Heroes and Goats, Week Four
by Matthew McKinley, 9/24/03

Ugh. Iím still soaked, and have a nasty cold. Thanks a lot, Isabel. It was nice knowing you. Really. I mean that. *snort*

Hokie Heroes and Goats

Hero: Kevin Jones. On national TV, against a big time opponent, KJ turns it up a notch, rushing 30 times for 188 yards, an impressive 6.2 ypc. He showed power, speed, and elusiveness, carrying tacklers, hitting the hole fast, and often making the first tackler miss. This is the kind of game that Hokie fans have been waiting for since he was signed as the #1 recruit in the country, and he sure didnít let us down.

Goat: DeAngelo Hall. DLo didnít really have a bad game, but one play really sticks out in my mind. On 2nd and 7 from the VT 24 yard line, McNeal throws left to Terence Murphy, but DLo instead of playing the man, goes for the ball, giving up a 22 yard gain to the 2 yard line, leading to an (almost) game-tying score. Granted, had he gotten the ball, he wouldíve taken it the distance, but he didnít, and weíre left to wonder if, considering the conditions, he shouldnít have played a bit more conservatively. Oh, and a muffed punt return? Yes, I know the wind took it, but back away, DLo, back away!

Hero: Michael Crawford. 18 tackles. Thatís not a misprint. 18 tackles. Crawford was all over the field on Thursday, by far the best defender on the team. And get this: nobody has gotten more tackles for Tech in one game since 1995.

Hero: Bud Foster. Again, Coach Foster makes the Heroes list, this time for the defensive adjustments at halftime that led to A&M garnering only 56 yards from the start of the 3rd quarter until they got the ball with 1:32 left in the game, when the outcome was decided. A lot of this came from containment on McNealís scrambling, forcing him to throw, as well as some other good adjustments to take away the Aggiesí strengths.

Hero: A&M WR Tim Van Zant. A walkon senior, who just got a scholarship last week, so what does he do in is first start ever? 7 catches, 103 yards (more than doubling both career statistics, BTW), and his first career TD reception. Way to go, Tim, looks like the coaches made the right call there.

Okay, so that was mostly heroes. I'm in a generous mood.

Other Heroes and Goats

Hero: Mid-American Conference. The MAC scored big this week with three wins over BCS teams, two of them ranked. Marshall beat #6 Kansas State, Toledo beat #11 Pittsburgh, and Northern Illinois beat Alabama, but in addition to those BCS wins, Miami (OH) beat Colorado State, and Ball State almost upset #4 Ohio State. It was a great day for the MAC, one that its members wonít forget for a long time.

Goat: Kansas State, Pittsburgh, and Alabama. For overlooking those pesky MAC teams. Well, not Alabama, they canít help it, they really stink.

Hero: Oklahoma State WR Rashaun Woods. Seven, count them, seven touchdown catches against Southern Methodist, an NCAA single-game record. Now thatís what I call a good day at the office!

Goat: ESPN analyst Terry Bowden. Sure, heís a lousy analyst. But thatís not why he gets a Goat this week. Back in 2001, he says that he knew players were getting paid when he started as head coach at Auburn. Well, it turns out that saying that violates an agreement that he had with Auburn, and heís going to lose something to the tune of $600,000 for running off at the mouth. Way to go, Terry. Oh, and BTW, have you noticed that Craig James is getting more face time at ESPN? Terry might be on his way out.

Hero: Ohio State CB Will Allen. Another day, another game-saving interception. His interception to end the game against a suddenly resurgent Bowling Green team saved the day for the Buckeyes, and thatís not his first of the year. As a matter of fact, he did it at least once last year that I know of. This guyís got a habit of saving OSUís bacon.

Miscellaneous Goats

Goat: Freddyburg Hokie. For getting slammed in beerpong by 12thManFactor of the A&M boards. Not once. Not twice, but 3 times. Ugh.

Goat. Isabel. One person in the stands was chanting, "Go to [heck], Isabel, go to [heck]! *clap* *clap*" I heartily agree. And Iím sure that the thousands of Hokie fans across the state that lost power right before the game would agree.

Games to Watch From the Tailgate

The Hokies play at noon this weekend, but there are a few other good games to watch. Hereís the best one to watch at each time slotÖ

(#11) Nebraska @ Southern Mississippi, Thursday @ 7:30pm, ESPN
Is this the Nebraska of old? Or are they just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Take a look at this game, and I guess we may find out.

(#19) Pittsburgh @ Texas A&M, Saturday @ 3:30pm, ABC/ESPN Gameplan
Can the Panthers overcome their inevitable early season loss to a weak team and get up for Texas A&M? Are we that good or is A&M just not that good? This will be a good barometer to show how weíre doing this year, comparing how Pitt does against A&M compared to how we did.

Honestly, the rest of the games Saturday evening are dogs. South Carolina @ Tennessee? Blowout. Arizona State @ Oregon State? Who cares. Watch those if you want, but thereís really nothing interesting to see. (Well, according to me thereís not.)

Have fun, enjoy the Hokie win over Connecticut, and drink a few for me. GO HOKIES!

-- M2


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