2005 Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Ohio

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No real surprise last week as Tech dominated an outmanned Duke squad, though
I expected at least some offense from the Blue Devils. This week�s game
against Ohio looks similar with Tech clearly having superior personnel. However,
Ohio has a couple of playmakers to watch � wide receiver Scott Mayle and
cornerback Dion Byrum � so the Bobcats may make a game of it, at least for a
little while.

Looking back at the Duke game, here�s how the actual statistics compared to
the projections:

Virginia Tech at Duke

Virginia Tech

Duke

Projected

Actual

Projected

Actual

First Downs

21

22

10

5

Rushing Attempts � Yards

47-229

44-180

30-57

35-13

Passing Completions � Attempts

13-21

13-22

14-26

5-18

Passing Yards

202

182

129

22

Turnovers

2

1

3

1

Sacks By

4

5

2

2

Projected scoring:


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


Actual scoring:


Virginia Tech   14    7   14   10 -- 45
Duke             0    0    0    0 --  0

Statistically, the game played out as projected with Tech dominating the Blue
Devils in all aspects of the game. The biggest surprise was the futility of the
Duke offense with only 5 first downs and no passing game at all. I expected Tech
to dominate the line-of-scrimmage, but I thought the Blue Devils would at least
make a couple of plays in the passing game. Tech�s offensive statistics were a
little lower than projected, but that was probably due to the coaching staff �gearing
down� the offense once the game was in hand. Now on to Ohio�

Ohio will try to use a diversified option attack to move the ball on Tech,
which will likely result in slightly better results than Duke, but the Bobcats
will still not move the ball consistently. Ohio will try to set up big pass
plays for speedster Scott Mayle (4.23 40) and hope that the defense can keep
Tech from dominating the line-of-scrimmage and controlling the ball. However,
Tech is simply too big and too fast for the outmanned Bobcats and I expect this
game to essentially be decided in the first half, similar to the Duke game.

Here is my projected box score for the game:

2005 Projection

Virginia Tech

Ohio

First Downs

19

9

Rushing Attempts � Yards

44-163

28-51

Passing Completions � Attempts

14-24

12-26

Passing Yards

170

127

Turnovers

1

2

Sacks By

5

3

Tech looks to dominate the game, but the offensive statistics are a bit lower
than projected last week. Ohio looks to be a better defensive squad than Duke
and should give the Hokies some trouble in moving the ball. Here is my projected
scenario for this game:

In a rare occurrence � at least lately – Tech wins the toss and defers to
the second half. Ohio fails to move the ball after starting on its own 20 and
Matt Miller hits an excellent punt that angles out-of-bounds at Tech�s 38-yard
line. Mike Imoh opens the game and immediately breaks off a 22-yard run on a
pitch. Marcus Vick hits Jeff King with an 11-yard pass followed by a 13-yard
slant pass to David Clowney. After a couple of short runs by Mike Imoh, Vick
hits Justin Harper on third down for a 14-yard touchdown. Brandon Pace�s extra
point gives Tech a quick 7-0 lead.

Ohio and Tech exchange punts for the remainder of the first quarter with both
teams only picking up a couple of first downs. The second quarter begins with
Eddie Royal breaking off a nice 27-yard punt return to the Ohio 35-yard line.
Marcus Vick nearly takes it to the house on a thrilling second-and-long option
keeper when he is tripped up at the 4-yard line. Mike Imoh cuts back on a pitch
and scores standing up to make the score 14-0 after Pace�s extra point.

Ohio is forced to abandon the running game, which has been totally stuffed by
Tech thus far. On second-and-10 from their own 20, Austen Everson tests Jimmy
Williams on an out pattern � big mistake! Williams cuts in front of Justin
Fitzgerald to pick off the pass and takes it 28 yards for the score. Pace�s
extra point gives Tech a commanding 21-0 lead.

Tech threatens again before the end of the first half, but an interception by
T.J. Wright in the end zone thwarts the Tech drive. Tech goes into the half with
the same score as the Duke game, 21-0, though it could have been worse.

Tech receives the second half kickoff and Eddie Royal takes the ball at the
1, follows the wedge up the middle and breaks to the outside outracing the Ohio
coverage team for a 99-yard return. Pace�s extra point makes it 28-0 and this
one looks to be in the bag for the Hokies.

Ohio still hasn�t crossed midfield and the option has been relatively
ineffective. The Bobcats are forced to punt again and Tech takes over on its own
35. Cedric Humes has a couple of nice runs as Tech crosses the 50. On first down
at the 49, Vick pump fakes to Royal and hits Eddie in stride on the hitch-and-go
as Ohio�s corner, Dion Byrum, bit on the fake. Tech takes a 35-0 lead after
Pace�s extra point and the starters can call it a day.

The remainder of the third quarter has little offense with the only
excitement being a couple of Brandon Ore runs. In the fourth quarter Ohio mounts
their first serious threat finally getting the ball across midfield. Everson
hits Mayle down to the 31-yard line, but Tech�s defense stiffens with Noland
Burchette recording a big sack to stop the Bobcats� drive.

Tech responds with George Bell pounding out some tough yards and picking up a
pair of first downs. Tech has a first down on Ohio�s 43-yard line, when Cory
Holt pitches to Brandon Ore who turns the corner, eludes a couple of defenders
and takes it to the house. Pace�s extra point gives Tech a 42-0 lead and that
score holds as neither team mounts another serious scoring threat. Tech picks up
a relatively easy win in the Hokies� home opener and begins to prepare for a
tough Georgia Tech game.


Ohio              0    0    0    0 --  0
Virginia Tech     7   14   14    7 -- 42

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