BlogPoll, Week Four

I was really looking forward to putting UNC in the top 25 this week. Alas, I cannot.

Rank Team Delta
1 Southern Cal
2 LSU 8
3 Florida 2
4 Georgia 1
5 Oklahoma 3
6 Missouri 2
7 Wisconsin 1
8 Alabama 1
9 Brigham Young 5
10 Texas 1
11 Penn State 5
12 Vanderbilt 8
13 Auburn 4
14 South Florida 2
15 Wake Forest 4
16 Texas Tech 3
17 Utah 4
18 Boise State 8
19 Kansas 1
20 Ohio State 5
21 TCU 1
22 Clemson 3
23 Virginia Tech 3
24 Fresno State
25 Georgia Tech 1

Dropped Out: East Carolina (#6), Oregon (#17), Illinois (#23).

Also Considered: Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Ball State, Northwestern (seriously!)

Brief Explanations: LSU jumps up to #2 based on their road win against Auburn, which might be the most quality victory for any team thus far. Vanderbilt makes a similar jump for being 4-0 for the first time since Cornelius himself was captain of the team. Boise State makes the leap based on their big road victory over Oregon, albeit hampered by the fact that the Ducks are now on their fifth string quarterback. Paul Johnson seems to be doing a good job for a fairly impressive Georgia Tech team, and Virginia Tech is here because dammit, Frank Beamer knows the science of winning ugly 8-9 times a year that we mortals can barely comprehend.

East Carolina and Oregon drop out with their losses, and Illinois drops for no apparent reason.

The rest is pretty ho-hum. Discuss.

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Hello, Deer. Have You Met Headlights?

Coming out of the tunnel in the second half…

Mike Paulus: Yeah, I am sooo pumped for this game, even though I’m probably not going to see a snap. But hey, if I’m in the game, it;s because you’ve slammed the door shut, T.J. Now let’s kick some! Let’s go, T.J.! Let’s go, Quan! Let’s go, Greg! WHOOOOOOOO!!!

(Mike Paulus has just patted the back of each player just mentioned, unwittingly giving them an radio chip in the process.)

Third Quarter. UNC is up 10-3 against Virginia Tech.

This game ain’t looking half-bad. Defense is dominating, we’re in field goal range, and T.J. is looking pretty sharp.

T.J. Yates: HUT HUT!

Radio: Beep beepbeedeedeep beedeedeep beedeedeepeep beedeedeepeep beeeeeeeeeeeeep

T.J. Yates:

Must…sprint…backwards…into…defensive…player…

(Yates is sacked for a loss of 20 yards, and hurts his left foot in the process)

Oh, no! T.J. can’t be hurt!

Butch: Get him out of there!

Yates: I’m…fine…coach…I’ll…stay…here…

(Yates performs 7 step drop on bad foot, is sacked)

Butch: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!

Yates: I don’t know what came over me OW OW OW OW

Alright Mike, get yourself together. This game is on your shoulders now. Hopefully we can get the running game going. Keep the pressure off, you know. You can do this, Mike, This is what you came here for.

Next possession…

Alright, Well start with a run up the middle. Can’t be that bad. HUT HUT! (hands of to Greg Little) GO! GO GO GO GO GO! YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! WAY TO GO GREG! WAY TO GO! Whoo, okay. 17-3. Defense is playing well. Pressure’s off.

VT possession. 3rd and 5. Tyrod Taylor has just been stopped for no gain.

Way to go defense! Way to go!

Unnamed Hokie Player:

Ron Cherry: After the play was over, personal foul, on the…

Radio: BEEEEP BEEDEEDEEP BEEPDEEDEEDEEPBEEEP BEEEEEEEEP

Cherry:

…on the defense. 15 yards from the dead ball spot, first down.

WHAT! He had Quan by the mask! How is that not on Tech, Ron? Oh, well, we can still force a field goal kick.

Virginia Tech scores after another, er, “odd” call, and the score is 17-10.

Okay, so they’ve cut the lead to seven. But come on, that was a fluke. We can still be in control of this game.

So, we’ll just do this like last time. handoff to Greg up the middle and see what happens. HUT HUT!

Radio: BEEEPBEDEDEEEPBEEEP BEDEDEEPBEEP BEEEEEEEEP

Greg Little:

Must…let…go…of…ball…at…inopportune…moment…

Okay, we’re in the red zone, getting into crunch time. We’ve made it this far, I think we can finish this drive get the momentum back, and walk away with victory. Alright, keep it cool.

HUT HUT!

Let’s see to the right here. Hey look! Foster’s open in the flat…

Radio: BEEPBEDEEPBEBEDEEEEEPPBEPBEDEEEP BEEEEP

Must…throw…deep…ball…into…coverage…hope…Hakeem…gets…lucky…

Macho Harris: Mmm yummy delicious interception

Crowd: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Wha…what just happened? Oh come on! What made me throw that to Nicks? How could i be so stupid!

Hokies win the game, 20-17.

Okay, something’s up. way too many weird things have been going on. How could this have happened? HOW!

Meanwhile, not far away…

(phone rings)

(phone rings)

(ph-)

Anonymous voice from Durham #1:

Cut here.

Ananymous voice from Durham #2:

Hey, it’s Greg. Just wanted to let you know that the plan worked. Phase one of Operation Sabotage is complete.

Anonymous voice from Durham #1: Excellent. But I still can’t believe you got your brother to become part of the plan.

Anonymous voice from Durham #2: I know! That dude is so gullible when he’s around me.

Anonymous voice from Durham #1: Muahahahaha….

Anonymous voice from Durham #1: BWAHH-HAHAHAHAAAAAAA…

TO BE CONTINUED…

A Visual Representation of Me At the UNC-Virginia Tech Game

First two and a half quarters:

Pure jubilation. Sure, it was only a 14 point lead, but Greg Litlle had just run 50 yards for a touchdown to put us up 17-3. And honestly, where the hell was Virginia Tech’s offense gonna come from?

Final quarter and a half:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

You can use that picture to describe the Paulus interception to Macho Harris. Or the Greg Little fumble. Or the Yates injury. Or any of the frustrating penalties. That was pretty much everyone’s face in the stadium in the fourth quarter.

UNC vs. Virginia Tech Preview: Two Sturdivants Enter, One Sturdivant Leaves

Today, the Tar Heels face Virginia Tech in their conference opener and one of the biggest home games Carolina has had in a long time. Yes, Carolina still has 9 games to play after this game. But 3-0 is an important milestone for this team, and a win would put the Heels one game ahead of their main rival in the Coastal division. Now let’s get to the preview.

UNC offense vs. VT defense: This is probably the best offense that the Hokie defense has played yet. Carolina’s offensive strength obviously lies in the passing games. T.J. Yates has thrown for 442 yards, five touchdowns, and only one interception in two games. Unfortunately for us, Virginia Tech’s strength lies in the pass defense. Macho Harris, Stephon Virgil, and Kam Chancellor help to form one of the best secondaries in the ACC. Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate may have a hard time getting open for Yates.

As we’ve said for, well, every game this decade, the Tar Heels will need an effective running game to keep the defense honest. Greg Little did have 74 yards against Rutgers, helping to wear down the defense before the Knights imploded in the third quarter. If he isn’t effective early, Shaun Draughn may have to get significant time in the first half.

UNC defense vs. VT offense: The Hokies have lost their top running backs and receivers from 2007. That means the offense begins and ends with Tyrod Taylor. The stats show that the Hokies have 460 yards rushing and only 116 yards passing in the two games they have played with Taylor at QB. UNC defensive coordinator Everett Withers has all but dared Virginia Tech to throw the football, which means you can expect eight or nine players in the box until Taylor makes a few big throws to keep Carolina;s secondary honest. For this purpose Macho Harris is likely to see a lot of time at receiver.

Special Teams: Beamer Ball. Brandon Tate. That’s all you really need to know.

And with that, I’ll soon be off to Kenan Stadium. Enjoy the game, everyone.

UNC vs. Virginia Tech Checklist

Let’s see…

Ticket? Check.

Carolina blue T-Shirt? Check.

Perfect Sunny Day? Check.

Tailgating chair to soak in the pregame atmosphere? Check.

Unfounded, speculative optimism? HELL YES.

Game Preview? Ugh. I knew I forgot something. Saturday morning, mmmbien?

Somewehere, Deep in the Heart of Tennessee…

…Carl Torbush can’t stop laughing.

Congratulations, Bill Stewart. I have no idea how Pat White + Noel Devine = 0-2 and 17 points in 2 games…but you manage to make the equation work.

UNC vs. Virginia Tech: The Game Circled On My Calendar

Well, That blowout of Rutgers was fun. I still randomly yell “FORTY-FOUR TWEE-ELVE!” to pump myself up. But ultimately, while a big morale booster, was a nonconference road game, the only such game we’ll see all season.

This week, the conference season begins. At Home. Against the defending ACC champs. This is the game I’ve had circled on my calendar since June. This is the game that I consider most important toward Carolina’s season. Sure, Virgina Tech isn’t the 3-0 team we expected coming into the game, and it isn’t quite the battle for the Coastal that everyone hoped for. But Tyrod Taylor is their quarterback now, and the Hokies are still the favorites to win the Coastal Division.

Last season, we played as close against the Hokies as we could, but a key run by Eddie Royal, a fumble by Ryan Houston inside the five, and an interception by Xavier Adibi were the difference in Virginia Tech’s 17-10 victory in Blacksburg. If any of those plays go Carolina’s way, they probably get a different result.

How much does a win mean for the Tar Heels? It means they’ll be 3-0 for the fisrt time since 1997. It means they’ll win their conference opener for the first time since 2001, the 41-9 drubbing of Florida State that still makes me smile whenever it comes to mind. It means that both team and fan morale will be sky-high for the first time Julius Peppers graced our campus. This is the first game that will truly tell us where we stand in the college football universe. Most importantly, it means that we will have a season-long advantage over our biggest conference contender. If you’re not pumped about this game, I don’t know what to tell you.