I win and I get...fruit? What the fuck is this shit?
We're still a bit dazed from watching two teams labeled WARNING! DEFENSIVE CONTENT! last night. A snap pick and return on a lamely thrown curl route? A safety making a pick? Contested interior blocking? A combined over/under below fifty? We did not come screaming on fire to this planet to write a blog called Every Day Should Be Sunday, sirs and madams!
Fortunately, after a mid-game conversation with SMQ, our admiration/shock at the amount of defense played waned a bit as we also realized that neither offense in the game really offered any great shakes either. A few notes:
One: Virginia Tech's traitorous offense. And has for a long time. We understand the pound the rock, kill the clock philosophy, and how well it meshes with the defense, the special teams blah blah blah...but with eleven minutes left in the game, down 24-14, and the ball in Sean Glennon's hand, VT only had the defensive half of the formula needed to win the game. It felt like watching clear doom descend over the team--one could almost see it in the droop of shoulders and in the stance of the defense on the sidelines, the defense that for all intents and purposes only allowed seven points. They were waiting for the offense to sell them down the river the whole fourth quarter. They did.
Mmm, love that rodeo tacklin'. In the third quarter all of Virginia Tech's defenders were glowing with video game bonus. At one point--we think this was Barry Booker--a massive DT grabbed hold of Todd Reesing and fucking German Suplexed him, spinning the qb across his hip and onto the back of his neck with a judo champ's skill. Last night at one point the announcers debated whether they'd ever seen an academic All-American defensive tackle. We can't think of one, but we do know one who can pull a wrestling move in the middle of a football play, and that's kind of awesome, too.
Todd Reesing is plucky. Not overwhelmingly talented--as Mangino just went out and said about his team in the postgame--but plucky and just mobile, tough, and mean enough to keep chains moving and try throws that had NFL scouts breaking out the really, really red markers to write "HIGH RISK" across his profile. He had ten rushes for something like -6 yards, but many of those rushes were the crucial scrambles and keepers that kept chains moving. He looked like the world's most badass high school QB playing at the college level, which on a defensive team is more than enough.
Two great tastes that taste great together: Sean Glennon's pocket presents/ Kansas' d-line. Glennon alternately scrambles his way out of and into trouble--more than any other qb we've seen he replicates video game AI qb perfectly, sometimes bouncing around for maddening escapes and first downs, and then just as often stepping directly into a forearm shiver. With Kansas' line blowing through Tech's all night, we got to see examples of this all night.
It was enough to make you a little ill.
The Gatorade Defense. There will not be a fat joke here. There will not be a fat joke here. There will...aw, fuck it. There's totally a fat joke here. They didn't douse Mangino with Gatorade because he'd swell, because he'd absorb it all, because it would boil off his 214 degree body with visible steam, searing bystanders, they didn't do it because he'd eat the jug...whatever. It's a testament both to his control-freaky, no Mr. Nice Guy personality and to his preparation that Mangino actually had some assistant ready to block the Gatorade. Then again, to drag Kansas from football purgatory and into the Orange Bowl, being a controlling dick is most likely a prerequisite for the job.