Virginia Tech 6-Year SP+ 2014-19

This graph really visualizes how Fuente initially elevated the program with respect to the end of the Beamer Era. However, I was certainly surprised that the 2018-19 Hokies dipped underneath the twilight of Beamer's tenure.

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However, I was certainly surprised that the 2018-19 Hokies dipped underneath the twilight of Beamer's tenure

as ugly as some of the games at the end of the Beamer Era were (0-0 Wake, etc etc etc etc), it always felt like the defense was pretty good and the offense was just butts, and the numbers show that pretty clearly (aside from a few week inversion at the beginning of 2015 that then stabilized). The defense took a major step back after multiple NFL-caliber starters left the squad after the 2017 season, and therefore the overall S&P did as well.

and the offense isn't considerably better either, which is just yikes

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The offense is better, and with younger players and inconsistency at QB. This leaves room for optimism for next year, as the players will be more experienced.

How would do you explain the drop-off in defense?

How would do you explain the drop-off in defense?

didn't i just?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

The defense took a major step back after multiple NFL-caliber starters left the squad after the 2017 season

Oh, this was it?

I mean that was a hell of a drop off.

It was a hell of a lot of good to great caliber players and a coordinator who went through a health issue midway through the season. Add that to the few who were either injured early or kicked off the team... not surprising.

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

I agree. It wasn't just the attrition. It was hard to recognize our defense.

replace NFL-starter talent with freshmen and that's what you get? the 2018 team was young.

maybe add in the weak 2016 transitional recruiting class -- those should been the next players up. Losing Galen Scott and replacing him with Nix very late in the coaching cycle couldn't have helped either, especially since it seemed like he wasn't on the same page as the rest of the coaching staff

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

This is true. Sort of like our offense was this year.

The OL was pretty freshman heavy, sure. Buuut otherwise I think that's a stretch. Would be able to argue the case a tiny bit more easily if we started a first year starter at QB and struggled but the coaches put Willis on the field and reaped the rewards from that decision.

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

I feel like something like this should be on a log scale to show it's a much bigger jump to go from, say 15 to 5 than it is to go from 25 to 15. I mean, the last two years have been bad, but this graph makes it look worse than it has been.

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 just indicated this below - but it would be nice if the Y-axis was SP+ rating rather than ranking. 20th best offense now is probably better than the 20th best offense 10 years ago (I'd guess; I might be wrong)

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Rating is still normalized to the current season, to some extent.

Pretty crazy that 2018 was the first time the offense was better than the defense for the majority of the season.

Also worth noting that this graph shows ranking not rating. I'd be interested to see how much more effective our offenses have become over time (ie; what was the difference between the 20th best offense in 1999, 2009, and 2019).

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it might not necessarily be "inflation", but if the sports-wide shift to thinking about efficiency numbers rather than counting stats is a rising tide that lifts all boats, i think looking at the relative ranking is pretty important too

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Basically, ranking is an easier way to compare teams within the same season, but rating is more effective for comparing the same team across seasons.

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but ranking would inherently be more effective for comparing the same team relative to the CFB landscape across seasons, no?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I suppose ranking across seasons would be helpful to determine if VT is improving at the same rate as other teams. That said, I think this graphic would have been better if it included rating. However, I am just now considering that including a 'rating' on the Y-axis might make it difficult to include Offensive, Defensive, and Overall SP+ trends on the same graph.

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I've looked this up. We had a few offenses under Stinespring with higher off SP+ ratings than our best year under FuCorn. I believe it was the later Tyrod years 09 and 10. I think 2005 offense may have been better as well. Football Outsiders only had info back to 2005 for SP+.

From older post:

The deep stats don't think we have really been better under Cornelsen's offense than under Stiney at all. In 2016, which we would all agree was our best CornFu offense, our Offensive SP+ was 34.5, good for 39th in the country.

Our best ever offenses per SP+ were:

2005: 35.6 (20th)
2009: 36.6 (12th)
2010: 39.6 (12th)

If you're thinking "well I bet 12th ranked offense in today's game is way higher rated than in 2010, you'd be surprised to find that the 12th ranked offense of the 2019 season was Wisconsin with a rating of 37.7, and the 12th ranked offense of the 2018 season was (weirdly) also Wisconsin with a rating of 39.3, finally the 12th ranked offense of 2017 season was USC with a rating of 38.5.

So it actually seems like offenses are staying in similar ranges.

Thanks, I was curious about this. I know that our SP+ rankings for the stiney/lefty years were not as terrible as I had expected, but I wasn't sure about the rating. The Fuente offense definitely 'looks' better than many of those previous offenses (2010 aside) but the ranking isn't much different (if not worse). Was wondering if offenses everywhere are improving and we are not improving at the same rate, or if we are regressing.

Edit: This is fascinating. Thank you!

If you're thinking "well I bet 12th ranked offense in today's game is way higher rated than in 2010, you'd be surprised to find that the 12th ranked offense of the 2019 season was Wisconsin with a rating of 37.7, and the 12th ranked offense of the 2018 season was (weirdly) also Wisconsin with a rating of 39.3, finally the 12th ranked offense of 2017 season was USC with a rating of 38.5.

So it actually seems like offenses are staying in similar ranges.

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Is there any way to check the worst teams in college football over that time period? I'm curious to see if the worst teams are bunching up or if everything's staying in the same range.

So what you're saying (technically the older post was saying) is that having a 5* QB with NFL level talent (physical talent not mental) with 3 years in the program is the key. Huh, you could be on to something.

P.S. good info on the ratings comparison.

This is the fanbase expectations all in one chart. 2014 & 2015 represent most fans acceptable minimum, S&P rankings between 30-40. 2016 & 2017 represent what we thought we were getting with the combo of CJF and Bud, S&P around 15-20, defenses ranked in the top 15, offense ranked around 30-40, all is well in Hokie Nation. The 2018 & 2019 seasons are hopefully exceptions rather than norms or harsh doses of reality. It takes a lot to keep up in today's college game, 2020 will tell us if we are still in the lead lap.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

offense ranked around 30-40, all is well in Hokie Nation.

Offense around 30-40 was a good start. I'm pretty disappointed if that's our ceiling. My expectation when Fuente arrived is that we'd have a top 25 offense most years, a top 15 offense in good years (one out of every five?) and a top 40-50 in bad years.

Perhaps my expectations (of Fuente, our athletic department, etc) were too high, but I think the administration and media oversold us.

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I don't think the offense has reached it's ceiling yet.

Don't call the election before the votes are in.

Continuing on your election analogy - I'm not calling the election, but I am looking at the polls, and I don't particularly like everything I'm seeing. Sure, the polls can be wrong, and not all votes are counted, but the trend isn't good.

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That's all I'm saying. It's too early to call the election.

So I don't get why there are people here trying to call the election, every day, as if they can prove the results.

They can't.

>>people: there's not much here that i find encouraging right now
>>vtkey: you don't know how it's gonna turn out it's too early to call the election i can't believe you're jumping to conclusions when the data set is incomplete there isn't even any way you could possibly think that and in fact i think the exact opposite of you

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

>>people: we were sold a bill of goods, but we're keeping an open mind.

The high powered Fuente offense has not materialized yet. For whatever reason.

The reason is QB.

Also, is it ever intended to be high powered, or just reliable. Fuente is pretty conservative, much like Beamer; he doesn't like risks.

Either way, the O hasn't been terribly reliable either. But, again, I think the guy under center has a lot to do with that. Could you imagine Stiney's stats with JJ or Willis who cant bail you out of bad situations? We almost beat ND last year with a guy 2 years early in a steep development curve.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

Well the 2 star recruits he had at Memphis with a top 10 offense seemed to be something other than conservative. Yes, the AAC is not great competition. And playing ND close was not because of offensive genius- we scored 2 touchdowns, and patterson completed 9 passes for 138. I don't see the correlation or fair comparison to Stiney there. He led us to plenty of 2 touchdown games with under 150 yards passing.

My point was that our result with a limited 3rd string qb looked much like Stiney did with better talent behind center. JJ and Willis have both put up respectable numbers considering their limitations. When the offense has the right quarterback, it can be pretty special. If it gets an exceptional quarterback, it may be off the charts.

A Less important but a missing piece nonetheless is a trustworthy running back. I really really hope some of the new guys emerging in that rb room can be at least above average.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

If the QB is the issue, and Fuente was supposed to be a QB whisperer...isn't that a problem?

I suppose it would be if he was supposed to make one out of thin air. I do think this system has gotten the best out of the qbs. Evans was a good get and upon knucklehead decision making only ended up with half the production he should have. Good qbs make offensive coaches look really smart.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

Didn't he recruit two different 4 star QBs?

The expected slow progression of Patterson has been discussed at length. Did Hooker not show a spark of great development last year? I would expect him to improve even more this coming year. The QB whisperer title is unfair if we are expecting all American numbers from underclassmen.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

a) Hooker didn't take over until Fuente had to smash the panic button;

b) In Hooker's 3rd year in the system he put up similar numbers to Sam Howell, a true freshman.

c) Patterson will be ready for college football at his current rate of development by the year 2027.

a) are you sure it was the panic button? I haven't heard definitively, but saw some rumors on here that HH was injured prior to the beginning of the season. Could they have started RW until HH was healthy?

b) Do you expect all QBs to start and put up good numbers their freshman seasons?

c) Go watch video on QP from high school, he was, by far, a run-first QB. He made some passes to open receivers, but is not a high-volume passer, so if he needs a lot of work in that regard, I'd rather see him work on it in practice and not in games. Similar to b) above, do you expect him to start and be a really good QB in his freshman or sophomore years?

a) If you believe that Hooker was magically healthy and good to go right after the Duke debacle and not a moment sooner, I don't know what to tell you. He was the backup QB on the depth chart to start the year. The inference is that he was healthy enough to play if needed (and he did come in against ODU).

b) I don't, but I've seen enough freshmen QBs come in and look decent to know that it can be done. It's a moot point, because Hooker didn't have to play as a freshman.

c) When Patterson was in the game, the offense was deep fades and QUINCY SMASH runs up the gut, and we were told that was because it's all he can do. He's had two years and that's all he's trusted to do. I don't think I am being unrealistic to think a QB with two years of practice would know more than 4 plays.

a) Fair enough

b) But is it because they're phenomenal QBs despite being freshmen, rather than a baseline of what freshmen should be able to do? The first one seems more likely and therefore should be the exception rather than the rule, so wouldn't go comparing every QB to a really good freshman

c) It may not be all that he's capable, but who knows, maybe he throws INTs a lot in practice going against our first string defense. If that is the case, it's probably good he isn't slinging it around in games. Unfortunately, we won't know that. But we DO have a bunch of QBs on the roster, so even if QP doesn't pan out, hopefully one of the others will.

If you believe that Hooker was magically healthy and good to go right after the Duke debacle and not a moment sooner, I don't know what to tell you. He was the backup QB on the depth chart to start the year. The inference is that he was healthy enough to play if needed (and he did come in against ODU).

Fuente admits that he coddles young QB's, for better or for worse - he says that this comes from his time playing QB in college, where he felt he thrown into the fire too early. I think there are examples where players have gained a lot of confidence by playing 'before they were ready,' but their are plenty of examples of QB's flailing after going in unprepared.

Regardless, my guess is that Hooker was injured during the summer/fall, missed enough practices that Fuente thought he was behind. Between Hooker lacking practice snaps, and RW being a returning starter, Fuente opted to go for RW. At the time, it wasn't a bad decision.

I don't, but I've seen enough freshmen QBs come in and look decent to know that it can be done. It's a moot point, because Hooker didn't have to play as a freshman.

You're suffering from confirmation bias - It's really unusual for a young QB to excel in the college game, but when it happens, you hear all about it. Here's a list of the 2018 recruiting class QBs. The top three recruits (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, JT Daniels) proved their freshman year that they could play (I know Fields didn't play much his freshman year, but I'm sure he would've been able to deliver). Who else on that list has played meaningful snaps and looked good doing it? Dorian Thompson-Robinson has been decent, albeit he's played on an awful team. Everyone else on that list has either barely played, or looked incredibly mediocre.

c) When Patterson was in the game, the offense was deep fades and QUINCY SMASH runs up the gut, and we were told that was because it's all he can do. He's had two years and that's all he's trusted to do. I don't think I am being unrealistic to think a QB with two years of practice would know more than 4 plays.

Patterson was a known project, and Fuente was/is very clear about that whenever asked about QP's progress. His high school football team only had 2 coaches (many 4&5 star QB's come from schools with college sized coaching staffs). He didn't have a private QB coach like a lot of 4/5 star QB's do these days. Simply put, he's gotten a few thousand less snaps throughout his high school career than a lot of similarly ranked recruits.

If you think Fuente should've recruited a QB who wasn't as much of a project, then fair, but I think QP is progressing as expected given his starting point.

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A) if memory serves, Hooker played 1 snap vs ODU, came to the sideline holding his shoulder (which was already in a brace)

Coach Kilmer had won two state titles (in 1987 and 1989) and 22 district championships, so I'm sure he knew a thing or two about quarterback play. But there he was starting Lance Harbor at QB over Mox.

Sometimes backups are gems waiting for an opportunity to shine.

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Current Roanoke-Hokie
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I mean Mox had a real problem with authority, didn't know the playbook, and organized all night drinking parties before games. Let's be honest, we wouldn't have started him either.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

I feel like we've started worse...

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Current Roanoke-Hokie
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It has improved, though, and for a while in 2018, it was better than the defense.

I'm expecting an uptick next year, as most offensive players won't be seeing the field for the very first time.

Continuing to say that the offense and recruiting have "improved" one million times does not make it true. It doesn't. Look at the results on the field, look at the signing classes. Look at these advanced SP trends. We are 14-12 the past 2 seasons. Continuing to say "improved" like reality in any way reflects that is tiresome. Fraction of decimal point improvements that don't manifest in wins is tiresome. BTW- next year we have less than 65% of our offensive production returning, so don't count your chickens yet. Hazelton and Keene- two of the better players on offense bolted with eligibility remaining, we will feel that, especially early. McClease led the team in rushing last year, he is also gone.

I'm not counting chickens. I'm pointing out that our offensive players will be more experienced next year.

I'm also thinking that we'll have some talent to replace the players who are moving on. I'm less worried than you are about it all.

And that is simply not true- other than OL and QB.

We don't have any RBs or receivers?

The advanced SP trends show, to me, a team that inserted Hooker into the lineup and was on a steep climb upwards in trajectory (even Bill Connelly references this change in his tweet). The offense was good with Evans, dropped off with JJ and RW, and, now that we have a QB who fits the system, is back on the rise. Sounds good to me.

This year's signing class sucked. The ones before it, though, look pretty good! 26th, 24th, 26th from 2017 to 2019 is around where Beamer was, and certainly puts us on the right path.

Also, you keep pointing out that we are 14-12 the past 2 seasons and it doesn't indicate any type of improvement...but we were 6-7 last year and 8-5 this year. Is that not improvement? If we win 9+ games next year will you say that we're only 23-16 in the past 3 years with no improvement to show?

There's no objective measure that says our offense is significantly better than it was 10 years ago. Ironically, 2018 was the only season since 2014 where our offense has finished inside the top 50 SP+. In fact, with the exception of 2018, our offensive SP+ ranking has stayed bracketed between 50-80 quite consistently over the last half decade. Our recruiting has also not improved by any objective measure.

If you think this 'year is the year' that the offense takes a big step, you must believe some combination of these three possibilities (to some degree) to be true:

  • The players on the current roster are better scouted than previous players (AKA they will outperform their recruiting rankings and/or they are better schematic fit than previous players)
  • Fuente has improved at developing (aka coaching) players
  • Fuente has improved at deploying (aka playcall for) players

You're quite entitled to this opinion, but I see very little objective supporting evidence that any of these (other than potentially a better schematic fit at QB) to be true (and even if that is true, I'm not sure it's true enough to win us the coastal and get us 10 wins).

EDIT: I do believe that this is the best RB room we've had in some time - maybe since 2010. You can also argue that this is the most talented OL in sometime. That said, as always, we're lacking depth. If we can stay healthy, I think we'll see noticeable improvements, but you can't bank on us randomly avoiding injuries to key players.

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Exactly. Great post

EDIT: I do believe that this is the best RB room we've had in some time - maybe since 2010. You can also argue that this is the most talented OL in sometime. That said, as always, we're lacking depth. If we can stay healthy, I think we'll see noticeable improvements, but you can't bank on us randomly avoiding injuries to key players.

I agree with this and also think our WR recruiting has been the a big step forward and the potential of those guys looks to be as good as we have seen since Eddie Royal, Josh Morgan, Justin Harper, David Clowney. I know we have had some solid tandems (Boykin/Coale, Ford/Phillips), but I think the whole room is deeper than its been in awhile. I am still not sure if Hooker can push the ball downfield into tight windows, but he is enough of a threat with his legs that it should keep defenses from dropping back into all of his throwing lanes and making the windows tight. If he can't get it done then QP and Burmeister are waiting for their shot. Either way I think the pieces are there to for this offense to take a step forward.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

I think the biggest issue is that in 2009 we really stopped recruiting WRs heavily. We had nothing behind Boykin and Coales, then we got Cam and Ford which well Ford was luck (thank you mack brown for retiring) and Cam got to play early because there was no talent in the room (not to take away from Cam, but as a frosh he wouldn't have taken the starting roll in most years). So really from 2009 to 2016 we had really only had 3 WRs we recruited: Marcus Davis, Ford, Cam. There was really not much room to bottom out.

What I said was that the offense will be more experienced when they see the field next year.

Yes, I think that will make a noticeable difference.

All I'm saying is that we should continue with Fuente another year or two, and see how it works out.

Regardless of whether or not anyone agrees that we should stick with Fuente for a couple more years I think everyone here would agree that for better or worse we will be sticking with him for the next couple of years.

Now that is out of the way.

You're extremely optimistic and that is admirable. However, I think you're ignoring the evidence and just hoping that experience will account for a drastic improvement offensively. The rest of us are just trying to tell you that there's a lot of evidence to suggest our offense isn't going to be magically better just because some of the players have more experience now. We'll see what happens under Fuente's guidance over the next couple years but all signs point to "little or no improvement"

I'm not getting my hopes up. I'd love to be wrong here but I just don't think theses coaches have shown anything in the last 4 years that suggests they can field a top 40 offense.

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

Unless a P5 school from any flyover state offers him...

This is a fair point. I still think that the longer he coaches here and fails to produce a respectable offense the harder it will be for him to find work in Texas. If the offense takes off next year, as vtkey wants to believe, the chances of him leaving go way up and everyone will get what they want. Offense improves dramatically and the Fuente haters get to rejoice in his absence. My premise, though, is that his offense won't light up the score boards next year and thus his stock will continue to plummet and he won't be poached.

We'll never know how it all shook out with Baylor but I'm willing to bet they never extended him an offer. Had they done so, he probably wouldn't be in Blacksburg. So if they won't hire him, and his team goes 8-4 in the worst division in the P5 with uninspiring offensive performances, who will?

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

I understand the perspective. But curious about how you'd explain something. Tech went 7-6 in 2014, 7-6 in 2015, then 10-4 with a trip to the ACCCG in 2016. I'm just wondering how you account for Tech jumping to 10 wins in 2016. We didn't start any freshmen in 2016 that I recall. Foster was still here on defense. The only real differences were Fuente and the offensive staff and Jerod Evans. In 2017, we won 9 games with JJ as QB, which, when I think about it and his performance at Maryland, seems like a minor miracle to me.

We were very good in red zone conversion this year, ranked #11. (Link)

This site has us at #50 in total offense, which is close. (Link)

60. Virginia Tech Hokies

What has become a frustrating season and a dramatic season with a six-overtime win involved, the Hokies has had no receiver grade lower than 61.8 but only Hezekiah Grimsley grade over 74.5 and he's only been targeted nine times. WR Damon Hazelton's return to the lineup has been key for them in the passing game and he's caught four scores in just four games so far including two in the victory over North Carolina. They'll need to tighten up on the drops as a team as they've fielded the country's 114th-highest drop rate at 14.6% but they find themselves at 10th in the country by averaging 7.64 yards after the catch per reception. Had the catch counted, RB Deshawn McClease would have single-handedly moved this team up at least 10 spots when he had the 'almost catch of the year' against Rhode Island (look it up, trust me).

Link
When you have a drop rate that high, that's on the receivers. The coaches can't catch balls for them. How much higher would our offense have been ranked had a fraction of those passes been caught? (granted, that was only through week 9, but we had our share of drops late in the season too - couldn't find the same rankings for later in the season).

And experience does count for something. There is a reason that Duke and Kentucky, despite having loads of first round draft picks each year, don't win the national championship that often. Most of their talent is freshmen every year.

I suppose not getting your hopes up will keep you from being disappointed, but I am hopeful for next season (for the record, we did about how I thought we'd do this year given how our team did last year, so also hope it's not just O&M glasses).

7-6 in 2014, 7-6 in 2015, then 10-4 with a trip to the ACCCG in 2016.

Because raw records don't tell the whole story. We had 5 one score losses in 2014, and 4 one score losses in 2015. Those teams could have been 8-4 or 9-3 with a couple lucky bounces, maybe a QB upgrade (Evans), or a better mentality in those close games.

2016 did give us a boost. Between Fuente's novelty, Jerod Evans, and those receivers being juniors at that point, with a talented defense we finally started winning more of those close games (Pitt, Duke, Notre Dame). Basically the difference between those 2014 and 2015 seasons was that we lost those three games in parentheses in the last sentence and in 2016 we won them.

However, we immediately lost that offensive boost in 2017, where we were pretty damn awful against P5 competition post-UNC (who was terrible). The defense which returned many of those talented, and experienced starters carried us that year while the offense floundered.

So yes, we had a number of one-score losses. They were still losses. We also had 2 one-score wins in each of those seasons, so we could have gone 4-8 in each of them.

If you're looking at one-score losses, the 2016 team was a one-score loss (maybe two, since one would have tied it) from the eventual national champion.

And yes, we lost that boost in 2017, because, like I said, JJ is NOT a great QB - I'd say decent to good-ish. So yeah, it makes sense that we weren't good against P5 competition with him, but who else were we going to start? But I still think that given what JJ is capable of, that our coaches got pretty good performance out of him.

EDIT: My point was also that this year's offense seems like it was a potentially much better offense than what we wound up with due to dropped passes. Hopefully we can find some receivers that can haul in a higher percentage of passes in the future.

You bring up good points. I think Chris addressed the win differential fairly well. I'll echo that part of it was the novelty of the system. After our opponents got some tape on our new offense it has been much less effective. That's worth noting.

2016 offense ran through Jerod Evans. Let's not forget that Tyrod Taylor made our 2010 offense look really good despite having everyone's favorite offensive staff coaching the team. Sometimes exceptional players mask coaching shortcomings. If our offense hadn't slid back immediately into the ho-hum middle of the pack in 2017 and appear to get stuck in neutral through 2019 I'd be inclined to think the coaches were the major reason our offense was so good looking in 2016. But the more and more we play the more 2016 looks like the anomaly. Jerod Evans likely masked a lot of coaching staffs' issues much like Tyrod did for Stinespring, O'cain, and Newsome.

The fact that on day one Fuente said he wanted to focus on running the ball and has failed to really develop a formidable rushing attack in 4 years has me pretty concerned as well. A lot of people here love to point to 2016 as proof that these coaches are good enough to put a top 40 offensive product on the field. I'm just pointing to the other 3 years of data as proof that maybe these coaches aren't all that good. We'll see in 2020 and 2021. My prediction is that the offense never really explodes with these coaches. We'll stay in the middle of the pack but our chronically soft schedules will help provide a few extra wins each year and eventually we'll just get accustomed to 8 win seasons and forget what it was like to dominate a conference.

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

Wanting a rushing attack is different than developing it. I think he has been developing it. I distinctly remember a number of years where there was lots of analysis on our O-line and it's inability to open holes for a running attack. Between that an having a good back with vision, we had lousy running numbers for what seemed like a long time. I think Fuente IS developing it. We've gotten some good recruits for the O-line for the first time in a long time, and I could be wrong, but I think McClease was the beneficiary this year of better holes created by the line. When there weren't holes, he always seemed to run up behind the line and be lost for what to do. That's one of the things I really liked about King - he seemed to be good at having vision and making something happen. That's the other part of the run game - I think Fuente has finally been able to land some good RB recruits. King and Gary look like they'll be good, but they're still young, and in the meantime, they brought in Herbert and Blackshear.

That's the run game, and as I pointed out, novelty or not, our receivers dropped a lot of passes this year. Had we not, who knows how we would have ended up. We're bringing in a lot of receivers - if we can develop some good to great ones, and the run game improves like it seems it is, I think we will do much better.

One way or the other, only time will tell how the offense performs. Hopefully I'm right and Fuente has some great seasons and he'll stick around, considering the alternative is us not turning a corner and cruising along in mediocrity until we can get a new coach.

Hopefully I'm right and Fuente has some great seasons

Yeah, I hope so. I'm not betting on it is all I'm saying.

Receivers dropping balls is definitely not helping. It doesn't seem like other teams really struggle with drops on the same level as we do. It shouldn't be that hard to find receivers who can catch the ball more often than not. One wonders why VT struggles so much. Drops aren't a new thing for this squad. It seems like ever since Ford left we have had a ton of drops from the receiving corps. Why is that? Is it recruiting? Evaluations? Poor technique? Not using the right drills in practice? Why does it seem to be more of an issue in Blacksburg than elsewhere? Do we blame the receivers? Coaches? Both? We had a ton of attrition at the wr position. That's another red flag. But we'll see what happens in 2020.

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

It doesn't seem like other teams really struggle with drops on the same level as we do. It shouldn't be that hard to find receivers who can catch the ball more often than not. One wonders why VT struggles so much.

Tough to say this confidently since there's no data collected on dropped passes. My guess is VT drops passes pretty much in line with other teams, with expected variance from yearvto year.

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To Recap:

DC: "The high powered Fuente offense has not materialized yet. For whatever reason."

VtKey: "It has improved, though, and for a while in 2018, it was better than the defense."

Bar1990: "There's no objective measure that says our offense is significantly better than it was 10 years ago."

Vtkey: "What I said was that the offense will be more experienced when they see the field next year."

I would suggest that you be careful moving that goal post so quickly without a good warm-up, but at this point you should have the most developed and well-trained goal post moving muscles on here.

"Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our heart with tolerance."
-Stan Lee

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

The offense improved over what Fuente inherited in 2016, not over what we had 10 years ago.

I didn't move any goalposts, you guys did.

Another day on TKP. Where I make a statement, people take it out of context, add data, and hammer me over the head with it, and then claim I'm the one moving the goalposts.

I think Fuente is hedging that he may be coaching somewhere closer to Texas a year from now.

I am actually encouraged at our depth for the first time in a long time.

QB is 3 deep with Oregon Xfer
RB is 3 deep with Kansas, Rutgers, and King
WR took a hit though but lots of guys that could be big like Payoute
TE took a hit but Mitchell and Gallo are good
OLine gets a boost to depth with Brock
DE I am worried
DT is Hewitt, Crawford, Cunningham, Pollard, and others that could contribute
LB is Dax, Ashby, and Tisdale
DB is Waller, Chatman, hunter, Farley, deablo, conner, Murray's

3 go to guys on offense are gone. I just want to know who everyone is thinking will fill the void in this production. RB seems easier to fill , but HB/blocking may be an issue without Keene as lead blocker. His pass catching may be able to be filled with Mitchell, but blocking may be worse. Hazelton on the goal line is going to be an issue, and I wonder who will fill that void.

The keene loss is huge. And will sting more unless he goes in the top 3 rounds of the draft. Mitchell is not a hand in the dirt TE, he's a big WR really. And Gallo isn't the athlete Keene is.

I just want to know who everyone is thinking will fill the void in this production.

  • The RB room has to improve this year - the transfers we got should be noticeable upgrades over McClease and others (no disrespect intended towards those leaving the team, just trying to be objective).
  • OL should improve without any losses, and with the addition of Brock.
  • A more experienced QB should bring with it more dynamic passing concepts

I am concerned about losing Haze in the red zone, but I'm hoping that between an improved RB room, a more experienced OL, a more experienced QB, and young, hungry receivers who will 'sell' misdirection on every play, that the offense will continue to improve. We're arguably upgrading at every position on offense except receiver. If this doesn't drastically improve the offense, changes need to be made.

Twitter me

the transfers we got should be noticeable upgrades over McClease and others (no disrespect intended towards those leaving the team, just trying to be objective)

Why? Is this just hopeful conjecture? I have a hard time believing it is obvious they will be better than McClease.

To a degree, yes, this is hopeful conjecture. We can't project how a JUCO will play in P5, or how a transfer will play after switching teams/schemes. Perhaps I should have said that not that the room is necessary 'more talented' but it is bigger, and I'm hoping that it's both more well rounded and better suited for Fuente's offense

  • I don't think we've had a between-the-tackles back since Fuente got here, and now we do (Herbert). This should (in theory) help us convert short yardage plays and close out close games.
  • Marco Lee is the second best RB coming out of JUCO this year, averaging over 5 yards per carry for over 800 yards. As always, it's TBD how that translates to P5 football, but it's a good sign.
  • King should have a year more of experience.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that we're going to magically return to the days of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans, but if this team can't get to ~4.7 yards per carry (we were at 4.1 ypc this year) with a mobile QB, a revamped RB room, and an improved OL, then we have bigger problems.

Twitter me

If i had to guess a WR who could step in and dominate at the goal line, I'd pick Elijah Bowick

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Interesting that the offensive S&P numbers spike downward right after opening week every year.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Mapping opponents across the top might be instructive.

So at the end of this season, we are now back up to where we were in 2014?

Recruit Prosim

Why isn't the maroon line directly between the offensive and defensive ranking? More often than not it tends to be more influenced by the defensive ranking.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

because the overall rank isn't an average of the two rankings, it's the rank of the overall rating. the overall rating is more likely to be positively influenced by an excellent defensive rating than it is to be negatively influenced by an offensive rating that's in-the-pack, so to speak.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller