We’re now three games into the season and we are not totally devastated. The FAU game went as planned. The trip to Boston was heartbreaking. But Saturday’s triumph over Florida State provides solid footing for optimism. Of course extrapolation is a dangerous tool, especially as you move further away from your source data. Projecting 4 games into the future based on 3 games in the past falls in the ‘danger’ category. However, I just can’t help myself. Right now the glass is
half 2/3rds full.
If there is a time for a letdown game, this is the time for it. Everyone remembers the Miami/Duke win/loss combo of 2004. There is no reason, however, why the FSU/UNC win/loss combo of 2006 should come into play. And let’s face it, the next 4 games are nothing compared to the last two. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be 6-1 when Georgia Tech comes to town. Why do I say that? There are four reasons: UNC, Louisiana Tech, Wake Forest, and Temple.
Certainly there is reason for concern. I won’t get into that here. Instead, this is just a brief reminder that these 4 teams just aren’t that good — or at least that’s how it looks right now.
UNC has played three home games, dropping two of them to Rutgers and Virginia Tech, and almost dropping the third to DI-AA Furman. Maybe their strength is playing on the road? Their offense isn’t statistically bad, but their rushing defense appears to be suspect.
La. Tech has only played two games: first getting killed by Nebraska then winning by 10 over DI-AA Nicholls State (who did only marginally worse against Nebraska). Like UNC, they have mediocre offensive stats, but their rushing defense is even worse, ranked at 106th nationally. They may be able to play A&M close next week, but that’s only because it is almost impossible to have confidence in Coach Fran’s team. Either way, they played patsy to Nebraska, then had to come from behind against patsy Nicholl’s State.
Wake Forest has stumbled along to a 3-0 start. Their rush defense may be good, but their offense lacks firepower. The near-loss to Duke has me questioning the team. What’s worse, is that their next two games look completely winnable as well. Despite the fawning man-love by the media for Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron, his team just doesn’t look good — they even got beat by Kentucky! After them, the Deacs face off against DI-AA Liberty. Wake is likely the toughest game on Liberty’s schedule this year. Still it is hard to gauge Wake since they don’t really play anyone.
Then there’s Temple. The Owls are averaging a DI-A worst 1 point per game. They’re also giving up more than 44 points per game, with each of the last two teams putting up 62.
We should win all these games by at least 20 points.
If we want to be considered among the best in the nation, we need to dominate the next four games.
The Hokies beat UNC in Chapel Hill by 25. La. Tech fell by 39 to Nebraska. Wake Forest almost lost to Duke who put up goose eggs against Richmond and Virginia Tech. Temple is just sad.
The early line against UNC has us favored by 16. Furman put up 42 against them. La. Tech and Temple have cupcake written all over them. And Wake? Well it’s time for us to smack the smirk off their faces.
Individually, none of the games looms very large. Collectively, they are 1/3 of our season and every bit as important as the games against Techs or South Carolina. This is the part of the season where we get to stretch our legs. And we’d better damn well do it.