Vintage Virginia Tech Performance Exorcises Demons in Win Against Boston College

Film analysis of the Hokies' 49-0 win over the Eagles.

[Mark Umansky]

Virginia Tech football took an ugly turn in 2012. The offense struggled to run the football. The defense struggled to stop the run. Miami, Pitt, Duke, and Boston College all posted physically dominant wins over the Hokies.

On Saturday, Virginia Tech delivered a throwback performance to a time when the Hokies were the bullies of the ACC. The defense executed their assignments and then physically whipped Boston College at the point of attack. Eagles quarterback Patrick Towles couldn't find any open receivers down the field, and couldn't scramble into space like C.J. Brown and Chad Voytik. Tech's defensive performance was coupled with a textbook dissection of a good Boston College defense. The Hokies ran with power. The Hokies attacked the edge with speed and used misdirection to tire and confuse linebackers Connor Strachan and Matt Milano. The Hokies stretched the field with Isaiah Ford while Jerod Evans worked run-pass options to Bucky Hodges and C.J. Carroll underneath. The Hokies made the Eagles look like an FCS school. It was the best all-around performance from the Hokies since the 38-0 triumph to seal a Coastal Division title against UVA in 2011.

Speed Option and Play-Action Pass Productive for the Hokies in Short Yardage

It is quickly becoming apparent how well a Justin Fuente designed running game can confound an opponent when properly executed. Fuente worked inverted veer and bootleg away from jet sweep motion early to produce the game opening Travon McMillian touchdown catch. A couple of screens finally popped open. Jerod Evans' running game mechanics befuddled BC linebackers. The vertical passing game off play-action produced some results.

A tendency is beginning to emerge though. When the chips are down and the Hokies need a critical chunk play on the ground, the most successful consistent choice has been the speed option. Fuente loves to run the speed option into trips (two wide receivers and a tight end).

The speed option was the Hokies' best play after the first quarter against Tennessee, and Boston College was determined to stop it. Early, the Eagles slow played the option to take away the option pitch.

On this play, the Hokies are aligned with Chris Cunningham on the line of scrimmage, C.J. Carroll in the slot, and Bucky Hodges out wide. On the line of scrimmage, the Hokies are going to zone block hard to the left. Cunningham is tasked with sealing the field-side inside linebacker and Yosh Nijman is assigned with reach blocking the defensive end to seal him inside.

On the outside, the blocking is mixed up to cross up the defense. Hodges runs a go route, while Carroll runs to the sideline to widen out the nickel corner. This creates space for Evans and McMillian to turn up field quickly and keep pitch relationship.

However, Boston College has the right defense called. The defensive end widens on his first step to make it impossible for Nijman to reach him. Cunningham, who was called for a bogus personal foul on the same kind of play for blocking a linebacker in the thigh against Tennessee, blocks high and can't maintain his block.

Although, instead of optioning unblocked OLB Matt Milano (No. 28), Evans remains patient and notes that Nijman is still engaged with d-end Wyatt Ray (No. 11), even if Nijman doesn't have proper position. Note how Ray and field-side LB Connor Strachan (No. 13) have widened out midway through the play. A small bubble forms inside Nijman and Evans sees it. He cuts inside and finishes the run with power. Instead of a loss, Evans picked up a first down when the Boston College defensive call could have forced a negative play. Those types of ugly wins keep drives alive. This is a terrific play by Evans.

Once Evans established he was a threat to keep (two keepers produced two first downs on the speed option), the pitch suddenly became much more open.

Fuente will run the entire playbook with every running back, and as result Marshawn Williams got his chance to be the pitch man. This is the same play structure. Cunningham veer releases to the linebacker. The offensive line zones hard to the right. The slot receiver releases to the flat and then turns vertical. The split end runs the corner off.

This time the Eagles are in a 30 front. The defensive end (No. 97) is flexed inside of right tackle Jonathan McLaughlin. McLaughlin does a tremendous job of widening out and then getting up field to cut off the inside linebacker scraping across to support the play. Augie Conte scoops the defensive end so well that he almost overruns the end to the outside.

Observe the impact last week's penalties had on the scheme. In Bristol, Cunningham was called for a block below the waist on a speed option. His technique was picture perfect on that play. He released wide and put his inside shoulder on the outside thigh pad of the Tennessee linebacker and got flagged.

With that penalty in mind, Cunningham goes chest-to-chest with the linebacker on both of these options. On both, the linebacker is able to shake his block after initial contact to prevent a big play. I thought Cunningham's Tennessee block was beautiful; but if the officials will call a thigh-level block illegal, Cunningham needs to keep his head outside of the linebacker's outside arm in order to finish the seal. With all that said, his blocking has improved every game.

Virginia Tech's Offensive Synergy

With the speed option established as a solid short yardage call, Fuente opened up another piece of his Memphis playbook: the speed option run-action disguising a sprint out pass. The Eagles were so fixated on the option that the similar run-action opened up two easy touchdowns.

On this touchdown, Cunningham aligns to the boundary, then motions across the formation. Watch LB Ty Schwab (No. 10) yell at his counterpart Strachan. At the snap, Strachan charges forward to take the option.

This time, Cunningham releases to the flat. Strachan is in the backfield. The trailing inside linebacker (Schwab) has absolutely no chance to catch Cunningham. Hodges and Phillips both initially turn inside to show a crack block, and then Phillips breaks to the back corner as either a secondary option for Evans or a blocker. Evans sells the option and flicks the ball to Cunningham for his first touchdown as a Hokie.

On the next series when the Hokies faced with a second-and-goal, Fuente went back to the fake speed option.

This time around, Rogers is the motion man. Divine Deablo and Isaiah Ford both run quick turn-ins to set a pick on the play. Deablo makes a heady play. He sells the quick in route hard, and then makes sure he turns back to the end zone to avoid contact and a penalty for a pick. That is the kind of attention to detail that I have not seen enough of the last four seasons. It may seem inconsequential, yet that kind of play pops out to coaches on film. It also means that opponents have to be aware of Deablo working open in the back of the end zone on the fake option.

Ultimately, this play design shows the stark contrast between Fuente and Brad Cornelsen's scheme versus what Scot Loeffler brought to the table. Loeffler's passing game design was top notch and often produced results with minimal talent. At the same time, Loeffler never seemed to stick with what was working and build off of it to get other things open. Fuente's plays build on each other. The inside zone gets the speed option going. The speed option opens up the quarterback sprint out and the counter. Hokie Nation is just starting to get a taste of what's to come.

The strength of the Hokies passing game is the run-pass option. Here is an example of why it works.

Up front, the Hokies run what looks like an isolation. Nijman turns the defensive end to the outside. Teller and Gallo double team the defensive tackle. Steven Peoples folds behind Nijman to isolate on the linebacker, and Rogers follows him into the hole.

The offensive line blocks this just like a running play. Evans has to make a quick sight read to determine if he will give the ball to Rogers or throw the quick post to C.J. Carroll.

Evans has two keys: 1) the play-side linebacker (Connor Strachan, No. 13), and 2) the outside linebacker (Matt Milano, No. 28) who is closest to Carroll. At the snap, Strachan sucks in on the isolation and Peoples wipes him out. Evans pulls the ball, and now Milano has no inside help. Carroll bends to the post, and Evans hits him in stride with a perfect throw.

With all this in place, the simple inside zone with the H-Back isolating on the linebacker opens right up for the aforementioned second TD.

Peoples motions over to create trips to the boundary. The slot defender widens out, either to sit on a quick pass or help with the speed option and the sprint out pass. Nijman turns the defensive end out. Teller whips the defensive tackle. Peoples folds behind Nijman to seal the inside linebacker. The end result is a huge hole for McMillian to waltz into the end zone.

The deep to intermediate drop-back passing game is the weakest element of Tech's offense. As I noted all summer, Fuente's passing game is built around one quarterback read. If it isn't open, the quarterback goes into a scramble drill. So far, Evans has hesitated to pull the trigger in these passing situations (usually third-and-long).

The Hokies have trips to the field. Cunningham and Carroll are off the line of scrimmage and both run vertical routes to run off the safeties. Bucky Hodges is split wide to the top and runs a 10 yard in route. In man coverage, Hodges should be open, especially against outside leverage.

The timing just doesn't look right here. Hodges is slow off the line of scrimmage, and doesn't break very sharply to the inside. Evans plants his back foot before Hodges breaks inside. Evans also seems to be looking into the middle of the field, even though it looks like the entire design is to get Hodges open and Ford is double teamed on the boundary.

At some point, Evans and the offense need to connect on third-and-long completions. Penalties and execution errors can creep up in big spots to put the offense behind the sticks. Eventually, quarterback draws will become less and less effective as defenses realize that Evans won't test them on intermediate throws. This area needs to improve.

Virginia Tech's Defense: Gap Fit and Win

Virginia Tech's defense orchestrated a masterpiece against the Eagles. Boston College couldn't get anything open down the field. The defensive line fitted their gaps and then beat blocks to make plays. Both Tremaine Edmunds and Andrew Motuapuaka were in the right place at the right time on most snaps, and put the Eagles ball carriers on the ground.

Perhaps most exciting is the Hokies were dominant with their basic defensive scheme and philosophy. Yes, they mixed and matched assignments. However, every single defensive run call saw the defensive line fitting their gap and an edge defender either forcing or spilling the play to an unblocked free hitter. The difference between Saturday and 2015 is that on Saturday the Hokies physically dominated one-on-one battles while correctly executing the scheme.

The vast majority of the defensive snaps produced a result to be thrilled over. Here are a few looks at how the defensive front is winning battles after fitting.

On this play, the Eagles overloaded the boundary for a pin and pull outside zone.

Vinny Mihota gets penetration at the snap. Instead of caving inside against the tight end's down block, Mihota puts his left arm into the tight end's chest and pushes him outside. This spills the play and causes the back to lose some momentum. Terrell Edmunds comes up off the edge and neutralizes the down block of the wing back.

Everything in this scheme is designed for Tremaine Edmunds to be the free hitter from his backer spot. Edmunds was tentative against Tennessee. Here (and most of the game) he flows smoothly to the alley and avoids blocks. When the gap opens, he shoots into it and finds the running back waiting. This is textbook for what is expected from the backer position when the rover spills on the boundary side.

Nigel Williams has had an All-ACC caliber start to his senior campaign. Re-watch and focus on the chaos he causes inside. Williams stones the reach block of the guard and then tracks the pulling tackle to the football to support Edmunds. Last season, the defensive line fit and then often watched the play if it went away from them. This season, all the defensive linemen are getting off blocks and pursuing hard to the football. It is beautiful to watch.

In this last clip, Boston College tries to jumpstart their trademark smash-mouth style of play.

The Eagles' o-line zone blocks to the right. The H-Back on the back-side releases to the flat to widen out Mook Reynolds. The fullback bends back to wham on the defender responsible for the cutback.

Trevon Hill, Ricky Walker, and Tim Settle have none of it. Hill fits behind the play and then gets to the contain edge space that Reynolds has vacated. Hill is physical and has the offensive tackle on his heels from the snap. Walker and Settle both slant to their left and then penetrate one yard into the backfield.

It is key to watch Walker and Settle closely. They aren't twitching and shooting into the backfield like we saw last year. Both guys step with their left foot, post the blocker, and minimize the amount of space that forms between them. The BC blockers can't drive them out of the hole to create a bubble play-side.

On an inside zone, if a bubble doesn't form play-side then it will usually pop up as a cutback lane. That is exactly what Bud Foster wants. A bubble forms between Walker and Hill. Motuapuaka reads the play properly and attacks downhill. Sure enough, he finds the running back trying to cut back because Walker and Settle have cut him off. This seems like an easy play. Yet, last year Motuapuaka often would sit back and wait for the back to work to him, or he would scrape to his left and leave the cutback lane uncovered. This is solid mike linebacker play and Motuapuaka delivered it with regularity against BC.

Motuapuaka looked much more comfortable filling in between the defensive line fits this week, and the second team defensive line was just as disruptive as the first group.

Beware the Pirates' Booby Trap

Former Duke offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery leads the dreaded East Carolina Pirates into Blacksburg. The Pirates own a two-game winning streak against the Hokies and have shown no fear of playing in Lane Stadium.

Montgomery makes East Carolina even harder to defend. ECU's running game is more diverse and incorporates elements of Duke's QB running game which gave the Hokies fits last season. QB Philip Nelson led the Pirates to 445 yards of offense in a win against NC State. Nelson engineered 519 yards of total offense against South Carolina, but four turnovers scuttled a near upset bid.

Boston College tested Virginia Tech's strength and scheme. The Pirates will test the Hokies' ability to overcome negative plays on offense and the ability to cover and contain in defense.


yes.....hold all my calls for today.

much obliged

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

Yeah buddy, time to spend half my day at work reading and re-reading this!

thank you

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

Fantastic to hear from the expert eyes that our LB play is improving both technique and consistency.

big improvement from Tennessee to BC

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

French - Fuente was extremely forthcoming in Tech Talk Live last night as for how he beat BC's press man coverage. As a specific example, on the McMillian TD pass, he cited how he lined up a TE at left tackle and and slid the LT over to RT....essentially causing one of the safeties to cover an ineligible LT.

WTF? Is this brilliant? My head is exploding.

Stinespring actually did this against NCSTU in 2010.

Jeez, are you Rainman or something?

Nope. I just have a good long term memory.

Ability to break Boston College out of man press coverage

"Basically, Boston College centered their defense around loading the box, putting more people around the football than you can block, to eliminate the run game. On the outside, they didn't play zone coverage, they played man coverage, so the corners cover the widest guy to the field. They didn't play off of them either. They had these big corners, so they played this press man, right up there next to you when the ball is snapped. It restricts some of the things you can do offensively. If you can't get people out of it, the combinations, the fun stuff you get to do on offense is really, really limited. It's hard to run the ball. That was our primary focus heading into the game, how can we mess with them a little bit in man coverage. Can we line up a tight end at tackle, which is what we did on the touchdown to Travon (McMillian). We went quick and had our tight end lined up at tackle so now there's a guy over there covering someone who's lined up at left tackle. We had our left tackle lined up at right tight end, those sorts of things to try and mess with those things, get the ball out in space and we did that. Then the real chess match began. They started moving fronts and blitzing, they started doing things they hadn't shown before, it was up to us to try and adapt. Heading into East Carolina, another team that likes man coverage, another team that gets to it a little bit differently though. They don't play quite as much press but they will. They load the box in different ways. They move the front, they move guys around, which creates a whole other issue of trying to get them out of that to get them to their secondary calls."

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

I didn't notice the tackle over. However, a couple of times early in the game Fuente went with inverted veer and bootleg (the McMillian touchdown) away from jet sweep motion. It seemed like BC's linebackers were overreacting to the motion and they were out of position.

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

Looks like on that Evans/Rogers TD, Deablo not only makes a heady play, he also gets held slightly but still is finding open space.

Me likey the future.

Yep- if for whatever reason Rogers is covered, Evans could have throw to Deablo at the back pylon.

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

It's beautiful, even the flaws. All of it.

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

Summers, the QB who gave us fits last year, was moved to WR this year.....but he had 11 carries against ECU. I would guess he gets more than that this week, knowing what Montgomery and Summers have both done to Bud in the past. That's okay, I like our front 7 performance much better right now. We can shut that down.

ECU also had a WR with 22 catches against USC! So they must be running some of that ECU run/gun Offense still. That wouldn't have happened under Cutcliffe/Montgomery's O at Duke. But we've got the DB's to handle it. I'm looking for Chuck Clark to have a big game over the middle.

Summers has essentially been the Wildcat QB this year. Only has 1 pass attempt I believe, but consistently gets under center for designed draw plays.

And yes, Zay Jones is a very good WR, but nobody that Facyson can't cover.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

or Adonis, or Stroman. I have absolutely loved our ability to rotate those guys in and out. Will be clutch down the stretch if someone gets a little banged up or fatigue sets in during games.

Adonis yes. Stroman, eh. Just because of his size, Zay could probably win out the jump balls that we saw Stroman get beat on vs Tennessee, which is of no fault to him.

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

I certainly feel less confident in him on jump balls because of his size. But 50/50 balls aren't all about size, there is a lot of positioning and an element of luck involved. Either of those Tennessee touchdowns is a PBU if Stroman's hands are in a more fortunate position.

Yeah, or if he had help in coverage.

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Greg Stroman is 6'0" per
Kendall Fuller is 5'11" per wikipedia

If he gets his technique in order, it won't be much of a problem unless he's matched up against someone massively taller with hops, like Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson

to continue this thought, Megatron was the only guy who ever really gave Brandon Flowers trouble in college from a physicality standpoint, and he was 5'9-5'10ish.

second leading rusher so far...

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

Got it !

The best part of waking up.

French, why do you think Evans is tentative on intermediate patterns?

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

I'm not French, but my gut says that it has to do with protecting the ball and not turning it over. With how much Fuente has preached that, it makes sense that once Evans is beyond his first read he is hesitant to force a throw. If this is the case, I am perfectly fine with it, and with more experience that hesitancy will go away. Only 3 games into D1 ball, you have to think the game is still slowing down for him.

"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

On the play I highlighted, I thought the timing was off on Hodges route. Pass protection in the rare instance where the O has been in third and long hasn't been great. And Evans just looks more comfortable throwing off of run action than in drop back passing.

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

Almost a side-note: I love the warm feeling I get inside whenever Rogers has the ball inside the 5 yard line. That dude is gonna put points up at that point.

Also I like the callout for the ball Nigel Williams has been playing. That guy is quietly having himself a heck of a season so far.

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

I think it went unnoticed, but Sammy made a great catch on that TD. Throw was at his knees, turning back for the ball, with incoming traffic. Love when he gets the rock through the air - Fuente using him creatively and effectively.

Oh yeah Rogers has some great hands. I think it's probably noticed, but just accepted as the norm at this point. Very reliable player.

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

It's funny. I remember his freshman year when he became sort of the fan favorite due to his walk-on status and all of us wanted him to get a TD so badly. He came so close a few times but could never quite get there. Now he simply can't be denied!

That's not the only thing that can't be denied...

On the 2nd and 13 play (Slant to Carroll), if the QB pump fakes the slant, it looks like the RB should be wide open (Rogers on this play) coming out of the backfield. I'd love to see McMillian get the ball in that scenario...looks like it would be a race with a LB.

This is the kind of stuff that made me create an account. Thanks for this French

this is the kind of stuff that makes some people join the key players club...

Whoah, you mean literally just created an account. Welcome!

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)..

see, I had to go and get all wordy and lost out by 45 seconds...shame on me

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

to be fair, I went back and edited to add more words...

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)..

Great! It's awesome isn't it?

Now that you have an account I strongly encourage you to become a key play club member....if you have the means, of course. Keep this place going for years to come

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Our biggest weakness is struggling to convert 3rd and long? I'll take it.

"I mean, you know, fuck them, but good for them." -Too Druck to Funk

In the first clip of our Defense, the left guard for BC twitches early. Should've been a flag


good eye

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

I've noticed on these speed options the center is snapping the ball almost like a direct snap towards the direction Evans will be heading. I may just have not paid attention before, but this seems like something new. Either way, I think it is pretty neat.

I noticed the same thing. Seems a little risky, but it certainly gives Jerod at least a step head start.

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"

Yes, I noticed this on one of the speed option plays later in the game. I think T-Mac was back in (not for sure if he was the back), but Jerod bobbled the snap as he was moving to his left. Ahmad Brooks noted the bobble, and that Jerod managed to get control and pitch the ball.

Point is the snap was definitely in the direction Jerod was moving. Makes sense, to get him moving that direction more quickly, but definitely a bit risky.

"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

You know what would be fun?

Jerod heads left, ball snaps right to T-Mac.

That would be fun.

I hate to nit pick the master, but on the 1st clip you said Cunningham wasn't able to maintain his block. Unless I'm looking at a different Cunningham, he not only maintained his block, but he drove the LB all the way outside and into the edge defender! Cunningham seems to be doing a great job of blocking on the plays that are successful. I wonder if the opposite is true on some of the negative plays?

Also, on the highlighted 3rd and 10 pass play, I wonder if the reason Bucky didn't explode off the line at the snap was because he was supposed to delay to allow the inside receivers time to run their defenders off? At any rate, he still looked open late but Jerod may not have been able to see him because the right side of the line was collapsing on him.

As always French, your reviews are both entertaining and very educational. Thanks for putting in the time and effort! Go Hokies!

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"

1. Cunningham needs to get a better chip on the end to help Nijman on his reach, the Outside backer is the option guy. Cunningham needs to seal the Inside backer.
2. This is just a poor route by Bucky. For this combination he should explode off the line selling the deep Go route by pushing at the defender's outside shoulder to get him to turn his hips and run with him. Then break down and cut hard left, and with him being the outside guy, this should time up perfectly with him coming off the butts of the clearout routes.


I would think the edge defender that Cunningham doesn't block was the defender we were optioning, no?

Good point on Bucky's route.

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"

Yeah. Edited to clarify. By missed block initially I was meaning he needs to give a harder chip to that end to help Nijman.


Regarding Cunningham, I think he is supposed to seal that LB inside, because the play is supposed to go to the outside. It just so happens that on that play, Jerod was forced to turn it back up inside.

"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

Yeah, you're probably right on that.

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!"

I think the possibility of sitting/competition is helping these guys. Last year guys were playing iron man even when clear backups could have performed better, due to injury or otherwise.

If we could not release these on days I have papers due and tests that would be great. I can't spend anymore time rereading this for the 5th time.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

2nd clip: Marshawn! Run to the butts!!!


Thanks French! Always enjoy these write-ups......More please!

This write ups and all the other content we have here on TKP is great isn't it. I only wish more people wanted to keep it around by joining the Key Players Club. They could join us in there anytime,

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

you should add this to your signature:

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)..

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

what did I just watch? Is that one of those weird British kids shows where the characters have ambiguous sexual orientations?

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)..

Had my wallet next to me at work and Just became 261! Been meaning to do so for quite some time

well done!

anyone else look at the title photo and think "silly cadet, he's never gonna hit that bomber with that trajectory"

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)..

Skipper must have to play a draw

"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

anyone else look at the title photo and think "silly cadet, he's never gonna hit that bomber transport with that trajectory"


I'm surprised I was that close. Almost called it a helicopter.

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)..

I was just messing with you. It's the MIR Space Station.

French, your analysis is better than ESPN

Hokies, Local Soccer, AFC Ajax, Ravens

Someday I think it'd be cool to sit down with the coaches and ask them if they read French's stuff and if it's as in point as we all think it is.

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)..

ESPN's analysis is a steaming pile of crap. That said I especially appreciate French's work.

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

I know CBF has read these sites. Years ago before the advent of KP, there was a traveling hokie show that had Bud visiting the Raleigh NC area. At some point near the end, he asked who "Raleigh Hokie" was and if he was in attendance. Seems he read TechSideline and Raleigh was a regular analyst who really was dialed into Bud's defense.... He's a lot less active now with his growing family and I miss his feedback. Having French here for the offense is definitely a big part of what made me pony up to Key Player status.

Lets GO!!!!

Raleigh tweets a bit but doesn't write much anymore. Too bad as he was dialed in to what Bud is doing like no one else.

I have not spent much time with Bud, but he has always been incredibly gracious when I have spoken with him. I would love to video a film session kind of like the short one he did with Ahmed Brooks from ESPN during the game.

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

I am still new to posting on TKP but have been a reader for some time now. I too really appreciate Frenches reviews and will try to join the players club when finances allow.

In regard to Bucky H. I was at the game and it appeared to me that he was pretty winded most of the game. I wonder if the position change to WR is tiring him out. He's running a lot more than a traditional TE would. I know they did a lot of conditioning over the spring and summer but this up tempo O combined with his size has got to be a hard on him. One other thought about Bucky: It appears to me that on most of the passes I've seen him attempt/catch he always seems to be falling down. It looks like a lot of the passes are low. With his size I would think we would be seeing more balls thrown high so that he could high point the ball over 6' corners. I don't think they went to him at all in the red zone against BC and probably just didn't need to. I hope we see him utilized more in the red zone moving forward.


Until we blow out ECU, I'll hold off on the "exorcised demons". For now, I'll enjoy watching Lefty's scheme unfold before my very eyes and somebody else suffering for it. Thanks French!

Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Until we blow out ECU, Until we get back to the ACC title game,


I swear to drunk, I'm not God

French, you stated in the 4th video recap:
Deablo makes a heady play. He sells the quick in route hard, and then makes sure he turns back to the end zone to avoid contact and a penalty for a pick
Why would it be a penalty for him to block the defender (#5) in motion following Rogers? Is there a maximum distance from the line that you can block, like when you see an OL or TE come up and seal off that 2nd level off on the option? Thanks for the great reviews and getting us all smarter on this stuff!!

Its to prevent the referee from calling offensive pass interference on Deablo. He runs into his defender which creates space for Sam to catch the touchdown. The only way it is legal to run into a defender is if you are making an "attempt" to get out of the way. Deablo turns back to the endzone so that when he is contacting the defender, he isnt just blocking him.

Get Angry, Bud!

he's also gets open for the corner fade by doing that

or the out to the back pylon

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

The rule is: so long as the pass does not cross the line of scrimmage, pass interference (offensive or defensive) doesn't exist. If Sam caught the ball at or behind the line, it wouldn't have mattered. Deablo's turning back to the end zone both 1) lets him get open if Sam is covered and 2) avoids offensive PI if Sam had drifted a couple more yards downfield.

Clip 5: I love Carroll covering the ball with two hands in traffic at the end.

I noticed it several times on Saturday. Evans especially was tucking both hands after initial contact. Good coaching, and heady decisions = 0 fumbles.

"Don't go to, go through"

Noticed some hand signals to receivers by Evans, don't recall seeing much of that in the recent past. Wondered if it was just gamesmanship...

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

I think they were just doing the hand jive. I've heard Fuente and Evans are big Grease fans.

Image result for hand jive gif

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Oh ok...not this then...

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

French - I'd be curious to get the breakdown of why the final TD scamper by Motley worked and why it never seemed to work with Lefty. I get that it's a function of setting up other plays that loosened up the defense, but perhaps you can elaborate?

BC was in man coverage. VT motioned Williams out of the backfield. The BC linebacker ran out with him. After the snap, the DL got stoned by OL. The field side had four BC defenders versus two blockers and Williams motioned out on a screen. To the top of the field, the corner and safety are double teaming the WR who is releasing like he is running a deep fade.

Back on the inside, you had a big numbers advantage- five OL and Cunningham as blockers plus Motley versus five BC defenders.

OL stones the four pass rushers. Cunningham had an excellent block to seal the remaining linebacker to the outside. Chung releases and has nobody to block, so he runs and cuts off the field side safety (who is running in from outside the hashes. Motley outraced the boundary safety to the end zone.

Basically, the Hokies used the spread and the screen fake to spread BC out, and once Motley got past the front four there was nobody there.

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

I get all that, but we never had much success trying to do that with Lefty, and i'm wondering why all of a sudden it worked so beautifully. Maybe i'm answering my own question, but it's most likely due to the fact that opposing D's never respected our screen game enough with Lefty to pursue the motioned player that would clear out the LBs?

Also consider the fact that by the time in the game that Motley's run happened, BC's defense was absolutely gassed. So yeah, it worked well, but the success of the play was also based on a defense that was totally whipped at that point. Right after that score, VT brought in Click to try to bleed the clock.

Unlike Lefty, Fuente has established the swing-screen to the tailback (to the field) and the fade to the boundary) on film and in the game. BC overreacted because they had seen both earlier in the game.

Lefty was excellent in designing a passing game. In terms of calling a run game and building counters off base plays that have success, he was pretty dismal. Like I said all summer, Fuente shows the defense everything from the same basic formation and backfield motion. It makes it much harder to defend, especially when the defender is tired and tries to cheat to get an advantage.

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

Here is the best way I can describe the difference. From that trips formation, Lefty would run this, plus maybe a play pass, and pass pro.

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Here is what Fuente has shown with the same pre-formation and initial backfield motion. This is just what he has shown. There is more (QB sweep as an example.)

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That is why it is harder for the defense. A defense has to defend everything, and everything could be called on any given snap. With Lefty, you had a good chance of guessing what was coming, and the different alignments and motions hurt skill position execution.

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



If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?


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)..