It’s time for predictions. The poll is on the game thread and will go up just prior to kickoff.
John Schneider - 1-0
I know we keep hearing about the last time we had a game in the rain on a short week with an FCS team. I know... I feel that one - especially because it came to exactly nothing in the grander scheme of that ACC Championship season. But still, it was freaking embarrassing. If I am Justin Fuente I am playing the replay of critical pieces of that game to every squad on the team, even the practice squad. JMU was a good football team, but we just fell asleep. That’s not going to happen, this time. I think Fuente remembered Bristol, and was not in the mood to repeat an opening loss to a team that could be beaten. I don’t think that this team is going to follow up by being rolled. William and Mary is a good football program, but we have better everything, and will show it tomorrow, rain or shine. The defense will be challenged on the short week, and the offense better learn to score. This is the perfect opportunity to do both.
Jawhar Ali - 0-1
The feel around the team is they’ve moved on after Monday’s big win over Florida State. They know that the No. 12 team in the country doesn’t drop stinkers against FCS teams in their home openers. I predict the Hokies’ run game will be effective in a sloppy, mud bowl game, akin to the Duke win last season. Tech’s DL should cause more than enough problems to help the entire defense shut down the Tribe.
Joshua Schneider - 0-1
I’ll gladly take that first loss in this column, but let’s get in the right with a pretty easy prediction this week. Go out, win, get some practice, be mindful of the weather, don’t get injured, and don’t look bad. That’s the order of operations here. The defense should wreck against their inexperienced tackles and Shon Mitchell is an inexperienced quarterback going up against a Bud Foster system. Don’t get cocky, but don’t expect the upset, either.
Jay Johnson - 0-0
The Hokies have stumbled against a solid FCS foe, after a short week, once before. I don’t anticipate any sort of 2010 JMU situation, but it is important that this young team continue to maintain focus and treat every game with respect. I expect that we will see a simple offensive scheme and will focus on getting some experience down on the depth chart. Hokies roll, easily.
Bryan Manning - 0-1
This is a short week for the Hokies. Fortunately it’s just William & Mary coming to Lane Stadium. That’s not to disrespect the Tribe, however, playing on the road just five days ago and coming off an emotional win, this is an ideal opponent.
I expect the Hokies to actually get off to a slow start. The weather is supposed to be ugly in Blacksburg on Saturday. While the Hokies will start slow, it won’t last. The offense will get rolling behind the running game and Josh Jackson will hit a few big plays to his talented receivers. The defense will once again be outstanding and you’ll see lots of young players you didn’t see last week getting some action in the second half to gain experience.
It might very well be both teams against the weather, and who ever can deal with the soup will come out a very wet winner.