No creative title needed here. It's an ACC grudge match between two Techs with Coastal division title aspirations. Here's what everyone in the mainstream media and blogosphere is saying about Saturday's big game. Lots of predictions after the jump.
Hokie Beat Writers
Williams Wins (Kyle Tucker)
"Here’s something you didn’t know: Ryan Williams is the ACC Player of the Year. Unofficially. Six games into the season. But still, pretty good for a freshman who wasn’t supposed to be starting this season. With Williams set to face Georgia Tech’s star tailback, Jonathan Dwyer, last year’s league Player of the Year and the unanimous preseason pick ... I got curious. So I conducted a little straw poll with writers around the league. There were 13 voters, plus me. Beat writers from nine of the league’s teams participated, along with ESPN’s Heather Dinich, who covers the entire ACC."
My midseason ACC awards/observations (Norm Wood)
"Virginia Tech MVP: While it's really hard to deny quarterback Tyrod Taylor this honor (and if given an option, I'd give a co-MVP here...but that'd be a cheap way to back in to the topic), I'm handing it to running back Ryan Williams. Listen, he was the darling of the spring when he came out and looked like he was going to provide a nice change-of-pace for last year's sensation Darren Evans. Then, when Evans went down in August with a torn ACL, Williams immediately took over the top spot on the depth chart - and he hasn't looked back. Most of us that saw Williams in the preseason thought he'd be good, but I didn't imagine he'd be this good this quick."
Three keys for Virginia Tech against Georgia Tech (Darryl Slater)
"LONG DRIVES: Because the Jackets run so much, their offense eats lots of clock and wears out defenses. They rank 12th nationally in time of possession, 32:55, and are out-possessing their opponents by an average of 5:50. They held the ball for 24:12 more than North Carolina and 12:06 more than Mississippi State – both wins. The Hokies need to sustain drives with tailback Ryan Williams (5.8 yards per carry) and avoid turnovers. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor has one interception and has now attempted 80 consecutive passes without a pick."
Georgia Tech DE Morgan a Challenge (Mark Viera)
"Virginia Tech has faced its share of star defensive linemen – Alabama’s Terrence Cody, Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh, Duke’s Vince Oghobaase – but all of the aforementioned were interior linemen. On Saturday, the Hokies will meet perhaps the most dangerous defensive end they have faced all season. Asked about Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan, Hokies offensive line coach Curt Newsome let out an exasperated sigh."
Williams probable for Saturday (Nathan Warters)
"Tailback Ryan Williams has been battling an illness this week, and according to Virginia Tech’s weekly injury report, is probable for Saturday’s game. He was experiencing some symptoms Tuesday and still practiced. My gut feeling is this won’t keep him from playing."
Interesting info from Vegas (Randy King)
"In another note, Virginia Tech (109.8), which was 21st two weeks ago, has risten to 13th in this week's power rankings from Las Vegas Sports Consultants, the panel of experts that set the opening wagering lines each week on college football. Miami (108.2) is 16th and Georgia Tech (106.6) is 23rd in that poll."
Georgia Tech Preview (The North End Zone)
"Remember when Alabama was the biggest game ever? Or when it was Miami? Or last week against BC? Well forget them all. This, kiddies, is THE game. Win this game, and we can start talking about you-know-what. Win this game, and at the very least we are in the driver’s seat for another ACC Coastal Championship. Forget everything else about this season. None of it happened. And without a win tomorrow, none of it will happen. Biggest game of your life. Get out the Raid."
Week Seven: Bring on Georgia Tech (Fight for Old DC)
"With regards to talent, the Jackets just don't have it on the defensive side of the ball. I think if Bryan Stinespring can stay out of his own way and coordinate like he has recently, the Hokies should win. Georgia Tech will get their yards, and probably their points, but the Hokie defense has to be opportunistic and force turnovers. I think this will scare us all more than we'd like, but I'll go ahead and make my standard homer prediction. Hokies 27 Ramblin' Wreck 23. Let's do this thing."
The history between Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech football (VT Hokie Fans)
"If Frank Beamer and the Hokies are going to win this game, defensive coordinator Bud Foster must figure out how to stop the triple option and still be prepared to defend the pass. Should the Hokies’s offense come out and play like they have in the last three games, I think the Hokies win this game, especially if Georgia Tech’s defense can’t get its act together."
What to expect from the Rambling Wreck (The Football Girl)
"But, I don’t exactly see that type of game happening on Saturday. I still do think that the Hokies have the superior talent, especially defensively, which is where this game will probably be won. It’s probably not realistic to think that we are going to completely shut down GT’s offense, but I know that our defense has been preparing hard for this game,and that Bud Foster has been strategizing about it for months."
Game Preview - VT vs. Georgia Tech (Tech SuperFans)
"To those who still dissent, I grant that certainly Taylor has been playing with more confidence since that Nebraska game, but good gracious, for the first time in 4 years the offensive playcalling bears some resemblance to a rational plan, and his receivers are where he expects them to be. The line is playing at a high level, and he has a solid ground game to take some of the load off of him having to run to move the chains. Of course he feels more confident! Tyrod Taylor has been a top-flight QB since his arrival on campus and I'm stoked that he is finally beginning to realize his potential in this offense."
2009-10 Hokie Basketball Season Preview (Tech Hoops)
"I think the talking heads are selling VT short this year. While losing Vassallo hurts, as I said above, his "defense" won’t be missed. And Tech has every other major contributor back except for Cheick Diakite and Hank Thorns, while many teams lost several key cogs (although they also got higher profile recruits). Tech has six key players that are upperclassmen this year and who know Greenberg’s system. I believe that will pay off and Tech will surpass their low expectations. I’ll give you an exact spot next week when I break down the ACC."
Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept (FTRS/Dane)
"5. BE LOUD. LOUD. LOUDER. If you are students - the team meets at 20 minutes before the start of the game. They are directly under the North stands. They can hear you. Get crazy. If we are on defense - DO NOT STOP MAKING NOISE. I was on the field for the Clemson game, and was completely taken aback by how loud the field is, even when the stands aren't roaring. I want people to be worried that Bobby Dodd Stadium is going to collapse because the stands are going insane. If you are going to lose your voice, break a blood vessel in your eye, and get a migraine from screaming so loudly, this is the game to do so."
VT Preview Part III: The Game (FTRS/Bird)
"The primary focus for this preview relates to GT's precarious situation. We're in a lose-lose-win situation. We need to win because we need to be in the ACC title hunt. A loss shuts us out of Tampa and any shot at the Orange Bowl. A loss also relegates us to the Nutty Tire Bowl in Goober, North Carolina. Losing is not an option. A win, however, puts Miami back in the title hunt because Miami and VT both have garbage schedules for the rest of the season. 'Cane fans are definitely pulling for Old Tech."
It's Homecoming! The Ramblin' Reck Parade (FTRS/Winfield)
"I have never been able to participate in the Reck Parade, instead, I have always helped run it. However it has always been fun to be a part of the experience no matter what the role. The parade this year will begin at approximately 8:00 AM this Saturday. Come on out and enjoy the fun!"
Jackets gear up for balanced Hokies attack (Coley Harvey)
"Offensively, the Hokies are among the country’s best, ranking 16th in rushing. Led by redshirt freshman running back Ryan Williams — who ranks fourth nationally — their scheme is anchored in a run-heavy mentality. The Yellow Jackets have been largely successful against strong rushing offenses this season. They held Clemson and running back C.J. Spiller to less than 130 yards in a September win. And they also neutralized Mississippi State for a victory while holding the Bulldogs to a modest 209 rushing yards."
Tech's running game more ‘quick strike' than methodical (AJC)
"Strangers to the Georgia Tech triple-option offense expect to sit down to watch paint dry, you know, guys in cement shoes clearing a path for a robust run of 3 yards. But instead of watching a defense get methodically mugged by Georgia Tech’s run-first offense, they see the defense get fleeced by a fast-offense."
ACC and National Bloggers
ACC predictions: Week 7 (Annette)
"Virginia Tech 17, Georgia Tech 14 -- Both offenses have been impressive, but Georgia Tech’s defense is in disarray, and the Hokies have the edge in special teams and should have better field position. Dyrell Roberts ranks second nationally in kickoff returns with 39.88 yards per return, and Virginia Tech ranks first in the ACC in net punting, and third in kickoff returns."
Weekend Preview, Oct. 16 (ACC Sports Journal)
"The Jackets have rushed for 300 or more yards in nine of Paul Johnson’s 19 games as head coach. … Anthony Allen is averaging nearly 12 yards a carry on 26 attempts this season. Prediction: Yellow Jackets 30, Hokies 27."
Georgia Tech beats Hokies in an ACC classic (Mr. College Football)
"1. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Since getting thumped at Miami (33-17) on Sept. 17, Georgia Tech has done what well-coached teams do. They adjusted, executed a little better, and now they are getting ready to play one of the biggest home games in recent memory. This one comes down to the quarterbacks. If both Josh Nesbitt (Georgia Tech) and Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech) keep playing at their current level, this could be one for the ages. I’m giving the edge to the guy from Greene County, Mr. Nesbitt. Georgia Tech 24, Virginia Tech 21."
Midseason traps are set for top-five contenders (Dr. Saturday)
"But the Hokies have sprung to life on offense, too, behind the conference's leading rusher, Ryan Williams, and the suddenly competent Tyrod Taylor, who put together the two best individual passing games of his career against Duke and Boston College -- both of which, for the record, have been better on defense than Georgia Tech to date. The Hokie D, meanwhile, has predictably surged back from its lackluster start, allowing 142 yards on the ground combined during its three-game conference winning streak. The Yellow Jackets could almost double that number Saturday, and I'm not sure it would be enough if this turns into yet another ACC shootout. Virginia Tech 27, Georgia Tech 22"
Deep (football) thoughts (J.P. Giglio)
"There's never a good reason to pick against VT in the ACC and GT's defense is the same ballpark as State's and FSU's but something about this game screams GT. Maybe it's because so many people like VT, including Vegas. I just don't think VT is good enough to go 8-0 in the ACC and if they don't lose this one, that's where they're headed so ... GT (cue "Joe hates VT" haters)
OTB’s Thursday ACC Pick’Em Post (On The B.Rink)
"Georgia Tech will score and pretty often, but Virginia Tech’s offense is not to be underrated. They are right there with Georgia Tech in the big offensive categories and will be able to stop GT in a key situation or too like FSU could not. Hokies 34 Jackets 31"
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech Preview and Prediction (ACC & SEC Blog)
"Georgia Tech played Virginia Tech tough last year losing just 20-17 in their third game under Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets out gained the Hokies by 140 yards last year. I think getting Thomas this year on offense opens up a lot more options for Ga Tech. The Yellow Jackets defense cannot be much worse and they bounced back well the last time after a poor outing against North Carolina. I like the Yellow Jackets as a home underdog. Georgia Tech 28 Virginia Tech 24 "
At least the nerds are football-loving nerds (Holly/Doc Sat)
"This isn't the bucolic small-town atmosphere you might expect from most college tailgates. Georgia Tech's is one of the very, very few major college football stadiums right in the dead center of a major city. You are quite literally tailgating right smack in the middle of downtown Atlanta. (That's not to say it doesn't have a certain charm -- where else can you get your drink on on a highway overpass without being mistaken for a hobo?)"
Picking Virginia Tech: Annette, Dr. Saturday, B.Rink
Picking Georgia Tech: Rob Daniels, The Barnhart, Giglio, ACC/SEC
Elsewhere in the League
Meet The ACC Football Ops Guy (Joe Ovies)
"Michael Kelly, Associate Commissioner for Communications & Football Ops at the ACC, dropped by the morning show earlier this week. Kelly wanted to clear up some misconceptions concerning the conference’s bowl tie-ins and the fallout from the Gator Bowl moving on without the ACC. TV contracts and what the offices in Greensboro are secretly rooting for are also up for discussion."
Putting The Past Behind Us and the Big Finish (BC Interruption)
Brian and Jeff take time off from couples date night: "Jeff: I think the players only meeting couldn't have hurt anything. We know how big this game is in order for the Eagles to achieve what their goals should be for the season. Their goals should not be simply to make a bowl or to prove some people in the media wrong with their preseason predictions. Their goals should have been to go back to Tampa and to keep their winning streak against Notre Dame alive."
Game preview: Maryland (From Old Virginia)
"On paper, we own this matchup. But the intangibles? Our history? Not on our side. If we lose, it means we came out flat. This team is not flat, or it shouldn't be - how do you get jacked up like crazy to beat Indiana and not the Twerps? This is Virginia. You can't. And they won't. I will play with fire here, and expect another big win out of our boys on Saturday."
What Other Option Do They Have? (Block-C)
"The talent that the Tigers possess in terms of team speed and the "it" factor beg to differ against the cons. The situation at hand is practically begging for at least a minute sprinkling of running and pitching behind a blocking fullback or tight end. One thing an option attack can do is bring a team together and test their worth as a unit. It could answer several rumors about team unity and cohesion that the Tigers have been facing this year in more ways than just developing catchy phrases and gimmick slogan t-shirts."
What Hath Butch Wrought? (Carolina March)
"Well Carolina got their chance to play someone they can beat, and it still wasn't very pretty. While I was heartened by the 42-12 score I couldn't witness in person, Michael Felders' comments (thanks again) quickly disabused of any optimism. Two of the Heels touchdowns were scored by the defense, and two others were gifts from that same defense when they forced turnovers in the Georgia Southern red zone. The offense managed two sustained drives, and accomplished absolutely nothing in the second have, turning the ball over three times and giving up a safety."
Stuff Only I Care About
The Balloon Boy thinks OKC girls have big breasts… (The Lost Ogle)
"Anyway, I’m kind of mad at Balloon Boy and his family for getting me all worked up yesterday. I think they all should definitely be grounded. That being said, at least it gave me a good excuse to not work very hard yesterday afternoon. Also, it’s nice to know that he and his brothers like large breasts. We at The Lost Ogle totally support and endorse large breasts!"
Are Giveaways and Takeaways Accurate Statistics? (Die By The Blade)
"One of the NHL stats that I have been wondering about lately is the giveaway/takeaway stats. Many of you already know that we nicknamed Toni Lydman "Toni Turnover" (original huh?) last season. The funny thing is that the raw numbers don't really back that up the way I thought they would. Sure he was third on the team with turnovers but I would have thought he averaged more than one per game."