Before we run head first into the football season and Va Tech previews, I want to take this moment and say thank you to everyone who stood by us the past six months. I can't put into words how much your support has meant to us. Sure, we had a few bumps along the way and it was a learning experience but the site is doing better than ever and I couldn't be more happy with the direction RBR is headed.
So again, THANK YOU.
Va Tech Preview
The truth is we don't know how this game will be played out. In a dream scenario, Virginia Tech, a massive underdog with a chip on their shoulder, sports an angry glare at the camera, sending a message to Las Vegas and every fan of college football: "Doubt us at your peril." What we do know is Virginia Tech is tired. They are tired of constantly being told that Alabama is the best team.
Yes, that surely is a dream scenario. I'm not disrespecting Va Tech but given the injuries they have sustained, I just don't see them holding up for a full four quarters. Now, I do believe the game will be tight for the first half. It may take a little while for our OL to come together and begin to wear down their D-line. But a upset? Nah, that ain't happening..
Laurence Gibson, Andrew Miller, David Wang, Caleb Farris, and Johnathan McLaughlin. This starting five isn't terribly surprising seeing as this has been the group most commonly getting first-team snaps during recent scrimmages and practices. Coach Grimes had been keeping this starting group under wraps, saying that no position was solidified. A mere week away from their biggest game of the season, though, and Grimes was running out of time to make his decision.
Click the link and take a look at their OL. Andrew Miller (LG) looks likes he's 40. THEM CHEATIN GOBBLERS PAWL.
Back in July, Joel Caleb was moved to the position at the start of camp, before it was announced that he would miss the first game for violating team rules, Gregory tore his ACL for a FOURTH time and will miss the season and J.C. Coleman sprained both of his ankles last week in practice, putting in doubt his ability to make it back in time for the opener against Alabama. On top of that, one of the Hokies top recruits from 2012 and 2013, Drew Harris, was denied by the NCAA Eligibility Center for the second time over the summer. The only two healthy scholarship options to start the season, Trey Edmunds and Chris Mangus, are both redshirt-freshmen and have never been on the field a collegiate snap.
I saw a tweet from Saturday that, after you take away the sack yardage, the Va Tech running backs ran for 25 yards on 23 carries...
"Now he’s finally comfortable and confident in what he’s supposed to do, and he’s played here really well," Saban said. "He’s definitely going to have a role in dime situations. I think he’s one of our best safeties as well." Senior safety Nick Perry said he agreed with his head coach. "Landon has really improved since his freshman year," Perry said. "Landon is a big hitter; he’s fast; he’s strong. I can’t wait to see what he can do on the field this year." Collins, a former five-star recruit from Geismar, La., saw a crucial role on special teams in his freshman season, tying for the team lead in tackles with 10. He also blocked a punt against Missouri.
I don't care how they do it...GET LANDON ON THE FIELD. Bro was a missile on special teams last year. Don't get me wrong, I love Vinnie but Landon has a much higher ceiling.
While everyone assumes the offense will be productive, Saban knows replacing the effectiveness of Chance Warmack, Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker isn’t as easy as plugging in three blue-chip recruits. There are chemistry issues, there is experience that must be gained and there is communication to master. Saban said as much at Southeastern Conference Media Days in July, "We have questions about the development of the offensive line."
If I have one major concern for the Va Tech game (and the season as a whole) it is the development of the OL. I'll be paying close attention to the Cornerbacks on Saturday but the offensive line will tell us everything we need to know on how the 2013 season will play out. If they can't handle the Va Tech DL (the most experienced and healthy unit on the defense) then how can we expect them to dominate A&M in two weeks??
According to VegasInsider.com, Alabama is anywhere from an 18- to 20.5-point favorite over the Hokies, who have been hit hard by injuries and attrition following a disappointing 7-6 2012 season. The lopsided spread extends an Alabama streak of being the Las Vegas favorite in every game it's played since the 2009 SEC Championship. Virginia Tech hasn't been this big of an underdog since it faced a 19-point spread heading into its Oct. 24, 1992, matchup with Miami (Fla.). It just barely failed to cover in a 43-23 loss.
Va Tech will most certainly play with a chip on their shoulder but how long will that last? Given the health of their DL I expect our running game to be bottled up early, but after a quarter (or maybe two) of chasing our WR corps around the field, they'll wear down.