2006 Monday Thoughts

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It’s hard to believe the Virginia Tech football season is almost half over.
Next week’s “Monday Thoughts” will concentrate on evaluating VT at the
halfway point of the season, but for this week, I’ve got a few random thoughts
on the Hokies, plus some ruminations on the ACC so far this year.

Random Thoughts on the Hokies

Interesting development at linebacker: Last season, Vince Hall easily won
the tackling title for the Hokies, racking up 112 tackles, to 82 for James
Anderson. Aaron Rouse was third with 77, and Xavier Adibi was a distant fourth
behind Hall with 69 tackles. This season? Adibi leads the team through five
games, with 41 tackles, to 38 by Hall.

Hall averaged 8.6 tackles per game last year, but has dropped off to 7.6 this
season. Adibi has raised his per-game average from 5.3 to 8.2, and that’s why he
has overtaken Hall. Aaron Rouse is third again this year in tackles with 24, far
behind Hall and Adibi, and his per-game average has dropped from 5.9 to 4.8.

Last season, whip linebacker James Anderson finished second in tackles and
averaged 6.3 per game, but this season’s whip, Brenden Hill, is sixth in tackles
and averages just 4.2 per game. Hill isn’t the gifted athlete that Anderson is,
but Hill nonetheless has been a solid performer and has actually exceeded my
expectations in some ways. He has blown some assignments, but he’s a first-time
starter. While Hill doesn’t have as many tackles per game as Anderson did, Hill
is on pace to match Anderson’s 2005 stats in terms of tackles for loss, passes
broken up, interceptions, etc. Of course, Hill’s stats so far have been
accumulated against mostly weak competition, so we’ll see how he does in the
next seven games against the meat of Tech’s schedule.

week’s game is critical: Duh, but stick with me here, and pardon me for
being repetitive on this point. VT didn’t really know what they had going into
the Georgia Tech game, but the Yellow Jackets provided some good data for the
Hokies, and what the Hokies do with that data will set the course for the rest
of the season.

On the positive side, the education