First Hokies Offensive Series:
1st and 10- One TE, 3 WR, DW at tailback. Line is 72-75-74-68-62. Bootleg on first down. Not a great ball fake by Wilson or Thomas, but plenty of time. LT3 looks a bit tenative and doesn't find anyone downfield. Scramble and gets back to the line. Good blocking, but Drager lost his man late to make Thomas scramble.
2nd and 10- Behind the sticks early. I formation. They run a slow developing power play to the right. There is a good initial hole, but the play takes so long to develop that Wilson gets tracked down backside. Second watch, Al Groh brought both the backside LB and the corner on a blitz. If Wilson could have gotten to the line quicker and cut off Phillips lead block, there was a HUGE hole. That is not Wilson's fault. Just not a great playcall against that defensive playcall. But, there was a monster hole.
3rd and 11- GT brings four men, all standing. The left defensive end stunts to the middle, across the formation as Logan does a short waggle to his left. Lainer is in postition to pick up the stunt but gets picked by the traffic between him and the stunting end and whiffs. Logan gets smacked, but makes a tough throw to Boykin for a big play.
1st and 10- Straight zone play left. Nosal gets a little push, but loses his feet. Wilson hits a small hole with authority and gets 3 yards. Not poorly blocked, but well defended. Hokies still using 1 TE and 3 WR.
2nd an 7- One back, two tight ends right. LT3 audibles. Power play to the right, with Brooks pulling and Wilson going off tackle. Again, tough positive yards on a well defended play.
3rd and 4- Straight drop back. Lainer gets beat on a speed rush and it looks like the GT OLB got close enough to Thomas to force a high throw. Probably his worst throw of the game. It looks like Coale might have been open on a deep post, as the Boykin route where Thomas threw drew the safety. Hokies
punt goes into the end zone, netting about 15 yards.
First GT Offensive Series, 1st quarter:
Quick explanation of the term "option man." On every veer option play, one defender in the front 7 is unblocked. The QB reads the unblocked man. If the unblocked man takes pitch, QB keeps. If the unblocked man takes QB, QB pitches. The Hokies almost 90% of the time had the option man take pitch.
1st and 1-. Triple option right. QB give to the FB on a guard gap dive. Hokie D alignment as DHop on the nose, and Collins outside eye of the playside guard. GT options the DE (Gayle) and blocks everyone down. Collins makes the tackle, but was "catching" (pads up, reading the play versus blowing up field.) To me, this runs opposite of the logic for moving Collins inside to use his speed to get up field. As noted in my initial reaction, the Hokies took away the FB dive, BUT they were not getting into the mesh point.
2nd and 7- GT gets away with a false start. Again, triple option to the right. This time the QB pulls the ball from the fullback. The DE (Gayle) crashes on the dive. Tariq Edwards forces the QB then goes to pitch. QB makes the correct read and keeps. Tyler and Collins scrape over to make the tackle.
3rd and 4- GT triple option right. Gives to the FB. Hokies DE's almost backed up at the snap, while the whip and rover blitzed. JR Collins got BLOWN UP by a double team and the FB squirts through for 4.5. The great thing about the veer is that you only need 3 quick blocks at the point of attack to make it work, while in a pro-offense, everyone must hold their blocks for a long time.
1st and 10- GT goes left with a quick toss. GREAT JOB by Kyle Fuller to run to the sideline and beat the block, forcing the runner inside. Tyler and Hill help with the tackle, along with big DHop.
2nd and 8- GT toss sweep right. Gayle beats a cut block, and Kyle Fuller flies up again to make a tough open field tackle. Where are the safeties?
3rd and 5- GT triple option left. Foster calls a run blitz, with Tariq Edwards flying to the dive, making Jack Tyler the option man (who is stunting playside). He becomes the defacto option man yet is not in good position because of the distance. Washington pitches, and there is a huge seam for the pitchman. Long run. Hosley gets manhandled on the option stalk block. Where are the safeties? Kyle Fuller runs clean all the way from the other side of the field to make the tackle. Watching again, GT got linemen downfield to block Whitley. Exum never came into the picture. Playcall burned the Hokies there, wrong D at the wrong time. Eddie Whitley was literally 20 yards down field not coming up to support.
1st and 10- Hokies blitz Edwards strongside, but GT runs triple option left. Collins and Hopkins both get pushed back on the double, but Tyler splits them and makes a huge lick right on the B back. Two yard gain, but a penalty on GT.
1st and 25- Toss play left. Wilson does a good job of keeping DE leverage and takes away most of the seam (but there is a little room). Tyler flies across to help finish the play. Again, no safety support. I am guessing that they have the deep halves on play action?
2nd and 18- Counter option right (fullback dives left and QB reverse pivots to option right. Fuller goes to pitch as Hill takes on the lead blocker. Gayle overpursues the QB and Washington cuts back. Beautifully defended play, but Washington "out-athletes" Gayle and makes a nice run. Tyler again with the tackle.
3rd and 7- GT play action, throwback screen to the big WR. Hosley is there to tackle him for a loss, but can't get Hill down. Hill makes 2, giving GT a more managable 4th and 4. Poor job by the Hokies not taking advantage of getting GT behind the sticks.
4th and 4- DHop jumps. Ugh.
1st and 10- Triple option left. QB gives to the dive. There must be some kind of bust, as Tyler stunted outside but nobody from GT filled his vacated gap and JR Collins got blown up and turned out. Big run down inside the five. Hopkins ALMOST dove inside and got the FB at the line of scrimmage, but there was nobody to back him up when he missed the tackle. Exum gets over to save the TD.
1st and goal- GT runs "double dive right." Fake to the FB, and the QB then keeps following behind him. Good stop by the interior.
2nd a goal- Double dive right again. This time Collins got down blocked inside, and the wing back got just enough of Tyler on a downblock that he couldn't stop Washington's forward momentum. TD GT.
I know I am a Hokie fan, but that was sexy offensive football.
2nd Hokie Offensive Series- 1st Quarter
1st and 10 (after another piss poor kickoff return.)- Three TE unbalanced right with one back. A straight ahead zone play that Wilson cuts back on. Gets 1. Very little push.
2nd and 9- Shotgun with Wilson split left. Motions across and gets the handoff on the jet sweep (another variation of the zone-read option from the gun.) TERRIFIC seal blocks by DeChristopher and Drager, with Oglesby kicking out creating a seam that Vince Lombardi would be proud to shout about. Wilson makes no mistake and hits the hole at full speed. Wilson gets 10, and would have gotten more if Jarret Boykin could have held his block a second longer. Nice cutblock by Andrew Miller to stop penetration by the nose which could have ruined the timing of the play.
3rd and 1- Jesse Palmer with "David Wilson is fast.." No wonder he makes the big money. Somewhere a Arizona State sorority girl just thought Jesse had "a high football IQ." I formation. Logan Thomas on the QB keeper. Absurd push by Miller and Nosal, and LT3 gets 3. Big first down, deflating the crowd after the TD, the botched kick return, and the poor first down run. Those kind of responses win football games.
1st and 10- I formation, 3 wide. Please Craig James, do a standing back flip. Land on your head while you were at it. Thursday night games just suck without Corso. Play action. Nothing downfield so Logan runs. Wilson picked up a weakside blitz, but wasn't aggressive enough. First contact was right in front of the QB. Wilson blocked him, but the defender was close enough that Logan bailed on the play.
2nd and 11- Twins left, gun, with Wilson again. Same option series, but with Wilson as a jet sweep guy rather than a regular sweep from the TB positon. Logan keeps and powers ahead for 8. Again, DeChristopher, using what I call a "throw block" (technique is to plant strong with your outside foot and punch the outside shoulder of the end to turn him inside.) Again, a terrific yet subtle block by DeChristopher, who has been much better this year versus last year. Drager also got a great drive block, and the motion of Wilson and the lead of Oglesby took 2 GT defenders with them. Great design and read, well executed.
3rd and 3- Gun. It looks like a pass, but I think it was a very sneaky called QB draw. Groh only brought 3 guys. DeChristopher looks like pass pro, but turns his DE's pads out. Jaymes Brooks aggressively (like a run play) checks for a blitz and then HAMMERS the nose in the ribs while the nose is engaged with Miller. I mean, nasty nasty lick, turning the nose across the field and taking out the DE on Becton's side as he tries to scrape across to stop the run. All of GT's LBers were in a soft zone, and Logan delivers a blow to finish the run. I am a bit moist after that masterpiece.
1st and 10- Timeout after someone screws up the package (looks like Marcus Davis runs on late. Boy, was he invisible this game.) Take two, split back gun. QB turned the wrong way on a dive fake to Oglesby (looks like he expected Wilson to be the dive man) but Logan follows Oglesby into the hole and has a nice power run. Great turnout by DeChristopher and great downblock by Brooks opening a huge hole that was aided by all the confusion in the backfield.
1st and 10- One back, two TE left. Motion both TE's right. Counter back to the left, with the TE (Martin) pulling. Martin didn't really find anyone to block, but the hole was there. Boykin again misses a block, but his guy couldn't bring down Wilson, who exploded into a next gear and gets to the marker. 11 yard run. This drive, all runs, is sucking the life out of the stadium, which you love on the road.
1st and 10- Two TE right. LT3 audibles. Awkward play action. LT3 throws awkwardly over the head of Boykin. Wilson stopped on the play and the D didn't bite on the fake. Good audible though, as GT had been gashed by the running game. Just poorly executed ball fakes.
2nd and 10- I formation with three wide. Straight power play, and Andrew Miller gets whipped by the nose. Wilson gets nothing. End of the quarter.
3rd and 10- Gun, GT middle backer engages Nosal, then stunts around to the left, where Brooks and Miller are engaged by another blitzer and the nose. Nosal gets picked by their traffic, and the backer comes unblocked. Logan makes a good play rolling right, but if he could have thrown it earlier, Drager was wide open. He still has to make the catch, but it was good football by GT.
Asinine comment: "3rd down is Al Groh's baby."- Jesse Palmer
Punt- Good placement by Branthover. Punt count is 2 (I predicted that if VT punted more than 4 times, they would lose.)
First GT Offensive Series 2nd Quarter
1st and 10- Option left. Gayle gets off the cutblock to take QB, so Washington pitches, and Hill flies up to make the play. It looks like Foster threw a change up at Washington there, messing up his read.
2nd and 8- fumbled snap. Washington falls on it. Hokies must take advantage of the down and distance.
3rd and 10- Very little passrush. Wilson gets close late. Washington throws a simple in route in front of Fuller, but the WR drops it. That is a break, Short punt. Hokies take over with great field position,
2nd VT Series 2nd Quarter
1st and 10- I formation with a TE and Martin as a wing back strong side. That is a new look this year. Toss sweep right that Oglesby turns upfield behind the tackle. Well blocked, tough running for 4 yards. Via in at guard. DeChristopher had a nice kickout and Drager and Martin had nice down blocks. Well designed toss that almost has the effect of a belly dive that causes the D to overpursue.
2nd and 6- Pro I left, flexes the TE back to the right. Motion the flanker back to the left. It is a split pro-backfield action, where the FB goes left and the TB goes right, but Oglesby cuts hard left at the last second and follows the fullback. It almost looks like a counter play. Lainer turned his guy inside, giving Oglesby the corner, and the rest of the Hokie line prevented penetration. The running back action caused the GT LBers to scrape right, and then they got trapped by Nosal as they flowed back to the left with Oglesby. That is great play design and a new wrinkle for other coaches to worry about.
1st and 10- I again, two TE right.. Hokies run toss sweep again. Same play design with the te's blocking down, guard and tackle pulling and kicking out, and Phillips leading through. Oglesby gets a tough 3.
2nd and 7- Pro I left. Bootleg left. Logan should have taken off the run faster. Well blocked, but he gets wrapped up after a 2 yard gain.
3rd and 5- Huge play here. Great protection up front. Thomas throws the ball a little late, and it wasn't a sharp corner route, but DJ Coles did an excellent job of keeping body position between the ball and the safety. Great play in a big spot! Giving the film a second look, GT brought 4. They have an umbrella zone. There is nothing open underneath with 4 men across, but Coles is all alone with a safety covering him. TERRIFIC READ by Logan Thomas.
(FYI for TheKeyPlay: Lainer was in, not Becton. You win this one.)
1st and Goal- Same toss sweep, this time to the left. Michael Via whiffs on a diving cut block to get the backside middle backer, who came flying through the hole vacated by the center, left guard, and tackle (who all pulled to kick guys out.) -1 for Via and Oglesby gets tackled for a 2 yard loss.
2nd and Goal- Straight power play to the right. Good push, but DeChristophers man got underneath his pads and tripped up Oglesby just short of the goal line.
3rd and Goal- Good push, but no clear evidence that Thomas was in. It looked like a TD.
4th and Goal- Terrific push by Thomas, Miller, Via, and Nosal. TOUCHDOWN TECH on the sneak.
2nd GT Offensive Posession of the 2nd Quarter
1st and 10- Counter option left with a guard pulling lead. Tariq Edwards forces the QB to turn up field, and then had the athleticism to recover. Nice play.
2nd and 7- Triple option left. Hopkins whips the center and tackles the QB, who tried to cut back when Wilson and Fuller flowed outside to take away pitch. Beautiful pursuit by Hopkins. That was another changeup by Foster. Still no penetration, but that must be the plan.
3rd and 8- Kyle Fuller comes on a blitz from his whip position. He gets cut, but gets up and presures Washington into a bad throw. Good coverage by Exum.
3rd VT Offensive Possession of the 2nd Quarter
1st and 10- I formation two tights right. Hokies run off tackle right. Great kickout block by Joey Phillips and an even better down block by Eric Martin, who turned the end inside and then got to a backer. Wilson again shows that when he is assertive, he is as explosive as any back in the country, blazing down the left sideline. Wilson's speed allowed him to get an angle on the outside linebacker, and then he flies past the pursuit. Beautiful yet simple football play coupled with tremendous athleticism.
1st and 10- One back, two tight end, flex over to the right. Hokies switch it up with a counter play away from the strong side. Second look, Nick Becton had an excellent turnout block, but Eric Martin (who pulled from his wingback position) pulled trying to kick out the backer who was filling, but he tripped on the back of Andrew Miller's leg and fell down right in the hole. Wilson's speed gets him the corner on a broken play. Chicken salad.
2nd and 6- single back, base 2 TE with twins left. Hokies run their traditional power play left, with Becton and Martin blocking down, and Brooks pulling backside and turning up on the OLB who is reading his key on the tackle and crashing inside. Great blocking, with Brooks getting enough depth not to get picked off by the traffic inside, and he got just enough of the backer. Drager backside nails a safety for good measure. It may not have been his longest run, but that was David Wilson's best run of the night. He ran straight ahead, hit the correct gap, and burst through. And, for good measure, he finished the run with authority. THAT is how he needs to run on short yardage.
1st and 10- Straight zone play right, two tight ends flexed over, but WOW, look at the OL come off the ball! WHOA! Terrific seal block by Martin and Drager, and the rest of the Hokie OL crashes through the second level. 2 playside cutblocks by DeChristopher and Brooks on the middle backers. Dear God, I have an erection. Again, aggressive north/south running by Wilson, slashing through the secondary.
Look at this chain of plays. 10+ yards a pop on first down. That is outstanding football.
1st and goal- Shotgun? You are getting 10 yards a pop. Basically, you are screaming to Al Groh that the QB is keeping on the option. Logan should have handed to Wilson. He'd still be running. No gain Groh called a corner blitz and he ran right into Logan
2nd and goal- Logan has Wilson open, but throws behind him. Wilson adjusts, but then drops the ball. If he holds on, it is a TD. Good protection. I am not sure if Logan ever looked at other options downfield.
3rd and goal- NICK MOTHERFUCKING BECTON. Great second effort to get back into position after being beaten on the snap with no help. Tremendous play design, with Danny Coale dragging to pull up the linebackers and then a fantastic double move by Boykin. Thomas had perfect timing and just enough pace on the ball to beat the safety. That is a big time football play from a bunch of talented players. Wow, what a fantastic drive, just sucking the life out of the stadium. TOUCHDOWN TECH.
3rd GT Series of the 2nd quarter:
1st and 10- Play action. Jump ball beats Jayron. No pass rush because the ends are so focused on contain. Collins gets there from his three technique late and crushes Washington.
1st and 10- Triple option right. Gives to the dive. Hopkins got blown up on that play.
2nd and 4- Triple option right. Kyle Fuller blitzes and trips up the fullback on the dive. Nice play. Again, Foster isn't just playing base. He is trying to give Washington different looks. Collins held his ground to finish off the fullback.
3rd and 4-Triple option left. Dive again (do you think Washington was sore from the Collins hit?) Derrick Hopkins is getting tired folks. He almost stood straight up on the play and got knocked on his tail.
First and 10- Toss sweep left. Hosley does an excellent job defeating the cut block. Great backside pursuit, but tough running gets 3.
2nd and 7- Triple option left. QB keeps, Jack Tyler beats the downblock and fills the hole nicely. Again, the Hokies are focused on letting the QB keep and taking away the pitch, as Kyle Fuller ignored Washington and ran straight to the pitch man.
3rd and 6- Fuller blitzes weakisde. GT play action, but Washington pulls it down quick. DHop makes a great play to trip him up.
Field Goal, GT
4th VT Series of the 2nd Quarter
1st and 10- Shotgun. Short waggle right. Danny Coale runs an out and up. GT is again running an umbrella zone. Coale does a double move, and freezes #8 for GT. Logan Thomas throws the ball before Coale comes out of his break on the second move because he doesn't see any safety help. He leads Coale, with the worst case scenario being an overthrow. Tyrod Taylor NEVER, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, makes that throw. Coale does the rest with an absurd run after catch. Terrific protection. Wilson stayed in to pickup a blitz and didn't even need to touch anyone. Beautiful.
4th GT Series
There is no need to comment here. For reasons I don't understand, Foster decided to keep his safeties in short zones, leaving no safety help for his smaller corners against big receivers. If the Hokies had lost the game, that poor defensive playcalling would have been a critical error by Foster. Explosive blitz by Edwards ended the threat, but GT should not have gotten 3.
Virginia Tech dominated in the running game in the first half. When passing, VT effectively used waggle plays to disrupt GT's blitz and allow additional time for Hokie WR's to make double moves to beat coverage. The Hokie offensive line was dominant, and both tight ends blocked well.
Defensively, VT did not attempt to blow up the mesh point on the fullback QB exchange. Instead, their DT's stayed back and reacted. I am not sure why that strategy was used if they were going move Collins inside. Some rotation could have kept them fresh, but I didn't see a single backup get a play in the front seven.The Hokies did a solid job inside, but gave up a couple of plays in the alley. Kyle Fuller was by far the best Hokie in the first half.
Second half tomorrow!