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Rivalry Week

Sports Dawgs Take Shop: Rivalry Week

25 November 2019 Sports


November 25, 2019

Welcome to Sports Dawgs Take Shop. Every Monday morning Randy Woodward and Josh Henry will break down a moment or story line in sports that enthralled us from the weekend. Last week, the Sports Dawgs asked if teams with losing records should make a Playoff? Rivalry week is here in college football, so the question is: what is your favorite CFB rivalry? 

RW: Well, for me it’s undoubtedly Army-Navy. I know that game doesn’t happen this weekend, but for pageantry, patriotism, respect for opponent, and love of the game, you can’t beat this annual classic . The football isn’t the best or most exciting you’ll ever see, but at the end of the day, the two sides are on the same team, the USA. And there’s nothing more emotional than the ceremony at game’s end.

But since this take us about this weekend, does it get any better than a big ol’ plate of leftovers and college football on the tube? Friday you’ve got The Commonwealth Classic at high noon with Virginia & Virginia Tech playing for the ACC Coastal title. Saturday it’s Auburn-Alabama in the Iron Bowl. ‘Nuff said.

I guess the game I’m looking most forward to is Ohio State versus Michigan. No love lost,  and it’s always best when the two schools are having good seasons. I don’t have a horse in that race but I remember growing up watching that game at my grandma’s house. The day was always cold and crisp, and I ‘d come inside after playing football with my brother in a big pile of leaves and turn the TV to ABC to watch Bo battle Woody. The score always seemed to be something like 12-7, with “3 yards and a cloud of dust” the offensive philosophy. Good memories.

Here’s to a weekend of college football rivalries and lots of turkey sandwiches!

 

JH: You threw some good ones out there Randy, but I’ve got to go with the Hokies v. Hoos.

I’m a Virginia Tech alum, so if I chose another college rivalry I’d have to mail back my diploma. VT and UVA have met every year since 1970. The student bodies don’t like each other, and despite the lopsidedness of the rivalry in recent years (15 straight wins by the Hokies), both teams get up for this game every year. Last year was an absolute thriller with both teams making valiant comebacks, only for the inevitable to happen yet again: a Hokies victory 34-31 in overtime.

I will admit: recent history says this game will be close, and possible a rock fight (remember 10-0 in 2017?). No matter the strategy for either side, I’m all in come this Friday at noon. I get to wake up from a well needed rest/food coma, to the matchup that decides who will get blown out, the chance to face Clemson in the ACC championship? It doesn’t get better than that folks.

Speaking of the ACC championship game, let’s take a moment to observe the resumes’ of these squads. Virginia Tech was dead in the water at 2-2 following a 45-10 smashing at the hands of Duke. The Hokies have had three different starting quarterbacks, don’t run the ball exceptionally and the defense isn’t scoring points like some of the Bud Foster led squads of old. Despite all that: they are 8-3, with a few plays in South Bend stopping them from hitting 9-2. I don’t really know how this team is doing it, but my goodness they’ve dominated the ACC since that game against the Blue Devils. 5-0 in conference and +101 point differential in those matchups since Sept. 27. Sheesh.

Let’s not forget about the Cavaliers of course. Their offense has awoken in recent weeks. Over 400 yards in three straight games, quarterback Bryce Perkins is a legit dual-threat (a force the Hokies historically struggle with containing on defense), and Hasise Dubois is a tough cover on the outside. Throw in the fact that their defense is tied for sixth in the nation in sacks (37), and UVA has a recipe that can put teams in a hole very quickly. Especially a team like the Hokies that wants to dominate possession and keep offenses off the field.

After all that I’d say I’m worried, but why do this exercise without confidence? Rivalry week kicks off on a familiar note: Hokies win 33-26, securing their 16th straight Commonwealth Cup.

 


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