Winfield commanded me to post his conversation with long time bloggociate, Joe of The Key Play. I've met this individual twice in reality and he's yet to be sober. His answers to VPI questions are here. This is how Hokie fans roll after the jump...Winfield: What do Hokie fans think about expansion? Are they generally happy about not jumping on the West Virginia short bus? Should the ACC continue expanding and who should be our next targets?
TKP: It's early November, we only have about 8 more weeks of football left, and you want to talk about... expansion. As a friend, you disappoint me on almost every level Winfield. I bet you plan ahead and buy your winter coat in the spring. Anyways, no, I am not "generally happy" about the ACC refusing membership to West Virginia, I am absolutely ecstatic. Ideally I'd want them to remain in the Big East, or for the Big East to crumble and for them to pick up and move to Conference USA. However, them having to deal with Texas' bullshit and the travel back and forth to the heartland isn't a bad consolation prize.
Winfield: If we broke down Logan Thomas' season thus far, it appears a light came on in the Miami game. In his first five starts he had a 4:5 TD:INT ratio and then in the next 4 games, he has had a 7:2 TD:INT ratio. Is this a function of Thomas' competition or do the Hokie fans feel like he has progressed since the season's onset?
TKP: He's definitely progressed since the start of the season. For starters, you could argue our more recent opponents (Miami, Wake Forest, etc...) are superior to the ones we played at the beginning of the season (Appalachian State, Arkansas State, etc...). Logan has a better feel for the game than any first year quarterback under Beamer than I can remember, and the coaches trust him more. Nine games into the season Logan's seeing the field very well, the coaches aren't limiting his throws and they're allowing him to call hot routes at the line of scrimmage. There have been bumps along the way, but I believe he's getting better every game. Getting him involved in the run game will be very important if we want to win.
Winfield: Even then, what happened against Duke? The Blue Devils haven't held a team to 14 points since October of 2009. Where was Stinespring's offense?
TKP: I think we overlooked Duke. Would you be able to emotionally and mentally get up for a noon game in Durham? If I'm in their position I wouldn't take Duke, even though the Blue Devils are a much improved program, seriously. They didn't, and it showed. We played sloppy, had a lot of penalties and didn't execute in any phase of the game, but we won.
As a clarification, Stinespring designs the gameplan, but this season Mike O'Cain has called all the plays.
Winfield Even with the victory last year, it seemed to us that Al Groh had your number. What has changed since last year and how are you gonna keep him guessing?
TKP: One of our writers talked about this and will put it better than I ever could. Here's a snippet from french60wasp's Glory, or Death by a Thousand Cuts:
Offensively, the Hokies face a familiar challenge. Georgia Tech's features Al Groh's old reliable 3-4 defense, which functions on the premise that the three defensive tackles tie up as many blockers as possible, while the linebackers scrape and make plays. Most of the pass rush is generated through OL confusion by bringing different linebackers from multiple positions. Several Hokie linemen have struggled against the 3-4 this year (Becton and Brooks come to mind), while Andrew Miller has had his best games against a 3-4 while struggling with the 4-3.
There are two soft areas of this type of defense. First of all, the big linebackers can be worn out running sideline to sideline defending the Hokie screen game. Then, the running game itself MUST be focused on effectively running quick hitting plays between the tackles. This opens up the sweep and the stretch play in the second half. The Hokies will not have success running a standard zone play against a 3-4 unless the Hokie running backs can effectively locate cut back lanes. The Hokies would be well served to run power plays, out of a one back set, in the first half.
Second, the secondary for Georgia Tech tends to play relatively deep, safe coverages. Logan Thomas will be forced to look to underneath routes and make accurate throws versus zone coverage. Georgia Tech will attempt to make the Hokies grind out long drives, counting on the execution trouble that the Hokies featured against Duke to rear it's ugly head again.
The Hokies must score touchdowns in the red zone, and must score off turnovers. The offense must play with a sense of urgency that any drive not resulting in points could spell disaster. They can not afford stretches of 3 and outs, or the defense will eventually break under the strain.
Winfield: Wait, why aren't you coming down to Atlanta for this game again?
TKP: I don't have a good excuse.
That's it folks. Let's beat the Hell outta the Hokies! Go REAL Tech!