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A View from the Sidelines Virginia Tech Hokies vs Virginia Cavaliers 2016

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Gobbler Country was on the Sidelines of the Commonwealth Cup Game, and we have some of them to share with you. No Hokie can ever forget what happened. The team put on a show, and the Seniors Shined on their day, especially Sam Rogers.

The Sideline for The Commonwealth Cup Game 2016
John Schneider - SB Nation

Well, that’s all folks, not for the Hokies, they have two more games to play, and only if the Bowl game is within driving proximity would it even be thinkable to go. Orlando is completely out of the question, the wallet and leave calendar for my job won’t allow the trip. So the big ‘6’ on my Sideline Media Pass was going to be it for me this season.

What a season it was, too. What Bucket List contains – ‘Cover Alma Mater’s football games from the sideline’? I think I’ll have to invent one for the Hokie Bucket List and submit it. Before anything we, here at Gobbler Country need to extend our deepest thanks and great appreciation to Whit Babcock and Pete Moris for their steadfast belief in the possibilities of the “New Media” and allowing us to cover this season from both the Press Box and the Sideline. We know that it is a privilege granted judiciously and we hope that we have met their expectations.

The New Look of Lane Stadium for the UVA Game
John Schneider - SB Nation

The series title, though is “View from the Sidelines” so let us get started. Saturday November 26th started off mostly cloudy and a very chilly 33 degrees, it might have been a bit more on the sideline by kickoff, but there was little else but wind and cold on the field for warmups and pregame photos.

Heading on to the Field for the Game
John Schneider - SB Nation

Lane Stadium looks sort of small and very quiet when the crowd is sparse. You notice more, the paint job had changed in the end zones, and there were coats and gloves everywhere.

Pregame Activities for the Tech - UVA Game
John Schneider - SB Nation

Frankly I was a bit nervous for the camera since I hadn’t operated it at such low temperatures. As with anything electronic and lens filled, the cold can effect both motor, focus, and glass fogging. My pre-game pics were mostly just to see how it performed and what I needed to do to adjust. I also got a chance to see the players up close without the game activities in the way. Sometimes you get a read on what folks are thinking and how they might react to the game pressure.

Team Pregame Warmups on a Chilly Saturday
John Schneider - SB Nation

When I took the picture of Sam Rogers, to note his wearing of the #25, it’s really not difficult to imagine what a great game he would have. At that moment, he was thinking of more things than the fact that it was cold. He certainly wouldn’t be feeling it in a few hours, that’s for sure.

Sam Rogers’ Big Day just getting started
John Schneider - SB Nation

It was a huge recruiting day and the crowd out to see the players warm up and look at Lane from the field was pretty huge.

Recruits, Coaches, and Family Visit the Stadium
John Schneider - SB Nation

There was a big ceremony honoring the Seniors. Coach Fuente was new, but the year had given him an opportunity to know these young men, and it really affected both him and them for this final time on Worsham Field

Nigel Williams Walks Out to Greet Coach Fuente
John Schneider - SB Nation
Brenden Motley heads back to get ready for the big entrance.
John Schneider - SB Nation
Coach Fuente Heads Back to the Lockerroom to get ready for the big entrance.
John Schneider - SB Nation

The game, itself, started off a bit slowly. It wasn’t poorly played or mistake ridden, but there was definitely a methodical feeling around for what could work, and how hard to press. Early plays were mostly runs and Sam Rogers was featured.

Sam Rogers and Jerod Evans Working
John Schneider - SB Nation
Trying to get some Momentum going
John Schneider - SB Nation

The first real attempt to Bucky Hodges didn’t connect, but it was obvious that the one on one coverage from the Wahoos wasn’t going to hold for long.

Hand Jamming One on One Hodges Waits
John Schneider - SB Nation

Sometimes taking pictures on the sideline, which means looking at the world through a telephoto lens and snapping away, you sort of miss the punts that are spiraling out of bounds about to clock you right in the face.

Put Headed right for the Camera Lens
John Schneider - SB Nation

The Wahoos were pinned deep in their own territory, and the stadium was roaring like a jet engine on afterburner.

UVA and Johns Start Deep in their own end.
John Schneider - SB Nation

The new wrinkle that seemed to enthuse UVA Coach Bronco Mendenhall was switching QB, so Benkert got more than a few snaps, and so he was introduced to Mr. Ekanem very early in the process.

Ken Ekanem Gets a Sack
John Schneider - SB Nation

Finally the Hokies began to get some traction, and even with a Peoples bobble (which he picked right up and still got the first down) the Hokies managed to get a touchdown on the board courtesy of a power run by Sam Rogers. But first the Hokies needed to get nearer to the end zone.

Peoples Grabs his own Fumble for a 1st Down
John Schneider - SB Nation

Of course the sideline folks had to scatter because something bigger than a football was incoming on another attempt to get the ball to Bucky.

Bucky misses out on another one.
John Schneider - SB Nation

The next pass was up to Isaiah Ford who secured the ball and got down inside the 10 for a long 1st and goal to go.

Isaiah Ford Goes up for a big catch
John Schneider - SB Nation

Then Sam did the M-1 Abrams Tank impression to drive the ball across the goal line.

Sam Scores his first Touchdown of the game
John Schneider - SB Nation

There were some more great shot opportunities. Here is one of Jerod Evans setting up to throw after rolling out. (He actually ended up running on this one)

Evans Checks Ford to See if He’s Open
John Schneider - SB Nation

Then there was Bucky chasing another incompletion, but he stayed focused on the ball and nearly caught it.

It was that sort of day for Bucky Hodges - Just missed again.
John Schneider - SB Nation

Then there was the beautiful touchdown pass thrown to Cam Phillips over single coverage. This one turned out to be a really interesting picture as Cam goes up for the ball over the defender and you see he’s got a target lock on it.

Phillips Goes Up for what would be a TD Pass
John Schneider - SB Nation

You get an idea of what it’s like to be across the field from a big play when Sam Rogers roared into the left corner of the South End Zone to score his second touchdown.

Rogers Closes in on TD #2
John Schneider - SB Nation
Sam Leaves it All on the Field for Every Play
John Schneider - SB Nation

The next picture is Bucky Hodges stretching out every inch of his 6’7” plus arms to try for a seam pass that just was off the finger tips. He was shaken up hitting the ground, ball, and both his arms, but came back with a vengeance.

Bucky Stretches out for a near miss.
John Schneider - SB Nation

Sometimes even great receivers get a good defensive play made on them. Isaiah Ford had this one, but the Wahoo defender knocked it away, saving a touchdown for the moment.

Good Defense from the Hoos Ruins Fords chance at a TD
John Schneider - SB Nation

On that series with a 4th down and three to go for the Touchdown, Coach Fuente left the offense on the field, and Jerod Evans scored his single rushing touchdown for the game.

Evans Scores on the Ground - 4th and Goal at the 3.
John Schneider - SB Nation

At the Half, there was that thrilling moment when the team is headed to the field meeting room in the South end of the West stands, and you are stuck on the field taking pictures. Why not make the best of it?

Heading in for Halftime Ahead Big Still Serious
John Schneider - SB Nation

I really liked this one of Chuck Clark, as he jogged by for the break.

Chuck Clark goes in for the Half
John Schneider - SB Nation

The second half, The Wahoos just couldn’t manage to get out of their own way, or Woody Baron’s way, as the case may be.

Woody Baron Closes in
John Schneider - SB Nation

The next series, Bucky finally caught his touchdown pass, but first he had to get to the end zone. It’s interesting the sorts of hand fighting you can catch in a single frame.

All Touchdowns Start with a Pattern being run well.
John Schneider - SB Nation

And this one of Jerod Evans as the score registers both on the Jumbotron and to Evans.

Jerod Evans Heads off the Field after his final Touchdown Pass of the Day
John Schneider - SB Nation

As Coach Fuente started subbing in the 2nd and 3rd string, Brenden Motley took the helm, and promptly tossed a touchdown pass to Travon McMillian.

Brenden Motley Comes in for the remainder of the game
John Schneider - SB Nation
Motley Passes to Travon McMillian
John Schneider - SB Nation
For a Touchdown.
John Schneider - SB Nation

Joey Slye showed everyone how the Hokies and Hokie Nation Felt as the game began to wind down and Garbage time set in with an eye toward the end.

Joey Slye Celebrates is final PAT for the Game
John Schneider - SB Nation

This is why Joey was so happy. At 52 to 3, with a few minutes left in the 3rd, the game was finished, but there was still a quarter to be endured before the celebrating could begin.

So The Wahoos would go on to score a TD in Garbage Time.
John Schneider - SB Nation

The End was glorious for the Seniors. Here are Sam Rogers and Chuck Clark hoisting the cup, followed by the entire Hokie Football Senior Class to celebrate and remember. There are still two games to play, and next week we have a huge challenge to face in a very skilled and dangerous Clemson Tiger Football Team. But for a day or two, we can celebrate.

Rogers and Clark Celebrate a Job Well Done
John Schneider - SB Nation

So we end this with Andrew Motuapuaka and the ACC Coastal Championship Trophy for 2016.

Andrew M and his Little Friend
John Schneider - SB Nation

GO HOKIES!!!!!