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

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

Been a LONG time

Ray here–

I put the blog on the backburner after last football season and posted some Collegiate Times articles I wrote. A few things I do want to talk about lately, though.  Shawne Merriman, volleyball, Kenny Chesney and the inept Virginia Tech offense.

Merriman– Bill Cosby once talked about brain damage in his performance “Himself,” in 1983. The brain damage he spoke of was when children need to hear things three times or more to understand. Even then, they will disobey and when you ask why, they reply, “I don’t know!” Here’s a link to a youtube video with the excerpt.

Shawne must not understand what it means to be a good citizen or even a competent one. Stay out of trouble, even if the person accusing you of battery is a whacko named Tila Tequila.

Volleyball– What a pleasant surprise this has been! I got the women’s volleyball beat for the Collegiate Times this semester. I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical of what to expect, but it’s been awesome. The night I found out, I spent three hours researching the rules and watching youtube videos on how to play.

I’m still getting a grip on the abstract rules and how to calculate all the statstics, but watching the games is very exciting. The players can be a bit nervous when I interview them, but I think they will break out of their shell.

One player on the team doesn’t like interviews, and she is deemed off-limits to me. I wonder if she had a bad experience with any previous writers of any kind. She’s a good player too, so it sucks I can’t talk to her.

The team is 6-0 right now, and they are in Washington, D.C. for a tournament this weekend. I think they can win all three games handily if they do well. It is their first road test, so who knows what might happen.

Kenny Chesney– Please. For the life of me I don’t understand why ESPN chooses such crappy theme songs for college football. Chesney and Dave Matthews?! I didn’t know ESPN is a proponent of homoeroticism.

Watching the Georgia Tech-Clemson game tonight, they had another country singer, and I believe he is the “ACC singer.” God help us. How is some dude in a cowboy hat and tank top supposed to get us pumped for a violent, head-smashing sport? I’ve googled the topic and found about a 99% disapproval rate. The other 1% are girls who just say “I love Kenny!” or guys who pop their collars that love Dave Matthews. Disgusting.

The inept VT offense– Oh. My. God. How retarded is our offense? Oh wait, it’s not the offense who is retarded. It’s offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring. There are “Fire Bryan Stinespring” websites and blogs everywhere, and it’s hilarious. (http://firebryanstinespring.blogspot.com/)

The consensus says he still has a job because he and Frank Beamer are close friends. Well, good gracious, wake up Frank! You have had talented NFL receivers on the team in the past (Josh Morgan, David Clowney, Eddie Royal), and now you have Ryan Williams and Tyrod Taylor. You still can’t muster 100 yards in a ferrari. You would probably sabotage the engine. Fire this quack and get him out of the program.

Fire Bryan Stinespring shirt

Fire Bryan Stinespring shirt

I’d really like to get the chance to ask Frank straight up, “Are you satisfied with ACC Championships or do you want more?” We barely win the ACC as it is with Bryan’s pathetic offense, anyway. This is why you don’t hire your friends as coworkers. We might have to get shutout the rest of the season in order for Frank to notice something’s wrong.

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Football, Other, Volleyball | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tyrod Short Stint as Redshirt OVER

Star sophomore QB Tyrod Taylor will be seeing his first game action of the season Sunday against Furman. This coming after a devastating loss to ECU where starting QB Sean Glennon did not meet expectations. Further details about who the starter will be Sunday have not been disclosed and the two quarterbacks are not available for interview. Regardless, the spark is back for the Hokies. Tyrod has a game to get warmed up before Georgia Tech next weekend. But focus on this game first.

-Ray

Source: Lynchburg News Advance

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Virginia Tech Falls to East Carolina

I decided to take a couple days off before I wrote about this loss. My emotions were really strained on Saturday and any blog I wrote would have been out of emotion rather than logic. So 48 hours later, I find myself thinking the same things I was Saturday.

27-22. The final score. ECU beats #17 Virginia Tech.

So much for the undefeated season! Well, that was not going to happen anyway (The last two national champs have had at least 1 loss). Let’s break this down and figure out what is wrong with this team.

1. Sean Glennon

After last year’s performance things were looking up for the redshirt senior. On Saturday, I felt like I was watching the first year starter Glennon making questionable decisions that a veteran like himself should not be making. I realize he has a completely new wide receiver core but he should not be worrying about them catching ball. Just do your job Sean! Throw the ball where you are supposed to, do ot adapt to these young receivers! Glennon’s pocket presence is still dreadful and anytime pressure comes to him it seems like he has no clue what to do. I do think I know what is going on. Last year Glennon and Tyrod Taylor were both the quarterbacks. Glennon did not have all the pressure on his shoulders; if he was not doing well Tyrod could come in and give a different spark to the team. But because of head coach Frank Beamer’s decision to redshirt the sophomore, pressure was put firmly back on Glennon.

Simply put. NOT GOOD.

2. Bryan Stinespring – Offensive Coordinator

The running game was looking fairly decent throughout the game but instead of sticking with it in the fourth quarter, the ball was put back in Glennon’s hands. I just do not understand that at all. Kenny Lewis, who has come back early from an injury was very productive. Give the big dog the ball in those situations. He is a big boy now.

3. Special Teams

Well, Tech’s ‘defensive’ special teams showed up blocking the extra point and returning it for a safety. But punter Brent Bowden had his first punt blocked which ended up deciding the game. He needs to know the situation a little bit better. It is the fourth quarter and you are backup in your own territory. The punt needs to be quick. This also goes on the line up front for not blocking well enough. Learn from it. Don’t do it again.

4. Frank Beamer

Coach, please take the redshirt off Tyrod Taylor. It is going to be a long season for you and Hokie fans if Glennon is the one and only. We need Taylor. Glennon needs him. You need him. He has a maturity beyond his years and that needs to be showcased. It is not too late. The season can still be salvaged.

5. Hokie Fans

After this loss, I saw a lot of different reactions varying from the ‘Kill Sean Glennon’ type to the ‘Glennon did great!’ Then Tech fans start to turn on each other on how they are reacting. I think it is quite stupid for this to happen when you are not going to change somebody’s reaction. Just let them be. Personally, I think it is good when fans go off on their team after a loss. It shows they really love their team (ironic, isn’t it?) and that really want them to do well. They have high expectations for the team. I also understand the people who just want to support the team. Positive encouragement is good, but that is never going to solely help a team out. Just ask any coach for any sports team above 13 years old. You must criticize to get better.

So, the season is not over. Tech faces Furman this Saturday which, in theory, should be an easy victory but should not be overlooked. The Hokies must figure out how to fix things because next week is their first conference game against Georgia Tech. 11-1 is still possible.

-Ray

September 1, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Virginia Tech Put On Backburner

With the new college season fast approaching, expert predictions are in full swing, and reactions to the AP poll everywhere. As usual, the experts focus on the national championship race and the top 5 teams. To address the AP poll first, starts with Georgia being ranked #1. Undoubtedly this has something to do with the massive 41-10 victory over Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl. I think they are getting to much credit though. But truthfully it does not matter who starts off #1 because if the last few years have told us anything the preseason #1 is going to lose at some point during the season.

Getting back to the point of this article, many ‘experts,’ like Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN, have discounted Virginia Tech from the Atlantic Coast Conference race. Clemson seems to be the proverbial favorite to win the conference, easily winning the Atlantic division. While some have Virginia Tech pegged as the winner of the Coastal division, some believe Miami has a chance to dethrone the Hokies, and Wake Forest and UNC are considered dark horses.

This loss of confidence in Tech has come from the loss of key defensive players such as Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall. Make no mistake though, MLB Brett Warren played very well in Hall’s absence last season and is ready to step up as leader of one of the best defenses year in and year out. CB Victor “Macho” Harris also returns after deciding he did not want to leave for the NFL draft. He will give the Hokies leadership at cornerback after Brandon Flowers’ departure.

Offense is a different story. Things do look good though. Sophomore Tyrod Taylor looks to be redshirted this season leaving redshirt senior Sean Glennon with the full load. Glennon showed maturity last season having to deal with being pulled constantly for Taylor during games. There should be much less careless errors by Glennon, keeping the Hokies in more games.

The questions on offense come from the running back and wide receiver positions. With Branden Ore’s release from the team and almost all the Hokie WR starters going to the NFL gaping holes are left. Freshman RB Ryan Williams was looked on to step up, as was RBs Jahre Cheeseman and Kenny Lewis, Jr. However, Cheeseman and Lewis were lost to injury in the spring, giving way for Williams and redshirt freshmen, Josh Oglesby and Darren Evans. All three will probably be used throughout the season unless one truly stands out.

Tech’s presumed starting WR Zach Luckett was suspended this August following a DUI arrest. This leaves the door open for true freshman Xavier Boyce and Dyrell Roberts. It will be interesting to see how QB Glennon will deal with these young receivers. If they can get some sort of rhythm, there is no reason why Tech can’t regain the ACC title and be in another BCS Bowl game.

-Ray

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Football | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment