Virginia Tech Returns to its Defensive Roots to Smoke the Hogs

Bud Foster's designed, and the Hokies executed, a throwback defensive game plan against Arkansas.

[Michael Shroyer]

As I have frequently noted, Bud Foster will often change alignment and personnel, but Virginia Tech's defensive concepts, however, consistently remain the same. Foster relies on gap control to funnel runners to specific areas where a designed free hitter/alley player is unblocked to make a tackle in a confined space. For the Hokies' scheme to work, the defensive players inside have to properly fit gaps, while the players on the edge must communicate and then execute force or spill calls that direct the alley player where to find the runner. When the scheme is working properly, the alley player will be alone in the hole with the ball carrier. When the force/spill call is not executed properly between the alley player and edge defender, or when a gap fit is not properly maintained, the runner will usually get a long gain.

When 21 personnel (two backs, one tight end, and two receivers) was the prevalent base offensive grouping, Foster was the master of using eight-man fronts to slant and stunt to change up who the free hitter was on any given snap. However, the advent of spread offenses and evolution of the read option forced Foster to adapt. Tech's defense produced mixed results over the last couple seasons. Arkansas presented a golden opportunity for a throwback Foster gameplan. The Hogs featured 21 personnel for much of the game, and quarterback Austin Allen wasn't a read option run threat. Foster responded with an eight-man front, and his defense defended the run beautifully.

On this play, Arkansas has two tight ends to the right side and they pitch to Devwah Whaley (No. 21). The right side of the offensive line blocks down, and right guard Johnny Gibson (No. 62) pulls to kick out the corner. The Hokies stack the box with eight defenders and Terrell Edmunds is aligned on the line of scrimmage as an outside linebacker.

Tech's defensive line steps to their gap based on the offensive line's initial step. Gibson pulls to his right, so Nigel Williams steps the same way. RT Brian Wallace (No. 60) blocks to the inside, so Ken Ekanem fits to the inside gap. Terrell Edmunds crashes hard to the inside to occupy the tight end and Adonis Alexander forces on the edge.

Terrell Edmunds' spill jams up the interior, while Alexander's force draws the attention of two blockers. An alley forms between the two and that is where the alley player knows where to fill. Tremaine Edmunds takes two decisive slides to his left, and then steps right into the hole to crush Whaley. At the beginning of this season, Tremaine was much more indecisive. Over the course of 2016, his play has matured and he trusts the scheme and knows where to be. He always had the range and athleticism to finish the play when he gets there. This is textbook backer play.

Behind Tremaine, Chuck Clark identifies the seam from his safety spot and comes in right behind Edmunds. With this design, Tremaine could run into some traffic coming from the edge defender potentially driven into his path when they spill. Clark is the designated free hitter, so even if Tremaine does get impeded, Clark is unblocked to make the tackle. Here is a similar play in the second half. This time Mook Reynolds spills the ball, and Motuapuaka comes clean, but he doesn't quite have the same speed and range that Tremaine does. Clark arrives and makes a highlight reel tackle on Whaley.

Before the game I noted how the Hokies could have success against power runs by having the back-side defensive tackle trail a pulling guard. Following Jerod Evans' fumble to open the game, Nigel Williams was kind enough to exploit such a weakness.

Prior to the snap, the Hokies shift into a bear front. Based on Virginia Tech's alignment, center Frank Ragnow (No. 72) should block back on Williams in the B-gap abandoned by the pulling Gibson. Instead, he blocks play-side (likely because the late shift resulted in Woody Baron aligned as the nose tackle in his line of vision). Williams follows Gibson to the football and puts Kody Walker on the ground for a three-yard loss. Tech ended up holding the Hogs to a field goal and minimizing the damage of the turnover.

Virginia Tech Fails to Robber

While Virginia Tech's defense excelled against the run, Arkansas decimated the Hokies with its intermediate passing game. Arkansas passed regularly from run-heavy formations. It was obvious Foster emphasized very sound gap play by the defensive line, and as a result Tech's defensive ends were not getting up the field and generating pass rush when Arkansas threw from heavy looks in early down and distance scenarios. Behind them, the Hokies' secondary struggled in man-to-man coverage. Austin Allen had time and made easy throws to open receivers who shook loose from man coverage.

Foster attempted to mix things up by showing man, and then occasionally throwing a robber look into the fold. In the first half, the timing was just a bit off to pay dividends.

On this play, the Hokies' defensive call finds Chuck Clark playing a corner inside leverage technique against slot receiver Drew Morgan (No. 80). Brandon Facyson and Terrell Edmunds are the two free hitters in the alignment, with Facyson acting as the robber once he reads pass. Facyson's job is to follow Allen's eyes and undercut a crossing or post route against Clark. Morgan runs the deep post.

Arkansas freezes Facyson with play-action. Clark plays just a bit too deep, which allows Morgan to cut to the post with enough depth that Allen can clear Facyson coming late to undercut the throw. The lack of pressure also allows Allen to set up and put the ball on the money.

Hokies Change the Angles to Create Pressure

Foster's stack the box strategy worked against the run in the first half. Unfortunately, the Hokies couldn't stop Arkansas' air attack. Foster had to make an adjustment to both his scheme and personnel groupings to try and get some pressure on Austin Allen.

Despite a solid performance in the first half, Foster replaced Anthony Shegog in the base defense with Mook Reynolds. Shegog continued to play as the bandit in the dime defense and made three huge plays. Meanwhile, Foster started to blitz Reynolds from the whip position even on running downs. Suddenly, the Hokies were getting pressure on Allen when Arkansas attempted to pass on running downs without losing the ability to stop the run. When the Hogs then faced third-and-long situations, Foster could use more zone blitzes with robbers to pressure Allen into throwing interceptions.

Against this inside zone, the Hokies slant hard to the left and bring Reynolds off the edge from the field. Both inside linebackers play in a passive stance, looking to drop underneath play-action instead of aggressively fitting a gap. The defensive linemen, instead of sitting in their gaps, are aggressively getting up the field, and Ekanem drops off into the flat like an outside linebacker

Despite shakier gap integrity, the Hokies slant generates penetration to mess up Arkansas' blocking scheme, especially by right defensive end Trevon Hill. Hill draws the back-side seal block and forces the runner to angle right into Reynolds' blitz path. Reynolds makes the sure one-on-one tackle. If Allen had passed, Hill and Reynolds would have been close enough to create pressure. The combination of blitzing Reynolds off the edge and slanting would pay off later in the game.

On this play, the Hokies execute almost the exact same zone blitz concept. The defensive line slants away from Reynolds, who blitzes from his whip alignment. This time, Motuapuaka and Edmunds both read pass and drop underneath the hot routes.

Motuapuaka and Edmunds prevent Allen from making the quick throw, and the rest of the secondary holds up in man coverage. Allen pulls the ball down to reset and Reynolds is able to wrap him down to the ground. This is a great effort by Reynolds and quick recognition by Motuapuaka and Edmunds to keep Allen from going to his hot read. This blitz worked several times, including Reynolds' second sack.

For the rest of the second half, Foster called variations of his base defense, this whip blitz away from the slant with the linebackers playing soft, and the occasional corner blitz. The corner blitz design was masterful and took full advantage of all the attention Allen gave to Reynolds.

On Tremaine Edmunds' interception, Foster called a corner blitz. Reynolds comes off the edge and Allen boots away from him, right into a blitzing Brandon Facyson from the boundary.

Foster can rest easy with this blitz call because he trusts Terrell Edmunds to rotate from his rover spot to cover Keon Hatcher (who torched the Hokies for much of the first half) man-to-man.

Allen boots out right into Facyson's pressure. Instead of hitting Morgan on the crossing route from the field, Allen panics and tries to force the ball to TE Austin Cantrell (No. 44). Coming off a block on Ken Ekanem, Cantrell wasn't expecting the ball, and it bounced right into the waiting arms of Tremaine Edmunds for an interception. Again, each component — the d-line's slant, the corner blitz, and the linebackers waiting on the leak out — coupled together produce a turnover.

The Edmunds brothers played stellar football throughout the whole game, especially in the base looks in which Tremaine struggled last season. On this play, Terrell spills the ball to Tremaine, who fights through pulling All-American LT Dan Skipper (No. 70).

Terrell gets off Morgan's crack-back block to make the tackle. Tremaine sheds his block and keeps his outside shoulder free for proper leverage to get the assist. In my estimation, if Bud Foster could pull a clip to demonstrate exactly how a backer and rover should play against an outside zone, this play would be right up there. The development of the Edmunds brothers over the last ten games has been spectacular.

Virginia Tech Executes the Robber

None of these pressures would work if the Hokies didn't cover better in the second half. Virginia Tech was much stronger in man coverage early in the third quarter, especially on run downs where they had struggled in the first half. Once Arkansas was in third-and-long, Foster would replace a down lineman with Shegog. Shegog responded by forcing a fumble, and he also cashed in with a beautiful interception when he robbed a robber-ing Terrell Edmunds.

Unlike the first half, the robber concept was sharply executed in the second half. Edmunds would have easily secured Shegog's interception had he not picked it. Terrell also baited Allen into another interception to seal Tech's Belk Bowl win.

Arkansas has a third-and-17 and trails by four points late in the game. Allen tries to complete a vertical route to Morgan from the slot.

Reynolds presses Morgan. His technique is eerily similar to an overly-aggressive press that Alexander attempted against the slot receiver earlier in the game. Alexander didn't get enough of a chuck and lost his balance. Terrell Edmunds is deep, and Allen completes the pass to Keon Hatcher (No. 4) in the seam for a 19-yard gain.

At the time, it seemed incredibly strange that Alexander would be pressing so aggressively on an obvious passing down and against a passing formation (five wide receivers with a non-running threat at quarterback). I thought perhaps Alexander busted the call. Then, when I watched the film, I thought he may have funneled Hatcher to Terrell Edmunds and Terrell was out of position.

Now back to the fourth quarter play. Reynolds presses Morgan, and he beats Reynolds' aggressive chuck to the outside and runs down the seam. Reynolds, much like Alexander's more awkward attempt earlier, appears beaten.

Allen makes the same read, except this time Terrell Edmunds is in robber and jumps underneath the route. Edmunds picks off the pass with ease. Now, Foster would never tell, but I would love to know if Alexander's over exuberant chuck attempt in the first half was perhaps setting up Allen for a big mistake later in the game. It looks remarkably similar. Wink, wink.

Against Arkansas, Tech's defense delivered their best game against the run all season. Players that will be counted on to be major contributors in 2017, particularly Ricky Walker, Trevon Hill, Tim Settle, and Houshun Gaines, all delivered very strong performances. Meanwhile, the Edmunds brothers shined as Tech's dynamic playmakers of the future. Foster will have a huge challenge replacing Chuck Clark in the secondary, and Virginia Tech's defensive line depth needs to be reestablished. How well the Hokies reload at those aforementioned positions will likely determine the ceiling for Virginia Tech's defense this season.

Comments

In Bud we trust.

It was a strong scheme.

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

Bud's scheme hand is strong.

French you freaked me out! What is the first thing we see? A big pic of the Budster. My first thought was that someone has hired him away! Who else thought that?

Great write up though and I loved to see the guys wrapping up the runner. So many times they don't.

Click for President

I like the strength against the run, part, now we just need to lock down running qb's as they have been Foster's weakness the last 4 or 5 years...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

I still don't think that pass was destined for anyone but maroon or the turf. Even if Edmunds fell down on the play, at best it hits receiver in the butt while he's turning around. Almost looked tipped.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

I think it was a good throw - if Ter. Edmunds wasn't floating in a robber zone under the route.
assuming Moto or Settle didn't tip the ball, here's how I saw the play come together....

#1 Reynolds played the bump and run much better than Alexander did earlier in the game. Mook didn't fall down and was at most a stride behind the WR, Morgan.
#2 Combined with the QB looking off his first read to the right side of the formation, by the time the ball is thrown, Reynolds is back in tight coverage against Morgan.
#3 the QB goes for the back-shoulder throw. With Reynolds' eyes on the WR and his back to the QB, the deliberate underthrow favors the WR on the catch and on potential PI. Especially with Clark playing deep (he was playing deep cover 1 right? couldn't find him on the screen in the replay)
#4 Edmunds reads it all the way and rotates under the route to pick off the ball.

In an Arkansas blog, Terrell's int was described as "the easiest interception you'll ever see." Obviously, they're not giving Bud's scheme enough credit and Allen too much credit for the pick. I think our earlier bust was the same play but wasn't executed.

"Jerod Evans had more moves on that run than Bayer has aspirin!"

-Mike Burnop, 9/24/2016

Just like TV analysts, most bloggers rarely catch the nuance. Also, most team focused blogs (and fanbases) weigh factors of success purely on their own team's actions and rarely the opponents.

Arkansas gave VT the window by starting the 3rd quarter running on early downs. Their propensity for false starting also put them in down and distance situations where blitzing was favorable. If the Hokies could play the dime against the Hogs on third and long, the Hogs just didn't have the targets to do damage.

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

What are the chances the Alexander play was a busted jam, but when Bud saw what happened he also saw a way to take advantage of it and put in the interception look/play, rather than a planned bust on the first, or mis-execution of the play on the first?

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

That is possible. They played an outside press jam where the corner was force support on the edge on running downs with some regularity. But, with that play being 2nd and 9 it isn't consistent with how Bud deployed that strategy, especially against a five wide set where there was essentially no running threat.

Either Adonis had a busted assignment, or he busted his technique, or Bud rolled the dice to set something up for later in the game.

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

I know we've all been over this before, but the way the Edmunds brothers play on defense one must wonder how another Edmunds brother would have performed as an LB on this team.

Is it football season yet?

It sucks. At the time, a healthy Trey was the best tailback option they had. But, a healthy, experienced Trey Edmunds as a mike to go with Tremaine would have made this defense better in my opinion. We only saw a shadow of Trey Edmunds after his R-FR year.

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

Yeah a heathly Trey or Devin Vandyke would have been interesting to see at Mike these past few years.

On that Mook press/Edmunds interception, Hill gets just enough pressure to make Allen step up, which pushes back his release one tick, allowing both Edmunds to robber and Mook to make up the difference. Even if Edmunds doesn't pick it off, Mook likely breaks it up.

Less pressure in the first half led to a lot of those passing yards and pass coverage deficiencies.

That is why I hammered critics of Mihota all year. The measure of pressure isn't sacks. It is third down efficiency. Create pressure that contributes to stops. If it is a sack, so be it. But enough pressure to force a bad throw is just as good on third down.

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

Very interesting to see all that goes on each play. It's fun
learning more about football.

Excellent write up French, been looking forward to this one ever since the game to see just how Bud executed his lockdown adjustments.

Side note: everyone who is already on the 2018 is our year hype train, be aware that we could very easily lose both Edmunds early to the draft after this season and Tim Settle.

The good thing about having better players on your team, you are more likely to win more games and compete for championships, the downside of having better players on your team, they are more likely to bolt early when they are physical specimens and execute on the field.

Always
Be
Crootin

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).

Tim has the talent, but he has to show he can play more than a few snaps in a row before we worry about losing him to the draft IMO.

tremaine is a possibility next year to declare early, but hopefully if Terrell is back he'll stay and they both leave together.

I'm not worried about losing him, merely presenting the possibility, and I think his conditioning is fine, just lots of depth and seniors at tackle in front of him. Dex Lawrence plays full games at 330-340 without the conditioning and time in the program Settle has.

Once again, not presenting worry, just giving a friendly heads up to the 2018 hype train crowd. Both Edmunds are physically impressive (particularly Tremaine) and both have excelled on the field and shown improvement.

I don't think the coaches think his conditioning is fine yet. Dex Lawrence has grown into his body for a long time and didn't have to shed a bunch of bad weight. He also played the majority of snaps this year for Clemson at an extremely high level.

Hoping Big Tim can have a huge year next year and even play half the snaps. Depth at DT is going to have to step up big time.

I think the "Big Tim/conditioning" narrative has been a bit overplayed. Wiles wasn't selective in how he delegated reps. When Wiles had Williams healthy, Walker-Settle got every third series and stayed in unless there was a very lengthy drive. Wiles also rotated Walker-Settle in on lengthy drives for Baron and Williams, especially in second halfs. It wasn't a Terry Williams situation where Tim was only playing a down or two and then came out.

That said, improved conditioning will only help. Without the benefit of a stat sheet, I would guess that Big Tim played 1/3 of the reps this year. He will likely be asked to play 2/3 of the reps without a drop off in play. That is his personal challenge and target goal.

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

I still have nightmares about Terry Williams. I can only imagine how our entire O-line feels...

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That is true about the rotation, although the weight/endurance thing has been often communicated by Wiles and Bud over the past couple years. I think fans need a reason for him not being the day 1 starter/ major impact guy they thought he would be coming in so endurance/weight is the reason for not beating out the other guys early on.

I see Edmunds possible but not Big Tim at this point he would need huge season next year imo. NNadi put together 3 solid years of tape at a more respected program and returns next year.

All personal choice for these guys. Defensive early departures usually more difficult to predict than offensive guys.

Absolutely Nnadi had a choice but would have definitely gone if top 2 round grade imo. Tim may have have choice also but Im talking about guys who are shoe in round 2/3. when I think of guys leaving early. This without some extreme outside factors ala Evans.

Nnadi is also a bit undersized for an NFL 4-3 DT.

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

Well then that would have been more reason 2 go early he is not going to grow any taller and disagree I dont think 310 is undersized weight for 4/3 maybe Nose.

I think they have fibbed on his weight a bit. I expect his real weight is about 290-295. Hell of a player though.

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

Well hey the top DT in the league is only 275. AD is the standard right now. lol Baron should be top pick he had AD numbers last year. Just joke Baron had hell of year but AD is very unique and not many can duplicate what he does at his size.

Man I can't wait to see a DL with Settle and Hill on the field together for a majority of the snaps. Especially in a Coastal division where everyone is breaking in a new QB next year

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

mmmm... smoked hog...

French, I thought one of the biggest second half adjustments Bud made was moving from the basic 4-3 to the 3-4 to get more coverage. He had one of the DEs (mostly Ekanen) dropping off into zone coverage on most plays.

It wasn't a 3-4. It was a 3-3 stack with six defensive backs including Shegog.

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

So has the whip position evolved to be more of a DB and less of an OLB these days?

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

Whip essentially is responsible for aligning over the interior receiver to the field side. In this day and age of spreads, that usually means a shift slot guy, a long tight end/WR hybrid, or a team's best receiver where the offense is trying to get a favorable match up.

That doesn't mean the nickel whip always covers him. Often Bud rolls his free safety over the top of the slot and the whip then becomes the alley/free hitter to the field side. Bud's alignments are fairly static in the secondary, but he does a masterful job of changing up assignments. That is why his safeties have to be corners that are just a bit bigger- they have to force/spill (see the Edmunds play above), fill the alley, and cover top WRs in man to man. A different player could be th edge guy, the alley guy, and the cover guy on any given play between the corner, whip, and free.

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

I see.

I'm still thinking of guys like James Anderson and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow who played whip... but they played before spread offenses became the hottest thing in the streets. Just shows how Bud has evolved his defense with the times, despite some people's grumblings.

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

We don't love dem Hoos.

I think he's referring to the times with Ekanem or Hill would drop into coverage from the standard 7 tech DE alignment, with 4 DL in the game.

We'd be lined up 4-2-5 with the Nickel and maybe a safety in the box

Usually Tremaine or Terrell would be on the LOS in the other side, making a 5-man line at the snap similar to a 3-4. Then Moto and Clark (or Terrell) would be aligned as the inside linebackers.

Yes- it was a 4-2-5 that shifted into the Bear front. Then the three down guys would slant away from Mook's blitz, with Ekanem dropping back (which likely helps his draft stock because I expect him to be a 3-4 OLB

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

Great write up, French - as always.

Bud's adjustments were absolutely phenomenal.

I never asked, and maybe it's been brought up before but...how long did you play, and at what level? You've got a good grasp of formations, technique, terminology and etc that the average fan doesn't.

http://www.gowasps.com/landing/index

French isn't just embracing the "White Anglo-Saxon Protestant" label...

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I played at Emory & Henry as a busted back up offensive lineman. I wasn't any good. I think if you read my original articles here versus the ones now, I have learned a bunch more writing this column then I did back then.

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

For a busted backup you give more detail and nuanced analysis than most and it is appreciated by fan and critic alike.

I was the smart guy who knew all the assignments so I could move around. Folks would be amazed at all the communication that goes on at the line of scrimmage between linemen. We had multiple calls and could block each running play a half doezen ways depending on the defensive alignment and any troublesome match ups. "Three three three! Y Roll-It? Yep."

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

What was the "help-me-I'm-screwed-this-guy's-gonna-kick-my-ass" call?

COMBO! COMBO! COMBO! (Meaning double team)

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

On the "Fails to Robber" clip, I wonder how things would have gone on that play if the Facyon hadn't had to run around the ref a little. Looking at in slowmo, it looks like he might have been in good position for the INT otherwise.

I'm curious about the Arkansas false start penalties and the delay of game penalties on tech's DLine. Bielema suggested in his post-game that our DLine's late shifting was against the rules.

I understand that the late shift is designed to cause blocking confusion. An additional benefit of the movement itself can cause an anxious OLineman to jump. However, does anyone know if is there some grey-area that Foster is gaming here? Is there a call made to trigger that movement that might also be designed to mimic the cadence? Where do the rules stand on all of this?

Is there a call made to trigger that movement that might also be designed to mimic the cadence?

I believe this was mentioned as potentially illegal. If the D makes a noise that is clearly designed to mimic the count, then it's false start on the defense. The D is allowed to communicate amongst themselves and a coordinated shift like that would require a shouted command from whichever player is in charge of timing that. The gray area is whether or not that command mimics the cadence and the jump is because of the shift or the call out. It's my understanding that our lateral shifts were perfectly legal as far as the motion itself goes.

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I haven't seen anything to suggest that the late full line shift is illegal. Clemson has been doing it all year as well to draw false starts. That said, clapping or making a noise to simulate the call for the snap is illegal. Narduzzi's Michigan State defenses were famous for doing this. Apparently, one game against Ohio State in his later years they had multiple guys doing it all game long.

Because Narduzzi's deal is to just break the rules as egregiously as possible, all the time, every time, because they won't call it or will eventually stop calling it. What a shit bag.

Narduzzi:

infamous

FTFY.

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

I figured the shift itself is perfectly legal. I don't remember the exact quote, but Bielema was saying that he had a package of tape put together for the refs ahead of the games to point out how our shifting was illegal. Maybe that tape had specific audio in it?

He would know, he's on the rules committee.

/s

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Fuck Bret Bielema.

But also don't let this distract you from the fact Arkansas blew a 24-0 halftime lead. (yes I'm going to milk this for all it is worth)

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate

member when he forgot to put us in his poll? i member.

Yes, the delay of game on the DL was this kind of penalty. In previous years (I'm looking at you, UCF 2001) this was called "Disconcerting signals by the defense", easily my favorite penalty call. In the Belk Bowl, that call on VT's DL was immediately followed by an Arkansas false start, which could be termed "Disconcerting shifts by the defense".

No electrons were harmed in the making of this comment or post. However, billions of electrons were horribly inconvenienced.

In clip 20, the last run clip where Skipper (who holds every play) pulls to take on Tremaine......the RB looks like he could get the edge. But, Tremaine kept outside leverage like you pointed out, Terrell beat the crack block of Morgan like you noted, but seeing Alexander come up aggressively might have made the RB hesitate.....the beginning of the play looked promising for Ark, but the D did a great job of executing to limit the gain.

HokieObsession

Correct on all points. They got the edge on the same play in the first quarter when Skipper tackled Shegog. Even the TV guy noticed it.

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

Yes, that play happened across the stadium from our seats and it was clear as day that Skipper held/tackled/assaulted Shegog. I think our D takes a step forward in 2017 although losing Baron, Ekanem and Williams are hurtful. I think Walker, Settle and the Hill/Gaines actually have more big-play ability but we lose the every down consistency of those SR's.

HokieObsession

would argue losing #19 hurts the most

You would be arguing correctly.

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

Danny caught that damn ball!

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Virginia blew a 16 point 2nd half lead in the Elite 8.

Is there a TKP-equivalent for Arkansas? I'm curious to read their analysis of us post loss.

You're assuming that there is a TKP equivalent anywhere.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

He fell for one of the classic blunders.

The most famous of course is "never get involved in a land war in Asia".

Only slightly less well known is to assume there is a TKP equivalent, anywhere.

The headline of this article is a huge LOL if you watched the first half only- where Arkansas WR/TE had no defenders anywhere near them much of the half.

Great write up. Just joined TKPC to support articles like this.

Thank you!

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

And because he was worried it would be locked to him if he didn't!

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Pretty big motivator.

On Reynolds's second sack (I think that's the right one) that was called intentional grounding, was anyone else annoyed that the announcers (or Arkansas QB) never considered the fact that if it wasn't intentional grounding then it sure looked like a backward pass which would have made it a fumble?

Moving backwards doesn't constitute a non-forward pass. The pass moved from his position towards the line of scrimmage albeit lamely and barely.

Fair enough. I just never saw a good angle on it and from the one I saw it looked like the pass could have gone backwards.

I took a screenshot and drew a line using the hash marks as guides but it's not easy to include an image in a message. I agree the angle is terrible and you have to watch in slow motion to see that it was forward.

Good ole' Carolina BBQ. Just gotta add some slaw and vinegar sauce to that smoked hog