Notes that won't make the North Carolina film review

This week's film review is going to be very heavily focused on the defense, especially a technique improvement and philosophy change from earlier weeks up front. However, there were some interesting things that I observed during the film review that I wanted to share.

1) North Carolina sold out with run blitzes, especially by their safeties. The running game had some struggles, especially in the first half. However, it was due more to the extra man coming into the box where there wasn't a blocker to account for the defender. That made UNC more vulnerable in the passing game. Once the drops left the equation, UNC was very vulnerable to the passing game with this approach.

2) When the offensive line did struggle, Yosh Nijman was often the culprit. Nijman overset on a pass protection and got off balance to allow a sack in the first half. Nijman also had several busts in the run game. The coaching staff noticed. At one point in the first half, Parker Osterloh replaced Nijman at tackle.

3) Braxton Pfaff and Eric Gallo really jumped out on the last scoring drive of the first half. Pfaff had a nice pancake block on a backside scoop on McMillian's inside zone run to open the drive. Teller did a great job of turning out the DT and Pfaff created the bubble by sealing the backside DT and then kept his feet going to finish the block. Gallo did a terrific job of getting outside on Cam Phillips record breaking catch to seal the DL inside. Nijman picked off the corner on the tunnel screen to pop Phillips free. Dalton Keene, Chris Cunningham, and McMillian had terrific blocks on the edge to almost spring Savoy for a TD on the jet sweep at the end of the half.

4) Jarrod Hewitt and House Gaines played their quickest, most physical game of the season. In my opinion, I would like to see Xavier Burke as the first option for the 4th DT in the rotation over Jimmie Taylor. Taylor gets moved out of his fit more easily. Burke has some twitch and is stronger at the point of attack.

5) It was a very small sample size, but Dylan Rivers sure looked the part with his size, speed, and pursuit during his late game cameo.

6) Most importantly, I thought Josh Jackson showed a ton of improvement this week. MJ Stewart and KJ Sails are solid corners. Jackson scanned the field, climbed the pocket, and drove the football to the right receiver early and often. I can't recall a "bad throw"- even the fade that misfired to Phillips looked more like UNC caught Jackson in a bad coverage for the fade and he threw it away. The deep curl to Kumah that also drew a face mask was Jackson's second read. That was a very strong throw. When you watch around college football and see QB situations like what Carolina is dealing with, and then you see Jackson and Bush perform coupled with all the promise Hooker showed in the spring, the Hokies have amazing depth at the quarterback position.

7) Phillip Patterson finally got on the field. But, I am not sure a guy coming off a knee injury should be utilized on the take a knee play. They need Patterson to provide a vertical threat to compliment Kumah, Savoy, and Phillips. With the game out of hand, I would have liked to see Patterson get another week to heal.


It often seems like the RBs have little room and get hit immediately. Tubberville pointed out that we are always pulling a guy and rarely come off the ball and hit the guy in front of the olinemen.

When it works it works very well, but the running game just isn't very strong.

I'm not an X's and O's guy. This is just a general observation. There is rarely a big hole for the RBs.

And what about Fox? This guy produces when he's in. He has good vision, some burst, and makes guys miss. I'm not saying he should be the primary ball carrier, but I think he should get the ball more often.

Pass blocking?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

There were a couple of nice holes. The backs have to beat the safeties.

Nijman struggled, even after the brief benching. There were some other plays where a Barkley, Chubb, Crawford type back hits the hole and makes the safety miss. Our RBs just aren't doing that, although I would like to see McMillian get a few more touches on quick hitters. He had a really nice run on the play where Pfaff got the pancake (which I believe will be in GIFTORY.)

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

The first long Fox run was probably Nijman's best block of the game. Throw technique on an iso draw. He drew the DE up field and then shoved him towards the defensive end zone to take the DE out of the play.

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

After the 15th time Tuberville made that same comment, I asked myself if the RPO was invented after he quit coaching. He seems to think every team needs a power running game. What if your RPO game is your running game? Is it legit to say, we don't need no stinking power running game as long as the RPO is working? (And obviously, when you run the RPO, it's up to the defense whether you run or pass.)

"Our job as coaches is to influence young people's lives for the better in terms of fundamental skills, work ethic, and doing the right thing. Every now and again, a player actually has that effect on the coaching staff." Justin Fuente on Sam Rogers

I though I saw Nijman being suspect. Good confirmation that French saw it too.

That #6 comment though

and then you see Jackson and Bush perform coupled with all the promise Hooker showed in the spring, the Hokies have amazing depth at the quarterback position.

Say whaaaaatt??? You know we on the rise when we have depth at the QB spot.

Let's Go


I thought Bush made several solid throws in the 3rd quarter.

I feel like McMillian has been running really hard these last couple of weeks. He still doesn't have the vision and fluidity of some of our past backs, but it's nice to see him not going down on first contact.

"That kid you're talking to right there, I think he played his nuts off! And you can quote me on that shit!" -Bud Foster

Holston looks really timid.

We need Peoples, he works hardest for that last yard. Not the most skilled guy, but his physicality is important to the rotation.

Not a fan of peoples, he's slow and predictable. I know he looks super small, but I like when Fox has the ball. He is quick and always seems to make at least 1 defender miss from tackling him.

Pour some Beer on it

I don't think they have asked Fox to pass protect one time. Probably a reason for that.

I don't see Fox as a viable alternative for a more significant role than what he is giving us now. He's a better version of Dustin Pickle.

Good point, he looks really small next to some of the other players. Would probs get crushed trying to pass block against a big LB.

Great for a dump pass/check down if the O-line is holding up.

Pour some Beer on it

Fox has actually been left in pass pro several times. Look back at Clemson. He was brought in to pass pro in the 2 minute offense.

I think Fox has been great in the time he has had. He may not be a star, but he is a great contributor. He absolutely deserves some touches every game. He hits holes that Holston does not, though he cannot deliver a blow like Holston. Most importantly for me, he always seems to provide a spark when he comes in the game. He runs hard and does his job with enthusiasm.

You wouldn't say that to my Peoples face

Holston is young. I bet he's gonna be a dawg once he beefs up and has more reps

Keep calm, Gobble on

Funny you say he should beef up, since he's our 2nd-heaviest RB (smaller than Peoples by one pound).

The rest of what you said, I completely agree. Sometimes the young guys need to get more confident.

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

Great insight! Looking forward to the film review this week.

Just so you know French, there is nothing solid about KJ Sails corner abilities. He grabbed a handful of Cams jersey every play i watched and was the most douchebag player/coach since Nardouche

I'll also add fuel to the fire by saying AJ Bush looks like the real deal in this offense. He was playing with our number twos against their number ones and looked really good throwing and running. QB controversy?!

No. Although I would like to see wildcat package for him.

He played well. It should make everyone feel a lot more comfortable if we need Bush in an emergency situation.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

While I hate the idea of taking our your QB inside the 5 yard line, I think he could help some of our red zone struggles in the read option.

Always choose joy.

He'll have some next year. Can't risk our only backup this year

the one difference between the two QBs that for me makes me want more of bush and less of Jackson is probably the same reason we see more of Jackson and less of bush. fuente values not turning the ball over and Jackson has done a great job of that but sometimes I think hes just to timid with the football. bush is not afraid to see tight man coverage and throw it up down the field and let him WRs make plays were Jackson will not risk a throw into tight coverage down the field, I think bush would stretch the field vertically a lot more than Jackson but I think the intermediate game would be where Jackson excels in the slants and underneath plays. of course its a lot easier to play carefree when you only get in the game up 30 points so take it with a grain of salt. I know its been said before and folks believe that fuente would put the best player on the field for us now but something in me just says that the battle was so close that when he had to pick one he went with the one of the future. im not complaining about jacksons play I think hes done as good as he can do with what hes got but at some point we are going to have to throw the ball down field.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

I think Josh has made some of what he has done look so easy, his skill gets taken for granted. QB play has been the least of this team's worries.

"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

im happy with josh, I don't want a new starter and I think having to 2 good QBs is a great problem. that said I think what josh does good is the opposite of what AJ does good so its all personal choice. risk vs reward and that is really just a personal preference of mine to risk a little more for a bigger reward while other opinions (mainly the one that counts coach Fuentes) is a little more conservative. I think josh has played great and QB is NOT one of my complaints so far. its really just nit picking but I would like to see some shots taken deep I feel like we haven't seen one since some drops in the ODU game and at some point we are going to have to hit some big plays to beat the likes of the clemsons of the world. also would help keep safeties a little deeper and LBs a little less aggressive which helps in the run game and screen game. again I AM by no means saying JJ should be benched. I am all aboard the JJ express! but I like AJ too.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

No worries. I didn't think your comments came off as negative at all. I was just providing a follow up observation not directly related to your well described comment.

"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

When you watch around college football and see QB situations like what Carolina is dealing with, and then you see Jackson and Bush perform coupled with all the promise Hooker showed in the spring, the Hokies have amazing depth at the quarterback position.

And QP2 was on the sidelines as well... It really is impressive how loaded we are at the QB spot.

"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

I thought TMac missed a few holes, and ran into the OLine instead. On one play, the UNC linebacker reached into the hole, and brought him down. All 2nd quarter, but I was glad the team responded, and he did pop some good runs on the scoring drive. Our offense would really excel with a run game. It's not end all be all like O'CainSpring, and CornFu knows that. But I do agree with Tuberville. We do need the run game going late into the season.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I do agree that the Backs are just not finding the hole. TMAC can be used for his Speed, I'm not saying lets stop using him but unless he bounces outside, he's not doing much. Maybe use him on some Wild cats or do some more zone reads with him.

I like McLease, he finishes his runs strong. He's still got ways to go. I think Holston is going to the feature back in the next 2 years, thats why they are giving him some good looks now. Experience will help.

But Coleman Fox though, I think we can use him in the regular game. While he doesn't have the size of Holston or the Speed of TMAC, he does find the hole and has good vision. If you look at his first touchdown against ECU, that Jump cut is a solid decision to get into the open space and make a man miss. Against Clemson, he had a couple of spin moves to gain 3-4 extra yards. And against UNC he got the long run, put all that together and I see a guy who is good for Fuente's offense that requires a guy to make someone miss. I think he could really be the go to guy not just some one getting junk carries until get Holston some experience.

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Dear Mook,

On a few plays Mook looked like a young punk in a mosh pit and not a football player.

I loved when he ripped off the receiver's cleat and threw to the sideline. Shit was such a kick in the nuts. Mook is the man!!!!

I loved that too bro. And the kid couldn't find his shoe lol. It was almost as good as the fuller handshake.

Hokie Love!

Not to look over, Tremaine sustained like a 40 yard block on the interception return, it was amazing.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

I noticed...

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

That was awesome! Even live, it was really noticeable.

All without holding or blocking in the back. Pretty damn impressive.

I'm hoping French's Overpursuit & Armtackling Remedy will be in the defensive writeup.

Our scheme is so solid - imagine how dominant we'd be if we stopped ballcarriers on first contact more often.

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

Sam Denmark's TD to make it 52-0 was on Patrice Rene, a kid from Episcopal in Alexandria that picked UNC over a Virginia school.


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

Patrice Rene? Never heard of her.

I was actually thinking that with Dazz and other VA recruits... if there were any regrets out there as they were getting taken behind the woodshed.

Rene, Newsome, Ross, Stewart, Proehl, Tomon Fox, Logan Byrd, Aaron Crawford, Xach Gill, and JAy JAy McCargo all had VT offers. There may be more.

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

Jalen Dalton

I like the focus on the blocking. The were two poor blocks I noticed, probably both in second quarter. One was McMillian blocking for Murphy on a jet sweep. Just very poor effort that could have picked up a couple more yards if any effort was there. You praise Keene, deservedly, but he also had a bad block on same drive (I believe). He just turned sideways and lowered his shoulder. He's young, not being too harsh on him, but that was one instance he really needed to be the force. Excited for these young guys long term.

Keene is hit or miss. Most of those misses look like tentativeness, which is reflective of the lack of experience. I think he is a difference maker there, especially as he grows. He and Savoy are big time pieces of a championship puzzle in the long game here.

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

Savoy definitely has that "hard to measure" game speed where when he catches it he's got solid burst to house it. Almost did it yesterday but got shoe-stringed.

"I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising..." - KP

I remember FLYING off the couch as the ball was in the air because I just KNEW he was going all the way there.

That was pretty much my only disappointment during that game.

"These people are losing their minds!"

To me it usually seems that the run plays take way too long to develop. I find myself thinking "the handoff is taking forever. The mesh point and handoff seem like they are in slow motion." It may be just me, thoughts?


That is mostly design, but I would like to see more quick hitting inside zones. Jackson isn't going to make anyone forget about Evans with his run game mechanics and reads.

However, we saw things from Jackson (reads, throws, different passing concepts) that Evans never showed proficiency at (deep curls, crossing routes, deep outs, multiple reads.) The passing offense is much more diverse right now than in week 1.

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

Thanks. I know the QB has to have time to read the defense on the zone read and RPO, but I would love to see some runs to mix it up where the running back has time to find a hole right away and has some distance between him and the line before the D has time to get up field.


House Gaines

Is this an actual nickname or a typo? If it is the former, I am on board!

Actual nickname from what I've gathered.