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Tag:Kevin Parks
Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:50 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Virginia Tech 38, Virginia 0

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. The Hokies were put on upset alert against their in-state rivals, but another dominating 38-0 performance led to their eighth consecutive win in The Commonwealth Cup. With the victory Virginia Tech clinches the ACC Coastal Division and a spot in the ACC Championship Game, their fifth since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2005.

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Hokies' defense forced four Virginia turnovers and held the Cavaliers to just 30 yards rushing. With Virginia's offense neutralized, Logan Thomas and David Wilson were able to slowly grind away at the Cavaliers defense. Thomas completed 14 of 22 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns while adding a rushing touchdown to the stat line. Wilson delivered another stellar second half performance, wearing down Virginia with his 153 yards and two touchdowns. It was Wilson's 10th 100+ yard rushing game this season, tying an ACC record.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: Late in the second quarter, Virginia was driving after a Justin Myer missed field goal down 14-0. Michael Rocco completed three quick passes to move the ball down to the Virginia Tech 20 yard-line in the final minutes of the half. Virginia Tech had dominated most of the game, so cutting the deficit to 14-7 heading into the locker room could have drastically changed the momentum of the game. But Rocco was sacked 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and fumbled the ball as he went down. It was the second fumble of the first half, and Virginia never appeared to be within striking distance again.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: A second shot at Clemson. Logan Thomas' maturation into one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC really began after the 23-3 loss to Clemson in Blacksburg. Thomas has improved his accuracy and vision throughout the Hokies' seven-game win streak, and adding the second ground threat has helped Wilson's performance as well. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been reeling in recent weeks and look vulnerable for Virginia Tech vengeance.

WHAT VIRGINIA LOST: A shot at their biggest statement win since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004. The Cavaliers have not only been winless against their in-state rivals since ACC expansion, but the Hokies have owned most of the Coastal Division. Unseating Frank Beamer from the comfortable position of Coastal Division champion would be a huge win for Mike London. Still, there is plenty to proud of in Charlottesville as the second-year head coach will now prepare Virginia for their first bowl game since the 2007 season.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Senior wide receiver Danny Coale has been in competition for the starting punter position since spring practice. However, his only game action was a two-punt (62 yards) showing against Marshall earlier in the season. Coale took four of Virginia Tech's punts on Saturday, with dramatically improved results. The wide receiver averaged 47.5 yards per punt with a long of 52, while also serving as the return man for two punts.

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Posted on: November 22, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Virginia Tech at Virginia

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WILL WIN IF: They can jump out to a lead and continue to press for four quarters. The Hokies have struggled at times this season scoring late in games, allowing some conference opponents to climb back into games in the fourth quarter. Just ask Florida State how that worked out for them in the 14-13 loss on Saturday. You cannot let Virginia hang around in this game because they have demonstrated a tenacity and grittiness that makes them dangerous late in games. Virginia Tech needs to rise to the occasion and end this game early. If Logan Thomas and David Wilson have big games and are able to keep drives alive with third down conversions, even the Cavaliers' impressive run defense will wear down by the fourth quarter.

VIRGINIA WILL WIN IF: They win the battle up front and establish their bruising rushing attack. Virginia Tech is thin on both the offensive and defensive line because of injury, and Saturday is the opportunity for that physical style of play to shine on the biggest stage. Mike London's team has beat up conference opponents on their division title chase, and benefited from some hard running from Perry Jones and Kevin Parks. Florida State was able to limit both backs early, but the Hokies' rush defense has declined recently - giving up 477 yards on the ground in their last three contests. By comparison, the unit averaged only 84.6 yards in their first eight games.

X-FACTOR: The Rivalry. Virginia played a very big role in bringing Virginia Tech to the ACC in 2004, and the Hokies have repaid the favor by winning every Commonwealth Cup showdown since their arrival. With Virginia riding a four game winning streak that includes wins over Miami and Florida State, the Cavaliers have all the confidence that this is the year to knock off their in-state rivals. At the same time, Virginia Tech senior safety Eddie Whitley mentioned this week that he's been getting texts from former players encouraging the Hokies to take care of business.

Not to mention, a berth to the ACC Championship Game is on the line in this "winner take all" battle for the Coastal Division. Virginia Tech could clinch their fifth berth in seven years. Virginia could have a shot at their first conference title since 1995. It is the first sellout in Charlottesville all season, and promises to be physical game for 60 minutes. In matchups this heated, the biggest X-Factor is "who wants it more."

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Posted on: November 20, 2011 12:20 am
Edited on: November 20, 2011 12:22 am
 

QUICK HITS: Virginia 14, No. 25 Florida State 13

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA WON. It was a hard-fought, penalty filled contest with very little offense and one of the most bizarre endings the ACC has seen all season, but Virginia outlasted No. 25 Florida State down the stretch and escaped with a 14-13 win. The victory marked the end of the Seminoles' five game winning streak, and their undefeated record at home against Virginia. Florida State held on to a 13-7 lead through most of the second half before sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco led a 5 play, 75 yard touchdown drive to take the lead with 1:16 remaining. Florida State overcame a series of penalties and video reviews before setting up Dustin Hopkins with a 43 yard field goal to win the game. The kick missed, and now Virginia hosts Virginia Tech with a chance to earn their first-ever bid to the ACC Championship Game.

WHEN VIRGNIA WON: Lamarcus Joyner set up the Seminoles with good field position for the final drive with a 32 yard kickoff return. But after EJ Manuel completed two short passes in the middle of the field, Florida State was forced to burn one of their two timeouts with 0:45 remaining. After Manuel's 3rd down attempt was batted away, Virginia sacked the star quarterback on 4th down near midfield.

The Seminoles got a second chance on the drive after Virginia was flagged for a facemask penalty on the sack, but ran Jermaine Thomas up the middle on the next play - forcing Florida State to burn their final timeout with 0:20 left. The game appeared once again to be over after a Bert Reed completion fell short of the first down marker in bounds and the clock expired. An extensive video review then showed the pass to be incomplete, giving Hopkins a shot to win the game from 48 yards out.

Then the Seminoles caught another break. Virginia's defensive line was flagged for mimicking signals before the snap. The ball was moved up five yards, and Hopkins lined up a 43 yard field goal to win the game. The kick was strong, but the final result was called wide left as the Cavaliers began to celebrate their first-ever victory in a stunned Doak Campbell Stadium.

HOW VIRGINIA WON: The Cavaliers entered the game as one of the ACC's best rushing offenses, averaging 187.6 points per game. But when Florida State's stout defense shut down their ground attack, sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco stepped up and delivered one of his best performances of the season. Rocco has been erratic at times under center, but the young quarterback stayed calm as he completed 22 of 31 passes for 238 yards. Most importantly Rocco, along with the rest of the Cavaliers, did not turn the ball over once to Florida State. However, mistakes were piling up on the other sideline with the Seminoles being flagged 11 times for 95 yards.

Manuel also struggled to keep drives alive against the tenacious Virginia defense, converting on just three of 13 third downs. Florida State had numerous opportunities to pull away from Virginia in the second half, but only had one third quarter field goal to show for their efforts. They allowed Virginia to hang around long enough to have a chance, and that chance was all the Cavaliers needed to pick up their eighth win of the season.

WHAT VIRGINIA WON: The opportunity to host their in-state rivals for a shot at the ACC Championship Game. A win over Virginia Tech next week in Charlottesville gives the Cavaliers a share of the ACC Coastal title and the tiebreaker needed to punch a ticket to Charlotte for the title game. With the Hokies holding on to a 24-21 victory on Thursday, Virginia was in a must-win scenario Saturday night. With the victory finally official, football fans in Virginia can begin preparing for an unofficial ACC semifinal next Saturday.

WHAT FLORIDA STATE LOST: Wedged between annual showdowns with Miami and Florida, the Virginia game has had a "trap game" feel since the beginning of the season. Falling to the Cavaliers on Senior Day did not change their status for the ACC Championship or bowl eligibility. But it did hurt their stock for potential bowl games, and give head coach Jimbo Fisher plenty to fix heading into the regular season finale in Gainesville.

THAT WAS CRAZY: The entire final sequence was insane. From Florida State's questionable play-calling that allowed time to run off the clock to the extended video review of Bert Reed's catch, everyone involved in the game's final moments appeared confused.



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Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:36 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 1:39 pm
 

Injured Georgia Tech LBs return to practice

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Georgia Tech needed a stop against Virginia in the fourth quarter on Saturday trailing 24-21, they could not stop the Cavaliers' two-headed rushing attack of Kevin Parks and Perry Jones. The two backs combined 64 yards rushing on the final drive as the Yellow Jackets burned their timeouts and watched Virginia take the victory formation to seal the upset. Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh should see an upgrade in his unit against Miami, with starting linebackers Jeremiah Attaochu and Daniel Drummond returning to practice this week.

Both players suffered leg injures against N.C. State on Oct. 1 and have not returned to game action since. CBSSports.com's Larry Hartstein reports Drummond will be "a full-go" while head coach Paul Johnson said Attaochu, while back in practice, is still recovering from his injury.

"I'd say he's 75 to 80 percent, and he's still got some time until Saturday," Johnson explained on Tuesday.

Attaochu was a crucial part of the Yellow Jackets defense, and still leads the team in tackles for loss even after sitting out two games. This is the junior's first season starting, and his breakout came just in time for Groh's 3-4 defensive scheme. Along with Drummond, Attouchu's return allows the unit to shift back into their normal positions and helps with the Yellow Jackets' depth deep in the fourth quarter. With powerful running back Lamar Miller awaiting them in Miami, they'll need all the bodies they can get to bring him down.

There has been some shuffling along Miami's offensive line, ever since the return of tackle Seantrel Henderson. Head coach Al Golden has been letting Henderson and Brandon Washington (who earned All-ACC honors at guard in 2010) compete for the position during practice. The shuffling of the line could be one reason the unit has been struggling in recent weeks.

Senior center Tyler Horn said the play of the line was to blame for Miller (ranked 10th nationally in rushing) being held to 29 yards and less than two yards per carry against North Carolina. Washington is expected to get the start over Henderson against Georgia Tech, but keep an eye on those Yellow Jacket linebackers trying to throw different looks at a rotating Hurricanes line.

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Posted on: October 15, 2011 6:46 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 6:51 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Virginia 24, No. 12 Georgia Tech 21

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA WON. With one week to prepare, Virginia's defense played their best game at the right time to lead the Cavaliers to the 24-21 upset over the No. 12 Georgia Tech. The Homecoming crowd was on their feet all afternoon as Georgia Tech's offense was held to converting only 6 of 14 third downs and just 296 total yard of offense - well below their average of 553.5.

HOW VIRIGNIA WON: The Cavaliers dominated the Yellow Jackets in the trenches on both sides of the ball, winning the battle at the line of scrimmage and causing all kinds of problems for Al Groh's defense. Perry Jones and Kevin Parks combined for 235 yards rushing on 35 attempts, and Virginia nearly out gained Georgia Tech in team rushing yards. The defensive line was able to get penetration and frustrate Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington, forcing him to miss pitch opportunities and rush passes in his few attempts. Washington completed four of his eight pass attempts, but two of them were caught by Virginia receivers.

WHEN VIRGINIA WON: Georgia Tech took over midway through the fourth quarter with great field position and an opportunity to march down the field for a game-tying or game-winning score. Three unsuccessful Tevin Washington rush attempts later, Sean Poole punted away the last possession the Yellow Jackets offense would see. Virginia pounded the ball with Parks and Jones, picking up seven first downs and burning the clock down to 0:00. Secon-year head coach Mike London looked to the crowd with his hands in the air, and the students charged the field to celebrate the Cavs' biggest win of the season.

WHAT VIRGINIA WON: Rejuvenation. Headed into their off week, the Cavaliers had not put together a complete performance yet this season. From the fast 14-point start to pounding the ball late in the fourth quarter to milk the clock, the Cavaliers can use this game to turn around their season. This surge in confidence could come in handy as the Cavaliers will have a chance to face N.C. State next week back in front of the home crowd.

WHAT GEORGIA TECH LOST: The driver's seat in the ACC Coastal Division. With Virginia Tech turning things around in Blacksburg and Miami picking up the win in Chapel Hill, the Yellow Jackets are no longer the cream of the crop in the division. They probably would have liked a game or two lead headed into their next three conference games - facing Miami, Clemson, and Virginia Tech on a Thursday night in Atlanta.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Virginia has been working a two-quarterback system and Georgia Tech is definitely a rush-first team, but both teams struggled mightily moving the ball through the air. The three quarterbacks' combined numbers were 11 for 27, with one touchdown and three interceptions. Any talk of Georgia Tech finding a passing game (including mentions from this writer) is clearly crazy.

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