Spring Passage

First off, let me apologize for not having an article out to you sooner.  Sometimes life gets in the way and we do things we need to do rather than doing the things we want to do. So without further adieu,  let’s talk some Miami Hurricanes football!  The Canes are well into their spring practice and the new staff does not seem particularly happy with how the former staff left the shelves stocked.  Some areas of concern are the offensive line, the defensive backfield and wide receiver position.  That will make this upcoming annual spring game a little more interesting as guys will be fighting out for starting time.

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Speaking of the Spring Game (my reason for writing) here are the details….

When – Saturday,  April 16, 2016

Time – 2:00 p.m.

Where – Lockhart Stadium, Ft Lauderdale, FL

Here is a few things I will be looking for during the spring game.

With the offensive line a weak point, will the offense set with two or possibly three tight ends?

Position battle between the DB’s and the WR’s.  Both are short on depth but will one group separate themselves from the other?

Defensive line.  The new staff is anxious to get back to the aggressive type style that brought Miami championships back in the programs glory days.

How will the three early enrollees at the linebacker position look? They have received praise from this new staff, something that they have not given a lot of.

Hope to see you all out bright and early this coming Saturday morning.

Go Canes!

~Delray

The Miami Hurricanes Select…

Image result for coach mark richt

Well, unlike the pros, in college players get to pick their own location. Let’s face it, after this past weekend’s weather a recruit would be foolish not to at least consider exploring the option of attending the University Miami. With Palm trees and beautiful gulf stream breezes not to mention a top 50 academic school situated in beautiful Coral Gables, once a recruit visits, the U sells itself. Add to that a new and proven coaching staff gives Miami the recipe for it’s return to the top of the college football world. What I would like to do today is take a look at a few of the young men who are considering attending the University of Miami and enrolling in what is being labeled “SWAG16”.

SAM BRUCE – WR, Saint Thomas Aquinas. Sam Bruce a.k.a. “Quick6” is listed at 5’-7” and is one of the top recruits (if not THE top) Miami is pursuing. His ability to make people miss and evade defenders in the blink of an eye are legendary in Broward county. Bruce, if he chooses Miami, could add to Miami’s resume of great special teams return players. He is that special. He is also someone who will put people in the stands. Bruce was heavily committed to Miami as former WR coach Kevin Beard coached Bruce through a portion of his HS career. With coach Beard not being retained by the new staff, many have been holding their breath on where this young man will end up. He is also being heavily recruited by Ohio State.

AHMMON RICHARDS – WR, Wellington HS. Ahmmon was also commited to Miami under the old staff. I don’t believe it was the change in staff that swayed Ahmmon to decommit. He is a fantastic possession receiver at 6’-2” 175lbs and was recently named Palm Beach County player of the year. He is being heavily recruited by Alabama and Auburn. Ahmmon, like Bruce will get people to come out and support the Canes on game day.

KOBE JONES – DT, Starkville, MS. Kobe has just finished has been a late surprise visitor to Miami just recently (as in he may still be on campus). This is a position of need for Miami so early playing time and the Florida weather may entice this young man to head south for his education. At 6’-4” 270 he has the size and physical ability to step right in and contribute. We may be late in the game for Kobe but you can never give up on a player of his stature. He is also being recruited by Alabama and Mississippi State. Let’s not forget new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz came from Mississippi State where he recruited Kobe.  Dang that #52 looks good on him.

JAVON WIMS – WR, Hinds Community College. Javon is an interesting prospect. He is 21 years old and has played at the community college level. He could step and possibly contribute right away. Community College players have been hit or miss with Miami. At 6’-4” he is worth a shot. He was previously committed to Georgia so this coaching staff is well aware of what he brings to the table.

Hang in there Canes fans. If you are like me you never get surprised about where a recruit ends up until the season starts. Getting a player on NSD doesn’t me a thing as far as wins and losses, it can only offer hope. And as Canes fans, we’ve been hoping far too long for this team to turn around. The future is now.

Go Canes

~Delray

Cougar Hunting

Brody-The-Graduate-1200Happy Holidays Canes Fans! I’m sure most of you have been busy this time of year as I have as well. I apologize for not posting sooner but with a week before kick-off for the Canes Bowl game, I figured I better put some things aside and get this article done.

Way back in the days after Randy Shannon was relieved, then president Donna Shalala received a newspaper marking the his dismissal. It was from a friend Donald Trump. On it he wrote in marker across the article,”You should have hired my friend Mike Leach!” OK, thanks but no thanks. Leach runs an offense that is wide open. Not something that would go to well with the Canes faithful. Yes there are other issues/reasons we probably stayed away from Leach but I won’t get into them. What I do want to discuss is some of the players that have lead the Cougars to not only an impressive 8-4 mark in 2015, but also what one would consider some quality wins over teams such as Oregon, UCLA and Arizona Sate but also suffered some head scratching loses to Portland State and Washington. Like we have seen to many times over the past few seasons in the Canes, wondering what team will show up for Washington. Let’s look at a few of the players who will take the field for the Cougars and need to play well for them to have success in the Sun Bowl this coming Saturday at 2:30 eastern. 

Quaterback – Luke Falk. After suffering a severe concussion in late November, Falk will lead the offense labelled “The Air Raid”. Falk earned all-conference QB honors and has lit up the scoreboard this season throwing for 4,266 yards and 36 touchdowns despite missing the final game. As much as he passes having only 8 interceptions shows how he has developed over his short career.

Falk is not a threat to run.

Receivers – As mentioned when you have an air raid type offense, your receivers are going to show some big numbers as well. Gabe Marks enters the game with 99 receptions for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns. Along side Falk also has Dom Williams who checks in with 73 receptions for 997 yards and 11 scores.

No doubt the Cougars will have 2 players with over 1,000 yards receiving for the year. 

Running Back – The Cougars aren’t necessarily a run oriented team but when they due it is usually in the form of Gerald Wicks who has just about 600 yards rushing for the season. He is a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield and has 36 receptions.

Defense

The Cougars will yield about 200 yards rushing and 225 yards passing on average per game. There defense usually sees a lot of time due the nature of the offense. What is impressive as I look through the defensive stats is the amount of tackles for loss they have, 96 for the season or 8 per game. Two players may reach the 100 tackle plateau for the season. As mentioned they will see a lot of time on the field.

Peyton Pelleur – Peyton is a 4th generation player for the Cougars. He leads the team with 98 tackles with 11 for a loss. Very impressive numbers for a sophmore.

Jeremiah Allison – Entering this contest with 91 tackles, Jeremiah has a shot at hitting the century mark in tackles. He also has 5 tackles for a loss. Side note on Jeremiah, he was heavily recruited by Yale. Bright future for him.  Image result for Jeremiah allison

Shalom Luani – A Juco transfer, Shalom from American Samoa, starts as a Junior in the safety position. He checks in with 86 tackles and also 3 interceptions. Seems like he covers a lot of ground.

I believe if Miami is to be successful against the Cougars, they will have to play a slow tempo game. If this game turns into a shoot-out it will play into the hands of the Cougars. As much as I hate to admit it, this team compares well to the Cincinnati team Miami faced on a Thursday night early on in the season. The Canes are a better team now then they were at that point. These two team should provide what a lot are expecting to be one of the more exciting bowl games of the season.

Go Canes!

~Delray

One Final Pitt Stop

This Friday the Miami Hurricanes conclude their 2015 regular season when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pitt Panthers in another noon game.  The Panthers have been over-achievers this season.  Although not winning the Coastal division, the panthers did much better than most would have expected never mind loosing the reigning ACC player of the year in James Conner in the first half of the first game of the season.  The Panthers bring in an 8-3 overall record and a 6-1 conference record.  All three of their loses have been to teams that currently rank on the top 10 in the country. Let’s take a look at the players responsible for getting Pitt in a position to have a 10 win season.

Quarterback – Nate Peterman Nate has come in this year and done a great job in managing games.  He has completed 63% of his passes for just over 2,000 yards.  Has thrown for 18 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions.

Running Back – Qadree Ollison  No Conner Adams? No problem.  Qadree has filled in nicely rushing for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns averaging close to 92 yards per game.Image result for qadree ollison

Receivers.  The Panthers have one of the premier receivers in college football in Tyler Boyd.  Although not putting up the kind of numbers he did his freshman or sophomore season, Tyler still has over 800 yards receiving.  Good for 80 yards per game and 6 touchdowns.  We can not go without mentioning Dontez Ford.  Dontez had a tough time coming up through middle school. Thankfully to friends and particularly a math teacher, he was able to turn his life around to the positive. He has chipped in this year with 22 catches and 453 yards.

DEFENSE

It’s not often but once in a while you get that special player on defense that can come in and be a game changer right from the start.  The Panthers have that kind of player in Jordan Whitehead.  Jordan,  a freshman, leads the team in tackles with 88.  He also has an interception.  All coming from a defensive back position.                                                                                

Also at defensive back is Avonte Maddux who is second to Jordan in tackles with 61 but leads the team in both interceptions with 3 and pass breakups with 11.

The player wreaking the most havoc for the Panthers this season has been linebacker Ejuan Price. Ejuan comes into the game fresh off of being named defensive lineman of the week last week.  He has recorded 18 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks.  With the challenges our offensive line has had he may spend the majority of the afternoon in the Miami backfield.  Let’s hope not though.

Well there it is.  The final game of the regular season for the 2015 Miami Hurricanes.  We all knew it would be a challenging year having lost the talent that we lost at the end of last year.  I believe if anyone would have told you we would be sitting at 7-4 at this point in the season we would have taken it.  I believe with a solid effort Miami can walk away with a victory.  On the line is a more favorable bowl opportunity for both teams.

For those making the trip out to Pittsburgh, safe travels.  I hear it is a beautiful stadium.  For those of you watching at home, game time is at noon on Black Friday.  So get your shopping done early!

…..Let’s Go Canes!

~Delray

A Real Wreck!

A lot of Hurricanes fans will say this has been a disappointing season. Surely they will not get any sympathy from their upcoming opponents fan base this weekend in Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech started the year as everybody’s favorite to win the ACC Coastal and was even ranked as high as 16th in some polls. This year they are 1-6 in the ACC and 3-9 overall. They lost hope of going to a bowl game for the first time in 18 years. They would still like nothing better than to come into Sun Life Stadium and beat the Hurricanes this Saturday afternoon at 12:30. Let’s take a look at how the Yellow Jackets line up.
Quarterback – Justin Thomas. Justin has had a tough season. After getting some pre season Heisman consideration after the year he had in 2014, Justin has done all he could do to right the ship. His numbers are a bit off compared to last year. He is throwing more often than in the past averaging 126 yards in the air. But this is not the typical GT triple option football. His rushing average is a mere sub 50 yards per game. When you have fallen behind in a few games you are forced to pass a bit more. This takes GT out of their element and away from their strength which is the run game.

Running Back – Marcus Marshall. Marcus is the leading rusher for the Yellow Jackets averaging about 8 rushes per game for 60 yards. He is not a receiving threat out of the backfield but can break the long one including a 60 yarder for a touchdown earlier in the season.

Receivers – The Yellow Jackets really only have one “threat” at the receiving position. Let’s face it, if you are a receiver, Georgia Tech usually is not your first option in college choices due to the type of offense they run. The one player who has set himself apart in the receiving crop is Ricky Jeune. Ricky has hauled in 21 catches for 480 yards and 3 touchdowns. Next player down on the list is Michael Summers who has 12 catches for 178 yards. No other receiver has double digit catches.

DEFENSE

On defense the Yellow Jackets are allowing just over 425 yards of offense per game. They allow 26 points per game. Over all their stats are not bad. But when you pad your first two games with Alcorn state and Tulane, these numbers can be a bit deceiving.
That accounted for 2 of their 3 wins. The third win? A crazy finish against Florida State that saw the Yellow Jackets win on a blocked field goal as time expired.
One player that has stood out on the defensive side of the ball is P.J. Davis. P.J. leads the Yellow Jackets in both tackles with 65 and tackles for a loss with 6. Next up is defensive back Jamal Golden (no relation) who checks in with 49 tackles and a couple of picks. Jamal will also return kick-offs and punts.

While looking through the GT roster, I notice quite a few underclassman. This has no doubt turned into a rebuilding year for the Yellow Jackets who may be down this year but still have to be defended against. Just ask FSU.

I got a chance to see GT play first hand last night. It was a tough loss as they not only played poorly, they turned the ball over and seemed to have untimely penalties unbecoming of a Paul Johnson coached team.

As mentioned earlier this is a 12 :30 kick-off at Sun-Life. Luckily it is not a national televised game so we shouldn’t see the little red man too much. It is also the last home game for the seniors. If you can, get out there and show your support for these kids as they have battled through some difficult times but remained true Miami Hurricanes.

Go Canes!

~Delray

Miami vs. UNC: Chapel Hill Bound

miami uncThis week the Miami Hurricanes head into Chapel Hill in North Carolina to take on the first place coastal division Tar Heels.  The Tar Heels are not the same team Miami blew out last year.  In fact, the Tar Heels have been on the business end of some drubbings including a 66-31 drubbing of the sniffling Blue Devils of Duke just last weekend.  North Carolina has turned into an offensive juggernaut scoring an average of just over 40 points per game and just shy of 500 yards per game.  They currently sit atop the ACC Coastal at 5-0 and their only loss was a game 1 defeat by South Carolina.  Let’s take a look as we always do at the players North Carolina has used this year to get to where they are.

Marquis WilliamsQuarterback – Marquis Williams.   A few years ago I recall having nightmares about how Logan Thomas of VT would completely destroy the Miami defenses with his ability to both run and pass.  Marquis Williams is THAT type of player.  So far this year Marquis has not only thrown for over 2,100 yards and 15 touchdowns but has run for 558 yards and another 8 touchdowns.  He can beat a team either way.

Quinshad DavisReceivers – “The Freaks”  is what coach Larry Fedora refers to this group and for good reason.   Starting with Quinshad Davis who only holds the UNC record in career touchdowns and receptions.  Davis has 36 receptions for 400 yards this year including 2 for touchdowns.  Ryan Switzer, who I like to refer to as Wes Welker 2.0, will always be open and has the ability to run past people after he has caught a short seem pass.  His numbers this year are 35 receptions for 535 yards with a long of 89 yards for a touchdown of which he has 4 this year. Elijah HoodHe is also dangerous as a punt returner as well.

Running Back – Other than Marquis, who is always a threat to run, the Tar Heels also rely on Elijah Hood who leads the team  with 137 carries for 813 yards and a team high 11 rushing touchdowns.

DEFENSE

Shakeel RashadOver the years the Tar Heels have had some hall-of-fame type players come up through their system.  Although they may not have those type of individuals right now, they are playing as well as a team can play together as a unit. Look for Shakeel Rashad and Jeff Schoettmer to spend a lot of time in the backfield as they have 9 tackles for a loss between them.  Also look for Junior Gnonkonde to spend some time in the backfield as the current leader in sacks. The pass cover specialist is M.J. Stewart who checks in with 3 picks and 10 pass break-ups.

Junior GnonkondeAs good as the Tar Heels are, they can be beat.  Miami will have to play a complete game to beat the Tar Heels who should be heavily favored after the beating they threw Duke last week (sorry, did I bring up Duke again?) For Miami to win they must keep the North Carolina offense off the field.  Something they did better at last week vs. Virginia in only allowing  4 third down conversion out of 13 while converting on 8 of their own 13.  A few turnovers would help as well.

Although my schedule doesn’t allow it,  if you are on your way up to North Carolina have a safe trip, some good BBQ and bring back a W.  I’m actually off to the ATL and while I’m there I’m planning on catching VT vs. GT just for kicks.

Go Canes!

~Delray

Miami vs. Virginia: A Sort of Homecoming

Miami VirginiaAfter a spooky game this past Saturday night, the Canes will look to continue their winning ways as the University of Virginia comes into Sun Life Stadium for a 3:00 tilt. Virginia has had its ups and downs this season as have a few teams from the coastal division. Currently 2-2 in the division but 3-5 overall, they are coming off a win vs. Georgia Tech. Let’s take a look at how Virginia will line up against the Canes on Saturday afternoon.

Taquan MizzellRunning BackTaquan Mizzell – I know we usually start off with a Quarterback but this is the guy that needs to be stopped. Taquan leads the team in rushing with 446 yards to go along with his 499 yards receiving. He has totaled a team leading 5 touchdowns and also runs back kick-offs.

matt johnsQuarterbackMatt Johns – Matt is averaging about 220 yards passing per game but has a bit of the interception bug throwing 13 picks this season to match his 13 touchdowns. He is not a threat to run which should play into Miami’s favor.

Receivers – We already spoke about Taquan, but Virginia also has another weapon on the outside in Canaan Severin who has accounted for over 500 receiving yards this season on 37 receptions to go along with 3 touchdowns.

Overall, Virginia’s offense has not looked great this year. They did rush for 226 yards last week. But again, their MO has been that of inconsistency. They have had this look in the past and we recall how that has turned out.

DEFENSE

micah kiserVirginia’s defense is lead primarily by a two-headed monster. Those monsters are named Micah Kiser and Mike Moore. Both these studs have 5.5 sacks each to go along with 22 tackles for a loss between them. Micah will roam the center of the field from his inside linebacker position while Mike will come from the defensive end slot.

mike moore uvaAnother young standout worth mentioning is Quin Blanding. Quin plays the free safety spot and is near the top of his team with 75 tackles. He is only a sophomore but is on numerous preseason watch lists and after a great rookie season he has not fallen into the sophomore slump.

This will be an interesting game with both teams coming off of games they were not favored to win with both having somewhat of emotional victories. Virginia not so much as Miami but sometimes a win can get too emotional that you get caught up in it. Hopefully our Canes are up for the task.

I have no doubt they will be.

Go Canes!

~Delray

Miami vs. Duke: A Tough Place to Play… Under Tough Conditions…‏

brandon-connette-ncaa-football-miami-dukeThis Saturday night, Halloween night as a matter of fact, the Miami Hurricanes will head into Wallace Wade Stadium to take on the 22nd ranked Blue Devils of Duke.  Miami has had plenty of headlines the past few days from epic blowout losses to coaching changes to grieving of loved ones.  None-the-less the game will be played and the Canes need to rally around teammates, family and friends to move forward.  Currently the Blue Devils are 6-1 and 3-0 and tied for first in the ACC Coastal.  Let’s take a look at what has made the Blue Devils so successful so far in 2015.

Thomass-SirkQuarterback – Thomas Sirk.  We could probably stop the article right now.  If Miami is to win they need to stop Thomas.  So far this year he has accounted for 66% of the Blue Devils’s offense.  He leads the team with 430 yards rushing on 92 carries and has completed 60% of his passes averaging 218 yards per game. He is the leader of the offense and needs to be accounted for.

shaquille-powell-ncaa-football-elon-university-duke1-850x560Running Back – Shaq Powell is the second leading rusher on the team with an averaging 45 yards per game.  His production has dipped the last few games but is still a threat to break a home run.

Receivers – Max McCaffrey & Johnell Barnes each have over 300 yards receiving this year on 25 catches each with McCaffrey having hauled in three touchdowns.

Defense

Jeremy CashThis is where the Duke team excels. The Duke defense is only allowing 14 points per game on 130 yards on the ground and 151 yards in the air.  These numbers include 4 overtime game last week vs Virginia Tech. Prior to that is was under 8 ppg.  Who is leading the charge on defense? After watching a few games the player that stood out was Jeremy Cash out of Plantation High School.  He has been a monster for the Blue Devils with 14 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks.  He is second on the team with 58 tackles.  The leading Blue Devils tackler is Dwayne Norman out of Jacksonville with 60 tackles and 6.5 for a loss.  

NCAA Football: Kansas at Duke

In the secondary, Devon Edwards plays the safety – rover position and has also chipped in with 55 tackles.  Many believe DeVon is the most important player on the Duke defense.  In addition to his leadership he is also one of the top kick-returners in the country.  Back in 2013, he burnt NC State for a 100 yard return to go along with two pick 6s.  He is the kind of player that can change a game in a heartbeat.

Well there you have it.  As I mentioned there has been a lot going on for the Miami Hurricanes over the last few days.  All of which require support from each player, coach, alumni and fan.  In Miami we call this family.

Let’s make this win epic!

Go Canes!

~Delray

Miami vs. Clemson Preview: Catch a Tiger by the Toe‏

canes-v-clemsonThere comes a point in every season where one particular game will decide the possible fate of the rest of the season.  This Saturday is THAT game.  The Clemson Tigers, ranked #6 in the country, will take their perfect season 6-0 (3-0) into Sun Life Stadium this Saturday to take on our beloved Hurricanes at high-noon.  Let’s take a look at some of the key players for the Tigers that the Hurricanes will be up against.

Clemson+v+Florida+State+dCAMXHcTLQJlQuarterback – Deshaun Watson.  Deshaun came into Clemson last year as a 5 star player out of high school.  He has not disappointed the Tiger faithful.  Leading the Tigers’ offense, Deshawn has thrown for an average of 235 yards per game at a 68% completion ratio.  He has also run for almost 300 yards on the season.  He is very elusive in the pocket and needs to be contained.

Wayne GallmanRunning Back – Wayne Gallman – Wayne has put up some very good numbers this year averaging just under 100 yards per game on the ground. He has not been much of a threat catching the ball out of the backfield but can be dangerous in open space.

Artavis ScottReceivers – Artavis Scott – Artavis is by far the leading threat the Tigers have at the receiving position catching twice as many balls as anyone else on the team.  He has hauled in 39 passes (over 6 per game) and averages 74 receiving yards per game.  He is also back on punt returns.

As much as Clemson offense has produced including a 35 points per game on 450 yards of offense,  I believe it is their defense that has them in the driver’s seat to win the ACC Atlantic.  Here are a few of the defensive leaders.

CLemson vs Wake Forest 2014 in NCSafety – T.J. Green  T.J., a junior, leads the team with 40 tackles.  He has also added 4.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.

Linebacker – Ben Boulware  Ben, also a junior is just behind T.J. with 38 stops on the year.

Defensive End – Shaq Lawson –  The best player on the defensive side of the ball may very well be Shaq Lawson.  Shaq comes into Saturday’s contest with 10.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks.  FBC: Clemson v North Carolina StateHe will be lined up opposite Kevin Dodd who has already eclipsed 8 tackles for a loss and a team leading 4.5 sacks.

As I mentioned earlier, the Miami season is up in the air.  After coming off a – can we say not so pretty – win last week against VT, I believe a solid effort by the Miami Hurricanes will give them an opportunity to win this contest.  If not,  it will be a difficult but obtainable path to the ACC Coastal title.  One that would possibly line them up against this same Clemson squad.

The game will be broadcast nationally on ABC if you can’t make it out to Sun Life Stadium.  If you can make it out,  enjoy what should be a beautiful day and hopefully a Hurricane Victory.

Go Canes!

~Delray

Miami vs. VA Tech Preview

miami va techThere is an old saying that it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down only how many times you get back up.  Well, getting back up is precisely the challenge the Miami Hurricanes are looking at right now after losing  a close game to the Florida State Seminoles last week. This week brings another challenge in Virginia Tech.  A team that has been somewhat of a nemesis in the coastal division to Miami since joining the ACC.  The Hokies enter the game with a 3-3 record and 1-1 in the ACC coming off a 28-13 win over NC State.

Let’s take a look at some of the key players for the Hokies who invade Sun Life Stadium Saturday for a 3:30 kick-off.

brendan motleyQuarterback – When the season started out for the Hokies, Michael Brewer was the team leader at QB.  That quickly changed in the 1st half of the 1st game due to a shoulder injury.  Since then Brendan Motley has assumed the role and has done an adequate job. He has completed 56% of his passes for just over 1,000 yards.  As with past QBs at VT, he is a threat to run with over 300 yards rushing.  Miami has had problems with rushing QBs this year.

travon-mcmillian-ncaa-football-north-carolina-state-virginia-tech-850x560Running Back –  The Hokies have not had as much success running the ball this year.  When they do run, Travon McMillian will be getting most of the reps.  He has averaged 7.4 yards per carry but only gets about 7 to 8 handoffs per game.

Receivers – The Hokies have averaged about 28 pass attempts per game.  They do have two quality outlets.  Bucky HodgesIsiah Ford may rewrite the record books for the Hokies in both catches and receiving yards.  He is the fastest player to get to 1,000 yards receiving and leads the team with 421 receiving yards this season with an average of 15 yards per catch. Despite Ford’s statistics, the most versatile weapon on offense may well be Bucky Hodges.  Although listed as a Tight End, the 6 foot 7, 242 pounder has lined up all over for the Hokies.  He also averages nearly 15 yards per reception.  Once he makes a reception and turns up field he is not the easiest player to bring down.

DEFENSE

Chuck ClarkWe all remember the game DUUUUUKE had last year up in Blacksburg.  Those times have gone and that young Hokies defense has matured.  The Hokies are averaging seven tackles for a loss per game this season.  They are led by Chuck Clark who checks in with 51 tackles.  Not to be outdone Deon Clarke who leads the team in tackles for a loss with 4 and interceptions with 3.  Yes, I triple checked this stat.  He is all over the field.  Seriously though, did you think a Bud Foster coached defense would stay down for a while?

Speaking of coaches, I believe this is an intangible with just about any game the Hokies play.  Coach Frank Beamer has been in this role since 1987.  Let that sink in a bit.  He has the experience and is able to develop 2 and 3 star players to into all-pro players.  Just off the top of my head, Cam Chancellor, a 2 star player.  And also find players nobody saw coming and pull them out of Delray Beach under Miami’s nose.

Sorry, going off on a tangent…

So, as always, looking forward to seeing everyone out there this Saturday at Sun Life.  Kick-off is at 3:30.  The weathergirl is calling for some rain so plan accordingly.

GO CANES!

~ Delray