Run the football. Those three words will define the 2013 Virginia Tech season. The Hokies will win if they can run the ball effectively over 30 times a game. Running the football will set up play action, and play action will give the Hokies the opportunity for big gains. Running the football will allow the defense to be aggressive on limited snaps, rather than being forced to stay on the field for long stretches. Running the football will lead to victories. I made the trek down interstate 81 for one reason. I wanted to see the Hokies run the football.
Perhaps for me, nothing was more disappointing than the inability of the offense to run the football against the second- and third-team defensive groupings. I didn't expect them to be a well-oiled machine. It requires strict adherence to simple blocking rules, but with that simplicity comes a feel that can only be developed through experience. What is the precise moment when you should peel off a down linemen to go to the second level? These things take time. Nevertheless, when your top five offensive linemen go against your 6th-12th best defensive linemen, you expect the top offensive line to win those battles. Why didn't it happen on Saturday?