First Things First
I cannot even believe that we are here, almost 10 months have passed since our last game preview set. A whole lot has happened, and there just aren’t any other ways to express how excited and nervous we are, and at the same time, totally disappointed. Bryan and I love every minute of Blacksburg Game Days. We generally get to the stadium about two hours before kickoff. We settle Bryan into our assigned seats in the Press Box, and I start fussing with the camera equipment taking a few pictures to check light levels and exposures, and then head down the hall to the lunch line. We grab a bite while going over what we think is going to happen. Jon Laaser and Mike Burnop are usually on the TV’s scattered around the lunch room, and we say hello to other folks who cover the games.
If it’s the first game there is the excitement of seeing a colleague again or wondering where someone went. Catching up is first game fun. After lunch, we head back to the press box to do our final checks, and I head down to the field. The rest is picture history- and that’s history along with a royal bummer. Virginia Commonwealth health regulations have strictly limited the on field and off field occupancy levels for the games. With Gobbler Country not being a major player in the live broadcasts or big money press, we get pushed back to the back of the pack when it comes to covering these games. It’s something that we are going to miss, but hopefully as the season progresses those restrictions will change, too. For now, we have to cover home games like we’ve always covered away games.
So, here is what’s up for this season. Bryan has already covered the technical preview, and given the conditions on the field and in the locker room there might be changes, already. We’ll be updating you as we hear and see. This will be our regular Preview Podcast article and our Poll opportunity. I will be on Facebook Live after the game for about an hour so stay with us for that. As always, Bryan will be on the Twitter account @GobblerCountry, and I will be handling the game thread, here. Look for our postgame podcast show on Monday (That gives Kat the chance to get the thing edited after we record Sunday).
The Meat and Potatoes
With North Carolina State coming to Lane, this late in the season and that game being the Hokies first, one thing that the coaching staff did not forget is to recognize the player with the most hustle demonstrated on Special Teams. This first game of 2020, the #25 will be worn by:
Congratulations to JR Walker for winning the first #25 of the season. This one has to be the hardest because it’s all about how much a player is hustling and producing during the offseason and the run up to the first game.
Game Day Conditions
Our go to weather service, Weather Underground is predicting that Saturday will start off cloudy and cool but rise to the low 70’s before falling into the mid 60’s for kickoff. It’s not supposed to rain, but with a chance above 0% in Blacksburg means, no one is sure. The conditions look like they’d have been Game Day stuff.
Changes to the Game Day Roster and Depth Chart Should be expected. There are rumors and unconfirmed murmurings that there was a reason for this, on the 22nd.
It’s important to remember the variability of the situation and the coaching staff’s admitted concern about the roster conditions for kickoff. We will update as we can, but don’t be surprised to see Braxton Burmeister taking a good deal of the snaps on Saturday evening. There may be a few other players who are effected, too. We just won’t know until the cameras light up and the announcers start talking about it on the telecast.
Sir! The uniform of the day is Classic Maroon over White! Sir!
So it’s glossy maroon helmets, maroon jerseys, and white pants. - no tricky unis... no fancy stuff, just the basics.
So, let’s go, Hokies... Nasty #LPD, and Good Offense.
Okay, Hokie Nation What’s it Gonna Be?
This poll is closed
The Hokie D is bit stale, and has real trouble with the Wolfpack running game. Tech’s O struggles with personnel issues. Wolfpack Takes it by more than a TD.
The Hokie D steps up to slow down but not stop the ‘Pack’s Running Game. The Hokie O generates some decent numbers but can’t close the door. Wolfpack by 3
The Hokie O is on fire drives the Wolfpack all over the field, and scores big. The Hokie D plays a nasty stingy game. Hokies by more than a TD
The Teams get into a weird low wattage shootout where the over/under stays below 40, and the running game dominates until the better Hokie passing game nips a win. Hokies by 3
So, Let’s Talk Turkey
I think that the first game out of the blocks for the Hokies means the Offense will need work ups and really won’t get started until the 2nd half. I think that the Defense is well aware of the potent Wolfpack running game and will work to contain it. The big problem will be if the Hokies can’t get the passing game going and Burmeister is playing QB. He’s a big player with good wheels, but not as good as Hendon Hooker’s. If Hendon is playing it’s going to depend on how well he gets the RPO going and can he sell the Cheeto.