Small Pleasures: JMU
by Kevin Cuddihy, 9/11/03
This is the first in a new weekly column for the free side of TechSideline. It started as a post I made last week on the board that got some good feedback both on the board and off, so I decided to submit it as a Voice of the Fan piece.
Anyway, the thinking behind this column is that while everyone can appreciate the big plays -- the long touchdown run by Bryan Randall after escaping a sack, DeAngelo Hall’s first career TD on offense -- some of the greatest enjoyment can be from watching a minor point that not everyone else may notice. It’s paying attention to the details and applauding the events or players that don’t make the highlight reel but help contribute to that.
Last week, for instance, my Small Pleasures included Kevin Jones doing an excellent job picking up the blitz, and Cols Colas picking out the exact same Knight who drew a penalty on Kevin Lewis the play before to lay a hit on during an interception return. They are indeed small pleasures, so without further ado, here are this week’s Small Pleasures.
In keeping with the Hokie Respect theme of the year, each article will start off with one point for the opponent. Obviously this is hard for a team on the short end of 0-43, but as a couple fans on the board pointed out JMU at times looked sharp. They drove the length of the field on us early in the game, only to miss a field goal. This drive included a number of passes completed against Garnell Wilds, and I’d wager no I-AA team has anyone that measures up to Garnell. Now onto the Hokies!
Keith Willis and Cedric Humes. I list them because of their actions immediately following Kevin Jones being shoved into the wall. When watching the huddle before the next play, Keith was jumping up and down and screaming at anyone and everyone—the crowd, his teammates, JMU, even the refs. Screaming at that last group earned him a yellow hankie, but I for one was glad to see his emotions on display on the field.
Same with Cedric Humes. The first play after the injury was a run to the right side for Cedric, and a fumble that JMU recovered. Why is that a small pleasure? Well, according to Hokiesports.com that fumble was caused by JMU’s Trey Townsend. It says here that the fumble was caused by Humes instead, and he should be credited with a forced fumble from the RB position. He saw a big hole on the right, and instead ran straight AT somebody as hard as he could. He wasn’t looking for a big gain, he was looking for a big hit to tell JMU what he thought of their actions.
The fumble was inconsequential; what that play showed me was Humes’ leadership and emotion. When KJ leaves, we’ll be in great hands. (And by the way, I don’t think it happened this way, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it came out that one of the defensive players "suggested" that Humes fumble the ball so they could get out on the field and do some hitting. Wouldn’t shock me at all.)
The fans. Yes, that place got rocking after KJ’s injury, but there was one other instance that I thought the fans flashed the orange and maroon brilliantly. Our first full series after the injury, we had a third-and-six on the JMU 14, and Randall threw a nine-yard pass to Hamilton for first and goal. Except for that pesky yellow hanky. Illegal formation, six men on the line of scrimmage. No matter that it was the right call, and no matter that technically it’s an impossible call to mess up—it’s not like it’s a judgement call, you just count to six—the fans immediately let loose with a chorus of boos, and the standard chant referencing bovine excrement. Oh yeah, they were in the game then. And special kudos to the Alumni side for giving Mike Imoh a standing ovation when he came off the field late in the game. Well deserved.
Lance Goff and Jeff King. Third and six, Beamer decides to let the fourth-string quarterback air it out once, and he hits Jeff King for 31 yards on a GREAT catch by the tight end. Yeah it was late in the game, yeah about a third of the crowd already was gone, but I bet that’s gonna be talked about by the two of them for quite a bit, and it was great to see especially because it led to a touchdown by …
John Candelas. Good old #44. I’m not sure if you read the article about Candelas scoring in the Marshall game last year, but it was clear that it was a highlight of his life for him, and for his friends and family back home. Especially after reading that article it was great to see him hit paydirt on another run.
So those are this week’s Small Pleasures. Got your own? Post them on the board, and see you in a week and a half with Small Pleasures from the Texas A&M game!