2005 Game Projection: Virginia Tech at Duke

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Last week�s Virginia Tech � N.C. State game went basically as predicted with the game tied 13-13 going into the
fourth quarter and the outcome decided by a big touchdown pass from Marcus Vick to David Clowney. The fake punt was a
surprise and Brandon Pace missed a late field goal, or my prediction would have been right on the nose. Let�s take a
quick look at the projected statistics in the game and how they compared to the actual game:




Virginia Tech at N.C. State

Virginia Tech

N.C. State

Projected

Actual

Projected

Actual

First Downs

14

16

14

21

Rushing Attempts � Yards

42-122

41-124

35-107

29-127

Passing Completions � Attempts

9-20

10-21

14-26

27-44

Passing Yards

119

108

153

311

Turnovers

1

0

4

3

Sacks By

3

2

4

3

Projected scoring:


Virginia Tech 7 3 3 10 — 23
N.C. State 10 0 3 0 — 13

Actual scoring:


Virginia Tech 7 3 3 7 — 20
N.C. State 7 6 0 3 — 16

Not too shabby, if I say so myself. The major difference in the projection was the passing yardage for N.C. State,
which could be attributed mainly to some uncharacteristic poor tackling by Tech and the difficulty in reading and
reacting to the new west coast offense employed by the Wolfpack. Overall, the game played out basically how I thought it
would. Now on to Duke�

As I stated in the match-ups article, Virginia Tech clearly has the better personnel in this game and I would expect
a conservative game plan that relies on the Hokies dominating the line of scrimmage. Duke will give Tech some new looks
and try to “out-scheme” the Hokies, but the difference in talent should make this game one-sided with the
result being decided by the half.

Here is my projected box score for the game:

2005 Projection

Virginia Tech

Duke

First Downs

21

10

Rushing Attempts � Yards

47-229

30-57

Passing Completions � Attempts

13-21

14-26

Passing Yards

202

129

Turnovers

2

3

Sacks By

4

2

Also, just as a reminder of last year, here are results from Virginia Tech�s 41-17 win:

2004 Game Results

Virginia Tech

Duke

First Downs

21

11

Rushing Attempts � Yards

45-250

42-108

Passing Completions � Attempts

13-25

6-20

Passing Yards

172

89

Turnovers

2

2

Sacks By

2

4

Last year Tech outgained Duke 422 to 197 and this year�s projection is about the same � 431 to 186. Barring
numerous mistakes by the Hokies, this game has the makings of a rout. So, what is actually going to happen in the game?
Here is my projected scenario:

Virginia Tech 38, Duke 10

A fired-up Duke squad holds the Hokies on the first two drives, but the Blue Devils cannot generate any offense
either, thus the game begins with an exchange of punts. Tech finally mounts some offense behind the powerful running of
Cedric Humes, driving 72 yards on 13 plays capped by a 4 yard run by Humes. Brandon Pace�s extra point gives Tech a
7-0 lead with about 3 minutes left in the first quarter.




However, Duke explodes right back on a 58-yard kickoff return by Chris Davis giving the Blue Devils excellent field
position. Mike Schneider hits tight end Ben Patrick on a 13-yard pass and a couple of tough runs by Justin Boyle take
Duke to the Hokie 22-yard line. The drive stalls, however, and the Blue Devils settle on a 39-yard field goal by
freshman Joe Surgan to make the score Virginia Tech 7, Duke 3 as the first quarter ends.

A nice 32-yard kickoff return by Eddie Royal gives Tech the ball on the 35-yard line and the Hokies continue to pound
the ball with Mike Imoh getting the bulk of the carries on this drive. An exciting 17-yard scramble by Marcus Vick and
15-yard pass to Josh Hyman highlight the 11-play 65-yard drive capped by a 7-yard touchdown run by Imoh. Pace�s extra
point makes the score 14-3 Tech with the Hokies clearly establishing the line of scrimmage.

The defense stiffens and following a 20-yard punt return by Royal take over at the Duke 41. After a Humes 3-yard run,
Vick hits Hyman on a beautiful 38-yard post pattern to put Tech up 20-3. Pace�s extra point makes the score 21-3 and
the Hokies are clearly in control.

Another defensive stand by Tech and a punt return to midfield give the Hokies excellent field position again. Mike
Imoh runs three straight times for 19 yards and Tech is rolling. A short pass to Eddie Royal and another Imoh run gives
Tech a third and two at the 23-yard line, but Vick is sacked on third down on a safety blitz by Chris Davis putting Tech
back at the 30-yard line. Pace hits the 47-yard field goal and the Hokies now lead 24-3.

Tech holds again after Duke gets one first down, taking over on their own 37-yard line. Tech runs the option, which
is stuffed by Duke for no gain. On second down, Vick goes up top to hit a streaking Eddie Royal down the left sideline
for a 63-yard touchdown. Pace�s extra point makes the score 31-3 as the half winds down and Virginia Tech is warming
up the back-ups.

Marcus Vick only plays one series in the second half before handing the reigns over to Sean Glennon. Tech moves the
ball on the ground with George Bell and Branden Ore getting the bulk of the carries. Twice the Hokies penetrate the Duke
side of the field, but both of the drives stall. Late in the third quarter, Tech takes over on the 22-yard line and the
Hokies drive 78 yards on 14 plays with George Bell bowling over two defenders to score from 4 yards out. Glennon looks
sharp hitting a couple of third-down passes to Jeremy Gilchrist and Bell gains 41 yards on 8 carries on the drive. Pace�s
extra point gives Tech a commanding 38-3 lead.

Duke bounces back once again on a big kickoff return, this time by Ronnie Drummer. Schneider hits a couple of big
passes to Ronnie Elliott and Jomar Wright to put the Blue Devils inside the 10. A swing pass to Cedric Dargan and two
tough runs by Justin Boyle get the Blue Devils into the end zone. Surgan�s extra point makes the score 38-10 and that
scores holds up as neither team generates much offense on their final drives.

Overall, a solid win by Virginia Tech with the offensive and defensive lines playing well. Tech does a much better
job picking up receivers in the short passing game and the defense looks dominant overall. Tech�s passing game looks
sharp and the only negative is the two interceptions thrown � one each by Marcus Vick and Sean Glennon, though the
Hokies caused three turnovers on two fumbles and an interception by Roland Minor. Tech picks up its second ACC win to
open the season and prepares for a short home stand.

Virginia Tech 7 24 0 7 — 38
Duke 3 0 0 7 — 10

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