Cincinnati Offensive Film Review: Close Only Counts

I stated my emotional reaction to the Cincinnati game in Joe's epic "All I Have To Say" column on Saturday night. The offensive identity issue has presented itself as a long term issue, and, barring a complete cultural change in the program, it is an issue that will continue to self-correct in sputters and gaps. While I may not be a fan of the spread/pistol system, I want to be 100% clear that I think any offensive system can succeed with outstanding execution, 100% player buy-in, and a play caller who understands how to use the system. And, regardless of the system, be it from the shotgun or lining up in the straight T, any offense is better when the offensive line kicks ass.

I tried to go into the film review with an open mind. Watching the film, I came up with the following conclusions. Some may surprise you, others may not.

No player was more responsible for this loss than Logan Thomas. He was horrible for long stretches. The touchdown run and the long touchdown to Fuller can't cover up some of his horrendous decision making and inaccuracy. Two of the other leaders, Marcus Davis and Dyrell Roberts, made no effort whatsoever to block in the first half, and also quit on routes repeatedly (to their credit, they were both terrific in the second half). You can't win when the guys who absolutely must be great are not great. In the first half, Thomas, Davis, and Roberts were not even serviceable.

While the output was terrible in the first half, it is amazing how close they are from actually being effective on offense. It seemed like each play was well executed except for one critical component. The line would block, the receiver would be open, and Logan would overthrow him. The sweep is well blocked up front, but the wide receiver misses (or loafs) on a crack-back. The o-line blocks great at the point of attack, but someone on the back side of the play can't reach block someone on the inside gap. Or, linemen would combo block on a defensive tackle, but nobody would roll off to the next level to get the linebacker. The play calling was not the problem (much to my chagrin after ranting about play-calling for this system on Saturday night). However, the staff definitely has a problem with their pregame preparation that lends itself to these poor starts. The outstanding second half (almost perfect offensively except for one blown blitz pickup and two bad throws) shows the top end potential for this offense.

The defensive front-seven played their best game of the season. I cannot take a person seriously if they question the effort and execution of the linebackers and defensive line. I thought Bruce Taylor had his best football game since 2010, the same for Antoine Hopkins. Jack Tyler was outstanding and his skill set was utilized correctly. J.R. Collins, James Gayle, Tyrel Wilson, and Corey Marshall played sideline-to-sideline which kept the Bearcats off the edge, and the interior tackles took away the dive on the read without help.

Alternatively, the secondary proved what we suspected before the fall, that they would be exposed in man coverage. This may not be a popular opinion, but after watching the film, I think that Antone Exum played as well as he can play with the way he is being utilized. Jarrett and Cole were absolutely terrific in run support, but both are weak in coverage, especially in man. Effort was not an issue with these three, but ability to cover in man is an issue, and will continue to be.

At the same time, I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the first guy who sits when Kendall Fuller comes to town is Detrick Bonner, and Kyle Fuller had his worst game as a Hokie. By my count, he gave up 7 completions for 10 or more yards, with 6 coming on 3rd-and-10+ down and distance situations. The game winning touchdown was a Kyle Fuller bust. The coverage called should have resulted in an easy interception, as we will discuss below.
For the purpose of bandwidth, I will submit a defensive review later this week. Here are my thoughts on the offense.

Identity and Attention to Detail

I can't sum up the Hokies offensive trouble this year better than Virginian Pilot Columnist Tom Robinson:

"It's inexplicable: Virginia Tech could practice for two months, have a quarterback widely considered an NFL first-rounder, yet still play offense as horrendously as in Saturday's first half against Cincinnati.

Virginia Tech has to produce as many fruitless plays as any presumed conference contender in the country. Through their first four games, 45 percent of the Hokies' plays - not counting kneel downs or short touchdown runs - reaped fewer than 3 yards.

Of their 1,465 yards coming in, nearly half came from just 28 plays.
The Hokies are largely incapable of piecing together 50 yards of sustained activity: only a third of their possessions have covered that distance. Hit or miss held form again: 213 of Tech's 402 yards came on only seven plays."

Joe touched on the same point earlier this season, the Hokies offense has been either big play, or disaster. If I had the time and resources, I would love to create a statistical analysis to see what percentage of the Hokies offensive plays gain between 4 and 7 yards. The big plays are a testament to having more talent than we would like to recognize, but the lack of consistency and execution are reflected in the huge number of negative plays or short gains.

Perhaps more frustrating is the dichotomy between the first and second halves. In the first half, our reaction was to be angry at the coaches for poor play calling. I was guilty of the same thing, because watching live the lack of first down conversions prevented continuity. The film showed me that each play in the first half was well conceived, followed a logical pattern of risk/reward, and based on the defense and the review of the action, should have been successful (meaning resulting in a 4-7 yard gain). However, on every play, one player seemed to fail in executing an assignment.

What the hell happened to our Quarterback?

All season, the Hokies running backs have been perceived as the weakest position on the field, but each back performed solidly on Saturday. J.C. Coleman was more explosive, Martin Scales was cheated out of a touchdown in limited snaps, and Michael Holmes ran much more assertively than in weeks past. I still think Coleman would be my guy out of the three, but each was used effectively and would have been even more effective if the Hokies could have sustained drives early.

At the same time, Logan Thomas was a nightmare. This week, he seemed to clean up some of his pre-snap issues by using the snap count to get the defense off balance, and he was much sharper on the read option. However, his footwork, release point, and failure to follow through resulted in numerous high throws or throws behind receivers at critical moments. He also seemed to be completely focused on Corey Fuller in the first half, causing him to miss other open targets.

Even more frustrating is that the accuracy problems came mostly on plays where he wasn't rushed or pressured on throws. Most of them were pitch and catch type throws for serviceable D-I BCS starters. Let's take a look at back-to-back second quarter plays and watch how Logan's mechanics impact his throws.

7:41–7:47

On this play, the Hokies run trips left. Dyrell Roberts runs a hard inside route at 7 yards, and Corey Fuller picks the defender and then runs a corner route. Both receivers are open, and Logan chooses to go to Fuller, but overthrows him by 10 feet. Now, watch the play again, but focus on Logan. After the snap, he drops two steps and then plants his right leg, but instead of pushing off and throwing, he takes a small hop step back forward. At that point, he doesn't have a solid push off point for his back leg, which is where the power comes from in a throw. If you freeze his release point, even though his arm is coming forward, his weight is still on his back leg and his back is still arched way back.

There is no follow through with any force, and the ball sails high.

On the next play, the same thing happens.

7:48–7:54

This time, the Logan rolls to the boundary. Dyrell Roberts rubs off a Fuller pick for a short out, and Fuller sneaks behind three defenders on a post corner. Thomas again never gets a firm plant on his back foot, and the ball sails high behind Roberts.

Even on successful plays, Logan's feet are a mess. On this scramble and throw to Davis, Logan's feet get tied up, and his left leg buckles as the throws awkwardly.

14:38–14:48

Fortunately his arm strength managed to get the ball to a wide open Davis.

These issues culminated in two critical plays down the stretch. I don't need to discuss Dunn's interception, as it was clear that he was wide open, and Logan had a horrendous throw. An easy touchdown turned into game changing interception. But, I thought even more troubling was the third-and-long throw to Marcus Davis on the drive before the Corey Fuller touchdown.

The Bearcats had just regained momentum, and the Hokies faced third-and-long after a Ryan Malleck (boy has he let me down) drop on the previous play. Logan goes to Davis on a deep in route, and Davis is wide open, with both Bearcat defenders well behind him. Again, Thomas (this time with no apparent issues with his mechanics) sails the ball high and behind Davis. This was a critical play for the Hokies, and it seemed like last season, Logan made that play every time the Hokies needed it. I can't find any reason why the throw was off, other than to guess that he was indecisive. I welcome your thoughts here.

20:21–20:26

The huge throw to Fuller for the final touchdown would have been one hell of a band aid, but these problems need to be fixed, and fast.

Deplorable Wide Receiver Play in the first half

I don't know if words can describe my disgust watching fifth year seniors Marcus Davis and Dyrell Roberts blocking and running routes in the first half, so I am not going to even try.

Dyrell Roberts "blocking" from the right slot.

5:07–5:14

Marcus Davis route running when not the primary receiver. (It was nice of ESPN to circle him before the play so we could watch him loaf.)

9:55–10:02

And, the coup de grace, Marcus Davis "Blocking" from the left flanker spot, not making contact, and turning around to walk back to the huddle before the back is tackled.

5:13–5:20

I am offended that I played the same sport after watching that.

To their credit, both guys had terrific second halves, but if I was coaching, I don't know if either guy would have seen the field after those debacles. And, I can assure you, there was plenty more where those plays came from.

Offensive Line

The Hokies blocking scheme is overly reliant on the ability of the line to reach block defensive linemen. A reach block (or a scoop block in the lexicon I was taught) is simply cutting off the pursuit of a defender who is aligned closer to the play side than lineman.

Here is a diagram showing a basic reach block.

The technique for a reach blocker is simple in concept. If the running back runs right, the blocker takes a hard step with his right foot flat down the line of scrimmage. The blocker then takes steps hard with his left foot, using an aiming point at the left thigh pad of the defender, so at contact the head is between the defender and the play-side gap, and the left shoulder ideally is in contact with the left side of the defender's torso or leg. Ideally, the blocker will then take another hard step with the right leg, pivot, and turn the defender back to the right. The tracking makes this almost look like an ice cream scoop, hence the name "scoop block."

Now, I can tell you from experience that this block is not as simple as it looks on a diagram. The defender is already closer to the ball than the o-lineman. Generally, defensive linemen are much quicker and more athletic than offensive linemen, and even if the blocker does get his head across, only the greats can get their body turned and shield the defender on a consistent basis. If this is the assignment back side on any running play other than a zone run right, tbe best chance of success is to aim at the left ankle rather than the hip and cut him, and college defensive tackles are usually athletic enough to win that battle most of the time.

Last week I picked on Matt Arkema, and he had a bad attempt at a reach block this week as well.

12:08–12:15

Arkema attempts to scoop block #95, and doesn't get good head position. Number 95 has better pad level, and tosses Arkema on his backside. That is embarrassing. Don't fret Arkema fans, he did some good things as well. (This play isn't helped by a dreadful attempt at a crack-back by Corey Fuller. Receiver blocking and effort was a problem all day.)

One technique to make the reach block easier is called a combination block.

Unfortunately, the Hokies did not effectively combo block the Bearcat defensive tackles and get to the second level. Here, we have a very nice looking read by Logan Thomas on a read option.

3:08–3:14

Logan correctly reads the Bearcat defensive end and hands to Holmes. If you pause at the 3:10 mark, you can see that Vinston Painter (right tackle towards the top of your screen) has effectively pulled the left defensive end up field, creating a nice hole for Holmes. Up front, Nick Becton and Matt Arkema effectively double team block on the right defensive tackle, while Andrew Miller and Brent Benedict have effectively double teamed the left defensive tackle.
At this point, things start to unravel. On a combination block, the two offensive linemen double the defender in order to give the key blocker an angle by which to cut off the defender's line of pursuit. Once that is achieved, the secondary blocker comes off the block and goes to block the linebacker. On both combo blocks, the secondary blocker stays engaged with the defensive tackle. If you freeze at the 3:11 mark, four blockers are tied up with the two defensive tackles, while both middle linebackers are unblocked in space. Even though there is a nice hole, the linebacker fills and tackles Holmes for a 2 yard gain. The Hokies are now in second and 8, despite a nice play call, a sharp read on the option, and a terrific initial hole.

As I discussed last week, I really think the Hokies offensive line would be aided by incorporating more "roll-it" blocks into their scheme.

A roll-it block is an option block, meaning the offensive line comes to the line of scrimmage and uses vocal cues to change the way they plan to block on a play. A roll-it means that rather than reaching a defensive tackle, the next lineman will block back, and the lineman who was supposed to reach will pull, similar to a trap block, behind the down blocker and turn up on the second level. This creates a much easier angle to prevent the tackle from catching the play from the back side, and forms bubbles in the defensive pursuit merely through the motion. The Hokies utilize roll-it kick out blocks as their standard block on the short yardage off tackle power play that I have highlighted Brent Benedict on often this season, and they use it as a trap block for the read option that Logan Thomas used so well last season and scored with on Saturday. Yet, for reasons I do not understand, they do not use it to handle most reach blocking situations, and they NEVER use it on the back side of a play. If I could have five minutes with Curt Newsome, I would beg for him to explain why this technique is not used.

As the game wore on, the offensive line started to dominate this game. The counter action the Hokies used in the second half froze the defenders, and the offensive line took advantage and pounded them upon contact. On almost every running play down the stretch, I saw the Bearcat front four going backwards. The mix isn't right just yet, but I stand by the idea that the top five linemen on this team can be a very good unit.

Even Matt Arkema did a little bit of stomping on the Bearcats. On the Logan Thomas touchdown run, watch the left guard. Arkema initially drives the defensive tackle inside, and when he starts to lose him, he continues to drive his feet and pushes the tackle into the end zone as he attempts to tackle Thomas. It wasn't pretty, but that is the physical dominance I am looking for from this line.

10:02–10:07

Just for the record, I can't figure out how this is a hold. Riley Biero threw one hell of a block here, and the official threw dirt on his pancake.

15:03–15:15

Thanks for reading this week. I am eager to discuss, and look forward to your comments.

Comments

Biero Block

I missed just how good of a block that was when I was watching the game. That is TEXTBOOK. Thanks for the effort French, great work as always. Do you think Logan has dug a hole so deep inside his own head that there is no hope for this season? The expectations were so high. I guess what I'm asking is do you think the kid is tough enough to learn from this and grow, does he have that kind of character?

that holding call was horrendous - I saw the replay and nearly chucked a beer at the screen.

I can't call myself an expert by any means, but that call infuriated me. Not saying the Hokies would have won (or deserved to) without it, but that was very clearly a terrific, legal block.

My problem was ....

...why was that ball in the 3 yard line anyway? Davis caught the pass before and was down on the 1.

it was a good spot on the MD7 catch

If you look closely, his hip hits the field right on the 3-yard line hash mark, and the ball was not extended ahead of his body. He slid to the 1-yard line after he was down.

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

Note DR11's complete lack of blocking anyone on that play...

DR11 steps inside, doesn't get a block on the play-side OLB who he could have nailed with a solid crack-back to the LB's outside shoulder, even though the LB diagnosed the play quickly and dove in toward the LOS. (that's LB Beiro ends up "holding" with a pancake block). Next he steps up like he's going to block the MLB who is starting to run play-side, but instead does a pathetic Ole' side-step between the MLB (who is the only guy to get a hand on Scales) and the play-side safety who had gotten too close to the LOS. The MLB proceeds to tackle Scales as he crosses the goal line for the TD.

So basically that holding penalty is on DR11. If he had set the edge by blocking that OLB, Becton and Beiro would have been free to swing outside and turn back to block the MLB and CB, giving Scales a walk into the endzone just outside the hash marks.

Instead Cincinnati is able to string out the play to the sideline and draw a holding call.

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

Thanks French...thoughts on

Farris v. Miller? Seemed like Farris took over down the stretch there.

After watching the film, I was suprised that Farris didn't play more. Miller is more effective when he can pull and get out in space, but teams are negating that by lining up defensive tackles either eagled (over one of his shoulders) on the center or playing as a one technique angled towards the center. Miller has not been able to road grade those big bodies, and while I am not sure, I suspect that he is weak in recognizing fronts and setting protections or changing the blocking scheme. Cincy even eagled both defensive tackles, and would stunt one away from Miller, trying to get him confused and bust an assignment. It happened frequently early in the game.

To his, and the rest of the offensive linemen's credit, by the end of the game they were exerting dominance. At the snap, almost every Bearcat defender was being driven backwards. I thought the 4th quarter was the best quarter of football the OL played all season. Farris was a part of it, and seems to get more push than Miller. As with some other decisions about who is playing, I think you would need to ask Coach Newsome (while he is attached to a lie detector) why Miller continues to start over Farris.

Benedict needs to be on the field as well. He still struggles out in space, but he gets the push inside the Hokies need to make the read option work. Via does sometimes, but Benedict is more consistent.

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

Farris is working at guard too.

Hey Curt, heads up! GIFSoup

Hey Curt, heads up! GIFSoup

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

Michael Cole

Being from Salem(5 mins from Cole's hometown of Roanoke), I am a fan of his. However, I thought he looked ineffective in the Pittsburgh game missing a whole bunch of tackles. He looked a little better in the Cincy game but I still thought he missed a few tackles. My question is do people think he is the longterm answer at that position if Tech continues to play the majority of their future games in Nickel? Which seems to be the case. Or will he just continue to be our best option, nothing more..nothing less.

Helluva review again French

suckbrickkid

I thought Michael Cole gave every ounce he had on Saturday, but he looked confused so often before the snap that any time he wasn't coming forward against the run, I got nervous.

I watched Cole play against Richlands in a VHSL playoff game, and I thought he would make a terrific addition to the Hokies, but right now he doesn't look athletic enough to be effective in the Hokies aggressive man to man looks that they are using now. Right now, he is the best option, but I can tell you that he is playing by default. If you think Cole struggled, you should have seen the 3rd string kids during fall camp. They are really, really bad. Once the Hokies develop some depth at the position, I would imagine that Cole ultimately ends up at whip or backer. He proved on Saturday that he is an excellent tackler close to the line of scrimmage, where the Hokies rotated Jarrett and Cole almost as the old 4-4 style rover depending on the strength of the formation.

If it had been me, I would have liked to have seen the 3-3-5 we saw versus Bowling Green on the last drive, but with DHop at nose, Taylor-JGW-and Cole at LB, and Bonner, RVD, and Jarrett in short zones with Fuller and Exum playing deep halves. Of course, it wasn't Cole that got burned, it was Fuller. We will look more at the final drive in my defensive review later this week.

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

Solid as always

Solid analysis as always, French!

My fiancee almost called off the wedding after how crazy I went after the Beiro block was called a hold. Apparently the future Mrs. atlHOkie was rather attached to the ceramic vase that fell off the shelf and shattered whilst I was jumping around screaming, "His hands were inside!! How do you call that a hold, you squinty-eyed fuck!?!"

"You know when the Hokies say 'We are Virginia Tech' they're going to mean it."- Lee Corso

So you're saying George Whitfield isn't getting a Christmas card this year?

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

He's getting a lump of coal

So the 2 starting senior wide receivers are taking plays off and loafing on blocks? And they are allowed to keep playing? I cant say im surprised.

there is nobody else to play

Asante and Knowles are a long ways away.

yup

and they are a lot smaller and less developed than MD7 and DR11, although if they don't aggressively seek contact on running plays, does it really matter how big & strong they are?

Wiley, Brown, Russell, Drakeford, Gray, Banks, Prioleau, Charleton, Midget, Bird, McCadam, Pile, Hall, Green, Fuller, Williams, Hamilton, Rouse, Flowers, Harris, Chancellor, Carmichael, Hosley, Fuller, Exum, Jarrett

WR blocking

has been a season-long problem. We can only hope that somebody hits them up side their VT logo in practice with it this week. repeatedly. hard. very very hard.

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

Stinespring/Davis

"It is amazing how close they are from actually being effective on offense"

I feel like this sums up a Brian Stinespring offense, not just this game. When (hopefully in the near future) he needs a new job he should have to place this as a disclaimer at the bottom of his resume.

I'm starting to think that we need to make a statement and bench Marcus Davis. The loafing is nothing new and, while it will make the team worse in the short run, I'm guessing that (long term) it's better for the program to make a statement that slacking off on the field won't be tolerated.

to the heart of cygnus' fearsome force we set our course

They need Davis on the field to be successful, but those plays fly against everything I have ever been taught about football. This new offense MUST have wide receivers blocking, or it affords defensive back the time to play the receiver first because he knows that the receiver won't make any effort to block him if it is a run. That completely limits the effectiveness of play action and makes it harder for Davis to get open. I have not been able to get a good feel for Knowles blocking when he is in, but Fuller, Davis, and Roberts have all been poor this season.

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

If its possible to be both impressed and not impressed with our offense, I am both impressed and not impressed with our offense.

My high notes lie with the LT3 run, and our running back production. The UC core was its front seven and the fact that we managed to have the production we had was one of the few positives of the night. As I told joe the other night, I was worried about Walter Stewart only because I was concerned he would a) take down JC on the outside and/or b) slow down LT enough to have someone else(s) actually take him down. We generally kept Walter Stewart and his counterparts in check and for that I was happy.

My low notes lie with LT3's passing and the WR corps. The UC secondary does not exist. It has not existed for years. It only gets thinner as we put more wideouts on the field. I could probably run a route that would fool Drew Frey. There was no reason that Corey Fuller shouldn't have put up 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. If our air attack was more confident, we could have ended this game early. On the offensive side of the game, that fact alone probably upset me the most. This will be even more evident when Teddy Bridgewater racks up 450 and a couple touchdowns in a few weeks.

The key would be to have our air attack at the same confidence level as our ground attack but in the last 10 years, I can think of (maybe) 3 years where that was the case. 2 years with Coale, 1 with Wilford.

Looking forward to the D analysis.

If Logan could have hit Honey Boo Boo's mom in the ass, the Hokies would have thrown for 300+ yards. There were a bunch of guys open all game long. The throws just were not made.

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

Fair point; I should have probably been more specific. LT3's abilities and the WR corps are connected in that the former has to be on par in order for the later to deliver. My point is that if the air attack as a whole entity had the confidence of our ground attack, we would have put up much more production than we did.

WR Loafing and not Blocking

Sit them down and let Asante and Knowles and anyone else learn. Have to be willing to make that sacrafice or the problem will continue for years.

Nelsonia Hokie

I agree completely.

The young guys will make mistakes, but they'll also give 100% effort all the time. There's simply no excuse for seniors like Roberts and Davis to be dogging it on the field.

malleck a let down?

what were you expecting from him? he is a true soph playing to the level of or better than a 4th year senior and a 5th year senior... the tight end has not been a position of great production in a number of years but malleck looks like a guy who could change that. You have to look and remember, just like Stiney did, that he is only a true soph and he has only been playing in the offense for a few games. He is going to be a good one before its all said and done.

Malleck was a guy that I really saw bringing the best of the blocking tight end with catch production to the position, especially with how they used him in fall practice. Instead, he has dropped several balls (including a critical one before the Davis overthrow in the 4th quarter.) Defenses are not paying attention to him, and he isn't making them pay.

Tight end is another tough position that is hurting the offense. If they play Dunn, VT is limited in what they can do in the running game. Malleck isn't quite strong enough at the point of attack, and he isn't quite quick enough to punish defenses down the middle of the field. And Martin sometimes gets good push, but is incredibly erratic blocking and is no threat in the down field passing game.

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

French, these are incredibly informative write-ups.

Please consider me a big fan of your work. I feel like I learn something every time I read one of your columns.

Your column on the Cincinnati game confirmed several feelings that I took away from it:

1) The biggest single problem with our offense right now is the erratic play of our QB

2) Our blocking schemes are too complicated and difficult to execute consistently

3) Our OL has the potential to jell into a good unit if we can simplify things for them a bit

4) The play selection, all in all, is good. The plays being run aren't the problem. It's the way they are (or rather aren't) being executed.

5) We aren't that far away from being able to get much better on offense. Beamer really is right when he says that it's usually a case of 10 guys doing what they're supposed to do and 1 guy blowing his assignment.

Please keep up the fine work. Hopefully you'll be able to take a somewhat more positive tone with your column on the UNC game.

Regarding #5...

I guess the problem I have with that is: why have such a small margin of error? I don't believe that other successful offensive systems rely on such precision by all 11 players. It appears that our scheme requires perfection from all 11 players or else we get nothing - perfection or disaster. I just don't see that from an Oregon, Boise, WVU, Clemson, Bama, etc. I think the most effective systems allow for some inevitable imperfection while maximizing opportunity. Then again, we haven't really had a "system" under Beamer. I would like to see something similar to what Peterson or Snyder implements - it seems like those would fit our philosophy and the players we recruit.

I don't know about that

I don't think any team does terribly well when they've got someone screwing up on a large percentage of their plays. But that large percentage is the thing... Mistakes are inevitable, but if they're happening more than they should then the coaches need to find a way to address.

With all due respect, I don't think that's true.

In just about any offensive system, if you have a guy blowing an assignment it's going to mean trouble. Maybe if he's on the other side of the field from where the play is being run, it doesn't matter. Or if your QB, RB or WR is athletic enough to make the free defender miss, the play can still succeed. But by and large, for an offense to be effective you have to have everyone doing their job a very high percentage of the time. It's really not going to make a whole lot of difference what system you're running.

That said, I do think French makes a great point about some of our blocking schemes being too difficult. I hope we simplify those going forward as well as employ more straight man-on-man blocking at times.

I don't know..

I don't believe that all these high-powered offenses operate with absolute precision drive after drive, game after game. I think they just have a simplified effective system that allows for a greater margin of error.

I agree that there needs to be some changes made on the offense, but at the same time, we shouldn't necessarily be all doom and gloom right now. Honestly, I know we were all HOPING that we could pull a title run out of our asses, as we hope before every season, but WHO in their right mind thought that this was going to be "our season"?

Additionally, yeah, it sucks we lost to Cincy that way. It was scarily similar to the way Boise St ended. Maybe FedEx just hates our freakin' guts. But there ARE positives people. It may not have started to develop until the second half, but our offense started to get a little rhythm going. I saw great things out of our running backs, and even though we didn't win, I think they had breakout performances. Defense played OUTSTANDING football with the exception of a few broken coverages from a patchwork secondary. It's just as Bud said, the media hyped this defense. He said we had a "chance to be good." The front 7 performed well in containing Legeaux, and I think they keep up that fire and aggression throughout the season. We'll need it against FSU and Clemson.

So, let's get our shit straight and take the rest of the season one game at a time, just as our team should. Let's kill the Tar Heels at their place. We own it anyway. They're 0-4 at home against us. Let's make it 0-5.

Lets Face it......

Had the O been on the field longer, the D wouldnt have been - therefore being fresher and better able to prevent a few broken coverages.

Attended VT - 87-88

I agree...

But the counter argument to that is that Time of Possession at the end of the game ended about evenly split....

Logan 3:16

I wanted Tech to call a timeout on the final drive. The d-line was gassed, rotating might have tossed them into the water too quick. I never want the defensive team to call a timeout in that situation, but considering how quickly Cincy was moving the ball, where they were on the field, and they needed a touchdown to win, regrouping might not have been a bad thing.

What's the point of this?

Do you honesty think that calling up Curt Newsome on his office phone or e-mailing him with your two cents while he's trying to prepare his line to play on Saturday is going to change anything?

If so, then you're an idiot.

Please take this down it wont help anything and will only be a distraction from a coach who has a lot on his hands right now.

A new season...new hope

I don't like deleting comments that aren't inflammatory.

Newsome's information is publicly available on the web, and if someone is motivated enough to call or email, they'll find it without sciggs' help. With that said, I think we do a good job policing ourselves. I bet 99% of people who comment here think dropping a link to Newsome's contact information added nothing to the conversation, and furthermore calling him would be counterintuitive.