Brendan of From Old Virginia is here to give us some insight on the Wahoos in preparation for Saturday's game. Trust me, it's OK to listen to what Brendan has to say. He's the only Hoo I've ever talked to for more than five minutes and haven't wanted to punch in the throat. Also, be sure to check his site for my answers to his questions.
GC: How much have the last three losses diminished the optimism that surrounded the program after the win over Miami?
FOV: For this season, they pretty much totaled it. Actually, the BC game had no effect; giving up 97 points to Duke and Maryland about finished off any hopes for 2010. BC was actually a marked improvement, but nobody bothered to see it that way, and I can't say I blame 'em. Once you account for all the post-new-hire euphoria that always comes with a new coach (especially when he's replacing someone that nobody liked) I don't think there's any change in the long-term outlook. Come Signing Day, after the season has worn off, the long-term optimism will be back in force.
Jeez, I could write a book. Or a twelve-volume encyclopedia. Groh's day came and went and basically nothing he was doing was working any more, save defense (he still knows his stuff on that side of the ball.) London upended everything. Even the defense, which used to be a 3-4 and able to stop people and is now a 4-3 and can't. New uniforms. Functional offense, which we haven't had for years. More academic accountability. They even changed the end zones. If Groh had built the stadium itself, London probably would have had it torn down. In essence, Groh ran the program in a similar fashion to an NFL program, and London is bringing a collegiate feel back to it, and almost nothing was left untouched.
Against BC, London gave playing time to some of the younger players, including Mike Rocco, who completed all three of his pass attempts. Do you expect to see more of the same on Saturday?
I hate to say I don't know, but I don't know. London has definitely talked about getting Rocco into more situations in these last two games. I know that if it's close, you won't see Rocco although you probably will see a few other freshmen if you know where to look. (For example, Will Hill got some quality playing time in on the D-line against BC.) As the game progresses out of hand, I assume Rocco and Ross Metheny will filter in for a series or two, but London's shown a loyalty to Marc Verica and I hesitate to say he won't feel some temptation to avoid unceremoniously yanking him from his last game as a senior.
You guys are the only team giving up more yards per carry than Virginia Tech in ACC games. What will the Wahoos have to do to contain the Hokies' ground game?
Bribe the refs to allow a 12th man onto the field, and have that 12th player bring a 2x4. VT has the two things that have given us by far the most trouble this year: an elusive QB and a tackle-breaking RB. I fully expect to give up 8 yards a carry.
It's been over two years since MillerCoors stopped producing Zima. Is your personal stash nearly depleted at this point and have you considered having the beverage shipped to you from Japan?
Your readership won't believe this for an instant, but I speak the unvarnished truth: I've actually never had a drop of the stuff in my life. However, the Hoos' last trip to March Madness was in 2007, and the last bowl trip was New Year's Day 2008. Zima came off the market in October '08. Coincidence? I think not. MillerCoors needs to give us our mojo back. If they won't, maybe we should switch to Four Loko; with the equivalent alcohol of four beers in one can of the stuff and a series of sugary fruit flavors sure to appeal to minors, there's no way that stuff ever gets taken off the shelves, right?