Live Blogging: Miami at Virginia Tech

We’re back with our third live game blog of the season. Like the first two, this one involves Miami. Unlike the first two, this one is on a Saturday, and Jimmy isn’t on the other end of the Interweb to share his thoughts.

My partner in crime is in Greenville today watching a vastly inferior game (Central Florida at East Carolina) with vastly superior company (his girlfriend, Megan, who’s doing her part to promote football harmony between the sexes).

Jimmy will be checking in every once in a while via text message. And no, the irony of using texting as a mode of communication for a Web site called Instead of Texting has not been lost on me.

Jeremy: I’ve got to imagine the Hokies are happy to see the steady rain today. That should make it harder for Jacory Harris to throw all over them.

Jeremy: I was hoping to get the Pittsburgh-N.C. State game locally today, but after seeing that Pitt has already scored 2 1/2 minutes into the game, I’m starting to think that might not be a bad thing.

Jeremy: Dorian Porch sacks Harris, and the Hokies recover at the Miami 11. Putting pressure on Harris was one of Tech’s main goals going into this game, and it just paid off for them.

Jeremy: Ryan Williams scores on a 1-yard run to put the Hokies up 7-0 with 9:46 left in the first. After struggling so much on offense last week, Tech has to feel good about getting on the scoreboard so quickly this time around.

Jeremy: Just to recap the day in the ACC so far, Georgia Tech hammered North Carolina 24-7 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would suggest, and Florida State continued its Jekyll-and-Hyde season by losing at home to a South Florida team that lost its starting quarterback for the season. Not a good start to the day for these guys.

Jeremy: Tech punt returner Jayron Hosley jus muffed a punt deep in his own territory while backpedaling. Fortunately for the Hokies, they were able to recover. Let’s see how the Tech offense does now deep in its own territory.

Jeremy: Tyrod Taylor just found WR Jarrett Boykin wide open for a 48-yard touchdown pass. It looked like the Miami defender fell down as he was trying to cover Boykin. 14-0 Tech with 4:46 left in the first.

Jeremy: We’ve got our first update from our Greenville correspondent: “Usf beat fsu?!” As unbelievable as it seems, yes.

Jeremy: LB Cody Grimm almost pressured Harris into throwing an interception on an ill-advised shovel pass. All the Hokies need is a blocked punt, and Beamerball will be in full effect.

Jeremy: Taylor scrambles 21 yards to around midfield for a first down. He’s looked Vick-like on a couple of plays now.

Jeremy: Through the end of the first quarter, the Hokies have 153 yards of offense to 25 for the Hurricanes. Not the numbers Miami has been used to.

Jeremy: Hokies P Brent Bowden fumbles the snap, and Miami recovers at the 23. Maybe the break the ‘Canes need.

Jeremy: From SI.com’s Stewart Mandel via Twitter: “Miami and Va Tech look like they’re playing slip and slide.”

Jeremy: Harris sacked again at the 40 by DE Jason Worilds to take Miami out of field-goal range. I don’t remember Harris’ uniform looking this dirty after either of the ‘Canes’ first two games.

Jeremy: Pitt has gone up 17-7 on N.C. State. If I could get this game locally, I probably would have broken my TV by now.

Jeremy: ABC just showed an update of the Oregon game. It’s weird seeing the Ducks wearing their plain-looking throwback uniforms instead of these.

Jeremy: Tech RB Josh Oglesby runs over half the Miami defense for 34 yards. Whatever the Hokies’ offense did in practice the last week seems to be working.

Jimmy (via text): UCF has a WR named AJ Guyton. Didn’t Indiana have a PG by that name a few years ago.

Jeremy: Indeed.

Jeremy: Tech K Matt Waldron misses wide on a short field-goal attempt. Miami keeps it within two scores.

Jeremy: And there’s the blocked punt that everyone knew was coming! Jacob Sykes knocks it down; Matt Reidy picks it up at the 1 and waltzes into the end zone. The Hokies are up 21-0 with 4:39 to go in the half.

Jeremy: Boston College just beat Wake Forest in OT. I’m now 0-3 on my picks for the week.

Jeremy: Miami picked up its third first down while running out the clock before the half. On a positive note … Jimmy didn’t actually get into the ECU game, so he’ll be joining us online shortly. Sadly, I think he’s missed the best parts of this game already.

Jeremy: I wonder whether the ACC sportsmanship PSA is any indication of what the conference’s coaches are like when they’re giving a halftime speech. If it is, Al Groh’s performance might explain what’s wrong with Virginia. By the way, Frank Spaziani and Bobby Bowden are co-MVPs of that ad.

Jimmy: Jeremy, I’m not the same person I was when we co-blogged the Miami-Georgia Tech game 10 days ago. I’m a new man. Something happened last night, and it changed me. I did something that I didn’t even know was possible: I ate a large order of Waffle House hashbrowns scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, topped, diced peppered, capped and gravied (I don’t know the word for the last one). That’s right, fried potatoes topped with onions, cheese, “hickory smoked” ham, chili, tomatoes, jalapenos, mushrooms and sausage gravy.

I can’t say how this will change my thinking on college sports, but I thought you and our audience should know.

Jeremy: I think your return to live blogging has inspired your man crush, Jacory Harris. That touchdown drive was as good as he’s looked all day.

21-7 Tech now early in the second half.

Jimmy: I think Jacory may feel my presence.

Nice hat, Wendi Nix. Are you playing the Captain in a cross-gender Captain and Tennille tribute band?

Jimmy: Jimmy Graham may have just killed the Miami comeback with those drops. Just awful.

Jeremy: ABC just showed Harris going over to Graham and trying to keep his head in the game. Nice leadership by the QB.

Great 44-yard run by Ryan Williams to swing some momentum back to Tech. Williams is over 100 yards yet again.

Jimmy: I’ll get into this more next week in a post on useful running back yardage, but what Ryan Williams has done so far this season is impressive. Coming into this game, his success rate was over 56 percent, third among primary ballcarriers in the ACC. (Note: piggybacking on footballoutsiders.com, I define a successful carry as one that gets at least 40% of needed yards on first down, 60% on second down or 100% on third/fourth down. All touchdowns also rate as effective carries.) Williams had only been stuffed for 0 or negative yards one time in 50 carries before this game.

He’s a legitimate player-of-the-year candidate as a freshman.

Jeremy: Via ACC Sports Journal on Twitter: “Huge, huge, huge momentum swing. Three plays after blocked FG, Pitt scores on long TD pass. 31-17 over Wolfpack.”

Six minutes later: “Beautiful pass from Wilson to Jarvis Williams and N.C. State’s right back in it. 31-24 Pitt. This looks like a shoot-out.”

I change my mind every few minutes about whether I want this game on my TV.

Jeremy: Harris nearly lost a fumble and almost got picked off before Miami was forced to punt. Maybe he can put together a good fourth-quarter comeback to bolster his Heisman campaign. I really want to see him show up in New York wearing a pink suit and carrying a pimp cup.

Jimmy: I’m going to steal a point here from our former Technician colleague, Kim Corriher (K. Gaffney to NC State alums of the late 1990s). Kim noted on Facebook that Tyrod Taylor’s quarterbacks coach is Mike O’Cain, the former N.C. State head coach who (a.) recruited Philip Rivers and convinced him to enroll early at NCSU and (b.) got fired at 7:45 a.m. on a Thanksgiving. O’Cain later served an assistant under Tommy Bowden at Clemson. He got a bit of a bum rap at State.

Nothing further on that, just a little ACC Who’s Who.

Jeremy: Rashad Carmichael picks off Harris right after Miami gets the ball back on a punt. That won’t help the Heisman campaign. Harris is now 7 for 19 for 107 yards and an INT.

Glad to see that O’Cain has landed on his feet. Nice guy, but average head coach.

Jimmy: This one’s done, with that short touchdown by Williams. This game could have been very different if Graham caught either of the the two third-quarter balls he dropped.

Or if Miami had shown up in the first half.

Jeremy: Don’t know about you, Jimmy, but I’ve started doing a lot more scoreboard watching and came across this: Rutgers 34, Maryland 13. The Terps are an overtime field goal against a I-AA team from being Virginia.

Jimmy: I’m right with you. I’ve got the N.C. State game on the radio — the Pack just took its first lead of the day, 38-31  with 6:28 remaining against Pitt. Toney Baker scored a 2-yard touchdown. Two pass interference penalties — one in the end zone — keyed that drive.

State trailed 31-17 earlier in the second half.

Jeremy: It looks like it’s up to the Pack to defend the ACC’s honor. TCU just beat Clemson 14-10, which also means I’m 0-4 until Rutgers-Maryland goes final.

Jimmy: Ryan Williams just carried for a nice, 7-yard gain. But I’m not sure why he’s still in there. He’s already over 35 carries today, a career high by a large margin. David Wilson’s another outstanding freshman back. Don’t risk hurting Williams, Frank Beamer. Get Wilson in there.

Jeremy: I was just wondering the same thing. This game has been over for a while. No reason for Williams to still be out there.

Wonderful story about the Tech players raising money for Boston College LB Mark Herzlich, who was diagnosed with cancer before the season started.

Jimmy: N.C. State appears to have dodged a huge bullet against Pitt. The Pack was moving the ball reasonably well at its own 29-yard-line, trying to kill the clock. A shotgun snap went over QB Russell Wilson’s head. Pitt recovered at the N.C. State 8-yard-line, but the NCSU defense held. State takes over at its own 9, with 1:15 left.

Jimmy: Game over in Raleigh. Like a mother lion protecting a stillborn cub, the Pack defends what’s left of the ACC’s pride against the Big East.

What do we make of State now, Jeremy? I’m still clinging to my last shred of skepticism on Russell Wilson, but Toney Baker is very impressive (160 total yards, 1 TD) today. We’ve seen them beat a grown-up team today. And that South Carolina loss looks a lot better after the Gamecocks beat No. 4 Ole Miss Thursday night.

Jeremy: That State win also gives me some bragging rights at work with a coworker who happened to go to Pitt. I completely agree that this win and the South Carolina victory over Ole Miss puts the Pack in a new light. I could easily see them moving up from No. 8 in our power rankings.

Meanwhile, the game we were supposed to be blogging about has mercifully come to an end. The Hokies played some classic Beamerball today: a blocked punt, dominating defense and an outstanding running game. Jacory Harris was under pressure all day and looked nothing like the quarterback we saw in the first two games of the season. Virginia Tech clearly re-established itself today as the team to beat in the ACC.

Jimmy: I agree. VT is the class of the conference, and maybe its last hope for a nationally relevant team. The U doesn’t appear to be all the way back. It looks as though Sam Bradford will do all he can to play next week, so things get no easier for the ‘Canes.

This isn’t relevant: I just caught the highlights from the Michigan-Indiana game. Wolverine QB Tate Forcier is wearing a maize-and-blue body suit derivative of 1990s Buffalo Bills LB Darryl Talley’s old Spider-Man suit. I’m pumped about that.

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6 Responses to Live Blogging: Miami at Virginia Tech

  1. Troy says:

    So much for those damn Hurricanes beating the Hokies! 🙂

  2. Brian Schuch says:

    When are we going to get an NC State chat (when they get on TV?)

    Irrelevant to the Miami Tech game, but over on ESPN’s Streak for Ca$h 89.7% chose Pitt over State. And I was too much of a coward to wager my streak on State. Does that make me less of a fan?

    • Jeremy Ashton says:

      Whenever State ends up playing a game that I can get on TV in Florida. It would be nice if it didn’t end with a 7-3 score like the last one I saw.

      I wish I’d thought to go on Streak for the Cash and pick State. That was about the one thing I got right today. I don’t think backing off picking State makes you any less of a fan. To me, you’ve really got to be 100% confident in your picks to build up a good streak on there.

      By the way, after watching Georgia Tech toy with Carolina today, I take back what I said earlier about defenses figuring out Paul Johnson’s offense.

  3. Troy says:

    Is anybody really touting Jacory Harris as a legit Heisman candidate now? I still can’t believe he was even taken seriously after what he did to a whimsical Florida State team and a sporadic Georgia Tech team. Poor man’s Pat White much?

    • Jeremy Ashton says:

      After today, I doubt it. I saw him mentioned several times as a possible Heisman candidate last week, which seemed justifiable to me (at least as justifiable as it can be this early in the season). Say what you want about Florida State and Georgia Tech, but they were two ranked teams that he shredded. Of course, neither one of them got in his face like Virginia Tech did today.

  4. Jimmy Ryals says:

    I agree with you that Harris is no longer a feasible Heisman contender, but I don’t think he was an unreasonable one before yesterday’s debacle. Who had a better resume through 2 games (which is an odd time to talk about Heisman candidates)?

    I really don’t see the Pat White comparison; White was a much better runner, while Harris is essentially a pocket passer. Harris has only been credited with 4 non-sack rushes this season. White only had a couple of games in his career where he ran fewer than 5 times.

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