Winston Journal #13

Senior OL Eric Winston checks in with CanesTime and discusses his thoughts on the Virginia Tech and Georiga Tech games. Winston will be playing in his final game at the Orange Bowl on Saturday against Virginia.

"Triumph and Tribulation"

Since my last entry, the 'Canes have won a couple of big games and lost a very disappointing one.

To start chronologically, we rolled into Blacksburg, Va., ranked fifth, against Virginia Tech, ranked third. We played a great game, ran the ball effectively and completed key third downs in a 27-7 blowout in a stadium many consider the toughest place to play in the nation.

Our great defense forced six turnovers, we controlled the ball and had many key drives to make it 27-0 by the end of the third. I was hoping to put a couple of more scores on them and really embarrass them at home (it has turned into a nasty rivalry) but we didn't and cruised to a nice win.

Nobody gave us a chance to win the game but we came out and played like we can and we should, and deserved to, win.

Individually, I felt like I played good. I went against Daryl Tapp which has given a lot of tackles problems and played great against him.

They switch their defensive ends around based on field position so I didn't go against him every play, but the ones I did, I did well.

The next game was Wake Forest. Winston-Salem is a nice city and with the time of year it is, it makes the trip even nicer. The approaching winter turns all the trees orange and makes for beautiful countryside.

The drive into Blacksburg and Winston-Salem were great because it is the chance during the year I get to see transformation.

The 'Canes came out and played well after Wake Forest hung with us for a little bit. We pulled away in the game with 21 points in the last 5:30 of the second quarter and never looked back.

Everything seemed to be going great because we controlled our own destiny as far as the ACC Championship and playing in a BCS bowl game.

Georgia Tech was coming to town after a loss and we were playing our best.

It was a rough night to say the least. We could not get anything going offensively and lost 14-10 at home.

It was a real frustrating night for a lot of reasons - we never got our running game going and our pass protection wasn't very good.

I've been asked a lot of questions about who was missing their blocks and why at times has our pass protection been bad this year. I'll say this, pass protection is a total offensive effort.

The line has to block their guys, the running backs have to pick up the guys we are not supposed to block, the receivers have to run the right routes, and the quarterback has to make the right read. To consistently beat the blitz, all those things have to happen.

So our inconsistency in that it's a total offensive problem and not just one unit.

Individually, I played good in the Georgia Tech game. I graded out at 90% and led the line in metro rails. (A metro rail is when you block a guy for five straight seconds without losing contact with the defender).

We ran the ball 22 times and I got five so that is almost one every four plays which comes out to a pretty good ratio. I would easily give that up for a win. That really means everything to me and it is no consolation in a loss.

Individually speaking, the last three games have been good for me, but I can't even think of Georgia Tech being a good game for me since we didn't win.

We finish our season on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Virginia. It's senior day (the last home game for all the seniors) and all of my family will be there. It's something that I am looking forward to and I'm sure will be an event that I'll always remember. That is it for me. I'll be back soon to check up with everybody.

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

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