Friday, October 24, 2008
Ain't No Sunshine
PHOTO CREDIT BRIAN SEWELL
TALLAHASSEE- It's been raining for nearly 24 hours consecutively, but supposedly things will clear up tomorrow for gameday. Today, we'll take a brief look at what to expect when the Hokies and Seminoles meet Saturday at 3:30.
When Tech and FSU have met in the past, the Hokies often find a way to outgain their opponent, but the 'Noles usually make some big special teams plays in a reversal of Beamerball. Special teams has been a problem for Tech this season. The Hokies rank 117 (out of 119 teams) in net punting, and 118 in punt return yardage defense.
On the flip side Tech has returned kicks fairly well, ranking 22 in punt returns but strangely 118 in kick returns. That can be explained at least in part by the fact that Macho Harris returns punts and he is probably Tech's best overall athlete and playmaker this season, but he doesn't return kickoffs.
It's a fairly safe bet to say the team that comes out on top will make the most big plays on special teams.
Both offenses are pretty mediocre. Tech's struggles are well documented on this blog, but for a concrete number Tech rank's 110 in total offense. FSU ranks 29 in total O, but I don't buy it. The 'Noles have faced such powerhouse defenses as NC State (ranked 103) Western Carolina and Chattanooga (who rank 84 and 110 respectively in total D at the 1-AA level). When FSU faced a defense similar to Tech's, that of Wake Forest, they put up a season-low 220 total yards.
Overall, it's an interesting match up and both teams will certainly be fired up. One stat that is decidedly in Florida State's favor, as an unranked team playing a ranked team on the road the Hokies are 2-28 all time. Yikes. The good news for Tech fans? Frank Beamer was involved in both of the other wins, including a 1968 win at FSU as a player.
I think this one could go either way. Unless the Hokies have some offensive tricks up their sleeves though, I don't have a very good feeling about it.
Florida State 24
Virginia Tech 21