Winston Journal #12

Senior Eric Winston was named the ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against North Carolina. Winston will be a key for the Hurricanes Saturday against Virginia Tech.

There are times when you look forward to certain things. For me, it was getting back on the field after my injury. Or last year, the last three months before I graduated all I could think of was finishing so I did not have to worry about the school work anymore.

A reporter came up to me yesterday and asked if I was ready for the home stretch and I looked at him puzzled. It feels like yesterday we were in the locker room at Clemson, celebrating a triple overtime win or even being pissed after the South Florida game for not putting it away like we should have.

The point I'm making, I guess, is that I don't look at it that way. This week is Virginia Tech and next week is Wake Forest, after that we could have another hurricane so there is no point in even thinking about it.

(There is no current hurricane looming, I was just making an example.)

I just worry about this week and prepare myself for it the best I can. I mentioned before that this week is Virginia Tech. They are ranked No. 3 in the country and we are currently at No. 5, but if you listen to the media you would think we were 50th. Blacksburg is a very tough place to play but people are acting like the fans can physically come on the field and help the Hokies out. All kidding aside though, if you have been to Blacksburg, more specifically Lane Stadium, it is a very loud, tough place to play.

The fans do a great job of gathering momentum and the players do a great job of feeding off of it. Their defense is ranked No. 2 in the nation, right behind ours.

The Hokies play an aggressive style that causes a lot of havoc, and their defensive line comes off the ball very hard and plays with a lot of effort. Their linebackers make a lot of tackles largely due to the fact that the d-line takes up all the blockers so they can make the easy plays. We are going to have to match their intensity and effort, and figure out a way to get some movement on the those guys.

In pass protection we will have to do a lot of the same. Match their aggressiveness and not let them get a lot of push so quarterback Kyle Wright can throw the ball in rhythm. They do not blitz a lot so I would be surprised if they came out and blitzed us every down. They are capable of blitzing so we'll have to be talking and passing guys off.

All in all, it will be a game that will take great play for us to win, but I think if we come out and play as well as we should, I think that is exactly what we will do.

Since we talked last I have lived through a hurricane and beat North Carolina. The hurricane knocked a lot of trees down in my area, but that was it for structural damage. I didn't see any houses damaged or anything thing like that. The real damage was mainly in Broward County.

They were hit hard and it is still really tough for some people up there. The biggest problem has been the power outages. I was lucky and lost power for only 36 hours, but some people are still without power.

North Carolina was more of a game than it should have been. We got off to a slow start and they got off to a great start and jumped off to an early lead. We kept our composure, came back and ended up getting a victory going away.

In the game, we ran the ball extremely well and in the second half played great defense. We are going to need both of those things to win on Saturday.

The game is on ESPN at 7:45 p.m., and hopefully all of you will watch and pull for the Hurricanes.

Eric Winston is working with Christopher Stock who is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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