Game Preview: Virginia Tech Looks to Take Back the Commonwealth Cup

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Hendon Hooker Virginia Tech
Hendon Hooker scores on a 34-yard run in Charlottesville in last season’s streak-busting loss. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech vs. Virginia

Virginia comes to Blacksburg for the season finale against Virginia Tech.  For the first time since 2004, the Commonwealth Cup will be arriving in the possession of UVA.  That’s a strange feeling, and a feeling that Virginia Tech’s players should want to put right as quickly as possible.

Both teams come into this game going in opposite directions.  The Hokies started the season 3-1, but have since fallen to 4-6 after losing four in a row.  Meanwhile, UVA started off 1-4, but they’ve since run off four victories in a row.

Virginia Tech hasn’t lost five football games in a row since 1992, when they ended the season on a 5-game skid. *A loss to the Hoos on Saturday would mean a 5-game losing streak for the first time since that season…a year in which some of you reading this article weren’t even born.

(*The Hokies actually went eight straight games without winning that year, with losing streaks of two games and five games broken up by a 13-13 tie to NC State.)

Brennan Armstrong Virginia
Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong reaches for a touchdown against UNC. (ANDREW SHURTLEFF, THE DAILY PROGRESS)

Brennan Armstrong: The Most Dangerous QB On The Schedule?

UVA signal caller Brennan Armstrong (6-2, 215, So.) is the first player in school history to put up back-to-back 400-yard passing games.  He did so against overmatched Abilene Christian, which is one thing, but then he came back last week and did it against an ACC opponent in Boston College, which is completely different. 

It’s not just his passing that makes Armstrong dangerous.  He also leads the Hoos in rushing yards, and he happens to be the only player in FBS this season who has gone over 200+ passing yards and 45+ rushing yards six times in the same game.  For the season he has completed 59.5% of his passes for 1,858 yards, with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions while also rushing for 529 yards (4.8 ypc) and five more touchdowns.  Armstrong is also left-handed, which will be a different look for the Virginia Tech defense.

The traditional stats are there, and so are the advanced metrics.  He’s No. 3 in the ACC in overall QB grades with a score of 91.4, which trails only Sam Howell (92.5) and Trevor Lawrence (91.9).  He’s also the No. 1 graded running quarterback in the conference with a score of 80.0, ahead of guys like Malik Cunningham, Hendon Hooker and and D’Eriq King.

For as much credit as Bryce Perkins got last season, Armstrong makes them a better offense on balance.  Here’s how he ranks in some other advanced metrics against other ACC quarterbacks…

Deep Ball%: No. 4 in the ACC
Under Pressure%: No. 7 in the ACC
Kept Clean%: No. 10 in the ACC

You can make an argument that Armstrong is a better quarterback under pressure.  His competition percentage in a clean pocket ranks just No. 10 out of ACC quarterbacks (minimum 150 drop backs), while seven of his nine interceptions have come from a clean pocket.  With that in mind, how much will the Hokies try to blitz on Saturday night?

Billy Kemp IV in action against Boston College. (ERIN EDGERTON/THE DAILY PROGRESS)

Skill Positions: Players To Watch

For as much as Bronco Mendenhall has improved UVA in the trenches, his quarterbacks have never been surrounded by dynamic talent.  UVA’s receivers are solid, but unspectacular.  The best is Billy Kemp IV (5-9, 170) who leads the team with 58 catches for 571 yards (9.8 ypr) and one TD.  Kemp is a good possession receiver, but he’s not much of a big play threat.  He can line up on the outside (316 snaps), in the slot (120 snaps), and he’s even lined up in the backfield for 30 snaps this season.

Terrell Jana (6-0, 200, Sr.) has been around for a long time, and he has 33 catches for 399 yards and one touchdown on the season.  Tight end Tony Poljan (6-7, 265, Sr.) has had a big year with 33 receptions for 345 yards and five touchdowns.

UVA’s best big play threat is freshman Lavel Davis Jr. (6-7, 210, Fr.).  He has 17 catches for 440 yards, which is a whopping 25.9 yards per catch.  Like Poljan, he also has five touchdowns.  Davis wasn’t a highly-touted recruit out of South Carolina, picking the Hoos over just one other Power 5 program (Georgia Tech), but he’s a good example of one of the top traits that Bronco Mendenhall seems to value in his football players: size (with the exception of Billy Kemp, I suppose).

At tailback, look for Wayne Taulapapa (5-9, 210, Jr.) and Shane Simpson (5-11, 200, Sr.) to carry the load.  They are solid backs, but unspectacular, and they have trouble generating big plays.  Here are their season numbers…

Taulapapa: 86 carries, 387 yards, 4.5 ypc, 5 TDs
Simpson: 52 carries, 256 yards, 4.9 ypc, 2 TDs

Simpson’s longest run on the season is 29 yards, while Taulapapa’s longest scamper is a mere 19.  The Hoos rank No. 70 nationally in running plays of 20+ yards, and those running backs are less likely to hurt the Hokies than the other backs Tech has faced this season.

The Offensive Line: Solid Across The Board

UVA doesn’t have a standout offensive lineman this year, as the Hokies have with guys like Christian Darrisaw and Luke Tenuta.  However, the Hoos are solid across the board, ranking No. 1 in the ACC in pass blocking grade and No. 4 in run blocking grade. 

The player who may stand out to you the most is massive right tackle Ryan Swoboda (6-10, 325, Jr.).  He will be matched up against Justus Reed.  The Hoos only have one senior on the entire two-deep of their offensive line, so this group should be good again next season.

Defense: Big And Tough Up Front

Despite the recent loss of linebacker Charles Snowden in a pointless game against Abilene Christian, UVA is a big, strong, tough football team up front.  They have a lot of size on the defensive line, and they have plenty of length at the linebacker spots.

Here’s a screenshot of UVA’s depth chart up front…

That unit is a big part of UVA’s 3rd-ranked ACC rushing defense, per Pro Football Focus.  However, the Hoos still lag quite a bit behind Clemson and Pitt in overall grades, and here’s what Virginia Tech running back Khalil Herbert was able to do against those two defenses…

Pitt: 9 carries, 72 yards
Clemson: 21 carries, 96 yards

Herbert could have had a 100-yard day against Pitt had the game not been a rout, and he was very close to topping the century mark against the Tigers.  I think he’ll find some running room against UVA, and how well the Hokies are able to move the ball as a team will depend on balance.  To be balanced, they have to get some things going through the air.  Which makes us to the next section…

Free safety Joey Blunt lays a hit in the Boston College game. (ERIN EDGERTON/THE DAILY PROGRESS)

Coverage: Virginia’s Achilles’ Heel

Virginia’s defense is solid, and even quite good in some places, though they do have one notable weakness according to PFF ratings.  Here are their defensive rankings in the ACC across all the key metrics…

Overall: No. 6
Rushing: No. 3
Tackling: No. 7
Pass Rush: No. 3
Coverage: No. 14

The Hoos rank next to last in the ACC with a coverage grade of 49.8.  They are the only team below a 50, and one of only three teams below a 60 (UNC and Georgia Tech being the others).  If you’re a Tech fan, you probably think the Hokies’ coverage has been lousy this year, and it certainly has been at times.  However, Tech has a coverage grade of 66.2 (eighth in the ACC), which is miles ahead of UVA.

That said, UVA could get a boost from senior safety Joey Blount (6-1, 205, Sr.).  He was a candidate for All-ACC honors this year, but he has only played in four games due to injury.  Blount returned last week against Boston College for his first extensive action since the Clemson game way back on October 3.  Blount had a solid day against the Eagles, considering there had to have been some rust involved, so he should be starting to round into form.

Still, Blount is just one man on a defense that has struggled to be efficient defending the pass this season.  Virginia Tech has been able to generate multiple big plays in the passing game this year with their misdirection approach, but that approach has only worked in situations where the game is close and the Hokies have the threat of a run.  They struggle when they fall behind and the other team knows they are going to throw.  Tech needs to be able to hit some big plays in the passing game early, and they need to remain within striking distance for four quarters for the passing game to be effective.

Virginia Tech-UVA Final Thoughts

Back in 2003, I sat in Scott Stadium and watched Virginia beat Virginia Tech.  I was only 20 years old, but I remember a UVA fan several rows in front of me who snuck in an entire bottle of bourbon.  By the end of the game, that entire bottle was empty.  That guy was as hammered as it gets.  He wasn’t arrested, but he got escorted out of the section by police.

What I’ve always wondered about that guy was whether or not he actually remembered the game?  If he doesn’t remember it, then boy oh boy, the next 15 years must have been brutal.  If he didn’t remember the experience and the feeling from 2003, then he went into the 2019 game not having experienced beating the Hokies since 1998.

Beating Tech last year was a new experience for that guy, and for many other UVA fans, not to mention the players and the coaches. Likewise, losing to UVA was a different experience for Hokie fans, players and coaches.  There are Tech fans and UVA fans who weren’t old enough to remember the last time the Hoos beat the Hokies.  It had been that long.

How do they all handle this new situation?  How do the UVA coaches and players handle being the hunted rather than being the hunters?  I do know how Justin Fuente is handling it.  On Sunday, he got the Virginia Tech team together and showed them a play-by-play account of the 2019 VT-UVA game and highlighted the plays where he thought the Hoos played harder than the Hokies.  That was a really close game, showing them that video cut up is basically like telling them “we lost the game because UVA wanted to win it more than you did.”

If you’re the proper kind of competitor, then that’s a gut punch, so hopefully the Hokies come out fired up, and they win the battle of “who wants it most” this time around.  Of course, football is about more than emotion.  It’s about talent, speed, strength, execution, and discipline.  Tech just has to go out and play better than the Hoos.

Of course, the other storyline this week is Justin Fuente’s tenure.  Is he going to get fired, or is he going to get another year?  I don’t know, but I don’t think the UVA game will influence it either way.  It’s going to come down to things like buyouts, who Whit Babcock feels he could get to replace him, BOV approval, and stuff like that. 

I’ll worry about that on Sunday morning.  For now, I just hope the Hokies win.  If the Cup comes back to Blacksburg, that will help the situation.  No, it won’t help Fuente.  No, it won’t help recruiting.  No, it won’t send Tech to a great bowl destination.  But it would improve the mood of the fanbase, even if only for a day or two, and I want to see Tech fans feeling good about themselves.  I’d also like for Fuente to go out a winner, if it does turn out to be his last game.  For whatever errors he’s made, he’s a hard-working guy, there is no hint of scandal in his programs, he doesn’t cheat, and he’s given us some good moments in his tenure.

I think UVA is better, and they should win the game.  Two years ago, I thought UVA was better (and still do), and Tech won.  Last year I thought the Hokies should have won the game (and still do) but they lost.  If that trend continues, then Virginia Tech will take the Commonwealth Cup back on Saturday night.

Prediction: UVA 31, Virginia Tech 24

Will Stewart’s Take: Want to hear a weird stat? In the last five games, starting with the Louisville game, the Hokies are only 1-4. That’s not the weird part. The weird part is that over that stretch, Virginia Tech has completed 71.4 percent of their passes (80-112) for 1,082 yards, 10 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 178.5, which would rank No. 10 in the nation if it was an individual passer stat for the whole season.

It sounds like I’m making a point there, but I’m really not. I just randomly decided to run the stat.

Back on point: during Virginia Tech’s 1-4 stretch in the last five games, the Hokies have practiced the art of (1) losing close games because of coaching failures and player errors; and (2) collapsing in games that were close to a point … then weren’t.

I could bore you with the details, but that’s not the focus of this article. The focus is to get in, make a prediction, and get out.

It’s not like the Hokies are a HEMI V-8, but they have at times fired on anywhere from two cylinders to six or seven cylinders. They just can’t seem to hold it together for 60 minutes, either from a coaching perspective or a player perspective. The pieces are there – I guess that’s the point of the passing stat from above – but the puzzle won’t go together.

To beat UVA, it needs to.

The Cavs aren’t world beaters. They’re just a solid, big, physical team with a QB that no one knows about who is playing good football. When I put together the roster card, I was surprised to find that Brennan Armstrong is their leading rusher. I think Wayne Taulapapa is a good football player, and to find out that he only has 387 yards, and that Armstrong has outrushed him by 142 yards (including sacks!) … well, all righty then.

Like I often do in these previews, I’m babbling a bit. To sum it up, the Hoos won’t keep anyone up at night, but they’re tough, and if Virginia Tech doesn’t put together a complete game, without melting down or going into the tank or making critical coaching or player errors, the Hokies will lose.

I just can’t bring myself to pick Virginia to win. Can’t do it. This is a pretty even matchup. I’m pinning my hopes on Virginia Tech getting close to eight cylinders involved the majority of the time. Dicey proposition, I know.

Will’s Prediction: Virginia Tech 31, Virginia 24

Look at that: same score as Chris, but the other way around.

Now here’s an opportunity to tell us what you think, plus a look at last week’s prediction poll. (Gosh, y’all really went out on a limb there.)

What's your prediction for the 2020 Virginia Tech-UVA game?

  • Hokies Win by 11+ (13%, 204 Votes)
  • Hokies Win by 1-10 (43%, 686 Votes)
  • Cavs Win by 1-10 (29%, 455 Votes)
  • Cavs Win by 11+ (16%, 248 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,593

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Last Game’s Virginia Tech-Clemson Prediction Poll Results

Game Result: Clemson 45, Virginia Tech 10

What's your prediction for the 2020 Virginia Tech-Clemson game?

  • Hokies Win by 11+ (3%, 36 Votes)
  • Hokies Win by 1-10 (5%, 56 Votes)
  • Clemson Wins by 1-10 (3%, 33 Votes)
  • Clemson Wins by 11+ (89%, 1,034 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,159

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84 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. i read this article after watching the game. I wanted to see how Chris and Will had made predictions, After four losses I had lost interest in reading the prediction but I have not lost interest in the hokies. Will nailed it somewhat. Hindsight is always 2020 but he did pick the hokies even though he thought the game would be closer. I expected the game to be as close as the last two years. The defense was awesome and the offense played great in the first half and well enough to increase the lead in the second half. Armstrong may have had better stats than Perkins during Perkins last two years but Armstrong was not the playmaker against the hokies that Perkins was in 18 and 19. awesome game and I am hoping Fue gets another year. Go hokies!

  2. Take it off line guys. I really don’t give a hoot about getting around your bickering so I can read pertinent posts.

  3. I feel like VT is the most balanced team overall – if the coaches can coach and the players come to fight. IT basically comes down to that.

  4. Good Hokie Morning to all! Wow…I missed all of yesterday’s fireworks caused by CC’s continued accurate portrayal of Hokie Football, its fan base (in general) and the potential for change. I am just another subscriber who enjoys the perspectives by both Will and Chris. I guess that’s why I support TSL.

  5. 11/29/03- I was in combat. Wow that was a long time ago!

    Back by Christmas though bc I remember watching the bowl game go back and forth with scores (if that was the one)- whoever scored last won.

  6. Really Believe ball bounces our way vs Hoos. Running game is key for Hokie Win and believe that we can run the ball with Herbert vs Hoos, as noted by many must win turnover battle and pin Hoos QB deep in his own territory, thus limiting his offense…

    As for the comment Section: CBD oil helps calm down folks in full melt down and anxiety mode whilst helping you calm down by taking the edge off… just sayin’ for folks needing to calm down…

    Let’s Go…Hokies!!!
    BEAT the blue/orange stuffing out of the hoos!!!

  7. Sounds like Reston Hokie2 has had more then 2 Blue Moons. You keep mentioning the toxic comments by disgruntled Tech fans and yours are the most toxic I have read. You are taking some real cheap shots at CC that are not warranted. CC as well as you and others are entitled to an opinion but you are not entitled to be taking it personal. Good riddance you have canceled your TSL subscription, maybe cancel your internet service ad well. BTW I have no idea what should happen with JF because we don’t have all the facts but evidently you do.

    1. Fuente isn’t getting fired. Let’s take in some fresh oxygen. Hokies don’t have the cache or the cash to make the move. It’s a $20M dollar gamble that’s just unrealistic. And if Whit does something drastic, you guys will be calling for the next guy up to be fired too by year 2 or 3.

      1. Okay, let’s take that one by one…

        “Fuente isn’t getting fired’

        And how do you know that? Do you have a source, or is that just what you THINK should happen? There are trustworthy people with good sources who say something is very likely to happen. Do you have a good source that says otherwise? Word is, there are some big money donors who have put the money together.

        ‘And if Whit does something drastic, you guys will be calling for the next guy up to be fired too by year 2 or 3”

        Fuente is in year 5. And 5 years is enough to see a decreasing trend line in wins, and decreasing recruiting rankings. The next guy? I think we know whoever is next is going to have to tear it down to the studs, and most are aware it can mean two really bad years until it starts to get better.

        I think Reston is saving a seat for you…

        1. teaysvalleyhokie: I grew up near the intersection of Bills Creek Rd and Teays Valley Rd. Wow i think you completely misunderstood what phoenixhokie was trying to say. Correct me if I am wrong, phoenixhokie. But, spending even $10M to fire Fuente makes no sense. Especially since you, CC, dtcummi will be making toxic comments about the new coach. As I have said before, I left this site in 2013 because of the toxic comments. Even then you guys were spitting at Frank Beamer. Simply put, you guys are toxic no matter who is coach. Me? I simply love Hokie sports, including golf, swimming, soccer and yes football and basketball. Life is too short to get all twisted up over a game. It’s a game and on Sunday there is basketball. I feel sorry for you and the other guys here because you can’t just take a deep breath and enjoy life.

      2. I’m with you. This year is just too weird to base a firing decision. Look at Penn St, Michigan and others. The results of these games don’t make any sense due to COVID. I’m sorry but Fuente gets a pass from me this season.

        1. I am with you mikren. This season is simply too weird. You would think that VT are dead last in the conference. Presently, VT is in 10th place, a win against UVA puts VT in 8th may 9th place depending on how Wake does. Then again, BC and Pitt are 5-5. Were VT to win over UVA then it is a 3 way tie for 6th place. BC beat Pitt who beat VT who beat BC. Except for bowl games cancelling out, the guys could earn a bowl bid with a win over UVA. Go figure. Florida State, Duke, and Syracuse have only one win. Louisville 2. The issue becomes among the folks here is to some folks the glass is half empty and to others half full. Me I prefer half full.

    2. dtcummi … I didn’t take it personal. Mine is the most toxic??? Cheap shots at CC??? WOW. My goal was to start a discussion where I took all the heat from folks like you and CC and others could comment on the toxic environment here. Nope I will continue with my internet service. But clearly dtcummi you have your head soooooo far up your a$$ you see the world through your belly button. How is the smell up there

        1. I don’t have a boss I am president of my own company. My wife no. She is Ukrainian and would kick my a$$.

  8. Ah, yes… the 4th Year Fifth tradition, where Seniors (as most of us normal folks call them) finish a 750ml bottle of alcohol before the game. Because the Hokies are usually the last game on the regular season schedule, we have the “benefit” of witnessing this tradition. That 2003 game was the last time I set foot in the pergola adorned festival house. It was a miserable experience, though I did enjoy seeing several folks being escorted out.

  9. Beating UVA has a magic way of glossing over transgressions from earlier in any season. Beat UVA and we just chalk the season up to a bizarre set of COVID19/transfer portal/fan-less stands circumstances. Lose to UVA (again) and all bets are off.

    1. Agree, but man what a low point to think beating UVa will make the year worth it. We used to take beating UVa for granted……and it was UVa that said they ONLY needed to beat us to make the whole season worth it. Ugh.

  10. Chris Chris you write as if the vast majority of the Hokie fan base visits this web site and reads your columns … they don’t. You also imply in your writings that the Hokie fan base are upset and want change. They don’t. The ones that do read your column, many are not happy with neither your negative tone nor the toxic fans on this site. You also write as if the VT athletic office takes serious your criticism, suggestions and recommendations. They don’t. Imagine your hand in a bucket of water, now imagine you pull your hand out of the bucket. Did you leave a lasting impression on the water? Nope. The same goes for your recommendation to fire the coach. You say it indirectly, you imply it. No one absolutely no one who impacts that decision is listening. While you may believe you are standing on Whit’s desk swinging a baseball bat, instead you are swinging a toothpick.

    1. Yeah, the fanbase is upset, actually. All I get asked at the gym in Bburg every day…”when are we going to fire Fuente?” Hardly any of those people are TSL subscribers.

      Every tweet in response to VT football on Twitter is “Fire Fuente.” Most of them are not TSL subscribers.

      I even had to tell a few friends from college to stop texting me about “when are we going to fire Fuente.” None of them are TSL subscribers.

      It’s all over the place, and if you can’t see it, you just aren’t looking in very many places.

      1. Wow that is a big sample size Chris. About like the national survey for the election. They survey over 1,000 people to represent the US voter population. Question is are big donors calling for Fuente to be fired? What about Whit. I imagine Whit is more engaged about how he is going recover from this rather giant shortfall in revenue and deciding whether to fire or keep Fuente is something he will consider later. In the meantime, you, the toxic TSL subscribers, Twitter fans can scream and yell all you want. The people who will make the decisions are not listening.

        1. Well, if we’re toxic, then you probably shouldn’t be reading if it makes you that angry. If you don’t like what the preacher is preaching, then find a new church.

          1. I am not angry. I am having fun. That is because I have already cancelled my subscription to TSL and am waiting for this month to run out. I did this before back in 2013, so maybe i will check back in 7 years. Assuming you guys are still in business.

            1. BTW You make a really bad preacher. I imagine if you were a preacher you would preach that God is dead.

              1. Sounds like you could use a hug there lil buddy. Take a breath and relax. Check out the five star anger management center in Reston called Thriveworks. I hear they can do wonders.

                1. Thanks for the advise Turkey Track. But I do not need a hug. Perhaps Chris does since he now thinks he is a preacher. As I said previously I am not angry I am having fun. When I need to relax I go to Nick’s Grill in Ashburn and have a couple of Blue Moon beers. I simply get annoyed when Chris cannot write an article without taking shots at Fuente and sometimes players. I come here for information, not read cheap shots about our coaches, staff, and players. People would say that my Dad could piss off the Pope. I am my Father’s son.

              2. See ya,. You’re flat out wrong about the VT fan base, and maybe YOU have a small sample size. Well, anyway, complaining about sports writers being honest, and letting everyone know you cancelled. This is not an airport, you don’t have to announce your departure.

              3. Buddy you need to relax. Find something else. People are here because they are passionate about VT sports. If you aren’t then so be it but don’t cut off someone’s legs to make you feel taller.

                1. Steeltown I assume you are talking to me. I am just as passionate about VT sports as you. Whose legs have I cut off? Besides you guys are cutting off the legs of the coaches, staff, and players on a daily basis.

        2. Reston is pissed apparently. The funny thing is, I bet that CC’s sample size is A LOT bigger than Reston’s. This is CC’s job, so he has his hand on the pulse of VT athletics, or so he should. Reston is just another disgruntled fan, like the rest of us.

          Just because Reston feels differently than CC, it certainly doesn’t make either point less legitimate.

          Personally, I am in weekly contact with several donors, some of which give more in one year that I have given in 25 years total. And most of these donors are at the age where they don’t read internet articles or even know what TSL is. They all want Fuente gone, and they are in constant communication with Whit.

          Not saying Fu is gone, just stating that the slight majority of fans (donors or not) feel that a change is necessary, this year. No idea what Whit will do, because my dollars don’t move the needle, but as the ole saying goes “cash rules everything around me.”

          1. extremehokie I am not pissed. See my comment above I am having fun. While I do not have a sample size, I did post a comment about all the toxic posts on a different article, and got more positive replies than toxic posters. While CC may have his hand on the pulse of VT athletics I do not believe he has his hand on the pulse of a significant number of Hokie fans. I am not a disgruntled fan, I simply don’t care for CC and others to throw mud at the coaches, players, and staff.

            I appreciate you are in weekly contact with several donors. How many is several? 2? 5? 7? 12 maybe? And, how many significant donors are there? Hmmm?

            I believe it is safe to say that this season in the middle of a Plan-demic is not a usual season. And, I really don’t give a rat’s a$$ what the fan base thinks. It makes no sense to go through the expense of firing Fuente (and his coaches) and bring in a new coaching staff which may or not be better than the one we have. Also, let’s say Whit fires Fuente and the day after many of our best players hit the transfer portal. The players do not, as I recall, sit out a year because their coach was fired. Hmmmm?

            Reminds me of a Texas Hold’em poker game I was in. Four spades on the table, my good friend went all in. He had the queen of spades, and I had the king. Firing Fuente right now with a big deficit in revenue is akin to going all in playing Texas Hold’em

            1. I too am having fun! Man is this that guy you wrote the unhinged article on? Whoever it is, boy, I hope you take your medicine. If you can’t see how toxic of a situation that is brewing, you’re blind. Every comment on every social media post (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) is about firing Fuente. I’ve never seen a situation where fans are commenting on who could be the next coach before the current one is even gone. It’s nuts it’s so toxic.

              Thank gosh we live in America though where everyone can have their own opinion. Simply wrote an article summarizing the current situation and I think they are costing it nicely to be honest. You can choose what to watch and what to believe, but calling out a writer because your large sample size of opinion on VT football in Reston is hardly a sample size. I have UVA friends asking me what’s going on with tech and all they see is posts of pissed off fans and they are curious if Fuente is going to be fired. They have zero interest in our program other than trying to beat us each year and they are aware of it. Enjoy your bubble is Reston and your blue moon, obviously drinking quite a few, that’s my style lol

              1. Seeing how he used the phrase plan-demic I’m going to guess he doesn’t believe in medicine. Definitely sounds like he/she needs help!

                1. 5000 Miles … the so called pandemic is actually a plan-demic. Do a search on a UN event back in October 2019 called Event 201 in Buenos Aires. Then check out Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030. It is the UN blueprint to establish a worldwide socialist government run by the UN. It is not a conspiracy theory. Documents do exist. Also check out the UN World Economic Forum. They have a goal of eliminating personal property by the year 2030. Watched a report the other day that said 20% of the restaurants across the country are out of business. Don’t take my word for it check it out yourself, do homework. BTW I am not the one who needs help.

              2. VTMedic513 … how many folks do you think are Hokie fans? 60,000 at the home games + others who stay home and watch it on TV. Will you accept 100,000? How many people are you seeing on all sources of social media. Would you agree that some who post here also post elsewhere. So how many disgruntled people are posting on social media? 100? 200? 300 maybe? That is significantly less than 1%. You guys remind me of the Cleveland Indians fan played by Dennis Quaid in the movie Major League2.

            2. WE’RE ALL HAVING FUN!!!

              Yay, glad we got that out of the way. Well, at least I am glad you’re having fun griping about a sports writer telling you the truth, and not what you want to hear. If you’re looking for confirmation bias, this is not the site for that kind of fun (see what I did there?)

              1. teaysvalley … yes I am having fun. the sports writer telling me the truth? No my WVa friend, CC is simply providing his opinion. Life is too short to be pissing and moaning all the time. Hmmmmm socialists/progressives/liberals seem unhappy all the time. Maybe the problem is all you guys are liberals. Then again maybe your underwear is giving you a weggie.

            3. Maybe CC has the Ace of Spades? So you and your good friend are both SOL.

              Not sure if you actually play/understand Hold Em but if your scenario was real, you think having the King means you call his all in? position is very important in hold em.

              Wait, maybe that game was cards up, while yall learned the game?

              1. I’d like to take Reston’s money!

                We all hope the Hokies do win Saturday, no matter what anyone, including myself, thinks of Fuente.

                1. Well No_Limit_Hokie …. i don’t want your money. Or given you did bet against the Hokies how about you donate the money to the Hokie Club.

              2. The guy who is a good friend of mine was estatic and bragging he had the ace even before he went all in. He was bragging too much to have the ace. Then again, it was a private tournament, even if he had the ace I would still have gone home with over $300. The entry fee was $75. In the next hand, my down cards were a 7 and 3 … I tend to stay for the flop before throwing in my cards. In the flop were 2 3’s. The turn card was another 3. I managed to get the other guy to go all in. In his hand were a pair of jacks. So I went home with $520. I was playing with people in my company, and a few clients. When we put out the invite email we referred to it as “Risk Management Seminar”.

      2. I agree with you CC. I find your articles to be down the middle as they should be. Obviously, Fu has the program going in the wrong direction. The fan base is upset and the criticism comes with the P5 program and a $4.5 Million Salary. While I agree with RH2, the people that really matter likely don’t read the articles on TSL or the message boards a good percentage of the engaged fan base does. Our opinion does matter in our eventual dollars spent on VT – game attendance, merchandise and donations.
        All that being said, I thought Fu was the wrong guy for the job in year 2, but wanted to give him another 2-3 yrs to prove me wrong. He has the wrong personality to be a HC. He’s too introverted and lacks the confidence and charisma needed. He’s a QB coach (although he doesn’t appear to be good at that either) or a OC. Keep up the good work!!
        Most of all – BEAT THOSE FREAKIN Hoos!!

      3. BTW Chris …. I am not arguing with you and the guys, I am just explaining why I am right. LOL. Found this on a T-Shirt advertisement.

    2. Actually I completely disagree with you. If anything this site is tame compared to what I read on social media or hear from fans about the coach’s performance. Chris has the right to block or ban fans from the site which keeps it from being toxic imo. The coach has underperformed and the program is not trending in the right direction. To ignore that fact tells me one is either naive or just knowingly chooses to ignore reality

      1. You are entitled to your opinion no matter how wrong I think you are. Do you have your head stuck in the sand? All college sports are at risk of blowing away in the wind. Coaches and staff across all sports are taking pay cuts. Some sports may be cancelled impacting coaches, staff, and players. In your OPINION the coach has underperformed and the program is not trending in the right direction. IN YOUR OPINION. And for that Whit should fire his football coach and staff and go looking for replacements, in the middle of a PLAN-demic. Yeah that’s it. My question is what skin do you and Chris have in the game? Huh?

        1. What skin do you have in the game? Is this Fuente? Lmao seriously, this has to be a coach right? I will say it’s definitely not just Chris’ opinion although I’ve not seen him really say what he would prefer. So many people are commenting publicly about firing Fuente. If you say you’re a subscriber or you were but still have access, check all of the boards and scroll back through the week. That’s a tiny sample. Facebook is littered in groups of people wanting him fired, someone even started a go fund me to buy him out. Twitter has so many tweets and comments about it. Men’s basketball would post they won a game and comments would still be “Fire Fuente”. It’s crazy. I thought given covid Fuente would likely be retained as I think he can coach but the more I see on social media and see people tweeting players, coaches, admins, and just in general, how former players are coming out publicly against Fuente (lots of them) I don’t see how he can survive that toxic situation without some type of fan and donor reinvigoration in to the program. When you go from Beamer who would have dinner with fans before Tech Talk live and mingle and buy dinners for people to Fuente who sits in his car until it’s his turn to speak, I just don’t see someone that introverted reengaging the fanbase. So ultimately my point is I believe the fan base and all the negative/toxic comments you say you don’t see will force Whit to make a change.

    3. Jenny, I’m sorry this season hasn’t gone the way Justin had hoped. I feel for you and really hope you and your kids aren’t catching too much flak from the fanbase right now. I’d imagine it has to be tough for you all right now. But I’m sure Justin will land on his feet, and you’ll all be better for it in the long run. Just not likely in Blacksburg

      1. Assuming that’s FLO-HC. That’s definitely an admirable thing to do. Thanks for saying those things. Mighty Hokie of you!

        I do feel bad for them, and the treatment many not be fair, but that kind of wealth comes with both pros and cons, and I guess you could say, collateral damage.

    1. Thank you for your positive attitude. I imagine if you were a console operator on a US Navy ship and went to General Quarters you would look at the radar picture, jump up and scream “WE’RE GONNA DIE!!!” The Hokies just have to stay out of the quicksand and they will be OK.

  11. Do the Hokies believe they can win ANY game at this point? Will they believe they can if they fall behind? Well, I suppose there is always “Hope”.

    1. DKHokie well if they visit this website and read the comments they may very well conclude they cannot win this game.

  12. The crazy thing about that 1992 season is that we started 2-1, with the only loss coming in a narrow 30-27 defeat @ ECU (the Pirates scored with less than a minute to play to win that one). Then we hit the skids in a major way, going winless in the remaining 8 games. I remember that skid well, and it was not fun.

    Especially frustrating was that we lost some incredibly close games that year: lost @ Rutgers 50-49 after giving up a big 4th quarter comeback, lost 13-12 at home to Southern Miss, and lost in the season finale 41-38 vs UVA, after outgaining the Hoos 573-344 yards. Problem was, Tech tossed 5 INTs that day, two of which were returned for TDs. Rough outing, rough season. Really hoping for a W here over HooVA on Saturday, to at least send us into the offseason with a glimmer of hope. We really need this. Go Hokies!!

    1. That is the only season where “we were one play away” made any sense. I recall feeling good about the Team and that they were much better than their record….and then it all started coming together in 1993. Just don’t get anything close to that feeling this year.

  13. I think that this game will be determined by turnovers and boneheaded penalties. The more disciplined team wins.

  14. As always the winning secret is not let Va get up by two scores. As long as we do not become a pass to come back team we will be fine. Win the toss and please receive!

  15. We can’t pass the ball with any consistency. All we can do is run the ball, but UVA has one of the best run defenses in the ACC.

    So we’ll try to run Blackshear sideline to sideline with plenty of negative yardage plays (which I would bet over the past 3 years we lead the country in that). Herbert will get some serviceable yardage, but we will keep trying to run when we are getting limited success, thus stalling the offense.

    UVA gets up early and holds on to win, because Corny can’t devise a consistent game plan when we are behind and need to score.

    Good news is, United Van lines pulls into Blacksburg Sunday.

        1. I don’t want your money. However, since you bet against the Hokies how about giving your money to the Hokie Club. Maybe even in my name? or jointly?

  16. We crapped the bed against Pitt. We had no shot regardless against Clemson. This is the make-up game for the dumpster fire of the season. Fuente puts together a game plan (for once) and we whip the Hoos, and all the Hoos down in Hooville all cry boo-hoo!

  17. Cant let Armstrong get loose too often…CB’s need to stay on their WR’s! Finish the play! No stupid penalties Brock! Killer instinct Fu – get points and lots of them!

    Get the Cup Back!
    Go Hokies!

  18. really difficult to make a prediction not knowing who is going to play and who is not. Injuries and covid make that difficult to figure out. For all I know, injuries may be a big part of the reason VT has done so poorly the last few games. Knowing who is not playing at or near 100 percent is probably the best kept secret in Blacksburg. Plus, I think some players that are intending to go to the NFL next year slack off in their final game or two as they don’t want to risk injury.

  19. With all the strengths attributed to UVA above; them winning their last 4 games vs Tech 4 game losing streak; UVA 5-4 vs Tech at 4-6, I don’t understand how Tech is once again being favored in this game.

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