Defensive Depth Chart Changes

Georgia Tech is only our biggest game of the season, the winner is almost certain to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. So really there's no better time for Bud Foster to swap around the bodies on the defense.

J.R. Collins is moving inside from defensive end to tackle. If you remember Collins practiced at both end and tackle during spring ball. He's got a heavy shoulder, but didn't maintain the weight necessary to play fulltime at tackle.

Tyrel Wilson will replace Collins at end. Wilson earned the praise of the coaches in relief of James Gayle at stud end, but at 6-1 219 he struggled at times to take advantage of his quickness and rush the passer.

Jack Tyler will start at middle linebacker over Barquell Rivers. Rivers and Tyler were listed as 1 and 1a on the depth chart going into the Duke game, but Rivers played all 72 snaps. Tyler has only started one game, the Orange Bowl against Stanford. Tyler is the better backer against the run. Against Duke Rivers still couldn't move to his left and right like he used to before his quad injury.

Kyle Fuller will remain at Whip backer. Alonzo Tweedy practiced in a blue non-contact jersey Sunday. He's still hampered from a high ankle sprain. That means Cris Hill and Jayron Hosley will play at corner.

These moves are geared to get guys with more speed and lateral, sideline-to-sideline, movement onto the field; it comes at the expense of overall size and experience. Although, with this lineup there are no true freshman starting on the d-line. On paper I like Bud's rational, but I'll have to see it work to believe it. Also, I'm a little perplexed as to why we would tip our hand five days before the game, if at all. However, as with all things defense, in Bud we trust.

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Comments

"I guess he's thinking..., I don't know what the hell he's thinking."-Harry Doyle

Viva El Guapo

He thinking

We're coming after you bees and we're gonna kick your ass.

TJ Shaw quote

Not sure if just the scout team did this but he said (from Andy Bitter's post):

Shaw's preparation went back to the Duke week. He said they watched "double film" that week. "We would come out here before practice and run Duke’s offense and run a little Georgia Tech offense," he said. "In meetings we would split it half and half."

Maybe that's why the team seemed not completely into the Duke game. They had already started preparing for Georgia Tech.

lol #newhoos

Interesting...

If that's true it makes me feel a little better. Both from why we didn't perform too well at Duke and the extra prep time for GT is always a good thing.

Tipping our hand

The way Coach Foster plays it, it doesn't really matter if GT knows that JR Collins is playing tackle, or if Kyle Fuller is playing whip.

He'll still try to disguise the coverages so that Tevin Washington doesn't have a clue who has got who. (The exception being the D Tackles. They've always got to lock down the dive play.) If the Hokies can get inside Washington's head and blow him up a couple times, and force a turnover here and there, they'll be on their way to getting this one.

Offensively, VT is going to have to put this one on David Wilson's shoulders.

I also like Oglesby's power game against a 3-4. JO should get more than his average number of touches this game, especially if our offense is going to be run heavy against GT (which I expect).

I'd like to see LT truck an inside linebacker out of his cleats.

LT

Does VT still have that old GT practice jersey that Sean Glennon had to wear the last time he played GT in the ATL?

I'd love to see LT trucking a GT inside LB while wearing that jersey.

They sure do

On Sunday I was watching Virginia Tech Sports Today and they showcased the 2007 VT/GT game in their "flashback" segment. After they showed the game footage, Bill Roth held up the GT practice jersey with Glennon's name scrawled on the back with a sharpie. Roth said the jersey is kept on display in some memorabilia area of the football facility.

On tipping our hand...

My high school coach made it a habit of saying, "I don't care if you come up to the line and tell them where the play is going, as long as you go out and do what you tell them you're going to do, and kick their butt in the process."

Line up and ram the ball down their throat offensively, and apply percussive force defensively.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

Does it even matter?

Honestly, I'm not sure it really matters if Coach Foster's changes are being released now anyway. Paul Johnson in all his arrogance isn't going to change his game-plan anyway. I'm surprised he hasn't said something about the changes yet anyway. I expect our guys, even the ones in new positions, to be fully ready to play. This game will be a test for Jayron Hosley in particular: if the Jayron of old comes to play against Stephen Hill, the Hokies will be in good shape there. We need a big game from the defense on the whole, but particularly against those long passes. Our safeties are going to have to be extremely disciplined in reading their keys as well.

"This is just spectacular... These people are losing their mind. This is beautiful." -Mike Patrick
#beercontrolintern

What is CPJ gonna do?

Expand his playbook from 10 plays to 11? In all reality, the only thing this changes for GT scheming is perhaps running toward Wilson more, but they could make that adjustment after 1 play in the game. Foster's reasoning is simple: Maximize the ability of the D-line to shed blocks and the ability of the linebackers to move laterally. Furthermore, the d-line just became more "mature and experienced", which means all the players have seen GT film for 3 straight years (excluding D. Hopkins).

Is it Thursday yet??

Georgia Tech runs their base schemes, and the option takes what the defense gives you. Generally, the personnel doesn't dictate the way the option is executed, unless there are called keeps, dives, and tosses (or play action.)

Foster's rational for Collins is pretty clear. In the past Foster has used John Graves in the center-guard gap to blow up field with his straight-line speed to disrupt the mesh point with the fullback.

Luther Maddy, who played well versus Duke, is a plugger and a gap filler. He is a bad fit against guys cut blocking. Corey Marshall has the athleticism, put plays with high pad level and doesn't have quite the point a to point b speed.

The negative is that now, the Hokies improve one weakness, but now make themselves weak at the defensive end spot. Tyrell Wilson, who has given maximum effort, has not shown the ability to shed blocks. If GT runs the option at him, perhaps he will be the unblocked option man. Can he make tackles on GT's quick wing backs and Tevin Washington?

Fuller makes sense. With Tweedy hurt, Fuller has showed better ability to get off blocks and make tackles than Nick Dew.

Tyler... Well, I have been an advocate for Tyler to get playing time, but why does Bud Foster pick Tyler to play one week after giving Barquell Rivers 52 snaps last week? Defending the flexbone is a unique challenge, but Rivers has two career starts against the GT defense and is a stout tacklers and controls his gap. Either Rivers is knicked up, or there is something in Tyler's skill set that I don't see that makes him adept at handling the flexbone.t

Viva El Guapo

Rivers vs Tyler

I think Rivers recovered less than we may have all thought. Personally, it is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that he is healthy enough to play/start but not 100% back to the way he was. We all remember the machine he was a few years ago but things do look different. He doesn't seem as quick as he used to and it seems Foster wants a little extra quickness to go with sound tackling against a speedy, option run offense. The chess game between Paul Johnson and Bud Foster continues...

Head Games

Even though it seems like x's and o's on paper there is more to it. To prepare for a game offensive linemen look at film to study tendencies and techniques of the players they will be up against. If there isn't a lot of film on someone it can make them nervous. This can cause some concern early in a game until they can adjust. I think the plan is to try and make stops early so we have a chance to score some points and get ahead before GT can adjust. Playing from behind can cause you to take some risks. Hopefully Hokies can execute early and put the bees into a box.

I dislike GT as much as the next person, but i definitely respect what CPJ has done with that offense (even though I think it's that annoying booger that you can't get out of your nose). As long as the defense is disciplined, tackles well, and is fast enough we'll be okay. I just don't want them to take risks, as that is what gives up the big play against GT. This game scares me though, more than any other one on our schedule.

DANNY COALE ALL THE WAY TO THE THREE

What is going on with

Telvion Clark? The kid flies to the ball and is the best open-field tackler not named Kyle Fuller I saw at the scrimmages. I know he hasn't gotten much game experience, but I still feel he would be an asset against a run-heavy team.

Not that

he should start over Edwards, who has been playing lights-out in run support, but maybe we could use him another way?

I'd love that

Clark is a tackling machine and it's a waste if he never gets a chance to see significant PT sometime