Celebrating ACC Football: Saturday, December 6
Dec. 6, 2008
4:32 p.m. - The Hokies win, 30-12, to claim the 2008 Dr Pepper ACC Championship. Tyrod Taylor has been named the MVP of the game. A full recap will follow.
4:00 p.m. - Virginia Tech just returned a BC fumble for a touchdown, making the score 30-10 in favor of VT. The extra point bounced off of the upright.
Between the quarters - the Special Operations Parachute team from MacDill Air Force Base in Florida was honored. Keith Walter is a Lieutenant Colonel in US Army assigned to the Special Operations Command. He and two other team members parachuted into the stadium pregame. LTC Walter jumped into the stadium with the game ball, landing near midfield. His team averages 100 jumps a year for various events.
3:15 p.m. - Virginia Tech's Dustin Keys just kicked a 50-yard field goal, the longest in title game history, making the score 17-7 in favor of the Hokies.
The Hokies might want to be a little nervous - they have 17 points, the number of points everybody picked for the LOSING team last night.
Also, in the last three meetings between these two, the first team that has had two scores has lost the game. We'll have to wait 21 more minutes to find out if that trend continues.
2:42 p.m. - At halftime, Geza Kenna, III of Brick, N.J. won a $100,000 scholarship from Dr Pepper. In his 10 attempts, he put seven in the large Dr Pepper can. Obviously, this opens a lot of doors for the 19-year-old. "I'm going to think about it... I've got a lot to think about."
2:28 p.m. - Boston College just pulled to within one touchdown after the longest play from scrimmage in ACC championship game history. Dominique Davis completed a 51-yard pass to Montel Harris that led to the touchdown. The score at halftime is 14-7, Virginia Tech in the lead. It is the first time the score has NOT been tied at halftime in ACC title game history.
1:52 p.m. - Virginia Tech had not scored an offensive touchdown in the last two meetings (regular season and last year's championship game), but they have scored two in the first 19 minutes in today's game. The score is 14-0 Hokies, 11:08 remaining in the first half.
1:11 p.m. - On the second play from scrimmage, Virginia Tech's Darren Evans was tackled by Boston College's Mike McLaughlin. That is a matchup of this week's Getting to Know... On the play, Evans went over the 1,000 yard mark for the season, becoming only the sixth ACC freshman to accomplish the feat.
1:05 p.m. - The game can start now. The jump team just brought the ball in, the captains have been called. It is GAME TIME folks. Boston College is kicking off, Virginia Tech receiving.
12:15 p.m. - Here is something I know everybody has been waiting for - the selection process for postseason officials. This is what Doug Rhoads, Officials Coordinator for the ACC, had to say.
Let's start with the basics. Throughout the season, there are 10 crews of seven officials. Every game, every official is graded and at the end of each month, each official is ranked by position. They do not get ranked by crew.
The ratings come from three main sources:
1. Plays submitted by coaches for review
The technical advisor is the replay official on gameday. He grades the officials based on a DVD of the game he receives and enters the grades in a database.
You can't forget about the football operations center. Every week, every game is recorded and every penalty is marked and added to a collection. This is also used in the grading process.
At the conclusion of the regular season, the coordinator of officials assigns 12 crew members to each postseason game. There are seven on-field officials, one alternate official (in case something happens to one of the seven, he can take their place), two clock operators, a replay official and a communicator.
There are six games the ACC assigns - the ACC Championship game, the Army-Navy game, and four bowl games.
So now, you might ask, what makes a good official? There are three criteria that really stand out:
1. Consistency - A highly rated official calls the first and fourth quarter the same, as well as a game in the second week and a game in the 13th week.
2. Good Judgment - A highly rated official makes calls that are significant. They exercise sound judgment when they throw the flag.
3.Good Mechanics - A highly rated official is in position to make the call. On fourth and short, they pinch in so they can make a good spot. On field goals, they are directly under the upright so they can see if it goes through. They are standing on the goal line to see if the ball breaks the plane.
Just remember, the officials on the field have been thoroughly reviewed and rated by input from a number of sources. Every play is graded by the technical advisor. Coaches also provide a list of plays to look at, and the officials coordinator goes to at least one game a week to see the officials work in person. Finally, the football operations center records every penalty and makes a DVD for review.
10:30 a.m. - Clem Brooks has been officiating athletics for 42 years. During that time, he has worked at the youth, high school and college level. Today, he is on the chain crew for the 2008 Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game.
Brooks has been working the chains at University of South Florida football games since day one. For the last four years he has been on the chain crew for Tampa Bay Buccaneers games. All of this while still officiating high school football!
This is his last year officiating. However, he will still work with the chain crews. The Florida high school playoffs are winding down, and he hopes to earn a spot on the field in the state championship game. We wish him the best.
9:00 a.m. - EA Sports is always trying something new, and right now, that is working with the ACC office to create a unique experience for fans at the stadium today. Before the game, EA Sports will have an ad running on the (HUGE!) video boards at Raymond James Stadium. The demo shows Boston College and Virginia Tech playing in RJS, complete with the pirate ship.
As you could see from the pictures on Thursday, the inside of the stadium is "wrapped". The demo EA Sports provided reflects this. I saw it on a computer the other night, and I can't wait to see it on the big boards and the reaction it gets from the fans.