A Tale of Two Coordinators

Two games.
Two weeks.
Two Coordinators.
1 Yard.
2 Outcomes.

There has been much debate about the causes of our offensive woes. Youth, injuries, talent, etc. I think the same challenges have been faced by the defense.

For the last two weeks one yard was the difference between a win and a loss. Last week, against GT, VT faced two critical downs with one yard in the balance and lost. This week, after a relentless pursuit by a backup safety, one yard was again the determining factor. Unlike last week, the offense had four shots at gaining that one yard. Like last week the offense failed to convert. Unlike last week VT was victorious.

Bud Foster didn't back down because of who he had on the field. He didn't indicate he had no confidence in the defense even with the big plays they had given up in the past. He wouldn't have blamed a failure to hold Pitt on 18-22 year old boys. Instead Bud did what he always does. He made tough calls and TRUSTED and BELIEVED IN is players to hold their opponent when everything was on the line. They deliverd.

There's a reason Bud Foster is revered in college football. Year in and year out for over 21 years he has put defenses on the field that have been the heart and soul of this team with no excuses.

At this point I do not consider Brad Cornelsen to be Bud Foster's offensive peer. I don't know what to do about that or if anything has to be done about that. I just know that, once again, VT is relying on Foster and the defense to keep our heads above water.

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Bud is one of, if not the best at his job. While I would love Brad to also be top 3 at his position, that seems unlikely given our resources.


Well said.

Fuente threw the offense under the bus a few weeks ago. It's obvious the players and coaches have no confidence.

Bud is the only coach that trusts his players and makes schemes for them to succeed and doesn't wilt when things don't go his way. His style of defense has always made us susceptible to big plays and we almost lost on a big play if not for a heroic tackle by Floyd and an insane goal line stand. I don't think there's another DC who can instill the self belief and confidence to come back from that.

He deserves better than this.

Fuente made the decision to let the D have their stand rather than allow a quick score and hope for a field goal drive to win the game. As you said, the D also was on the field for Pitt's 4th down 74 yard pass play that brought us to the necessity for that goal line stand. Bud is fantastic, and no doubt his D won the game in the end for us last night, but it wasn't a one man effort, though Reggie Floyd is my new hero. My wife was screaming for us to let Pitt hurry up and score, so Fu wasn't the only one thinking about it, but regardless, that was a thrilling ending to a game that shouldn't have been so damn thrilling.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If there were more time left on the clock letting them score probably would have been the smart move- with 90 seconds you have a puncher's chance to get into field goal range. With only 30 seconds left, one time out and a QB that's been spraying passes everywhere since the first quarter it's unlikely the offense could make that happen (especially with a backup kicker). Without doing any math I think the right call there is to let it ride.

Considering the state of our offense it was a no brainer trusting our defense to make the stops rather than hail marying it with a minute left.

The only reason that pass went for 74 yards though is because Mook looked like he dislocated his shoulder on that hit and couldn't tackle. Otherwise it would've been a 1st down with 70 yards to go and 1 time out.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

I think Mook dislocated his brain. Looked like he got knocked out the way he went limp

Ok so while it is true that the Defense played defense this week while the offense didn't offense last week. You have to look past that and look at the fact that Bud has been recruiting his kind of player for 21 years, there was no change to who we recruit on defense. On the other side of the ball there is 1 year of Fuente recruits and the rest are Beamer recruits. If you haven't noticed our offense is a little different under CJf than CFB. We also have a lot of young guys playing that have a lot of room to grow.

Just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. If we get to 10 wins this year, was this season really that bad? It will be the 2nd year CJF has had a 10 win season at VT

Same pieces we had at the beginning of the year. The play calling has been very questionable in spots. No argument that JJ has lost some confidence and missed some reads, and our rbs continue to miss holes.

I think another year or two we'll be a lot happier.

Agree, and yes the last 3 weeks have been frustrating no doubt. But we are not even 2 full years in, don't have this staffs recruits for the most part and still breaking records and winning games. Wait another year or 2 and watch when we have JJ, QP, HH at QB and Farley, Turner, Simmons,Savoy, Patterson and others to throw to. Loading up on defensive recruits as well. There is no comparison to the last few years before CJF and we are just getting started.

I get that coach fue doesn't have his guys that he wants and that Beamer wasnt the best recruiting the last year. But he did sign a top offensive line and defensive line recruit, along with the best 3 receivers.

Theyre not his players but they are also a step up from Memphis. And fue has brought in top qbs to run the offense.

Coach either knows something is wrong or needs to evaluate and find out what is wrong. And make some changes.

Coach needs to evaluate and find out what's wrong! Wow wonder if he has thought of that

ok hes brought in recruits but true freshman rarely come in and preform. He did amazing things last year when he had good weapons on the perimiter. have some damn patience guys we have what 5 freshman starting or getting significant time on offense? and we have 8 wins. chill out. one thing that hurt a lot more than i think people realize was yosh's injury. we have 0 depth at tackle, and that is on beamer and his lack of recruiting in the tail end. yeah he got 2 good offensive lineman in yosh and wyatt, but an offensive line is as good as its worst piece. he also didnt recruit any real depth behind our record setting receiving corps (something we talked about for YEARS) which created the problem we have now. That coupled with the fact that beamer didnt prep a qb and youre talking about issues at 3 of the 4 positions along the offense. The cupboard, while not entirely bare, wasnt deep at all. Im willing to bet fuente was banking on ford and bucky and evans to return

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

This is the right attitude to have. Future is promising, but it will take a lot of work and diligence. However, the O-line is still uncertain. As mediocre most of the unit has been or at least inconsistent, we lose 3 starters. Who will fill these positions? Will we improve? That will be the linchpin to how much we improve offensively next year, regardless of qb.

I thought the offense came out in the game and looked good on the first series. We spread the ball around, converted 2 3rd downs, the play calling mixed the pass and run and we never got behind in the down and distance. Jackson was 3-5 for 41 yards passing, had 2 carries for 11 yards and a TD, Holston had 3 carries for 23 yards. If the offense can consistently put that kind of production together then we will be alright. The problem has been, and was for most of the rest of the game, that they just can't execute consistently. I agree about the confidence that Fuente has publicly said about the offense, that Bud would not do that about his defense, and that was a hell of a stand and a lot of heart from our guys to finish out the game.

1-0 every week

I'd like to point out that we did successfully convert a 3rd-and-1 in the fourth quarter, and it was with a run play.

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

Yeah but didn't we not convert the last third down and 1 of the game when we tried to run Jackson up the middle? If we had gained that extra yard, Pitt never would have gotten the ball back to begin with and we would have won the time of possession battle by even more. That, and the heart stopping final sequence wouldn't have been necessary.

Because Osterloh missed his pulling block.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

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I'm just happy it was a failed conversion on a run for that last one, and not a pass over the top.

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

Something I noticed sitting in the stands yesterday is Jackson really seemed to be laboring to drive the ball - more than earlier in the season. His motion is longer and he did not drive the ball or throw it deep well at all. Could an injury or fatigue of his first full season of contact have degraded his mechanics? If so, that would mean the coaches still chose him over Bush, likely for his decision making and valuing the football. I am curious to see JJ in a bowl game. Given an extra month to rest, and a full season of experience, he should show better there than he looks now. If so, I would bet our offense feels much different then.

JJ was winding up just to launch lawn darts into the turf on more than a few pass attempts.

someone mentioned earlier this year he was seen in a walking boot after the clemson game, i think hes pretty hurt.

my theory is that hes injured and aj bush hasnt done enough to give the staff confidence to sit jj.

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

I have wondered about his healthy for a few games. But seeing him in person, his mechanics definitely look off. I have not watched him closely enough to know whether they have changed, or that is just the way he moves/throws. I had issues with the coaches getting him his repeatedly at the end of the Clemson game. Not sure when he might have gotten hurt but if he is hurting, when you add on the o line issues, it's easy to see why the offense is stuck in neutral.

It was also obvious that Pitt manned up the boundry side WR all day and we never really challenged them in it like we did last year with Ford. Some of this seems to be JJ and some seems to be that we do not trust the receivers to go up and win a ball.

Having said all that, I think the future still looks goid. That is why I can't wait to get a bowl game under our belt to guage the development if all these young skill guys.

Jackson took an absolute beating at the end of the Miami game. Every play toward the end seemed to be multiple unblocked defenders putting him on the turf.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I'm confused by this post. I love Bud, but come on. Was it not the defense that allowed a fourth down conversion in the final minutes of the game? There is no benefit from comparing the two coordinators. Also, I thought the offensive game plan and calls were great, execution failed over and over.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Yep. 4th and 5 from...their own 30? And it went for 68.5 yards and almost cost us the game. The goal line stand was awesome but my heart wishes we'd just stopped them on that previous set of downs and then punched in a TD to make it 27-14 (yes, I know we would have just done victory formation, but a guy can dream).

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

^^^ This is where I am too. Very happy for the win and the amazing heart shown on that goal line stand, BUT it just can't come down to that. It's inexcusable to give up that big of a play on 4th down that late in the game.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

I still think the only reason that pass went for as long as it did is because Mook got badly hurt making the tackle and couldn't finish.

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

Hopefully that play will teach Mook a little better form for tackling. He has frequently come in hard with a shoulder and not wrapped up at all. He went for that move again but put his head on the wrong side and that is what got him knocked out. I hope he is okay but a form tackle attempt with his head across the runner, he would have been fine.

But to your point, 2 defensive players did not execute on that play and caused them to give up a huge gain but the OP wants to give Bud a pass for this and blame Cornelson for his play calling? Cornelson has called some brilliant plays that the offense did not execute on some of these questionable calls we have discussed. Many have based the play calls against GT because the offense did not execute but ignored Bud's defense for not executing on 3 looong TDs. GT was not lost because of a 3rd and 1 and a 4th and 1. It was lost the 59 minutes before that when we did not execute on either side of the ball when we needed to.

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

I love Mooks attitude and swag but agree he needs to wrap up. I think he's been watching too many Kam Chancellor highlights. Kam can get away with it at 6'3" 225 Mook cannot at 6'0" 190

Kam has said that his style of play is very hard on the body, sacrifices have to be made to keep on playing. Not sure what those sacrifices are but it might be minor injuries that aren't noticeable to the untrained eye.

I think that Mook just isn't built to play that style, need to be more cerebral than just plain physical.

also gave up the TD on the goofy golf play. no timeout?

it's a team sport.

Let me make something clear, because it seems like people are completely incapable of comprehending this. The coordinator can only call the play and in some cases during a timeout, give specific instructions on how to defend a certain play. On the huge pass play that almost saw Pitt take the lead on fourth down, Bud called a defense where two defenders had ample opportunity to make a play, the individual players (Facyson and Mook) both had chances to stop that play before it got to the goal line and they didn't. That play is not on Bud, he put multiple players between Weah and the goal line and both of them failed to get him or the ball on the ground. That isn't on the coordinator, he is not making tackles on the field, but he had players in position to stop that play before we got to that point. And I don't say that to throw the players under the bus, it seems like Mook suffered a pretty serious injury upon contact and Facyson (in my memory) seemed like he gave a lot of effort in attempting to break up that pass, but I do say that to make it very clear that this wasn't a case where Bud called the wrong defense and somebody got wide open, that isn't what happened at all.

I comprehend it completely. My beef is comparing the two coordinators. Offense has had major execution problems as well but its considered throwing the players under the bus to say so. From my perspective, our playcalling on both sides of the ball was great in this game.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Agree 100%. Is it not the same thing when Bud says we gave up a lot of big plays on defense due to some busted coverages? He puts 100% of the blame on the players with that but no one bats and eye because it is true and he isn't saying anything negative about them, just that they did not execute. In years past Bud has said he wants to run certain defenses but can't because of inexperienced players so he is limited in what he can call. That is no different that Fuente saying his hands are a bit tied on offense based on our personnel right now or explaining why he went with certain plays. He has to call what he think the offense will execute successfully based on who we have out there. It is just part of the game.

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

We are in agreement on that aspect, I thought the offense had more execution issues this game than anything else.

There are "bad" incompletions and "good" incompletions. JJ had a few of both. Not all the balls in the dirt are bad. A few times, to me, they looked like throwaways since the receive was covered. Obviously, he didn't have a great game throwing, but he did enough for us to win.

I've still been very impressed with JJ this season. Yesterday, he actually looked pretty good running the ball. Looked a step or two faster than previous weeks. Definitely by no means giving up on a Freshman QB that will throw for nearly 3000 yards with no true #1 receiver. (love Cam, but he's not a true #1).

Always choose joy.

Yep. Pitt's QB "threw it away" right into Floyd's loving arms. I prefer the dirt or the second row if that's the plan.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Bud Foster is in his 23rd year as DC at a P5 program.
Brad Cornelsen is in his 2nd year as OC at a P5 program. That's not exactly a fair comparison.

As others have pointed out, Fuente and Cornelson are relatively new to big boy football, so there will be some growing pains. To expect them to be on Bud's level right out of the gate is to set yourself up for disappointment.

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

I know it's popular to hate on Cornelson after the GT debacle, but let's take a step back here. We were singing his praises not too long ago, and I'm not trying to crucify him after 1-2 bad games. I love Bud, but there's a way to say that without crapping on the rest of the coaching staff.

The play calling for the first half seemed brilliant for the first half at least. Even when the execution wasn't quite right it seemed like the play calls were.

One adjustment was in the second half. Cam played in the slot to start the game. He did seem to touch his right leg in warmups as if in discomfort/pain. I thought he would be limited. Kumah and Savoy did ok, but Cam was moved outside in second half. Maybe the experience paid off, hurt or not.

Yeah I'm not sure what the point of this post was. IMO it's completely stupid and unwarranted. This needs to go down in flames / be removed

I don't know how much of Tech's winning stand is on bud or how much Tech's offense is to be put on cornelson.

The offense sucks but a lot of that seems like a QB not making the needed timing on passes.

The defense gave up a 4th down that would have won the game.

The defense was playing goaline rush the entire series at the end of the game and Pitt almost caught the D. On the final 3rd down, I saw, and it was a heads up that stroman saw the unmanned receiver as the ball was being hiked that saved the touchdown.

Right now something is off and every one, coaches and players, is sucking. The guy at the top needs to get everyone back in it

Pitt almost caught the D.

Correction, we gave em the D. On each of the last four plays, actually.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Two things I noticed offensively from this week that didn't change from last week:

1) It seems like JJ puts a lot of air under the ball on his releases into good coverage. Into single coverage to the outside shoulder of the receiver, it would be fine. However, he's done in multiple times right into the middle of the field, creating jump balls. For instance, if the DB didn't slip on Cam's TD, that could've easily been a pick.

2) I still don't understand why a lot of the passes on 3rd down are thrown 20-30 yards down the field on 3rd and mediums? It seems like we've gone away from quick slants and curl routes that could be high(er) percentage throws.

"What kind of person would throw away a perfectly good dog?"

Honestly, people would have been flaming the shit outta Bud had we just given up one yard. We did bust a 77 yard pass play on 4th down to almost assuredly lose the game in heartbreaking fashion.

I guess it's a good thing our front 7 is baller. Tbf, it did make for a more exciting finish, alas, sometimes that's just sports.

Had we lost that game it would have been Fuck Matt Ryan II - The Fuckening.

Why is it that whenever teams put in their backup quarterback we struggle. The only time I can recall where we successfully beat a backup was JT Barrett.

Had we lost that game it would have been Fuck Matt Ryan II - The Fuckening

Was JT a back up at that point? Oh wait, was that because Miller injured himself in the offseason? I guess JT was technically a starter when we played, just a brand spanking new starter.

That's what I was going for

I'm not sure that mattered. The Bear was designed to confuse the OL. We had not shown it much if ever before that game. OLs are not used to having defenders lined up directly over them even in the 3-4.

This was almost Chad Voytik round 2, the first of which was pretty awful in its own right.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

This cannot be said enough in defense of Foster on the 74 yard near touchdown in the final two minutes.

The tackle was there to be made at Pitt's 46 yard line, and the tackle was not made.

For whatever reason (injury, poor technique, etc), the scheme had the player in the right position to make the tackle and the Pitt player made the better play.

That's football.

I'll add that big plays in the final minutes seem to happen to the VT defense often enough to make it seem like it happens all the time, but it doesn't, and in most instances it's not the scheme, it's the missed tackles, a player slipping, letting the opposing receiver's get beyond the safeties, the other team's players making a better play, etc. Not Foster's fault most of the time, IMHO.

Good job Hokies, let's close out the season with 14 in a row.

The same can be said for the 4th and 1 at GT. The scheme had the player in the right position to make the catch, but the GT player made a better play.

Always choose joy.

But let's not forget in the GT game that the defensive player was NOT in position to make the play on the 2 long pass plays that went for TDs.

Also, I would argue that Jackson could have made a better throw to put Cam in better position to make the catch.

Exactly my point. We talk about this "tale of two coordinators" when sometimes the buck stops at the players on the field. You'll never hear me question their attitude, or heart, or drive, but we can question their execution. Coordinators get it wrong sometimes and players bail them out. Coordinators get it right sometimes, and players let them down.

Always choose joy.


For whatever reason (injury, poor technique, etc), the scheme had the player in the right position to make the tackle and the Pitt player made the better play.

That's football.

Week 11 / (After Pitt)

Opponent Long Scrimmage Plays of 40+ yards
#91 (#113)

Fumble Recovery %
#118 (#119)

After Pitt this one maybe more important
Opponent Long Passing Plays of 40+ yards #115

They gave up a lot of big plays last year. It appears they're high risk/high yield.

I keep posting this and you keep ignoring it but maybe if I say it enough you'll believe it- fumble recovery is a function of luck. It's not teachable.

Yea I forgot to reply but to me Fumble recoveries are a sign and maybe not a true sign, about how hard you are going for the extra effort. There is no skill in it except for being aware of a fumble and how how fast you react. Or how hard you react

1 Penn State
4 Notre Dame
8 Ohio State
11 Miami (Florida)
11 Pittsburgh

119 Virginia Tech
121 Iowa
121 Georgia Tech
121 Western Kentucky
124 Wake Forest
124 Hawai'i
124 Mississippi
127 Virginia
127 Rutgers
129 Nebraska
130 Vanderbilt

1) I'm not sure where you're getting your numbers from- this has OSU listed at 26th, Miami at 8th. https://www.teamrankings.com/college-football/stat/fumble-recovery-pct Here's the numbers for just defenses: https://www.teamrankings.com/college-football/stat/takeaway-fumble-recov...

2) Last year PSU recovered 48% of fumbles. This year it's 76%. ND recovered 39% last year. OSU recovered 53% total and 42% on defense last year (58% and 72% this year). Miami recovered 60% and 58% on defense last year (65% and 64% this year). It's not something that tends to correlate year to year. There's been research on it. http://mgoblog.com/content/maximizing-your-fumble-luck

3) If your argument that a Pitt defense that gave up 50+ to Okie State and 34 to UNC is playing harder than VT I don't know what to tell you. If you're saying that Pitt's defense is giving more effort than Alabama's defense who has only recovered 33% of fumbles I really don't know what to tell you.

Teams actually do fumble drills, so there is some skill, or at least awareness, involved.

Even if it's just being getting down on the ball quick. There have been a couple this year that I couldn't believe VT didn't come up with. The most important thing is to be aware of where the ball is and be near it.

I'm not sure some internet blog's statistical analysis should be called a "study".

There is no skill in it except for being aware of a fumble and how how fast you react.

I guess what I'm saying is that being aware of it and reacting quickly is something a team can get better at. Miami came up with a turnover chain, and suddenly, they seem pretty good at turnovers and recovering fumbles.


"Stripping the ball is a skill. Holding onto the ball is a skill. Pouncing on the ball as it is bouncing all over the place is not a skill. There is no correlation whatsoever between the percentage of fumbles recovered by a team in one year and the percentage they recover in the next year. The odds of recovery are based solely on the type of play involved, not the teams or any of their players.
Fans like to insist that specific coaches can teach their teams to recover more fumbles by swarming to the ball. Chicago's Lovie Smith, in particular, is supposed to have this ability. However, in Smith's first three seasons as head coach of the Bears, their rate of fumble recovery on defense went from a league-best 76 percent in 2004 to a league-worst 33 percent in 2005, then back to 67 percent in 2006.
Fumble recovery is equally erratic on offense. In 2008, the Bears fumbled 12 times on offense and recovered only three of them. In 2009, the Bears fumbled 18 times on offense, but recovered 13 of them.
Fumble recovery is a major reason why the general public overestimates or underestimates certain teams. Fumbles are huge, turning-point plays that dramatically impact wins and losses in the past, while fumble recovery percentage says absolutely nothing about a team's chances of winning games in the future. With this in mind, Football Outsiders stats treat all fumbles as equal, penalizing them based on the likelihood of each type of fumble (run, pass, sack, etc.) being recovered by the defense."


Just about everyone who has looked at it has found that fumble recovery isn't a repeatable skill, or at least isn't a skill anyone has figured out how to consistently teach. Tennessee came up with a garbage can for turnovers and that hasn't helped them. Remember at the beginning of last year when the Vols recovered pretty much every fumble? That eventually boomeranged on them. One year doesn't make a trend. Falling on the ball is harder than it looks. If Miami continues to recover 70% of their fumbles then maybe the chain has something to do with it. Bama has a turnover belt and the best defensive athletes in the country but they've only recovered a third of all possible fumbles.

It may be that turnover recovery is as much an awareness thing as a skill thing. While some may be random chance, there may be some others where a player who just wanted it more came up with the ball. Most of the time, the harder people work, the luckier they get.

The best way to do better, though, is not to fumble the ball to begin with, and that is absolutely something that players can work on.

The same can also be said for the offense. We couldn't pick up 3rd and a short 3 to ice the game because the O-line didn't clear a hole for Jackson. We have sputtered on offense lately due to lapses in execution as much as play calling.

Also, where are the playmakers on this team? Nearly all of them are on the defensive side of the ball. Talent matters.

So does coaching. Coaching is so much more than play calling. The defense punches above its weight class because their coach (Foster) believes in them. Football is played as much between the ears as it is between the end zones. Fuente has been better about not demotivating the offense with indications about how he has no confidence but you can't easily erase that. These players are 18-22 years old and that makes them impressionable especially when it comes to their coaches.

Having said that losing Nijman has had a profound effect on the offense's ability to perform. Osterloh is having a terrible time and it's clear Jackson is not comfortable in the pocket. I know there's a "get over it" crowd out there (not saying you're part of it) but after the Miami game I'm not sure it's easy to get over how many times he got dropped. There's more to it than just getting over the hits. Jackson is particularly concerned about ball security and as such he still has a good INT percentage. Even if he "got over" the hits he would still be concerned about losing the ball.

I think some of our receivers need to work on their hands. I don't know if this is something that "clicks", takes years to develop or never develops.

Funny story on that Scheme vs reality, (hint we had a lot of fun last year with it)

If Narduzzi pigeon-holing his players into his defensive system wasn't obvious enough, ESPN sideline reporter Laura Rutledge announced on national television that the Pittsburgh coach was doing this. After Virginia Tech scored its 39th point of the night halfway to the fourth quarter, she reported from the sideline that Narduzzi was telling his corners he wasn't going to change his scheme and that they simply had to play better.

I'm not complaining about any coaches who have managed to get VT to the ACC Championship last year, have Virginia Tech with an 8-3 record (second place in the Coastal behind undefeated Miami) with one game left in regulation, and have a pretty good recruiting class coming in next year.

From me, they get some leeway to build this program.

To be fair, we're exactly where all of the prognosticators thought we'd be before the season started. If C.J. Carroll and Steven Peoples were healthy and James Clark hadn't been dealing with a hand issue most of the season? We'd might be a little better on offense and probably have a win over Georgia Tech...

...but you know what they say about "ifs and buts".

Dissatisfaction is one thing, but the meltdown I've seen here after the Miami and GT games? They honestly made me ashamed to be a Hokie.

I thought the meltdowns went about like one would expect. They're history now, though.

Time to prepare for our in-state rival.

Offense that started last year that started against GT and Pitt: Cam, Teller, Gallo. Players recruited under Corn that started. Keene, Holston, Savoy. Losses to teams outside the top 5? Just 1. I can see being dis- satisfied if we fuck up and lose next week, and I love me some Bud, but I was here when we gave Frank a chance after his second season because he had VT type character. I'm not sold on Vice, but never want us to be whiney SEC fan base. This leans to much that way for my taste. We kept Stiney for too,long, but let's not over correct.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I'm not suggesting he should be fired immediately. The point of these posts is to generate discussion and I think that happened. I'm also not ready to wear the rose colored glasses and take a sip of the Kool-Aid yet. Lot of criticism was heaped on Loeffler who's offense was said to be to complicated for college kids to handle. That may be true. Does this offense at the P5 level require too much perfection in execution for college kids to handle? I don't know. I do agree that there is something not right with the OL and it's no plainly talent. Of course I look at Pitt's four attempts to get that touch down and their OL didn't hold up any better than ours would. I think French may have addressed the rarity of great O linemen in college football and that pretty much only teams like Alabama have O lineman that are big, smart and agile. The time to start asking these questions is now, not at at the end of year 3 or 4. That way you don't end up in the situation where the coaching staff is like, "I never heard these concerns before. Let's take 3 years to figure this out".

That way you don't end up in the situation where the coaching staff is like, "I never heard these concerns before. Let's take 3 years to figure this out".

How could the coaches ever possibly do their jobs if we the fans don't point out their flaws? \S

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

At the start of the season, I thought that Tech would certainly lose to Clemson.

Out of WVU, Miami, GT, and Pitt, I thought we would lose half of those games.

Now, I really question the final two plays of the GT game. However, we have a rFr QB. Tyrod was a turnover machine his first two years. We really only have one good remaining ball catcher from the Beamer era. Fuente's first year recruits are really, a write off, in my mind, so we have one amazing receiver with Savoy and one that hopefully lives up to expectations once his knee heals.

As far as our backs are concerned, things would be incredibly different right now if we still had Marshawn Williams. Losing him last year was a major blow to the offense and I think it is often overlooked.

We do need to get better on the OL, though it takes time to develop talent there.

In the whole scheme of things we have a really young headcoach who is also figuring things out. His OC is even more green. There are lessons learned this year that will help the staff grow (I hope) and learn.

If we're still talking about stuff like this for the next 3 years then we have a problem.

And to make everyone really feel better, look at what has happened with UNC and FSU. That could easily be us. I think, if anything that the later Beamer years have taught us, is that the margin between winning and losing is on a razor's edge.

The running back comment is a big point. Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie were primed to be a great 1-2 punch, and Shai was a more natural RB than anyone on the current roster has shown, IMO.

This OP is so unfair it hurts to read. We're acting as if the offense and defense have been acting at a level playing field all along and that the results the last 2 weeks are indicative of how the two coaching staffs are. First of all, this short changes Bud in that we've grown a legitimate culture of hard nose beat-your-ass defense that we've perfected over the last 20+ years, going all the way back to the 1995 Sugar Bowl victory against super prospect Ricky Williams and the Texas Longhorns, through an undefeated 1999 season where we kicked ass and took names, through the early years of dominating the ACC en route to 4 of the first 7 ACC titles post-expansion, through the years of putting the program on its back just to keep the bowl streak alive to today. Our defense has long been the staple of what makes Virginia Tech good.

And offensively? 16 months ago we didn't know what we had in Justin Fuente. We thought things could get better, but we had no idea. Before him, we dealt with an offense that was legitimately terrible with many wondering if it could even be salvaged before Fuente's recruits were contributing. 2 seasons ago our offense was so bad we were on our 3rd year of scraping and clawing our way to bowl eligibility with an offense that couldn't generate any push, couldn't move the ball consistently, and managed to do things like lose consistently to ECU and Boston College. Now, we have an offense that, when its on the same page, can legitimately control games, hang 30+ on anyone, is fun to watch, and has gotten us consistent rankings, a mid-season bowl clinch, an ACC title game appearance, the first campus appearance of GameDay in a decade.... and we're going to blast the coaching staff over 1 yard?

Nah, count me out of that.

"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

Couldn't have put it better myself. And considering a fourth down drop by Cam (and, really, the ball should have been handed off - did you see how hard we hit that hole?) and a couple of deep balls that were overthrown on sure TDs, this game could have easily turned into a blowout.

That's just how things break sometimes.

I agree with you. I would also say that with all the good that has come with the coaching change we still have to ask the hard questions. Now I'm not saying have the expectations of perfect, I set the goal of beat UVA and try to keep the bowl streak going (by that I mean that there are concerted efforts to try and win games, not to try and not lose the game), but have reasonable expectations of the next 3-4 years.

By what I read you seem to have reasonable expectations of this staff, but may I ask what your expectations are for them?

I think this question was meant for me. If it wasn't I apologize for the answer.

I expect that we do better against FCS teams. The offense made a poor showing against a group of FCS players led by a first year head coach and first year defensive coordinator.

I expect in year two quickly becoming year 3 that if we still see the same things from year one (slow starts, no running game, poor offensive line play) they need to be addressed in some manner other than blaming kids (I have mentioned this before and only restating not rehashing). That's what college football players are. Man sized kids.

I expect that if things aren't quite were they need to be we do not demotivate our players. The whole point of painting the difference in our coordinators is that Bud Foster's players are punching above their weight class on a regular basis. They always have. It doesn't matter how long Foster has been DC. It's a new set of kids every year and they respond quickly. Reggie Floyd doesn't chase down a wide receiver headed for the end zone because his DC doesn't believe in him. He does it because his DC believes in him and the other guys on that field and will put them up against anyone any time. They may take some lumps but they always come away knowing Foster believes. And yes Foster was like that as a first year DC, I was at Tech when he became DC.

Did I expect us to beat Clemson or Miami. No. I would have loved the hell out of it. But I did expect us to look better against GT if not win.

But most of all I expect this. Because this is what separates the great coaches from the good coaches.