"Anonymous Rival Coaches Reveal Their Scouting Reports of the SI Top 25"

Virginia Tech landed at No. 24 in Sports Illustrated's Preseason 2017 Top 25. SI did something similar to Athlon and included a blurb about each team in its preseason ranking from anonymous coaches.

No. 24 Virginia Tech: 'They Love to Load the Box'

They're really well coached on defense. Coordinator Bud [Foster] runs a unique scheme. They'll do some Cover 2 inverted stuff, and they love to load the box. They'll choke out the run game and force you to win on the perimeter. Their weakside 'backer [236-pound junior Tremaine Edmunds] is a giant. He's 6'5" and he can rally to the ball, but he can also match receivers. Their middle linebacker [6-foot, 233-pound senior Andrew Motuapuaka] is tough and experienced, but he can get exposed in space. They're always good in the secondary, and we think [6'2", 197-pound senior corner] Brandon Facyson is their best DB.

On offense, they lost almost all of their production. It shocked me how much they use empty formations. They'll also do some unbalanced formations and come at you with a lot of motion. [Coach Justin] Fuente likes quarterback powers and quarterback counters. We don't know who's gonna win that job (sidebar), but he'll have to run. Travon McMillian [a 6-foot, 205-pound junior tailback] is a good player. He's solid for what they do. C.J. Carroll [a 5'8", 167-pound junior] is a good slot receiver, and I think [6-foot, 199-pound senior] Cam Phillips will become one of the best receivers in the ACC. Their O-line is above average. Yosuah Nijman, their [6'7", 300-pound junior] left tackle, is long and athletic.

https://www.si.com/college-football/2017/08/10/preseason-top-25-teams-ri...

Comments

Some of this seems accurate, some seems off the mark to me.

VT Class of '12 (MSE), MVBone, Go Hokies!

"Their O-line is above average."

I read that earlier today and thought some on here may have an aneurysm when they see it given some of the discussions lately about the O-line.

Above average left,
average center,
slightly below average right
_______
Above average overall?

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Our o-line is usually a weakness and this year we seem to be set up better than usual, so "above average" sounds good to me.

Everything is relative, I guess.

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

That article is full of garbage. Last time I checked, we gave Clemson a run for their money during the ACCCG. How well did An Ohio State do against the same team in the CFP semis? Oh that's right, they dropped ZERO on Clemson.

Let's Go

HOKIES

Jerod, Cam, Bucky all gone. That is pretty accurate to say we lost a lot of offensive production.

Cam and McMillan showed out during the game though, so we got that going for us, which is nice.

The Dude Abides

Sometimes I chuckle at these coaching observations. I doubt you could find 10 throws all year where Tremaine Edmunds is covering someone. Surprised by empty sets? How? After one guy when you watch Evans on film, an empty set makes sense because of Evans proclivity for one read and run. An empty set only allows a maximum of six defenders in the box, and most teams would defend it with five in the box and a safety. That leaves five blockers and a runner versus five.

If you think you saw a bunch of screens and quick throws last year, get ready. There will be even more this year, especially if Bush overcomes JJ and Hooker.

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

If you think you saw a bunch of screens and quick throws last year, get ready. There will be even more this year, especially if Bush overcomes JJ and Hooker.

Do you think this because Bush will not be as comfortable in the passing game going through multiple progressions? Or because teams will view him as more of a run threat and load the box, forcing us to stretch the field horizontally in the passing game to open up the run?

It is because Fuente runs his offense like Paul Johnson- safe and get into manageable 3rd downs. It is an overused expression, but the screen game is the toss sweep of the 21st century- it is a safe bet for yardage with the defense stretched out, and it opens space up on the interior. Bush isn't going to be a 3 step drop/5 step drop 2-3 reads and throw kind of guy. So, that makes getting safe throws and decent yards early more important. Hence, more screens.

I also think that the WR blocking will be better this year. It better be, because with so many young bodies that are all performing about the same, your blocking capability may be the determining factor as to who plays.

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

especially if Bush overcomes JJ and Hooker

I mean... Do you really think that's going to happen?

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

I have started to feel like Bush may end up as the starter. A lot of rumblings that he has made up serious ground. I honestly think we might not publicly know who the starter is until he comes out on the field for the first drive of the WVU game.

Nothing would shock me. But, based on what I have seen, Jackson would be my guy before Bush. I think he is good enough as a runner to at least force a defense to account for him. Bush just isn't efficient enough based on what I saw of his Nebraska days and the spring game for me to feel comfortable. But, rumor indicates he made some big strides. We will see.

I do know that Fuente/Cornelsen's scheme is best served when the defense has to regard every skill position player as a potential threat on every play. The QB not being a viable threat on IVR, RPOs, or zone reads makes things much tougher. I am in the minority in that I liked Jackson's HS film as a runner. But, is he good enough that 3rd and 9 is a viable running down like it was for Evans? I don't know yet. I am a see it first kind of guy, and there has been so little video that has come out that everything is conjecture at this point.

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

Hooker that far behind?

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

Didn't say that. But, I have not seen any footage of Hooker with the 1s. That doesn't mean it hasn't happened. There is so little out there that I am making big leaps based on very little real information. Honestly, outside of those clips and the coach speak coming from the pressers, nobody knows unless they have been watching practice.

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

I will be doing that on Tuesday next week, so hopefully I have some decent intel to bring back.

Then I think you can trust fuente will be as vanilla as possible

It is as it should be.

Maybe he's SO damn good CJF has forbidden the social media cats from putting any of his glorious throws on the world wide web and giving away our big gun. It'd be such a classic Fuente ruse!

Gobble gobble, gobble gobble.

"Nothing would shock me"

So Jack Click's in it this year? /s

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.

Surprised by empty sets? How?

An anonymous coach told me these aren't actually the words of anonymous coaches.

EDIT: meant to reply to French's comment directly

.....
95% of what I say is sarcastic. The other 5% is usually taken out of context.

Surprised by empty seats? How?

My reaction to LOLUVA Spring Festivals.

--
"It's time to go play Virginia Tech Football longer and harder than anybody else in America!!" -- Justin Fuente
"I put a brick in Sacksburg today." -- Cam Phillips

Or a Pitt or Miami home game.

Crazy how empty those two stadiums are. It's not like they are any bigger..

Lane Stadium - Capacity, 66,233
Heinz Field - Capacity, 68,400
Sun Life Stadium - Capacity, 65,326

Fanbase and distance from campus make all the difference in the world.

A good buddy of mine went to Pitt and told me that their turnout is always shitty because there is always either a Pens game the same night, or everyone stops at the bars on the way to the stadium and ends up drinking so much they don't leave in time for the game.

there is always either a Pens game the same night, or everyone stops at the bars

I checked the schedules and only 2 of Pitt's 7 home games last year were on the same day as a Penguins home game. 3 of the 7 were before hockey season even started.

Plus, its not like they were packing in Pitt football games prior to 2007, when the Pens became good again

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

I call BS on this. Their turnout is shitty because their turnout is shitty.

Yeah, that's not even close to true. Their game day experience and alumni fanbase just sucks.

Their students always pack their student section though, so don't let the "we need an on-campus stadium for the students to go" narrative their alumni try to spin cloud your judgement either. If anything Heinz is way easier for alumni to get to and way harder for students to get to, and still the students are the only ones who show up.

Distance from campus isn't really a point in our favor, as most of our fan base lives more than 3 hours away.

How would anyone know Facyson is their best CB when he's never on the field?

Probably from the 42 games where he was, in fact, on the field

Point, Beta.

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

84 legs for a comeback, dang son nicely played

“I turned down 12 other opportunities. You know what I mean?” - Fuente

@hokie_rd

He can't help it if we keep getting turnovers and putting the offense back out there!

If you're reading the above post and thinking, "is this guy serious?!?," you can safely assume I'm not.