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Nov
17

JC Price Has Waited His Entire Life For These Next 2 Weeks

Momma always said there would be days like these.

As it turns out, so did the owner of this site. Dave insightfully touched on Virginia Tech’s divorce with Justin Fuente on Tuesday, reminding everyone that if you thought the last few months were weird, you’ve seen nothing yet.

As the whirlwinds gain strength and throw the Hokie fanbase into confusion and uncertainty, I’ll be doing my best to appreciate how amazing the next two weeks will be for a special Hokie.

JC Price’s career at Virginia Tech coincided with the program’s ascendance to the pinnacle of college football. Every Hokie fan knows the importance of the 1995 team and how that season catapulted Virginia Tech into the Michael Vick era. JC Price wasn’t just a captain on that 1995 team, but also a third-team All-American.

If anyone understands where Virginia Tech should be as a football program, it’s Price. If anyone understands what it’s going to take to return to that level, it is also Price.

Price now has the opportunity of a lifetime — coach the football team he used to play for at the university he graduated from.

Price is a Hokie to his core. He was made for this moment.

All the legwork he put in to get here has paid off. All those years Price spent at Marshall, gritting his teeth as a Division I assistant coach are coming to fruition. It’s not like Price’s defensive units were struggling there either — Marshall led the nation in scoring defense in 2020 and the Thundering Herd won a Conference USA title in 2014. Price’ defensive front played a crucial part in those accomplishments.

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Nov
16

We Now Move On To The Weird Part Of Our Programming....

Well, we’re now officially in the “weird” part of the ongoing saga of the Virginia Tech football program.

I wrote this story a week ago, saying it was over between Virginia Tech and head coach Justin Fuente, and how we were just waiting and watching the final episodes of the soap opera. It turned out to be true, but I never thought the series’ finale would be at 7:45 AM on a Tuesday morning.

I mean, who does that? Monday 10 AM pressers are just too traditional? Did someone have to wait until their sports coat came back from the dry cleaners?

Social media is, of course, on fire this morning as some tastelessly dance on Fuente’s grave, and some are already making their predictions on who the new coach will be. This is where the weird part comes in, because I can pretty much guarantee you that every single one of those predictions are purely grounded in something they pulled out of their backside.

No one knows, although you would have to hope pulling the trigger on such a significant change 10 minutes before the second cup of coffee on a Tuesday would suggest there have been some backchannel conversations between athletic director Whit Babcock and a potential new coach.

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Nov
14

After Everything That's Transpired, Hokies Deserved It

TyJuan Garbutt said it best as he walked away from the podium.

“I can’t stop smiling, man.”

Virginia Tech’s 48-17 drubbing of Duke was a cathartic experience for everyone involved. It was an excision of frustration and disappointment that has plagued the Hokies for weeks, if not years.

Duke was outmatched from the start and even if starting quarterback Gunnar Holmberg was healthy, it wouldn’t have made a difference. The Blue Devils just weren’t on par with Virginia Tech, a phrase not often used to describe the Hokies’ opponents this season.

On a Senior Day with more than 20 players playing in likely their final game at Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech did what they used to do to lowly opponents. The Hokies’ defense dominated the line of scrimmage and stifled Duke’s few offensive weapons. The offense took advantage of a great matchup, scoring 48 points and racking up 573 yards, both season highs.

Raheem Blackshear exploded for 157 total yards and two touchdowns. Keshawn King emerged from the bottom of the depth chart to add 137 total yards and two scores. Braxton Burmeister battled through injury once again and threw three touchdown passes.

Tech’s performance was a needed one — a deserved reward for the players that have battled through this trying season.

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Nov
12

Senior Day Lineup Suggests Big Changes In 2022 Roster

Virginia Tech’s potential coaching change at the end of the season may end up being just one component of possible turnover facing the program this offseason.

The Athletic’s Andy Bitter revealed the list of players participating in Senior Day ceremonies today and boy, is this roster in for some serious turnover.

Here are the players who are set to be a part of Senior Day ceremonies Saturday — Amare Barno, Cole Blaker, Chamarri Conner, Tae Daley, Drake DeIuliis, Silas Dzansi, Changa Hodge, Brock Hoffman, Keondre Ko, James Mitchell, John Parker Romo, Austin Rosa, Oscar Shadley, Lecitus Smith, Tyrell Smith, Nadir Thompson, Tre Turner, Jermaine Waller, Jordan Williams and Johnny Jordan.

Excluding walk-ons, Virginia Tech has 17 players participating in Senior Day festivities, and many of these players are starters. While there’s no guarantee that participating in Senior Day means that a player is not coming back, it’s usually a good indicator that the player intends to either attempt to go to the NFL, possibly transfer to another school, or otherwise not be a part of the team next season.

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Nov
08

As Far As I'm Concerned, Enough Has Been Said...

After Friday night’s Virginia Tech loss to Boston College, fellow writer Ricky LaBlue sent me a story early Saturday morning, detailing another defeat of the Hokie football team. After posting it, I texted him that maybe we should stop writing about the downward direction of the program for the rest of the season.

Why, he asked.

Because, I replied, it’s all been said. To continue to point out how Justin Fuente has lost control of the program would be like beating a dead horse. There’s an old saying in sales that says you should stop selling once you’ve made the sale. To continue talking can only end up hurting you.

I think that’s the case now with Fuente and Virginia Tech. It’s over. There’s a divorce coming and I don’t believe anyone thinks otherwise. I have in my circle of friends the most positive “the glass is half full” Hokie fans that walk this planet, and during Friday’s game I was getting texts saying “you were right, we need to make a change.”

To continue talking can only end up hurting people, including assistant coaches, players and families.

Everyone knows.

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Nov
06

A Week Ago, Hokies Looked Promising. Now, Not So Much...

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech Athletics)
Nasir Peoples Makes A Stop In 17-3 Loss To Boston College

Following Virginia Tech’s win over Georgia Tech last weekend, I came away thinking the Hokies’ coaches and players hadn’t given up, and were close to playing competitive football for the remainder of the season.

Following last night’s loss to Boston College, I have now come away thinking just the opposite.

I spent the remainder of Friday night and early portions of Saturday morning wondering if I was exaggerating. How can a team go from borderline competence to borderline craziness in the span of six days?

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt convinced the situation in Blacksburg is getting out of hand. Allow me to explain.

Preparation

An offense shouldn’t be completely beheaded when the starting quarterback goes out with an injury. Nobody was expecting the Hokies’ offense to light up the scoreboard when Braxton Burmeister left in the first quarter with a suspected rib injury, but the Hokies’ offense should have at least looked like a college offense.

It didn’t.

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Nov
02

VT Football Has Its Issues, But Quitting Isn't One Of Them

Virginia Tech football has many issues, but quitting is definitely not among them.

The Hokies’ rebound from their three-game skid Saturday wasn’t pretty — Virginia Tech failed to put Georgia Tech away on several occasions and settled for five field goal attempts, three of which came from the red zone. Regardless, the Hokies prevailed, and for at least a week, the smell of victory wafts through the Merryman Athletic Center.

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech Athletics)
Tre Turner Caught 7 Passes For 187 Yards, TD

I could sit here and poke holes in the Hokies’ 26-17 victory all day long. If Virginia Tech wasn’t 4-4 and worried about bigger problems come seasons’ end, I probably would. But for today, I'm just going to enjoy the win.

Even though the Hokies settled for five field goals, Virginia Tech’s offensive performance was one of the best we’ve seen this year. Braxton Burmeister completed multiple throws downfield to stretch Georgia Tech’s defense to the brink. Tre Turner had a career day, catching seven passes for 187 yards and a touchdown. Malachi Thomas validated his breakout performance against Syracuse, running for 103 yards against the Yellow Jackets.

In total, Tech amassed 491 yards of offense, 237 of which came on the ground. Raheem Blackshear joined the party with 83 rushing yards of his own. Burmeister chipped in 46.

Virginia Tech went 9-19 on third down and dominated the time of possession battle by 11 minutes. By this season’s standard, the Hokies’ performance on Saturday was incredibly productive.

On the other side of the ball, the Hokies’ defense held up their end of the bargain. They pushed Jeff Sims into two turnovers and held Georgia Tech to just 3-12 on third-down attempts. Even better, the Hokies got stops on two of Georgia Tech’s three fourth-down attempts.

One cannot forget John Parker Romo’s performance — four makes with his only miss coming from 53 yards away. After a shaky start, Romo is now 10-13 on field goals and a perfect 22-22 on extra points this year.

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Oct
29

You Know You'll Be Watching, So Here's What To Focus On

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)
Virginia Tech Running Back Malachi Thomas

Alright, so here’s the deal — nobody could blame you for tuning out tomorrow when Virginia Tech plays Georgia Tech at noon on a Regional Sports Network (MASN for those of you in Loudoun County), which just so happens to create an annoying acronym that rivals the IRS and NSA.

But you know you’re going to watch. As Dave Scarangella has so eloquently explained before, you’re going to keep watching.

Because you’re going continue tuning in to Virginia Tech football, despite their 3-4 record, you might as well have some things to look forward to. Let’s hit on some of them.

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Oct
17

I Guess The Answer To "Now Or Never" Is Never...

(Photo Courtesy Of Virginia Tech)
Tayvion Robinson Makes A Catch Over The Middle For Virginia Tech

I wrote after Virginia Tech’s defeat to Notre Dame that this week was a “now or never” moment for Justin Fuente. He needed to rally his team and help them compete against Pittsburgh in a de-facto Coastal Division title game.

I guess the answer is never.

The Hokies’ 28-7 loss can be described in a number of ways. Disappointing is surely one of them, but the predictability of Saturday’s performance might be the worst of them all. And the most damning.

We knew the Hokies’ offense would struggle. We’ve seen it all season. Once Pittsburgh hit the 21-point threshold, it felt like the rest of the game was a moot point.

Tech only has one conference loss, so they’re by no means eliminated from the Coastal race. But if you watched them against Pittsburgh, you know that this Virginia Tech team needs to worry more about bowl eligibility than winning a divisional title.

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Oct
14

Maybe Justin Fuente Isn’t Virginia Tech’s Biggest Problem

In the famous words of legendary NFL coach Dennis Green, “The [Hokies] are who we thought they were.”

But it's possible Justin Fuente and the coaching staff may have been forced to shoulder too much of the blame.

Virginia Tech enters Saturday’s home game against the Pittsburgh Panthers with a 3-2 record, having just lost to Notre Dame, and they won every other game except for one of the North Carolina/West Virginia rivalry games.

This is exactly what most people expected; yet here we are, feeling as if the Hokies have let everyone down.

Many key findings have come to light throughout the early portion of the season, but I challenge you to ask yourself this: How many of these things are actually surprising? Are the Hokies really losing because of in-game coaching decisions, or are there larger issues with the roster that are driving these decisions? Is the coaching staff truly the problem?

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Oct
11

Yeah, I Hated It. But I'll Be Back This Week For More...

Maybe it’s because it’s Columbus Day. Or maybe it’s because last week, just to refresh my memory, I went back and watched the entire first season of The Sopranos.

But in seeing a lot of different reactions to Virginia Tech’s 32-29 loss to Notre Dame Saturday night, I find myself coming back to the same expression in regards to the football program.

It’s the life we’ve chosen.

I’m not going to stand here and try to make you believe all is well in Blacksburg. There were plenty of things I questioned in watching the game, not the least of which is why this coaching staff can’t figure out how to put a decent goal-line offense together. After getting embarrassed against West Virginia with more trips inside the 10 than the entire sports media made trips through the buffet line in the press box, you’d think they’d make that a priority, given how few points they scored after those trips.

Good teams score when they get inside the 5-yard line. They have packages ranging from every tight end on the roster on the field, to maybe a running specialist in a wildcat format, or special plays they only run when get close to the endzone. The team takes pride in being able to impose their will on an opponent in such scenarios, and they practice these situations over and over again because they believe their effectiveness when called upon can make the difference between winning and losing.

I mean, the Hokies had a first and goal at the 1-yard line early in the second quarter, and three plays later, they were still there, having to settle for a 19-yard-line field goal by John Parker Romo with 10:35 left in the first half. If my math is correct, a touchdown and extra point gets you 4 more points, which is not an insignificant amount when you end up losing by 3 points.

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Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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