Saturday, November 12, 2005

Football - 15 Years is Enough

Enough is enough folks. Somethings MUST come to an end. NCST ended their losing streak to the Jackets, and to find the right balance, another streak must come to an end today - the fact that the Jackets haven't won in Charlottesville since that famous 1990 game on the foot of Scott Sisson. Enough is enough. There is no "Scott Sisson curse". That's just ridiculous......... Let's take a look at how the Jackets are going to win this game.


1. Containment. If the Jackets are going to win, they are going to have to contain Marcus Hagans. Keep him in the pocket. It was FSU's disregard for his talents that led to their demise against the Cav's (along with some self-destructive penalties and turnovers). However, it was North Carolina's respect for Hagans that led to their victory over the Cav's. Keep him contained and make him pass the ball.

Now, Jon Tenuta will have to earn his stripes today. Mobile, versatile QB's tend to have success against aggressive defensive schemes. Teams like Maryland and BC took containment approaches and it worked. The D will still be aggressive, but Coach Tenuta might have to make some key in-game adjustments.........Look for a few things - the shotgun. UVA used the shotgun against Temple and look for it again today. This will give Hagans more time to go through his reads and make better decisions. Our aggressive defense is designed to force bad decision making, so look for the shotgun to counteract that.......... Look for screens and quick, short passes. If Hagans is going to complete passes, many of them are going to have to be shorter routes where blitzers once were. More decision-making issues............ Running inside/passing outside. The speed of the Tech defense does not allow a lot of outside running. Look for UVA to establish the running game on the inside and establish the outside with the passing game.............. Watch the tight ends. They have the ability to find soft spots in the defense, particularly when most defenders are chasing Hagans around.

Good passing teams have had success passing against the Jackets. The defense will need to be ready.

2. TURNOVERS. Broken record here, but it's true. When the Jackets are positive in the turnover battle we are 6-0. When we haven't had a turnover advantage we are 0-2. Maybe this should be #1.................

3..... 3-4 DEFENSE. While most other teams line up 4 defensive linemen, the typically line-up 3, then add a 4th linebacker. Why? Create confusion. Think of lineman and linebackers with the analogy of walls and missles. The D-Lineman's job is to create a wall and not let the O-Line push down the wall. The LB's job is to be a missle and fire through the gaps in the wall. So UVA runs a scheme that creates more missles than walls. Their hope is that the Tech O-Line gets confused and that there are often unblocked missles that make their way to to Reggie BAll. It gives them additional flexibility to drop more guys back in coverage and it puts more pressue on Reggie Ball to make good decisions as well. This defense has me worried a bit.

4...... Special Teams. We must NOT allow big special teams plays. No blocked punts/kicks, big returns, etc. These are huge momentum plays on the road and REALLY get the crowd into the game - anyone remember VaTech after the blocked FG and return for TD? Need I say more?

Joe Anaoi has been upgraded to probable, which means it could be the first time the regular starting lineup is on the field since the UNC game.......

As I said in a previous post, I just have a good feeling about this one. The Jackets will break the streak. They will win. I predict a 24-21 victory. It should be a grand day as the Jackets win their 4th game in a row.................