied the game. Then Eli Manning led his team to their first and only TD of the game and the Giants D stopped Big Ben and the Steelers offense to clinch the game. This is the beginning of a very tough road for the Giants.. Thanks, Steelers. You let me down again!

Seattle Seahawks 34 vs. San Francisco 49ers 13 – A new coach, a new attitude, the same result. Another L in the loss column for the 49ers. Seattle, depleted by injuries, dominated from the beginning and never looked back. Hopefully Mike Holmgren goes out strong in his final games as head coach for the ‘Hawks.

P.S.: This was written before Ray!!! Nathan Wins!!!

-Nathan

October 27, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WTHWWT – Week 4 (Ray)

Starting this week’s version, I want to say that I hope Aaron Rodgers is OK, and able to continue. I learned that Denver doesn’t know how to beat weak teams, and that my theory on the overrated Cowboys came true. Yet, the experts are completely shocked they lost? Unbelievable. Someone hold another Inquisition and execute all these dunces. They are polluting the airwaves more than the Paris Hilton sex tape. I also learned that Chicago must hate me, because every time I pick them to win or lose they do the opposite. I handed that game over to Nathan though. It’s exhausting writing about Chicago. I feel sorry for their beat writers. Scott Linehan is the first coach to get beheaded in the season. The Rams fired him this morning. Jim Haslett will take over as interim coach. Enjoy that crapshoot Jim. Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Kansas City 33 Denver 19

What the hell happened Broncos? You rolled over and laid a giant, moldy egg – the kind Fear Factor used to feed people. Beat the teams you are supposed to. At least my main man Eddie Royal did good with 9 catches and 104 yards (excluding his fumble). Jay Cutler did not look like himself. He threw 49 times; way too much in that offense. I realize that they were behind a lot of the time but, you must establish the run game a little bit. Set up play action. I sincerely hope, Kansas City fans don’t think you guys have it together now. You don’t. Your team is not going anywhere. This was a “Thank you for watching us even though we’re not good” gift. Don’t expect anymore of it. Herm Edwards needs to be fired and you know it. Where is Dick Vermeil? Maybe he can cry you guys into the playoffs. I kid. I like Vermeil. Anyways Denver, do not do this again. I thought you were the best team in the NFL before Sunday. So much for that…

New Orleans 31 San Francisco 17

I changed this pick Saturday night, along with a few others. This game was probably the hardest to figure out. San Francisco seems capable of winning but they are still somewhat confusing. The Saints are the same way. J.T. O’Sullivan was finally brought back to the planet in this game with a 59.6 QB rating. Frank Gore did OK but he needed his QB to help out. Drew Brees was the same guy he should be throwing 3 TD’s. I really don’t think this game helped out in telling me how good these teams are. I do know that whoever said J.T. O’Sullivan was going to be the next Kurt Warner “come out of nowhere” type player, they were sorely mistaken.

Tennessee 30 Minnesota 17

OK, Tennessee should not be 4-0 right now. They are really not very good. The defense does everything. The offense is just barely competent enough. Minnesota is the exact same way yet they are 1-3? It does not make sense to me. Both had running QBs that are now replaced by old veterans. The Vikings have the better RB in Peterson. It just doesn’t add up. I am not sold on the Titans and probably will never be this season. I may be in the minority, but I feel if they were to face a really good team, they would fold over faster than Ohio State in BCS championship games or against the SEC. Call me what you want, but the Titans are not good. They will make the playoffs, sure, but will make an early exit. I won’t even say anything else about Minnesota besides that they should trade AP to the Packers.

Tampa Bay 30 Green Bay 21

This was the first game where Aaron Rodgers didn’t play very well throwing 3 INT. I wanted to see how he would respond in the second half, which wasn’t very well. He did get injured, though, and for some reason Matt Flynn came in. Brian Brohm should be the second string, not Mr. One Time LSU Wonder. Also, one of my fears is coming true – Ryan Grant was a fluke last year. He just does not look the same this year. Running backs in this day and age are not doing well. There is not a consistent runner anymore. LT can’t even give us 100 yard games that much. The Packers put up an amazing 28 yards rushing for the game. Ouch. That stat speaks for itself. The GB defense did a good job of creating turnovers but the offense couldn’t help out. This game was really important because this was a loss to an average team. People expected the Packers to lose to Dallas but not to Tampa Bay. They need to regroup, hope Rodgers is healthy, come up with a new run strategy and take care of Atlanta next week by 21. Thoughts and prayers go out to Matt Bryant of the Bucs; playing Sunday after losing your child took a lot of heart.

Pittsburgh 23 Baltimore 20

Pittsburgh is not that good. Baltimore is by far the better team. Roethlisberger is garbage and will always be garbage. Flacco is the man. That is all I have to say about this game.

-Ray

Update: Aaron Rodgers has a shoulder sprain and should be able to start Sunday
Source: ESPN

September 29, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the Hell Were We Thinking (Week 3, Nathan)… and the Ryder Cup Recap!

Dallas 27 Green Bay 16

So, for the first time ever the Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. It’s upsetting but somewhat expected. Mason Crosby, the best kicker in the game right now (especially since he is on my fantasy team.. sorry Ray) had 3 good field goals which helped me win my match-up in fantasy. I love when kickers can contribute to a winning team. (I am going to leave Tony Romo and Terrell “I’m a baby” Owens out of this blog. Thats because they are simply talked about too much. Until they win a Super Bowl, until they prove themselves worthy of my time, you won’t hear me say a word about them after this… ) The Packers are still the best team in the NFC North and will be back in the playoffs once again. Go get ’em boys!!!

Minnesota 20 Carolina 10

Wow! The Minnesota Vikings actually won a game. I guess Gus Frerotte can still lead a team to victory. The Panthers had won both games this season in the fourth quarter. Well, the Vikings did not even give them a chance to do that again. The Vikings looked like a good team. If this keeps up, they have a chance of challenging the Packers for the division.

Jacksonville 23 Indianapolis 21

A new stadium… Peyton Manning… and a Sunday Afternoon. What do you usually get? Usually its a Indianapolis Colts victory. But not this season. So far in the new stadium, they are 0-2 and have yet to take advantage of Tom Brady’s injury. They were supposed to be the second best team in the AFC and when Brady went down, that shot them straight up to the top of the League. Well so far, it looks like they need to go back to their old stomping grounds. Baltimore! Just kidding.

Miami 38 New England 13

For the first time in over a year, the New England Patriots have lost a regular season game. Joey Porter of the Miami Dolphins talked the talk, and he definitely walked the walk. The Patriots looked like they had no clue what they were doing out on the field. Matt Cassel spent more time on his back than a cheap hooker. (no offense… and no hate mail from ‘the corner’). Bill Parcells has made the Dolphins into a good team; not quite great but a good team. It was actually fun watching the Dolphins for the first time in a long time.

And now onto the most exciting thing that happened this weekend:

RYDER CUP RECAP

In Kentucky, Kenny Perry and the United States Ryder Cup Team brought home the trophy. For the first time in years, the Men beat the Boys from across the pond, in the 37th Ryder Cup.

While watching the Ryder Cup, I almost felt like I was watching a hockey game. The fans were chanting, the crowds were loud, and it was a blast to watch. When Jim Furyk’s championship clinching putt was conceded, I could not help but chant “USA, USA, USA!!!!!.”

While Phil Mickelson choked once again, Anthony Kim and Boo Weekly dazzled us Americans. The best part of this weekend was to see Paul Azinger, the captain of the American’s, riding around on his golf course doing “victory laps” and the fans chanting “BOO!!!!” after each and every amazing shot by fellow American, Boo Weekly. It was good to see the men having fun and celebrating a victory.

-Nathan

September 23, 2008 Posted by | Football, Golf | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment