Thursday, November 8, 2012
Greetings from Lane Stadium
By Heather Dinich
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- This is one of the most electric, vibrant stadiums in the country for Thursday night football, but something is missing here today -- Hokie hype.
No matter how loud Enter Sandman plays tonight, it's not going to change the fact that Virginia Tech is in the midst of one of its worst seasons in 20 years, as it's the first time the program has fallen below .500 in November since 1992.
According to reporters Norm Wood and David Teel of the Daily Press, the last time Tech was a double-digit underdog at home was the 2001 game against Miami (in which Miami was a 14-point favorite and won, 26-24). Thursday night's game will mark just the third time in the past 20 years Tech is a double-digit underdog at home (the aforementioned 2001 game, and a 1992 game against Miami in which the Hurricanes were favored by 19.5 points, and ended up barely covering in a 43-23 win.)
Lane Stadium should still be rockin' come kickoff against No. 10-ranked Florida State tonight, but it was quiet around the stadium four hours before game time. Some of that can be explained by the fact the parking lots are closed until 4 p.m. so the students can park there for their classes, but this game has lost so much luster because of Virginia Tech's struggles and Florida State's earlier loss at NC State.
Nevermind what could have been, though.
Virginia Tech has a chance to prove it's not done yet, but it's going to have to execute a nearly flawless performance. A few interesting notes for you from ESPN's Stats & Information department:
- Florida State has 16 touchdown drives on three plays or fewer this season, the second most in FBS.
- Florida State has forced 60 three-and-out drives, the most in FBS this season.
- Florida State has given up 16 plays of 20 yards or more, the fewest in FBS this season.
- Since the start of 2010, EJ Manuel has completed 73.8 percent of his passes outside the pocket, including nine touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Follow me on Twitter throughout the game @ESPN_ACC.