This is the Pistol

Since its debut this spring, most of us have been intrigued by the Pistol formation. Personally, I'm still haunted by JMU using it as a vessel for their option and power run game during their last trip to Blacksburg. As demonstrated by the Dukes in 2010, it's an extremely effective "modern" formation for many tried and true offensive plays and philosophies.

In Saturday's scrimmage Michael Holmes broke a little counter run out of it for a 60+ yard score. Let's break it down.

LT3 is lined up between center Andrew Miller and Michael Holmes. Dyrell is going to start moving across the formation before the ball is snapped.

Holmes takes a little counter step. At this point, it's extremely hard for the majority of defenders to key where the ball is going. This is more a benefit of the play than the formation. Logan could give the ball to Roberts on the sweep, hand it off to Holmes, or keep it himself.

The threat of Dyrell getting the ball on the sweep is going to hold the backside end (Tyrel Wilson) for an extra second, and prevent him from crashing down the line and making the play.

In the previous frame you can see Nick Becton pull around play side. He smothers Derek DiNardo, the edge is sealed tight.

Second Scrimmage Thoughts

Editor's note: This post started as a thread in the forum, but I bumped it up. StLHokie, mikey4vt, and tonkaberlin were at the scrimmage, and left a ton of excellent information below. Credit to them, and anyone else who posts after them. If you were at the scrimmage, we want to hear from you in the comments!

The Frankinator continued to praise Holmes, who has all but locked up the starting running back job coming out of spring. "He's learning, but when he gets out there, he's running away from people. People can't catch him. He's a big body. He runs with power. I thought he could cut it loose a little more at the line of scrimmage, but overall, I think you've got to be impressed with Michael Holmes."

Associate Head Coach James Johnson Leaves Tech for Clemson

So James Johnson is the second assistant coach, and third member of Seth Greenberg's staff to bounce to another school since the beginning of April. Last Friday, UAB announced the hiring of Rob Ehsan and Jeff Wulbrun (former director of basketball operations) as part of Coach Jerod Haase's new staff. Turnover is becoming the trend at Tech. Johnson is the sixth assistant coach in four years to leave the basketball program.

Money was an issue. Johnson will reportedly make an extra 45-large on top of his current salary of $140,000.

One person close to Johnson said this move to Clemson was purely for monetary reasons and that Johnson is expected to receive a $45,000 increase from his current salary of $140,000. That same source said Johnson was elevated to associate head coach last April and given a raise because new Georgia Tech Coach Brian Gregory had expressed interest in hiring him.

$45,000 isn't anything to sneeze at, but it would be disappointing if that's what came between us and retaining Johnson.

Nasty -- Closed Scrimmage Notes

Word just came from the Hokies 66-play scrimmage this evening that the Hokies defense got 10 sacks on 66 snaps. And, that was with both James Gayle and JR Collins sitting out of the scrimmage to do classwork. Either the defensive line will be unstoppable this year, or the offensive line may be abysmal. Let's hope it is the former.

Other notes from the beat writers:

Logan Thomas was 9-13 for 70 yards. Michael Holmes lead the running backs, and a little bird told me that Martin Scales may have passed J.C. Coleman on the running back depth chart... Coleman didn't gain a yard on 6 carries.

11 Days

Let the Countdown begin in earnest. See y'all April 21st.

Source photo: Josh D. Weiss Photography

First Scrimmage Thoughts

via Mike Barber

A defense dominate enough to make you feel nervous and insecure about the offense, that's Virginia Tech football in April. The headlines are usually the same this time of year. Avid fans know what the offense is working with right now —four new starters on the o-line, rookie tailbacks, veteran-ish receivers and tight ends— but I think we gloss over what that means. It's going to look ugly now. A flawless closing night performance doesn't come right after casting. There's rehearsal, and boy does this group ever need that. There's a lot of talent on offense, what remains to be seen is if they gel, and that doesn't happen overnight.

Misleading statistic that you've probably heard 100 times: 11 sacks in 85 plays. That was mostly the second- and third-team offense getting worked. It's also important to note the defense has their blitz package in.

2013 Recruiting: Anthony Jennings

Anthony Jennings is a 6-2, 205-pound dual-threat quarterback from Marietta, Georgia. In addition to the Hokies, 14 I-A programs (West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi St., etc...) have offered Jennings. He hasn't named any favorites, but he's in Blacksburg this weekend for an unofficial visit. The Hokies are looking to take two quarterbacks during the 2013 cycle, and Jennings is high on their list. Marietta head coach Scott Burton was generous enough to talk with me yesterday about Anthony.


How adept is Anthony at reading defenses; seeing coverages and blitzes before the snap?

That is probably the best thing about him, his football acumen. He has a very very high football IQ, and part of that is because he likes the process of what it takes to be a good quarterback. He really enjoys film study, he understands how important it is. He doesn't look at it as a chore, he looks at it as something that is not only necessary, but fun.

So he's the type of kid that's asking for tapes, getting his hands on tapes and really going after it?

The Million Dollar Man and Unfriendly Space

As the Hokies start to ramp up spring practice, we outsiders have received trickles of information that have started us down the road of starting to formulate conclusions about the makeup of the 2012 Hokie football team. What are some of mine?