Who's ready for some lazy blogging? Usually, this post is written out instead of done "What They're Saying" style, but as you can tell from the time it's being posted, I really didn't have time for that this week. My apologies. I'll try to get better and quit giving up so many big plays (Psst. There's some bonus basketball linkage at the end.).
Virginia Tech Beat Writers
Big plays could bring changes on VT's defense (Mark Giannotto)
"Whatever the solution may be, the Hokies can't afford to give up so many explosive plays much longer, especially in the run game. Even the secondary, which gave up just four completions all game against the Demon Deacons, allowed a 73-yard touchdown pass."
Foster Analyzes Defensive Breakdowns (Norm Wood)
"Foster said Gibson didn't recognize defensive switches Tech had made just prior to Harris' big runs - from man-free coverage to zone. Those kinds of errors could pave the way for Foster to try giving redshirt freshman linebacker Tariq Edwards some playing time in place of Gibson, if nothing else to challenge Gibson."
How Tyrod Taylor has continued developing (Darryl Slater)
"There are all sorts of stats you can cite to show Taylor is having an excellent season, including 12 touchdown passes and three interceptions, compared to 13 and five last season. But the story in tomorrow’s print edition focuses on something that doesn’t show up in the stats: Tech’s coaches giving Taylor even more responsibility than they did last season to change plays at the line before the snap."
Big day for Big Play Boykin? (Kyle Tucker)
"The biggest reason Boykin goes off tomorrow? Duke’s defense. The Blue Devils have allowed 13 passes of 30-plus yards this season – more than all but seven other teams in the country. Opponents are averaging 8.5 yards per attempt against Duke – seventh-most nationally. This defense is bad, bad, bad. And Boykin is very good."
Virginia Tech Bloggers
Midseason FEI (The Key Play)
"You might wonder how our DFEI against Boston College, a team we shutout, is so bad. Remember, BC had three long drives: 9 plays 63 yards that ended in an interception, 8 plays 69 yards then they missed a field goal and 13 plays 84 yards that got Shinskie'd. Also their relevancy score is low."
Blue Devils vs. Hokies Preview (VT Campus Blog)
"Duke will score against a beat-up Tech secondary, but there’s no stopping the Tech offense right now. I foresee a similar outing to last week, where Tech gives up a few too many big plays but rolls on offense to a big day and a runaway victory."
Fill It Up Again! (We Bleed Bourbon)
"For as many things we did great on offense, the defense continues to make us reach for the Maker's... something the Hokies aren't accustomed to doing. While each TD can be broken down and examined for mistakes, what it comes down to is assignment defense and open field tackling. We might be able to get away with this against Duke, but Captain PJ will have his boys drooling to run the Triple Option against this D."
#23 Virginia Tech vs. Duke (Tech Sideline)
"If the Hokies get off to a good start, I don't see the Blue Devils hanging with them. Sean Renfree is an interception machine. I'd set the over/under on his number of interceptions at 2.5. There's just not many ways you can analyze this game. Virginia Tech has much better players, so they should win easily."
BDN Previews Duke vs Virginia Tech (Blue Devil Nation)
"Virginia Tech is playing their best football of the year right now, and it will require an exceptional effort for the Blue Devils to pull off the upset in Blacksburg. It all starts with Taylor, whom Coach Cutcliffe has described as the "best dual-threat quarterback in college football.""
Cutcliffe, Renfree Working Through It (Duke Basketball Report)
"After a sensational start to the season, Sean Renfree has struggled. David Cutcliffe is sticking with him though, and the man does know his quarterbacks. They’ll get the kinks worked out."
ACC Basketball Media Day
Preseason vs. reality: ACC basketball (D1scourse)
"Since the expansion to 12 teams, the biggest overachiever is Florida State, which has finished an average of 2.5 spots better than where it was picked over the last five years. The Seminoles were pegged as the league's fifth-place team this week. Virginia Tech is the second biggest overachiever, outpacing expectations by 1.6 standings positions. Maryland, on average, picks up one spot over preseason projections."
ACC Operation Basketball Notebook (ACC Sports Journal)
"Greenberg gushed about the strength of the conference, and said winning against every ACC team is a feat. But winning is what the Hokies will have to do in order to get a taste of March Madness. And to Greenberg’s delight, the return of senior Malcolm Delaney might be just the ticket to this year’s tournament."
ACC Undeterred Despite Early Disrespect (FanHouse)
"Despite the national perception that the ACC is made up of Duke, North Carolina and everybody else, the locals aren't buying it this time. Yes, Virginia Tech actually earned more votes in the media poll than the Tar Heels, an upset by some measures. These are the same Hokies who received that jaw-dropping snub from the NCAA tournament committee last spring, which ignored their 23-8 record at the time and 10-6 mark in the ACC and left them out of the field."
Watch out for the Hokies (Winston-Salem Journal)
"The Virginia Tech Hokies have experience, muscle, grit and senior guards. And attitude. Big attitude. Coach Seth Greenberg, who has reached one NCAA Tournament in seven seasons, and floor leader Malcolm Delaney don’t sense any more bubble drama with so much talent seeking revenge."