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Fight for Old DC is a blog covering all sports in and around the District. Main focus will be on the Capitals, Redskins, Nationals, Wizards, United, and Hokies (I know they aren't DC, but it's my alma mater). Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

NCAA 10 Preview: Hokies vs. Crimson Tide

Just for the hell of it, I embarked on a mission the other day. I decided to take a crack against the Crimson Tide online. Rather than trying to find a neutral site game, I went ahead and played someone in Tuscaloosa with a better record than my own (and a higher level). I tried my best to implement what I figured would be Frank Beamer’s game plan, just to see how it would play out (I also benched Darren Evans to be fair). Here’s a game summary as well as some stats (sorry for the lack of sound in the highlights).


The Hokies won the coin toss and decided to defer possession to the second half. The Hokie defense came out strong and forced a three and out on the first series. With a combination of zone blitzes and strong team speed, the Hokies forced QB Greg McElroy into some bad throws early. The offense came out and didn’t have much success on their first series, with the Tide defense getting penetration and only allowing one first down on the drive. Mt. Cody did not allow much up the middle, to say the least. After a Brent Bowden punt, Tech made a nice stop on first down, pushing the Tide to 2nd and 8. McElroy dialed up a screen right to the running back, but Tech countered with a blitz right. Jake Johnson broke through the line immediately and hit McElroy as the ball was released, and it flew straight into the air. Twinkle-toes John Graves danced under the errant “pass” and took it 29 yards for a defensive score. The Hokies took the lead 7-0.

The Tide countered with a methodical drive, capped with a 14 yard TD from McElroy to Julio Jones. The Hokie defense had difficulty defending Jones, who was freed up by several audibles and hot routes at the line of scrimmage. After a 50 yard Matt Waldron field goal, Tech and ‘Bama traded long drives that ended in rushing touchdowns. The Hokies entered the half with a 17-14 lead.

Tech relied heavily on running off-tackle and pitching to Ryan Williams in the first half, but they decided to open up the playbook at the beginning of the third quarter. After getting the ball on his own 31, Tyrod Taylor completed 3 of 5 passes on the drive for 47 yards, mixed with a few David Wilson runs. The Hokies faced a 3rd and three on the Alabama 28, when they called play action to Wilson. Taylor rolled left and found Greg Boone coming across the middle. Boone made a nice grab, powered through an arm tackle and took the ball into the end zone to go up 24-14.

Alabama had little trouble moving the ball on the Hokies through the third quarter, racking up over 100 yards through the air. They capped a comeback drive with a rushing touchdown and then forced a three-and-out for the Tech offense. After another big gain by Julio Jones in Tech territory, McElroy gave the Tide a four-point lead on a QB keeper. 28-24, Tide, with 3:03 left. Ryan Williams took over the final three minutes, rushing 4 times for 52 yards, and Danny Coale caught a beautiful 35 yard bomb from Taylor to put the Hokies on the two. Kenny Jefferson powered over the goal line with 52 seconds left to give Tech a 31-28 lead.

Unfortunately, the Hokies couldn’t hold Alabama down on the kickoff. When the Javier Arenas set ‘Bama on their own 42, it looked to be a guarantee that Saban’s men would send the game to overtime. McElroy had a few nice passes and a great scramble to set up Leigh Tiffin for a 36 yard field goal attempt. In a shocker, Beamerball won out. John Graves made a big play again as he tipped the attempt high up into the air. An awaiting Dyrell Roberts took the block back for a 109 yard touchdown, giving the Hokies a decisive 38-28 victory.

Stats and Analysis

Virginia Tech


Rushing Attempts



Rushing Yards



Passing Attempts



Passing Yards



Total Yards



Field Goals

1 (50)


Rushing TDs



Passing TDs



Defensive TDs






Fumbles Lost



Sacks For



Third Down %



Time of Possession



Tyrod Taylor did everything asked of him on the day, going 5-7 for 125 yards, with one touchdown and one interception, as well as 35 yards rushing on five attempts. Ryan Williams led the rushing attack with 89 yards on 15 attempts. David Wilson chipped in with 29 yards on 3 attempts. Danny Coale led receivers with 3 catches for 74 yards, and John Graves led all defenders with 5 tackles, one sack, one interception, one blocked kick and a defensive touchdown. For the Tide, Greg McElroy went 10-16 for 209 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Alabama receiver Julio Jones led the way with 159 yards on seven catches, and Dont’a Hightower led the Tide defense with four solo tackles, a sack and an interception.

Overall, Alabama’s defense did not give up much through the middle. Ryan Williams was able to turn the corner on a few occasions, and the big, physical Hokie wideouts did a nice job of blocking on the perimeter. About 80% of the Hokie running yards came outside the guards. David Wilson did exploit Cody’s explosiveness on one play, when Cody broke through the line but took a bad angle, leaving a gaping hole. Wilson beat him out of the backfield for a 19 yard gain up the middle. ‘Bama’s safeties had trouble patrolling the middle, and Greg Boone looked big and strong trying to run through them, but overall, they were pretty stingy, and got regular pressure on Taylor in the pocket.

On the other side of the Ball, Jones was absolutely the real deal, he won almost ever jump ball, and the only way to counter him was to slide Kam Chancellor to his side of the field (which led to one INT). Marquis Maze was a nice safety valve for McElroy, and Mark Ingram had some good speed out of the backfield. Overall the Tide offense was very talented at the skill positions, but their line had a great deal of trouble dealing with the Hokies pass rush, and couldn’t maintain gap control all that well. Ingram’s athleticism won him a lot of extra yards. Although the Hokies were outgained significantly, the inexperience of Alabama’s lines caused two defensive/special teams touchdowns, thus costing the Tide the game.

I know that this is just a goofy game, but it was a fun opportunity to see just how the Hokies can win it if they do win it…Typical methodical offense, great defense/special teams plays and limited mistakes.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully we can actually pull this type of performance off, though it is unlikely. Perhaps our D, combined with Bama's young O-line and QB, can help us bring home the W. We will see on Saturday!!!

Jim Eustice said...

Roll Tide.


Anonymous said...

yeah this game is completely unrealistic in so many ways it's ridiculous. i mean, only 1 field goal the entire game? seriously? i'm thinking the kickers on both sides are going to get a workout.

awsomely entertaining article, though.