Though we smacked a team last week, and yes 70 points looks good on the boards, I am only bringing back the full blown forecast (light-saber map included) with an asterisk. Beating Sister of St. Mary’s High School D doesn’t prove anything so I am looking for the lines to take control, make some room for the runners, and make last week’s protection for Harper the norm, not the exception. On the D side, I would like to see a highlight reel worthy hit or sack, not chasing some fluttering pass that likely will not be a pick six and getting jammed on the line.
On to the weather. It’s not going to be a pretty commute. It’s never pretty heading into the Nation’s Capital on a Friday afternoon with traffic but the weather is going to be terrible to start the weekend. Look for temps in the mid to low 60’s with rain, rain, and more rain. Saturday isn’t going to be pretty for tailgating. Showers are expected to hang in the area until midday or even mid afternoon. With kickoff at 3:30 this isn’t helping the tailgate scene. However, this gnome has been warned that roaming alone in some of the areas not far from campus is not advised. I recommend finding a nice watering hole in another part of town and taking advantage of public transportation en-masse with other Tiger faithful with just enough time to get to the game, ala BC last year.
Game conditions should be good in the stands though bringing the jacket or poncho along to sit on is recommended as the seats will be wet. Storms have been known to be late as well so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Highs projected to be around 70 at game time but I wouldn’t bet on anything higher than 65. Saturday evening will provide a good chance to cool off after another cardiac cats game. Lows around 50 should be a nice change for those traveling north in search of a dose of fall. Hopefully the boozing around town will be in celebration over what I project to be a close win, and not a heartbreaking loss. Conditions will favor the stronger ground game. Rain itself shouldn’t affect the air attack with grip but I project a slick track keeping the sharp cuts and pinpoint routes to a minimum. We need a big game out of the big uglies up front. Let Spiller and Davis run through some big holes with open field straight ahead. The speed and power will take over in the secondary at that point and things should be good. I recommend not leaving things on the foot of the kicking game either. Footing won’t be good in the center of the field late in the day so punching it in and getting the job done inside the red zone (or from downfield) will be key. Watch for the fat man on the other sideline to put on a coaching show in the second half. I would like to say we jump out early and cruise but I foresee this game being very reminiscent of FSU last year, requiring a big run play or two late in the game to secure a Tiger victory. Much closer than need be but with a little help from VT, it puts us right back in the race in the Atlantic and that much closer to not being in the Champs Sports/Car Care/Emerald Nut/Humanitarian Bowl carousel.
NOTE: Sorry about the light saber, not much time on my hands right now. Did what I could. Clem.
Modified Gnome weather map in the continuation: