A Schematic Reboot?

When Scot Loeffler was hired it was understood by all that he was going to bring smash mouth football back to Blacksburg. Loeffler was going to focus on running the ball in between the tackles, something Frank Beamer teams were supposed to do. After all, Loeffler and his offensive line coach Jeff Grimes had had an offense at Auburn that had success running the ball from pro-style formations. Surely they would be able to duplicate those results here at Virginia Tech!

We all know how that story ended. The offense never did have any success running the ball despite the coaching staff's best intentions. Even when the team did run the ball well it did so out of spread formations, reading unblocked defenders instead of running them over. Is this the new schematic normal in Blacksburg?

Focused On The Future

This article isn't going to be about what we could have done to improve our production last season. I am far too excited about position battles this spring to be pulling my hair out over poor 3rd down conversion rates in 2013. I'm more interested in Loeffler's vision for our goalline packages in 2014 than rushing averages last fall. Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program and Virginia Tech got one helluva class this cycle. How will these young men impact the tactics used on the field in next year? This question is the most fun one for X and O nerds like me to answer. The most entertaining part of Madden is always choosing what team to use and envisioning how you'll utilize all their weapons (actually playing Madden is less fun. Don't even get me started on the soul draining experience that is the FIFA franchise). Wondering how Loeffler will use his recruits and his maturing young skill players has been the best part of this offseason.

I believe that the playmakers who will surround the yet-to-be-named starting quarterback will allow Coach Loeffler to establish an offensive identity for this football team. Loeffler will try pound the football from under center and throw the ball deep with play-action passes.

Learn From The Past

In order to understand how the improved play from the skill positions will change Tech's scheme this year, we need to take a look at what happened last season. If Loeffler is, at heart, a pro-style smash mouth guy, why did Logan Thomas spend the vast majority of his time in shotgun and pistol formations? Andy Bitter had an excellent interview with Scot Loeffler about the 2013 offensive struggles, and there was one particular section that stood out to me.

"And we went into the season with one plan and -- there are zero excuses; you shouldn't run for 120 yards, regardless -- but we went into fall training camp with one set of ideas and had to make wholesale change to another set. So from our end, that puts a lot of pressure on the players. So if you're evaluating everything, from me -- because I'm not finger-pointing, saying our players stunk; I won't do that -- but from our end, one negative was it didn't put our players in a good situation having wholesale change.

After watching the spring and summer scrimmages, it was obvious that Loeffler wanted to run the ball, from under center, behind an offensive line that was zone blocking. He had some QB-read plays in his playbook, but it was never his intention to run LT3 as much as he did. The everything-runs-through-Logan offense slowly evolved after the early struggles of the rushing game. These struggles, according to Loeffler in Bitter's interview, stemmed from a rash of injuries.

It's easy to forget the absurd amount of uncertainty that Loeffler had at almost every position at the start of the season. It's awfully hard to run the ball when you have a true freshman tight end or a true freshman fullback. Loeffler had both... and a freshman running back. He also had an injury to the one experienced receiver on the team, D.J. Coles (Coles appeared hampered all season long, having little impact apart from red zone targets). Loefflers's only known commodity at a skill position was his senior quarterback Logan Thomas. It's no surprise that when Virginia Tech struggled to run the ball consistently against early season opponents (and I'm sure in practice as well) that Loeffler decided to rely on the one player who had the potential to get drafted after the season was over. Thomas would end up accounting for an absurd percentage of the team's offense.

In my opinion, the lack of production from the "playmaker" positions early in the season would go on to define the shape of the offense from then on out. Even after the running backs started making better reads off of zone blocks and wide receivers stopped dropping balls, the offense never reverted back to Loeffler's "pro-style" preference. Coach Loeffler had already made an offensive switch once in 2013 and had to suffer through the execution woes. I don't blame him for sticking to his guns, rather than risk setting the team back even further by trying another whole scale change back to his original plan.

Negative Feedback Loop

To have an effective rushing game you must have balance. Every great rushing scheme is based on the same concept, force the defense to commit to taking away option A, then choose option B. Paul Johnson is going to run a fullback dive until you commit the numbers inside to stop it. Once you do, he's going to pop a run to the outside. Zone read teams (like Rich Rod) will hand the ball off to the running back all day until you take that away, then they're going to start pulling the ball. Having plays which feed off each other to become "greater than the sum of their parts" is what every offensive coordinator strives for.

It's easy to believe that the two biggest issues for Virginia Tech's offense last season (a lack of explosive plays, inability to convert in short yardage situations) were unrelated. That's not the case. There's a reason that Bud Foster is adamant about stopping the run, it makes defending the pass easier. A pro-style offense that can't throw the ball down the field against single coverage won't be able to force the extra run defender out of the box. Similarly, a team that can't run the ball won't be able to force single coverage on 1st-and-10, and 2nd-and-short (the most statistically advantageous downs to throw on). A pro-style offense that can do neither sees its task get exponentially harder as the game wears on. With a lack of playmakers to win matchups, Loeffler was forced to abandon his pro-style scheme in order to escape this negative feedback loop.

With the group of skilled freshmen joining the team in 2014, as well as the continued maturation of current players, Virginia Tech should begin to see a return of offensive balance. As I look at the roster for this upcoming season, I think it's completely reasonable for every position to see improved production. I don't expect anyone to be as talented as Logan Thomas (although I won't rule out the possibility) but whoever wins the starting job will have more weapons surrounding him, making his task easier. Regardless of his QB1, Loeffler will be able to get back to his pro-style ways by relying on his running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends to start winning more of their individual matchups. For an offensive coordinator who wants to run a multiple offense predicated on finding and exploiting mismatches, this is the ultimate recipe for success.

Running Game Improvements

The running back position will absolutely be more productive in 2014. Trey Edmunds struggled at times in the beginning of the season to make the right reads and the right cuts. The difficulty to run the ball against Western Carolina at times was head scratching, although Edmund's youth was undeniably part of the problem.

Here's an example of Edmund's inexperience manifesting itself early in the season. On these two plays, both inside zones to the right of the formation, Edmund's read is the first defensive linemen to the right of the center. If the linemen flows towards the sideline Edmunds should cut up the field, and if the linemen penetrates up the field Edmunds should keep heading towards the sideline and cut off the double team on the defensive end.


Edmunds makes the correct read on the first play. The defensive tackle gets double teamed and pushed playside. Edmunds correctly cuts it up field behind Rogers block on the back side defensive end and picks up six yards. On the next play, the defensive tackle doesn't get moved toward the sideline but Edmunds cuts it up the field anyways. He is tackled for little gain.

Later in the season, against Maryland and Virginia, Trey was consistently making the correct reads on his zone runs.


Edmund's first read is again the first defensive lineman to the playside of the center. When that defensive tackle flows playside, Edmunds is supposed to cut his run up the field and read David Wang's block on the middle linebacker. David Wang misreads the defensive tackle and follows him too far down the line of scrimmage, leaving Wang unable to peel off and reach the second level. Edmunds has made his correct read but cut directly into the path of a waiting defender. Showing off his incredible athleticism, Trey manages to stutter step and bounce his momentum back outside for an easy touchdown.

Before getting hurt against UVa, Trey was having arguably the best game of his career. He torched UVa often with a simple outside zone run from shotgun multiple times.


On back-to-back plays, Edmunds again makes the correct read and makes an athletic cut to get upfield. Both of these runs translate well when being run from under center. With the running backs and the offensive line having a year of experience in Loeffler's running scheme we should expect to continue seeing improved execution from both units. The offensive line should see more success using their zone techniques when blocking while the running backs should make the correct reads and cut boldly up field.

The depth of the offense has improved over last season at practically every position. The offensive line did lose Andrew Miller but returns everyone else (including promising young guns Wyatt Teller and Alston Smith), while also bringing in several talented freshmen. The running back group is no different. Everyone who had meaningful snaps returns. J.C. Coleman hit the weight room hard this offseason, and he'll get the first team reps while Trey recovers. This depth increases the likelihood of a pro-style offense, as Loeffler won't have to worry about his scheme falling apart if one guy gets hurt. Coleman and Co. have shown flashes of productivity when plugged into the lineup and if given an opportunity to be "the guy", there's a chance one could turn into an every down stud.

Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie have already arrived in Blacksburg, and will be throwing their hats in the ring as well. French has already done fantastic write ups on their impressive high school careers, so I won't spend too much time talking about their unique skill sets. However I will say this much, Williams and McKenzie have the potential to be every down backs in a pro-style offense like Loeffler's. It will be much harder for Shai McKenzie to see the field as a freshman simply because he'll spend at least all of spring practice rehabbing his knee, but when he gets healthy we may find he's already the most explosive back in Blacksburg.

Marshawn Williams is another story. I think he's likely to see playing time as a freshmen simply because his high school tape is the best I've seen for an "in-between the tackles" back in a while. Admittedly he lacks elite speed, but previous Hokies have proven that's not a requirement to be an ACC championship back.

Here's looking at you, Darren Evans.

Williams is the type of running back you'd create on Madden to set up play-action passes. He has great vision, great hips, and he uses both to set up his teammates and make the right cut off of their blocks. His raw power is probably overstated, he's not a huge back, and he spends more time barely avoiding defenders than running them over, but his incredible leg drive allows him to run right through arm tackles. This is an important attribute for a one cut zone back to have, as defenders flowing down the line can get a hand on backs even if the back makes the right read. Running right through the arms of partially blocked defenders and getting to the second level with balance and momentum intact is what sets great one-cut backs apart from good ones. Williams is also decisive with his cuts and hits the hole at full speed. Once in the hole, he's also very fluid and able to change direction as necessary. He has the hips of a matador, utilizing subtle change of directions instead of the dramatic Reggie Bush-esque jump cuts. This allows him to keep his momentum moving upfield at all times, allowing him to always fall forward for that extra yard or two. Before he can earn the backup running back spot, Williams will have to learn the playbook, particularly his pass protection responsibilities. This is no small task, but he did enroll early.

The Bread And Butter

When he got hired I wrote that Loeffler was going to bring modern passing concepts to Blacksburg, and last season he did just that. If the more experienced offensive line and running back rotation improve rushing productivity, the passing game (particularly the play-action game) should follow suit. Loeffler's passing game was always the part of his scheme that impressed me most. Very few coordinators are as gifted at drawing up designs to exploit a defense with extra men in the box than Scot Loeffler. Unfortunately last season, he often lacked the weapons down the field to capitalize on the risks that the opposing defensive coordinator was taking.

Luckily, Aaron Moorehead is one of the most promising young wide receiver coaches in the country and we should see the wide receivers continue to do what they did all last season. Improve.

Demitri Knowles, Joshua Stanford, and Willie Byrn all had productive campaigns in 2013. The three leading receivers for the Hokies didn't get behind the secondary too often, but Loeffler was able to get them open underneath the coverage. His two most often used routes were Drags and the Ins. The drag route is most often successful when an outside receiver clears a defender away from one side of the field and a receiver from the other side of the field drags across the middle to get the reception and cut up field. Here's a perfect example of Byrn coming across the field and get open for some nice YAC.


Byrn was able to get open because the slot defender slid towards the middle of the field in order to take away the outside receiver's In route. These two routes are often packaged together to attack defenses playing a Cover-3. The cornerback on the outside receiver has to get depth to prevent a deep pass. If the outside receiver breaks his route off in front of him, a linebacker or safety has to be in coverage underneath to close that passing window. If the defender gets sucked away from his underneath responsibilities by the drag route, then the quarterback has an easy completion down the field.

These routes are defensible if a defense is willing to play aggressively on the outside though. If the cornerback reads the route correctly and jumps the route instead of staying deep, he has a good chance at making a play on the ball. It is a high risk though because if a corner doesn't get the necessary depth he puts himself in a position to get ran right past.


D.J. Coles was able to exploit the aggressiveness against Western Carolina, but too often last season the Hokies couldn't make corners pay for squeezing those underneath routes. French has written about exciting prospects Cam Phillips and Isaiah Ford, and their speed down the field (as well as Ford's leaping ability) is a welcome addition to the offense. They have a great chance to play early if they show they can learn the playbook, run crisp routes, and catch the ball. If either gets the opportunity to play this year, I think they'll make an immediate impact in the passing game as their athleticism could make them one on one nightmares.

Kendrick Holland is a player that is flying under the radar of a lot of Hokie fans. I'm very excited to see what this young man can do in orange and maroon because I think he's a perfect fit, especially for Loeffler's vertical passing game. His highlight film is stuffed with him getting down the field and rising above a corner for a completion.

The exciting thing about his highlight film isn't just the long completions, it's the variety of ways that Holland manages to make the defense pay for single coverage. He is obviously very adept at running the fade route and making the catch against a corner whose head is turned away from the throw. When defenses are playing with one safety high and one safety in the box the simplest way to beat press coverage is to run a fade route along the sideline, since it doesn't give the safety time to get over and help. In order to consistently complete the fade route, the quarterback needs to be throwing to a receiver who is able to out jump the defender and make a physical, contested catch. No returning receivers from the 2013 group has that skill set.

Holland isn't just out jumping defenders though. Once the cornerbacks start getting tired of getting out jumped on fade routes, they give him larger cushions to prevent him getting past them. Holland is capable of running crisp enough routes to take advantage of this extra space in front of the defenders. Here he is beating a corner on a double move off play-action.


Of course, every wide receiver looks like the next big thing in their highlight film... so I retain the right to change my opinion once I see him in person. However, whoever made this film did so with the intent on highlighting how versatile Kendrick Holland is as a receiver. He can win one-on-one battles in the air, he can throw double moves at a defender, he can run block It's very well constructed. It's almost as if they went out of their way to show the ways that Holland would fit perfectly into Loeffler's scheme.

Remember the In route I discussed earlier? Holland has several highlights of him running this route and using his huge frame to "box out" the defender trying to break up the pass. If his hands are as good as they appear on tape, Holland could absolutely contribute as a freshmen.


Sealing The Edge

The biggest improvement on the team could be by the tight ends. Coach Loeffler loves the tight end position because it is a matchup nightmare for a defense. In modern football tight ends are more important than ever, as they are frequently lined up outside to force linebackers and safeties to cover athletic freaks in space. This versatility is key to a pro-style offense, as it gives the offensive coordinator opportunities to line up in different formations with the same personnel groupings.

Ryan Malleck's injury was one of the defining moments for the Hokies offense in 2013. Loeffler no longer felt certain that his tight end would be able to both seal the edge on a zone block as well as go out for a catch on play-action plays. He intended on using Malleck frequently, as his oft-quoted "60 catches" prediction shows. Although Cline proved he was a good receiver he did struggle at times being a physical presence in the run game. Cline's run blocking did improve as the year progressed and he should be even more effective after a year of Gentrification.

Having two athletic tight ends capable of taking on a defender on the edge of the formation will only increase the effectiveness of Loeffler's pro-style game. That extra big man can bully teams who aren't used to having that extra run fit on the line of scrimmage. Defenses prepare so much for spread teams now that they often aren't as vigilant in their two tight end run responsibilities as they should be. Also, having two tight ends almost always forces a defense to drop a safety into the box or even take him completely off the field, subbing a linebacker on in his place. This simplifies the secondary coverage schemes, once again playing into Loeffler's playbook strength, play-action.

The Future Is Now

Regardless of which quarterback wins the starting job this summer, I expect Loeffler's offense will look more like the one he had his first year at Auburn than his first year at Tech. His pro-style multiple scheme is based on the idea that he can find mismatches and exploit them. With better weapons at his disposal, Coach Loeffler won't be forced to go away from his core principles to attack those mismatches. Loeffler felt forced to make "wholesale" schematic changes because of injuries and the early struggles of young skill players. That shouldn't be an issue this year, as he has more depth to work around injuries due to incoming freshmen and the maturation of players already in the system.

However, the pistol and shotgun formation aren't going to disappear from Blacksburg, but they won't be relied on to the extent that they were last season. This offensive staff has already proven they are more adept at convincing talented playmakers to come to Virginia Tech than the previous one. Increasing the talent level in the program is the most important step in getting Frank Beamer a ring before he retires. Regardless of how good a recruiter someone is, if they are representing a school that struggles to run the ball or throw the ball down the field they aren't going to get blue chip athletes to commit. Kids want to know that they are going to an environment where they will be positioned for success, and that hasn't been Virginia Tech on the offensive side of the ball for some time now. With talent and experience at his disposal, Loeffler's offensive identity at Virginia Tech is now a reality.


Very nice write up.
I actually understood when you were talking about Edmunds' reads and could diagram the play in my head.
I also discovered I know what the heck an offensive zone read blocking scheme is.
You guys are doing a top notch job of teaching us neophytes about football.
Thank you very much.

Those Edmunds cuts later in the season... whew. Anyone who says he couldn't get it done wasn't paying attention.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

I agree with just about everything you said and that has been my hopes as well.

Great write-up and your efforts are very much appreciated!

I hate to ask this..but what injuries would be the absolute worst for us? Losing Malleck again? OL? Thanks for the great write up btw!

Long time listener...first time poster

I would go with either a loss of Chase Williams, JC Coleman, or even on of the OL. Those would be devastating for obvious reasons. I have a feeling people will be very very surprised with the play of Williams this Spring. Insider info I have been hearing is that he is another go and get it kid. Absolute beast and knows his roles/assignments just needs more snaps to perfect it!

On the RB stage, I think it would be a tall order to lose JC for one main reason, Pass Blocking. That might be the hardest part to pick up with a kid coming out of HS to learn. We all know it took JC and Trey a while to understand it along with Joel Caleb. It's not something that is easy to see unlike a jumpcut or reading the OL zone block.

With that said lets have a great spring and injury free. This year will be special for all of us!

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I think due to our depth injuries on the defense right now hurt more than on offense. Effectively we have at least 3 QB's that should be fighting for the starting spot. The offensive line while inexperienced is a deep as I have seen it in years. We have inexperienced depth at running back & TE, but we have depth.

On offense it has already happened. Edmunds was their best offensive player besides Thomas when he got hurt. While his recovery is going well according to Mike Goforth, it is impossible to know if he will ever fully recover from that kind of injury until he can go full speed without inhibition.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I disagree. Edmunds was our best RB last year on a team that really lacked talent at the RB position. This year we have brought in a haul of RBs and it is a position a True Freshman can step up and excel in. Edmunds was our best player outside of Thomas but he also made bad read after bad read. It could be argued that Shai McKenzie's ACL injury from high school is our biggest loss for spring right now. We have DJ Reid and Marshawn Williams ready to go behind these guys.

I think losing an OL would be the biggest blow right now if not Motley. He has the most to gain this spring and the biggest potential to improve the entire team by performing well. The OL loss just throws a monkey wrench into developing cohesion amongst that group.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Not sure I can agree on OL. Searels has already said every position is up for grabs again and that the five best men that make a cohesive unit are going to be the starters. We have enough talented depth that they are fighting for spots.

late in the season, the only thing that stopped Edmunds was Loeffler not giving him touches. COUGH BOSTON COLLEGE COUGH

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Still, I'll never understand why people were so upset that we scored a TD off of a zone read play-action. Could Edmunds have had a better game if he got the ball more? Sure. Was that what lost us the game? Nope.

Agree completely. The UVA game plan (zone runs from shotgun)... not sure why that wasn't used more frequently. Believed we both called for that about halfway through the season.

If Edmunds comes back healthy, he's the clear number 1 back in my mind.

Because the OL finally started moving people. There were actually holes to run through. I agree we should have been running the ball much more those games

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Am I the only one who read the title as "A Schematic Robot" and thought we had put adamantium into Bud Foster's skeleton?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

The world is not ready.

Sorry to get off topic, but I didn't even finish the article yet. Maybe this deserves another thread, but curious about your FIFA tactics. I prefer to play career but, even when I play online, I take teams and adapt them to my tactics. I ALWAYS play a 4-4-2 diamond and go for speed up front and out wide. Good crossers on the wing are nice but I'm much more likely to cut in with my wingers and feed or shoot, or just try to beat offside traps with my speedy strikers or CAM (who has to be fast with a good shot) with well placed leading passes for them to run on to. I don't have it in me to just lob it into the box and try to score off headers.

Yeah i'd love to start a fifa thread. Glad to see other people with interest. You play Ultimate team at all?

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I have never gotten into Ultimate team.

So far I've only exclusively done the Player Career mode. What systems do you all play on?

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Yeah seriously someone make a FIFA thread! You're missing out on FIFA if you don't play ultimate team. Since it makes FIFA a ton of money, it's where they focus their efforts in terms of patching and such.

If you don't like crossing, try a 4-2-3-1 with inverted wingers. Really easy to transition from defense to attack and if you like skill moves, your wingers are constantly in space with only one defender to beat. Here's my UT team.

Lavezzi Di Maria
Matuidi Sandro
Clichy Kosc. Kompany Walker

Xbox one for me friend.

I played a ridiculous amount of FIFA UT on FIFA13. I liked the 4-4-1-1. Speedy wingers with strikers and CF with good heading and shots. Falcao was my boy.

FIFA is awesome. I can't believe others on here play it too. I play Ultimate Team.

I made an OT thread for it EnjoY!

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

I do Season play and generally rotate between Divisions 1-3. I like to take a team with someone that's an absolute beast at headers. Typically go with Bayern or PSG and take the ball along the sideline looking for Mandzudic or Ibra on the headers. I usually run a 4-4-2 diamond as well. The guys that usually beat me are the ones that make long passes either through balls or over the top from the opposite side of the field. I'm amazed at how accurate some people are with those passes.

And I agree I have always wanted a fifa thread. Would be nice to have some online names to play against.

“These people are losing their minds. This is beautiful.”

I was playing a 3-1-4-2 for a while and was loving it. Found out that the two forwards would often suck in the backside fullback and you could air-through-ball it to the winger on the far side of the field into space. Was giving up a lot of goals if I lost possession in the midfield though. Eventually, I gave it up when one of my roommates played with a False-9 and destroyed me by like 9 goals. The defensive midfielder should pick up that deep playing striker, but never did, and he'd just sit infront of my defensive line and carve me up with through balls.

When I play now I use a 4-2-3-1 formation more often then not.

Tactically, I like to use a lot of short, one touch passes. Not great with the sticks, so I have to rely on my passing game (instead of skill moves) to get looks on net.

I tend to go with a 4-5-1, more control through the midfield. It does mean that I have to have a target man up front. However, getting the ball in the box through the wings tends to prove pretty successful.

y the downvotes? I no understands?

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

One comment about the role Malleck was intended to play this past season. In spring and preseason practice, Malleck was also the primary possession receiver in pass pro. I can't even count how many times the Hokies lined up in a three wide, one tight end ace formation, with two flankers and Malleck to the same side. Over and over again, Thomas threw to Malleck on a "stick route."

The formation isolates Malleck on the strong side linebacker. At the snap of the ball, Malleck would sprint directly forward for five to seven yards, sticks his foot in the dirt and turns looking for the ball. If the strong-side linebacker is on his inside, he pushes to the outside. If the strong-side linebacker is on the outside, he pushes to the inside. Logan would take a short drop and reads which way the linebacker leans, then throws to the spot, with Malleck's body shielding the linebacker away from the ball. It was the first play of the spring game and we saw it time and again in public scrimmages.


Then Malleck got hurt. By the time we had an opportunity to attend a fall camp scrimmage, the tight end had completely been abandoned by the passing game except on bootleg and waggle misdirection plays. Even when Cline started to have success, other than his first catch against Western Carolina he was rarely used in the stick concept. It fundamentally changed the passing game for the entire season.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Thanks for getting the thread back on task. I was looking for one of our guys faking an injury before I recognized they were in pads, not panties.


No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

Yea really. LOOK, SQUIRREL!!

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

The interesting thing to see is if Loeffler will start flexing Cline out wide more often.

He could have two tight end personnel on the field and then line up in that 3wide aces formation, would be interesting to see how defenses would choose to match up. Send a safety to line up over Cline or a linebacker?

Giving Loeffler these tight ends to play with is going to be fun.

Not to mention Bucky Hodges. Bud compared Hodges to Eric Ebron. Ebron almost never played as a true Y end. It is worth noting that Michael Brewer had his best efforts at Texas Tech throwing to Jace Amaro, a big tight end who almost always lined up flexed out to the slot on the wide side of the field.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Lucky for us we've got that 9' monster

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

Between him and Rogers opposing teams are going to think they're stuck on a remake of "Attack of the 50' Monsters."

Even with a new tight end it seems like the stick route is pretty basic, easy throw and catch. Is there more nuance to this that would necessitate this big of a change?

Timing. It takes practice to get the timing down. There's not much flight time to that ball and it's tossed before or about when the TE needs to be turning. Otherwise the LB gets time to react and the TE is no longer open. The TE catching the ball is what prevents a LB interception. If that timing is off, it's a turnover.

IIRC one of the INTs in the spring game was with a TE and a Stick pass. The timing just a little off and the TE wasn't expecting the ball yet. The LB got it.

Remember, the LB is always facing the QB on this play whereas the TE has his back to the QB right to the point where he plants his foot to turn.

I don't want to be that guy, but Logan had three INTs. One was to Green, who undercut a 5 and in route on the goal line from his safety spot. The next was Donavan Riley who cut under a skinny post to Josh Stanford. The 3rd was a bad overthrow on a post to DJ Coles that landed softly in the arms of TJ Shaw.

Logan had an INT in a public scrimmage at fall camp where they ran a play action Y dump to Duan Perez Means and Chase Williams picked it off. A stick route is under the defender. A Y dump is like a quick fade over top of the LB who is supposed to bite on a quick dive fake.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

So basically Chase Williams is a beast.... jk jk but really he might be the sleeping giant our D needs this year

"I'm high on Juice and ready to stick it in!" Whit Babcock

To be fair, Josh Stanford said in an interview that he ran the wrong route on the int that was thrown in his direction.

Ok, thanks, I obviously misremembered something.


Finally finished the whole thing, gottDAMN this is a good write up and the best way to get people excited about the prospects of our team this season.

Also, I want to find ways to use "hips of a matador" in every day conversation.

Very nice analysis, 3rdand31 - thanks!

I personally believe the offensive line will be much improved this year and that will allow us to have longer drives utilizing a power running game. That in turn will keep our rather thin/inexperienced defense off the field until they gain the actual game experience they need to play Foster's defense the way he wants to play it.

We are all never "retired Hokies"! JK

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

`Excellent write-up. Your in depth knowledge has greatly helped my lack of it.


Welcome to the gang!

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

Great breakdown, as always, Mason. Really enjoyed it. I'm eager to see what new elements will be in the Hokie offense this coming season.

I agree that the offense as a group should play better this year, but I'm kinda worried that inexperience at QB will derail that progress.

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

At first I thought this was titled Schematic Robot.

#Let's Go - Hokies

As good of a pass rusher as Eli Harold is, Jonathan McGlock drove him to the sideline on the outside zone runs VT ran in his direction....it's beautiful.

Wow...I just realized that the title of this thread is "A Schematic Reboot" ----- until JUST NOW I've been reading it as "A Schematic Robot"

I thought Scot Loeffler was the Robot....I was perfectly okay with that title and didn't even realize I was way off until about 1 min ago

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?