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Why U should fear the Hokies

If you look at the 11th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies on paper and compare them to the way the University of Miami has looked in its first two games, you'd think it would be wise for the folks in Blacksburg to start boarding up and seeking shelter.

The Hokies (2-1) haven't looked very good offensively under quarterback Tyrod Taylor and their normally stout defense (ranked 77th in the nation and 107th against the run) has been a bit exposed for having some holes in it.

The Canes need to swallow up return man Dyrell Roberts the way they did last year

So what is there to be nervous about if you are the Canes? A lot. The Hokies have won 10 home games in a row and will be a rowdy underdog at Lane Stadium, a place infamous for being loud and obnoxious toward the Canes. The Hokies also have the ACC's leading rusher in freshman tailback Ryan Williams and will likelyget their best boundary corner Stephan Virgil back this week. But the real reason to respect the Hokies? They still play a darn good game of Beamer Ball.

What's that? It's called special teams dominance and capitalizing on big plays.

-- Entering this week's game, sophomore receiver Dyrell Roberts -- who made the game-winning catch against Nebraksa -- ranks second in the country in kickoff return yardage. He's produced five of the Hokies' 21 plays that have gone for 20 or more yards, including kickoff returns of 98, 76 and 47 yards.

-- Teammate Jayron Hosley is also plenty dangerous on punt returns with a 21.0 yard average -- including a 64-yarder he took back to the house against Alabama. 

-- Punter Brent Bowden, meanwhile, is averaging 46.3 yards a kick (fourth best in the nation) and seven punts of his 19 punts have pinned teams inside their own 20.

Outside of a few nice kick returns, the Hurricanes have basically stunk on special teams.

-- Matt Bosher, who missed two field goals last week, has a 33.2 yard net average on punts that ranks 95th in the nation.

-- Miami's return game on punts has been non-existent, with UM averaging 5.2 yards on four attempts.

-- But nothing has been worse for UM on special teams than its kickoff coverage team. Thanks to a pair of kicks that have gone out of bounds and bad tackling, opponents have started out with their average field position at their own 37-yard line.

UM coach Randy Shannon is sticking with walk-on Alex Uribe this week who made his last kick against Georgia Tech a good one. But the Canes are mixing up where guys will line up on the coverage team this week and try to exploit some advantage.

"We're just making an emphasis on what we have to get done," Shannon said. "They have a good kickoff return team... We know we have to do a better job."

Shannon said Bosher has done a good job responding to his two missed field goals against Georgia Tech in practice. "We put him under the pressure at the end of practice," Shannon said. "We've had him kick six, seven field goals at the end and he's been doing pretty good. He's been making them."

Cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke, who is making his return this week from a first week concussion and is one of the new faces on special teams, said the biggest thing UM has been focusing on this week is anticipating trick plays on special teams.

"Everybody talks about [Virginia Tech coach Frank] Beamer. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve," DVD said. "We definitely watching for fakes, putting in the extra time to study what they do."

Tyrod Taylor

KEEPING AN EYE ON TYROD: Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor has never been as dangerous with his arm as he has been with his legs. But UM players said they learned to be wary of Taylor's ability to scramble and wait for receivers to get open after watching what he did late in the game against Nebraska Saturday.

"They have a really good quarterback who likes to move around," safety Vaughn Telemaque said. "We just have to focus on our man, lockdown our guy when he starts running around. That's when he beats you."

WARY OF THE HOKIES 'D': The numbers might suggest Virginia Tech is down defensively. But if you ask players on Miami's offense, they aren't taking the Hokies lightly. Offensive guard Orlando Franklin said Virginia Tech has the same type of speed and uses the same type of tactics Florida State employs, but said the Hokies probably do it a little better.

"There's one thing I really don't like about this defense -- they try to pad the box to stop the run and they do a real good job of that," Franklin said. "They're a real aggressive defense. They got a great front seven. [Safety Cam Chancellor] in a real good player. [Defensive end Jason] Worilds is a real good player. They have a real good things going on in that defense."

INJURY UPDATE: Shannon said tight end Richard Gordon (shoulder) and defensive tackle Marcus Forston (foot) practiced "a little" on Wednesday. Shannon said we'd have to wait until Thursday's injury report to know whether or not they'd play. I'm guessing it's a pretty safe bet they won't. Receiver Aldarius Johnson could also still remain on that list. Shannon doesn't want to rush him back from his groin injury.

Comments

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Manny is being a "Debbie Downer".

Respect the opponent but never fear them.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090923/APS/909231557

The best rewards are never easy! They will be ready! UM will be ready! Lets get it on!

Go 'canes!

They were ranked ahead of us (pre-season thru week 2) and picked to win the ACC for a reason. We still have a lot to prove, and the players know it (that's the most important thing).

GO CANES!!!!

Sorry Manny...I watched the Virginia Tech/Nebraska game start to finish. This is not the Hokie team of old. Of course we can always beat ourselves with key penalties and turnovers, but these Hokies aren't good enough to beat us.

-- Matt Bosher, who missed two field goals last week, has a 33.2 yard net average on punts that ranks 95th in the nation.

this is pretty disingenuous manny. almost all of bosher's punts have been attempts at pinning the other team inside the 20.

I don't care what year it is or what they've looked like thusfar. Taking a VT team playing in Blacksburg lightly would be a grave mistake for ANY team. Including the Pittsburg Steelers.

Canes need to be ready to go hard for the entire game. Especially the 4th quarter.

Its always going to be a tough game going into Lane Stadium
It seems no matter what, Beamer and Foster have their boyz ready to play
This being a 3:30 kickoff instead of a night game is another plus for us
It might not be a pretty win but we will come out of Lane with a big W....27-13

Tyrod Taylor will beat himself this game f he tries to go airborne....Miami will shut down the running game and force Tyrod into becoming a scrambling out of the pocket QB...thats where he throws INT's...just because he threw a touchdown last game doesnt mean he's good at that...trust me that's where we want him..tossing up wounded ducks and killing worms !

they dont have enough good corners to stop us. Jacory torches them for 4+tds=
canes 45
tech 13

tech will get plenty of chances to return a kickoff

Is there a chance Miami Oklahoma could be on College Gameday? If so, where would they set up? I cant imagine much of a crowd showing up at Landshark Stadium early Saturday morning. Could they do it on campus?

I'm not one for grandiosity, in fact, as a miami native, I tend to be more on the pessimistic side. But I find myself looking at what I see on the field, and wondering how teams are going to beat us if we play anything close to what we've shown thus far. We're only 2 games into it, but the signs are really encouraging. Our brains are wired to enjoy the anticipation moreso than the actual event, and I'm really enjoying the anticipation of Canes games these days. It feels like the old days!! GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Rusty98UM | September 23, 2009 at 06:22 PM

Hey a Big Thanks for all the YouTube Highlights!

I like this article Manny. It appears that us Canes fans needed to come back to Earth a bit.

The U fears no team. Va Tech is good, but The U is better. As long as the players wearing orange and green stay focused and play hard for 60 minutes, it will become easily apparent that Va Tech doesn't have the horses to keep up. The U is the more complete team, and it will show on Saturday. Lane Stadium is a tough place to play, but that's because Va Tech is a good team, not because the crowd actually influences the game. So long as the Canes limit their mental mistakes and don't commit stupid penalties, their talent will shine through in the Blacksburg smog. Go Canes!

collge gameday is going to USC and CAL....

besides we need to WIN saturday 1st...if impressive GameDay may change...( listen to Herbsreit on wqam this am)...

VT is a solid program with real fans 66K again will fill there stadium..

This week tells me more about this program than any other week all year..if we go up to BB and beat a VT team with all aspects of our game, Off, Def, Special teams etc...and we look focused and still play with 5-7 hate on our blood..we could go 3-8 they rest of the year and I will be happy..( not really but you get my point)...after all the news and hype this week and the polls...this week tells how much leadership and coaching has done for these young men..

VT is king of the ACC it is time to knock them off....GO CANES play Hard!

ummm naeltrom....shut the F up!!

The players have to treat EACH game like it was the National Championship!! We don't want any doubts in anyone's mind who belongs in the NCG. There's no way we want to be like Florida and hope to sneak in with one loss! That's not what we do, that's not who we are. Undefeated or bust!!

GO CANES!!!!

As for playing in Blacksburg, this team showed me in Hellahassee that they are not affected by rowdy crowds.

As for special teams, point well taken -- the deficiencies need to be fixed... now. But you're neglecting to see it the other way around. This Miami team has dominated despite poor ST! Once they shore up the coverage, think of how much more dominant they can be when teams have to go 20 yards farther for a score.

The key (like most games, but especially this one) will be to stop the run and make Tyrod throw the ball. Yes, easier said than done, but this team can do it.

Thanks for the post Manny. Since 1996 the Hokies have won 8 against the Canes. And many of those wins were against a favored Cane team. For those of you who are statistically inclined ...

http://www.atsdatabase.com/Stats/CFB_123/Virginia-Tech-Hokies-vs-Miami-Hurricanes-College-Football-Results.html

Note that, with the exception of three years, the Hokies have beat the spread 10 times. With Beamer leading them, they seem to always give Miami a hard time. I believe this game will be tougher than the Oklahoma game.

Not saying the Canes should fear anyone. Respect your opponents. Good to hear that the team is taking the Hokies seriously.

Listen up yall. Coach Shannon is having an easier job coaching cause the kids are COACHING THEMSELVES! They want it bad. When Jacory says they want teams to feel like they still underdogs and they go into the game down by 30 and they have to play harder. Thats what every coach want to hear. I do not think the Canes are taking this season or this game for granted.

As for VT We know what beamer ball is. They play defense and good special teams. Usually VT play defense and win the game by turning the field position is their favor. They never really had a dynamic offense. Ryan Williams is good but I would take our front seven over they front o-line. T. Taylor is going to try buy as much time as he can until one of his wideouts pop open. Shields has been burned like that before. We gonna have to pressure him and stay in pursuitt lanes to contain. The special teams....well what else can you say. VT win game like that so I wouldn't be surprized if they bust one wide open for a TD. But our special teams is an equalizer. Overall we have a totally different team with Jacory Harris at QB. Our D is healthy with DVD coming back and we will need him to help Shields. I mean lets not kid ourselves this is a very easy game for UM. We have SUPERIOR TALENT. Our squad by far grades higher than Va. Tech except for coach. And a National Championship run will take care of that.
Miami-38 vs. Va. Tech-13

FEAR...the only thing the hurricanes should fear is themselves...they have enough talent to win but are they mentally ready to be # 1 is the only question I have.

What the hokies have done in the past means squat this yr. The U wins in a blow-out. No team with a terrible offense has a chance against the Canes.

Special teams, special teams, blah,blah...Our kickoff return team looks just fine. Our punting average is low because, as previous poster noted, we have been punting (when we had to) for field position, to pin them down inside their 20, and some punts have found the end zone. That lowers your average. Field goal kicking must improve, but I heard RS say Bosher admits his mechanics were off, so we'll see about that one. The only reason I worry about kickoff coverage is, with our amazing offense, it looks like we will be kicking off A LOT this year. That is a problem we would have loved to have for the past 3 years or so. Canes by 2 TD's! Go Canes!!!

I'm not really worried about VT because our players are worried about them. As long as they dont overlook anyone and always stay focused and keep having fun, they'll be fine. These guys have the right mindset.

Good job Manny. Keep them grounded

I have to say that if any of ya'll have any doubts about the Canes coming out, taking care of business and not letting everyone get all HYPE then you not a true canes fan. The coaches gonna have the boys ready mentally, physically and emotionally. It will be a tough game but Miami wins it 27- 6. Bag em and tag em

...and the # 1 reason we should "roll" in Blacksburg.......

We beat them last year with Nix calling the plays!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE GOT THIS!

Go 'canes, beat the "Knob Gobblers"!!!!!!!!!

i said this last year jaxcanephin, so your momma should be free the next 2 times im out late night on phillips hwy up in duval.


MARVE-PASSING STATS- 1293 YARDS, 9 TD'S, 13 INT'S, 54% COMP. (107.19) PASSER RATING.
RUSHING STATS- 59 CARRIES-119 YARDS- 2 TD'S, 2.0 YPC.
6 WINS 5 LOSSES AS STARTER.

HARRIS PASSING STATS- 1001 YARDS, 10 TD'S, 6 INT'S. 61% COMP. (129.46)PASSER RATING
RUSHING STATS- 40 CARRIES-108 YARDS- 2 TD'S,
2.7 YPC.
1-0 AS A STARTER

MARVE RANKS LAST AMONG STARTING QBS IN THE ACC IN PASSING EFFICIENCY . HARRIS RANKS 2ND BEHIND WILSON WITH A (129.46)RATING.

Posted by: canethang | December 11, 2008 at 04:13 AM

WHAT IF HARRIS HAD 80 DRIVES AND MARVE ONLY HAD 40 DRIVES. WHAT WOULD HARRIS STATS BE? WHAT WOULD OUR RECORD BE? MARVE HAS TWICE AS MANY DRIVES ON THE SEASON AS HARRIS DOES. YET THE ONLY THING HE LEADS HIM IN IS INT'S AND SLIGHTY IN YARDS. I REALLY HOPE HE LEAVES , RANDY WILL LOOK LIKE A COACHING GENIUS NEXT YEAR WITH JACORY STARTING.

Posted by: canethang | December 11, 2008 at 04:19 AM

Hey Manny,

Any word on recruiting? Are we swaying any non-commits? Are we making any recruits that committed to other schools have second thoughts, especially some of the local ones? What's the word?

Also, what do you think explains our relatively weak class so far (relative to other Shannon classes, that is)? I mean, NOT ONE five-star commit?

Do you think Shannon's off-season was so focused on this upcoming year and his two incoming coordinators that he wasn't able to put forth his usual effort towards recruiting?

I'm not worried or anything... just curious as I've become a big fan of recruiting these past couple of years, in large part because of YOUR blog! Plus, look at what that legendary 2007 class is doing on the field right now!

Thanks for being THE BEST CANES BEAT WRITER EVER!!!

GO CANES!!!

--CanesFanStuckInCali

P.S. I flew down for the GT game and got to hang out with a few of the players afterwards. I overheard Ray Ray being pissed off about something immediately after the game. Any word on this? I think it had to do with him really wanting to blow out GT by even more points, but I didn't approach him about it since I don't know him that well. Thx!

Posted this on PB Post blog. Thought I would put it here. It just makes me smile:

Wow, The sad little gator fans really do feel the need to troll all blogs to show off their ignorance. Worse than OU fans, and thats saying alot. I’ve said it before and I will say it again; The Canes are down for as long as most teams are up. Look at the gators and USC. From 1996 (start there since canes played for NC in 1994 and were still pretty good in 1995) thru 1998 the Canes were down and the gators were up. From 2006 (since the Canes were highly ranked until loss to GT in 2005) thru 2008 the Canes were down and the gators and trojans were up. Other than those two 3 year periods, the Canes have been the overall most dominating team, by far, in college football. Gator fans say the canes can’t live in the past, but what have the mighty gators done this year? They sound just like the OU fans, flapping their gums about beat UM decisively last year (OU beat UM worse than the gators, obviously), if you want to live in the past, fine lets do it. You (mostly UF fans but also OU fans) better enjoy beating UM last year. If I was a fan of a team that had been beaten by UM so thoroughly, for so long, that we had to drop them from our yearly schedule, I would savor a victory over UM, even in a down year for UM, for as long and as loudly as I could too. 1 victory over UM every 20+ years? Hahaha! Yes I know, “But the SEC and Big12 are so tough” you say. Yes I know your schedules are brutal. Troy, Ga Southern, FIU, Vandy, Kentucky, Baylor, Kansas, Iowa, etc.. Wow, I am getting scared just typing those names! I will ask again, Would UF, OU, Alabama, Texas or any other flavor of the day be willing to trade your ‘brutal’ schedule for UM’s ’soft’ schedule? Thought not. Enjoy what is left of your little, once every 10-20 year run on top gator (and sooner) fans, order is being restored to college football, and the NC Trophy is on it’s way back to where it belongs, in Coral Gables. With any luck you might get to play for it again someday, like 10-20 years! Hahahaha!!!

P.S. When your team plays for the NC 9 times (should have been 10, even Bowden admits UM should have played in the 2000 game)over a 26 year period, gator idiots, then you can use the word Dynasty. ‘83,’86,’87,’89,’91,’92,’94,’01,’02. THAT is a Dynasty! Suck on that gator fans!!! HAHAHA!!
GO CANES!!!

Actually, since UM's last appearance in the national championship game was in 2002, that means they played in 9 NCG's over 20 seasons. Even better. This year will be #10 in 27 seasons. Hahaha!!! DYNASTY!!!

Sheeneman you can add the Flutie game to that list. We would have been crowned champs had we won in 84.

On target Manny---
I live in VA.and I am a Cane:
1. Never underestimate an opponent, especially a Beamer and Foster coached team.
2. VT has NOT played up to their potential.
3. UM brings out the best in VT.
4. The game is in Lane Stadium .
5. VT is having a Special T-Shirt Day for UM.
6. National Stage, big crowd, away game AND
CANES WIN...IF the OL continues to play steady. VT is tough in the front and LB.
It is really down to the chess match between Whipple and Foster and whose guys execute.
Again----CANES WIN. See you all in Bblacksburg.

Sorry Manny...I watched the Virginia Tech/Nebraska game start to finish. This is not the Hokie team of old. Of course we can always beat ourselves with key penalties and turnovers, but these Hokies aren't good enough to beat us.

Posted by: CaneSniper | September 23, 2009 at 06:39 PM

Attitudes like that can get us in trouble. Yes we need to be confident, but we also have to respect that on any given day letting down your guard to your competition can result in them taking one from you. You can never underestimate your opponent. Look what happened to USC at Washington. Va Tech isn't as bad as Washington! Stay focused and don't take anything for granted.

Yep Lane stadium's a top 5 place to play in the country. I'm with 'Canes in the House.

THE U M SHOULD NOT FEAR ANY TEAM, BUT RESPECT THEM AND THEIR TALENT. VIRGINIA TECH REMINDS ME OF SOME OF THE OLD TEAMS THAT APOPKA HIGH USE TO HAVE WHERE THEY WOULD JUST POUND THE BALL AND RUN YOU INTO THE GROUND.IF YOU HAD A WEAK OFFENSE AND YOUR DEFENSE HAD TO STAY ON THE FIELD. THEY WOULD SIMPLY WEAR YOUR DEFENSE OUT. FORTUNATELY MIAMI HAS A VERY POTENT OFFENSE AND A GOOD DEFENSE. MY ONLY HONEST CONCERN IS THE KICKOFF TEAM OF MIAMI. VT IS A GOOD TEAM AND THEY NEED TO START AS FAR AWAY ON THEIR ON TERRITORY WHEN RECIEVING THE BALL. WE SEEM TO BE MISSING A LOT OF TACKLES ON KICK OFFS. HOPEFULLY THAT CAN BE REMEDIED. PSALMS 100

http://www.beamerball.com/2009photos/miamiflyover.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AH-1_SuperCobra

all for U …
SuperCobra flyover …

BIG GUNS

You all should have faith in RS to keep the team focused, if you follow his plan he recruits players not with the best talent, but with the best attitude and team play.

Cane in the House nailed it, plus this is a rivalry game, throw the records out and strat the rockin' can't wait great test again.

I'm a die hard Canes fan in Virginia. There's nothing worse for me than Miami not faring well against the Hokies. If it were up to me VT would never win another game. There are quite a few Hokie fans that run their mouth constantly. I always tell them when they win something, anything at all, then you can talk trash. Until then, shut up! Anyway, one other thing to take note of is going to be the weather. At this point, the forecast for Saturday's game is not too friendly. They are forecasting it to be 58 - 62 degrees with periods of heavy rain. I know UM practices in the rain all the time but when it's in the 50's it's a cold rain. It's a good thing that Jacory throws a real catchable ball. Let's go CANES!!! Give the Hokies good old fashion "Miami beatdown"!!!!

We're also forgetting that VT has always had an inferiority complex when it comes to UM, even in the days when they were winning. They always seemed surprised that they were winning because they always expected to be losing. They're gonna come out hard against us with a chip on their shoulder. Even the greatest team to ever play college football (UM 2001) went up to Lane Stadium with the Rose Bowl bid on the line and left with only a 2 point victory.

We have the horses this year, but playing in Lane Stadium is like running through mud. The fastest guy will still win, but not nearly by as much as anywhere else. We have to play hard and stay focused.

But it sounds like this team has that covered. We'll see.

Go Canes!

Manny, as long as we do not beat ourselves, we win the game.

Man I was pumped about this game and I still am, but that weather forecast for saturday does scare me a bit...

Game will be won or lost on the line of scrimmage. Stop the run and protect Jacory, and we win...Simple as that...

Manny,

U didn't mention the weather... They are calling for mid to high 50's all day with a 60% chance of rain...

This could be a problem, as it would play right into the Hokies hands and allow for the game to be more of their speed... Defense and running the ball...

I have a feeling that we are going to have to depend on James and Coop to win us this game, because the potential weather conditions are not inducive for airing it out

VA Canes Fan,

U beat me to it with the weather, as I didn't read the posts before writing mine...

Weather could be a mess, but I have faith that we can with the battle for the trenches against this team. Our O & D lines have done a fairly good job in the first 2 games and such a situation would present an opportunity for them to really grow and perform.

When Tyrod Taylor scrambles, the rushers need to attack him, not just maintain status quo with opposing blockers. That's what killed Nebraska. Go U.

this team learned last year after the ga tech game to never take your enenmy likely. this team knows what its like to be the talk of the town than have it ripped from your stomach. this is a whole new monster.

yes this team is young but, the expiernce these players learned last year was important to the success this team is having now. we will respect them but, not fear them. this team is humble to go along with great confidence is a deadly combo. we are the U.

Hey Manny,

Where has Sean Spence been? I was counting on seeing him lay out those punishing hits like he did last year. He's been kinda quiet this year around the ball. Hopefully its not a sophmore slump.

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