An Offense for the Ages

Sitting 1/3rd of the way into the season (assuming we get to see a bowl game) I am astonished at how good this offense has been. We can talk about a questionable quarterback decision in game 3, but beyond that, this team has been downright legen...wait for it...dary in it's productivity.

At this point in the season, the Hokies have played the #s 6, 7, 8, and 10 rushing defenses in the conference and are still leading the country in rushing yards per game (minimum 2 games). A truly impressive feat.

My curiosity got the best of me and I thought I'd take a trip down the rabbit hole to see how this team's offensive production stacks up to other Hokies offenses going back to 1985 (the furthest back I could get stats on HokieSports and also, my birth year, so this spans my entire life)

At the current pace, the 2020 Hokies are on pace to shatter, break, or threaten a number of records in the book.

The one most likely to be broken is Team Rushing Yards. It appears the record is 2975 held by the 2000 Hokies, and their three headed monster of Michael Vick, Lee Suggs, and Andre Kendrick. If bowl stats were allowed to count, that team would have finished with 3286 yards on the ground, through 12 games. At the torrid pace this team is racking up yards, 2000's official and unofficial records will be smashed, as the 2020 Hokies are on pace for 3744 rushing yards, through 12 games. Another 300+ performance next week against Wake would push this season's output beyond 3 entire seasons.

Add those numbers to the current passing yards pace (which is on track to be somewhere around the cutoff between middle and bottom outputs) and the 2020 Hokies are on pace for 5814 total yards, which trails only the 2016 Hokies yardage of 6223, which was bolstered by 2 additional games.

The 2020 Hokies also are outscoring every previous season, with an average of 42 ppg, which leads the 1999 season by .6 ppg, although those numbers drop slightly as a result of the Sugar Bowl.

Scoring...The only guaranteed way to beat your opponent. The 2020 edition of Hokie Football is on a scorching pace towards 63 total touchdowns, which would break the unofficial record of 61 in 2000, and shatter the official record of 55 (also 2000). This feat is getting done on the ground, as the hydra that is our backfield is on pace for 45 rushing touchdowns, which would come oh so close to the record 46 (guess again, 2000)(although not come close to the unofficial 52 of 2000, that Gator Bowl was ridiculous).

15 current rushing touchdowns is already more than 6 previous seasons' worth and getting our average next week, against Wake, would surpass another 10, meaning that in 5 games, the Hokies offense would have score more rushing touchdowns than 16 of the previous 35 seasons.

The truly mindboggling part of this entire season, is that we were without our most dynamic quarterback for 10 of the 16 quarters played so far, and had our 3rd string QB in for the better part of a quarter in which we scored 17 points. Questions arise, how badly could we have won our first two games if QB1 was playing? Could we have won game 3?

Well, in 6 quarters with QB1 on 17 possessions, we punted 4 times, scored FGs on 3, missed a FG on 1, and scored TDs on the remaining 9. With QB2 and QB3, on 33 possessions through 10 quarters, we punted 13 times, scored FGs on 4, turned the ball over thrice, ran out the clock once, and scored 12 TDs. Simply doubling QB1s output from his third of the season thus far, in place of QB2/QB3, and the Hokies subtract 5 punts, and instead, score 2 FGs and 6 more TDs, for 48 more points and the season looks absurd.

Do we win game 3? Maybe. More timing and the wheel route to Mitchell probably goes in, we don't try to go for 2, we score a TD earlier in the game, and that's 12 more points right there. Factor in a Field Goal and it's a different game, when we're up 4 on UNC's last drive. I know they were knocking on the door late in the fourth, but do ghosts of goallines past haunt them again?

Five more TDs in the other two games and it's a coinflip as to who has the better offense in the ACC, Virginia Tech's 54 ppg or Clemson's 48.4 ppg.

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Comments

I still find myself baffled when I realize we are averaging more than 40 points a game against P5 teams. And it is actually the offense scoring those points, not the defense or special teams scoring them or setting the offense up with the ball on the other team's 2 yard line. So used to us putting up 10-20 offensive points that this is still just a little bit hard to compute.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

All of this and we still can't get the nation's leading rusher 20 carries in a game

I want moar Herbert

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

Disagree right now. Keep him between 15-20 right now and if we need him later in the season to shoulder a heavier load he won't be worn down

Agreed. I want to continue seeing Blackshear getting more touches since he seemed to have a lot of pre-season praise from the coaches.

In fairness, the coaches would be praising JASONinARLINGTON vs our run D.

/s(orta)

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

if we can continue putting up 300 rushing a yards a game with KMFH getting 15-18 carries i am all for it. I would love to (edit: see) the RBs maybe take 3-5 carries off of HH just reduce some injury risk, but if HH is making the right read to keep, he shouldn't be taking too much punishment on those carries.

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

I think that's my biggest concern. Herbert is averaging 10 ypc but Hooker is getting just as many if not more carries. I do realize a lot of that is off the option, but so were Jerod Evans' and he later voiced he didn't prefer that. And Hooker doesn't have the durability that Evans did.

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

I think an obvious solution is to try and work blackshear in a bit more. although a few designed handoffs without a read component would also be great too.

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

Hooker doesn't have the size that Evans has but he could be slippier. Hooker appears to play the angles better than Evans. I remember Evans being more like QP in his running style.

I love the way Hooker runs. It's not graceful or smooth, but it's chaotic and all of his limbs operate seemingly independent of one another. It's like trying to tackle a mechanical spider.

When I see him do that all I can think about is how he is going to get hurt. Scares me to death....

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: “Guys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

Yup. I cringe every time he takes off. He looks like a rag doll out there. I think he's not as spindly as he looks on TV though and it seems like he's running with a chip on his shoulder this year which I like.

I was yelling at the TV when he was getting garbage time carries though.

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I think that HH needed to stay in the entire game because of his lack of practice time/playing time. He was out for a long time (in football years). And was not involved with the team at all from what was said during the game. I think that he needed the time to gel with the team and actually get live action tackled. I am sure that I would be mad as hell if he did get hurt. But I understand the reason that he was left in.

This was the only justification I could think of as well. The coaches know best I suppose but I don't think it's worth the risk. If he goes down we're a one-dimensional team the rest of the way and much easier to defend.

Glad it worked out.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Agree. Similar to when MV7 thought hurdling players was a good idea.

HTHokie93

Well if he did get hurt then wouldn't we just put QP in and run the same play?

This would seem to me to be a surefire way to hurt those that hurt Hendon.

Thank goodness i'm not the only one who thought this.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Correct me if im wrong but our coaches dont always have the final say on who carries the ball. If the RB is getting taken away on the read option most plays by the defense then HH is gonna get a lot more carries.

It is easy to say give him the ball more because he does good things when he touches it but forcing it doesn't always work. He gets the ball within the scheme of the offense and good things are happening for everyone. The defenses are keying on him more, which we saw HH have a huge game in the read option because the DEs stayed home.
The coaches give him the bulk of the reps at RB but are spelling him to keep him fresh and we see it in the 2nd half when we have been rolling teams.

Side note, I am curious if we have a flea flicker waiting for Miami or Clemson.

"I'm too drunk to taste this chicken" - Colonel Sanders via Ricky Bobby

Flea flickers are the most exciting play in football and you cannot convince me otherwise.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Punters* passing against Clemson in ACC championships wants a say.

Fullback passing to another fullback for a TD gets honorable mention.

i humbly submit quadbox goal line stops for consideration

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

Fat guy touchdowns ftw

One of the reasons Herbert is having such success is because we are spreading the ball around. Defenses can't just key in on him.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

For me, it's getting him more touches early in the game not necessarily more touches.

Is coronavirus over yet?

All of this...in large part because the nation's leading rusher isn't getting 20 carries a game.

It's not 1995 anymore.

Does he need 20 carries? Also, he gets additional touches in the pass game as well.

According to Bill Connelly at ESPN this morning....

Preseason projections are part of my SP+ ratings for a reason: It makes them far more predictive. Priors are your friend, and I use them. But if I were deriving SP+ rankings only from what has happened so far in 2020, with no preseason assumptions of any kind, here's your top 10:

Your top five offenses: Florida, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Memphis, BYU.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/30142510/college-footba...

Also seeing Khalil Herbert is the #2 RB so far,

and

Justin Fuente as #2 Coach of the Year candidate

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

..and some are still calling for his head...

Also - fire Cornelson - he and Fuente can't succeed at the P5 level. /s

For all the talk of trends after 2018 if we finish with 9 or more wins this season that's officially an upward trend, and with fewer games being played.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Even if we lose some games at some point because of COVID losses (especially if we lose people on offense like we have on offense - my big fear), I think it's hard to say they don't know how to field a P5 offense. And the scoring - remember all those years where even if we did get the ball in the red zone, we couldn't necessarily get a touchdown? I'm pretty sure we score on more possessions than we don't, and I love it! The defense will come around at some point, then it'll really be fun!

Fuente has lost control of the defense..../s

VT Marketing Class of 2009
Current Roanoke-Hokie
Go Hokies!

How is Clemson #1 but not top 5 in offense or defense. Not being top 5 in either surprises me.

🦃 🦃 🦃

Because they beat Georgia Tech 75-7, you're a consensus #1 when you murder a power 5 school on national television

He said give to me Roscoe

Well, then I guess we have a new bucket list item for Saturday...

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)..

Get on national TV?

Another interesting stat - In the 6 quarters that hooker has started, we've seen:

  • 71 points
  • 766 yards
  • 8.15 yards/play average
  • 0 turnovers

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I am very interested in continuing those trends. We will win a lot of games with those stats.

Technically, those stats won 3 games

technically they only won 1 game and 1 half (that half being in a game we ultimately lost). Those are JUST stats from when Hooker is playing, not the stats for the whole season, if I'm reading it correctly

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

That was kind of my point. We won two games without these Hooker-driven stats. But this trend is a very good one - arguably better than prior - and will win us a lot o games. Should QB2 or QB3 be needed, I feel okay. But let's just try to keep THIS particular train rolling!

I agree completely, I was just pointing out that Hokie In The Wire thought those stats won us 3 games. Hooker didn't play in 2 of the games we've won. Which makes his stats all the more impressive and exciting for the rest of the season.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

All good evidence to calm my anxiety about our slow starts in the last three 1st quarters.

Also, Clemson scored 73 points in football against GT.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

On the same day that #5 ND beat Louisville by a baseball score of 12-7. Same weirdness of how I set the record for most and least points scored in a week in the same season in my FFL. It was like 3 weeks apart, just goes to show how a matchup can mean a big difference in football.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

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

I am happy with the Oline and the rushing attack. However, I am a little concerned that the passing game has been inconsistent. We need to be able to move the chains when passing.

At this point in the season, the Hokies have played the #s 6, 7, 8, and 10 rushing defenses in the conference and are still leading the country in rushing yards per game (minimum 2 games). A truly impressive feat.

I'd be more impressed if it was against the top half of the league's best rushing defenses.

Five more TDs in the other two games and it's a coinflip as to who has the better offense in the ACC, Virginia Tech's 54 ppg or Clemson's 48.4 ppg.

Let's not get carried away, we're not in Clemson's league.

Overall I'm happy with where the offense is and with how scrappy the team is. I think we have a decent shot at a good season.

Let's not get carried away, we're not in Clemson's league.

Technically we very much are in Clemson's league....but I know what you mean. Our offense is not elite in the same sense theirs is

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

GO ACC! Clemson needs to take notes from UNC to see how it's done in our league...

🦃 🦃 🦃

How much of why they are #6,7,8 & 10 rather than say, #3,4,5 & 7 is because they played the VT offense?

It's sort of our fault these rushing defenses are ranked lower. If you remove the VT games from their stats the teams would all be ranked higher. NC State defense would be averaging 113ypg (#4). UNC defense would be averaging 116ypg (#5). Duke defense would be averaging 121ypg (#6). Boston College defense would be averaging 135ypg (#7). That's all top half conference rush defenses this year.

Edit:
We ran for 201 yards above NC States average, 144 yards above UNCs average, 203 yards above Dukes average and 215 yards above BCs average.

Also with 15 teams in conference this year, 2 of the teams are still in the top half of rush defenses after playing us and 1 team was borderline at 8.

That's a nice rushing defense you have there.

It'd be a shame if somebody Hokied on it

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Understood, but the point I was trying to make is it would be more impressive if we had run up those numbers against the top 5 defenses instead of the bottom 5 defenses.

Adjusted without including VT in their totals:

NC State: #4 Rushing D in the ACC @ 113 yards per game allowed. VT ran for 314.
UNC: #5 Rushing D @ 116.3 yards per game allowed. VT ran for 260.
Duke: #6 Rushing D @ 119.16 yards per game allowed. VT ran for 324.
BC: #7 Rushing D @ 134 yards per game allowed. VT ran for 350.

4, 5, 6, and 7 would all be in the top half of the conference, with NC State and UNC being in the top third.

Against those teams, the production of the Hokies averaged 258.62% what those teams had been allowing.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Thanks for formatting my comment a bit better. Even if you removed the worst game for the other teams in the conference to try to make the comparison even more fair to the rest of the conference, I believe the rankings for the teams VT played would remain unchanged except for BC as #3 is at 111ypg and #8 is UVA at 136ypg if I recall correctly. I bet you these 4 teams will likely be in the top half of the conference in rushing defense by the end of the year.

I guess I've been watching Herbert's (for Heisman) totals more than our overall rushing total. It blows my mind that we've only been held below 300 once so far !

In a 15 team league, none of those are bottom five...also, as indicated, if they had not played us, 2 of those teams would be ranked top 5.

Obviously the better we do against a team, the worse they will be ranked. If we put up 1000 yards a game you could say "wow VT has not played a single good defense." The point of evaluating them without our team's performance is to try to figure out if the offense is good or if the defense is bad. If they are still ranked poorly even without our gaudy numbers, they are a bad defense. If their ranking moves up significantly, then it is safe to say our offense put it on a good team.

This is like the most anti-VT team I've ever watched. A defense that struggles to make a simple tackle paired with an offense that seemingly cannot be stopped.

I mean really, we're putting up 40 a game with a defense that is doing jack shit to help us out (yes, I know, 5 turnovers... but I believe only one of them gave us a short field, so we still needed to drive). We've had entire seasons before where the only way we were going to score points on a drive is if the defense got us the ball in FG range, and now literally every drive feels like a >50% chance of going for 6. Hell, a field goal feels like a disappointment.

I just hope this kind of offensive performance can continue for years down the line, because it definitely has shades of being unstoppable. If we can do anything to round out a competent defense to pair with it, there is some serious potential there. At the same time, this all relies on finding the next Hendon Hooker and Khalil Herbert, so maybe its best to just enjoy this season for what it is.

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

Hooker and Herbert are important; but we really need to keep finding Olinemen that can control the line of scrimmage.

Doesn't matter if it's cake or pie as long as it's chocolate.

While that's true, I still think we need to find RBs with good vision that can create something. We saw Herbert bounce outside after no hole appeared inside and turn it into something. McClease would have plowed straight into the backs of the linemen where the hole was supposed to be. I saw him do that a LOT.

Keep building a dominant O-line and the great RB's will follow

Truth.

If Herbert keeps producing like this, his stat line will open the door to a lot of recruits and transfers.

End of the day if someone wants to get paid at the next level, this offensive scheme is offering a chance to show everything a Pro team wants, at half the wear and tear.

All the running backs we've signed the past two recruiting cycles are rated higher than Herbert was coming out of high school. Perhaps the next Herbert is already on the roster, watching how it's done from the sideline.

He better be on the roster, considering 1/3 of it is running backs!

lol what a time to be alive.... never thought i'd live to see world where a VT fan minimizes forcing 5 turnovers and holding the other team to 17 as doing nothing to help out. a turnover with no short field is just as good as forcing a punt tbh.

the defense has been poor this season, unquestionably, but keeping a P5 team to 17 at least shows that we were basically treading water (edit: or more like flailing around trying not to drown) until the cavalry returned on defense. No reason not to think that we can't be even better against worse teams like UVA/Pitt/etc

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

I hope we just saw what Clemson did to GT as a dare for what we should do to UVa.

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

When defensive line and LB recruiting/portal catches up to offense, look out. Of course as soon as we get 3 great DT's in here, we will have holes on offense- lol. Cause I'm a VT fan.

yeah, I feel that

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

At this point in the season, the Hokies have played the #s 6, 7, 8, and 10 rushing defenses in the conference and are still leading the country in rushing yards per game (minimum 2 games). A truly impressive feat.

Wasn't UNC the #1 rush defense in the ACC before we played them??

Was

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Anyone else immediately notice Barry Odom's name on the assistant list?

He has been the best DC hire of the offseason so far. He has made an incredible instant impact at Arkansas.

Pure distilled SEC energy

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

As someone who enrolled at VT in 2001, and has watched this team religiously for 20 years, it's a weird feeling to be rooting for the offense to carry us through games

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Is certainly different hoping the defense gets a few stops on the day as opposed to needing them to get stops almost every drive.

It is weird knowing we can afford for the defense to allow some points

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Yeah its weird, but at the same time having an elite RB to hand the ball to feels very much like VT football.

I love the execution of our offense this year. Blocking is good across the board and it shows. My only concern is the lack of depth out wide especially with Turner potentially hurt. Hope we keep gaining huge yards on the ground so it doesn't matter.

What we lack in WR playmaking depth, we makeup in WR blocking depth. I love seeing Fairs,Hodge, Mitchell, Gallo, Smith, and Robinson mauling defenders down field.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Hell of a year for the TD pledge drive.

Maybe we should have started it earlier.

I've remarked to others on a few instances so far that this is the most dominant rushing attack I have seen from VT since the early 2000s Jones/Suggs days. You have to be really excited about what we have put together on that side of the ball. We still haven't been completely tested and had to throw to win yet, but if our OL can control the line this consistently, it will be hard to take us out of our gameplan.

If you look at our scholarship numbers and how we are recruiting numbers-wise, you can really see how it paid off to recruit greater numbers on that side of the ball, particularly at OL. But what does that mean for the defense? If we've found a recipe for success and depth on O, hopefully our D staff can land more of our top targets or rely heavily on the portal/JUCO to get more impact players. If this D can at least shore itself up and tread water this year while being opportunistic, we have a great shot in all of our remaining games.

To put in perspective how good the 1999 team was, Virginia Tech led the nation in scoring offense AND scoring defense that year.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

I am strangely more pessimistic about the state of the program after our win this week than I was after our loss last week.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

That is strange.

Why? Good things stayed good and bad things were not quite as bad.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

While I disagree with the Rubber Dutchman's comments, I think one could argue that 5 turnovers is not reproducible, and it was not a good sign that our defense gave up 435 yards.

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I agree with that. There is still plenty to be concerned about. Turnovers are not reproducible but effort is. We were arriving at the ball much more deliberately. Luck favors the prepared. This defense needs more of this, and I guarantee you there was at least some additional emphasis put on punching that ball through the tackle. So, again, still concerned but not more concerned.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

This is part of it. Outside of UNC our opponents have given us a lot of help.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

I don't think you are a downer. I think I had a similar feeling you are describing going into halftime. But, I felt like we adjusted well and showed a few sparks of defensive improvement. Opponents have helped us, but that is what happens when you are the better team and they are trying to punch above their weight class. But, we will have some tough matchups before this season is out. I am particularly worried about when the law of averages attempts to level our turnover ratio during a back and forth track meet.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I don't know exactly. I hesitated to post the comment at all because I don't want to be a downer. I'm probably just nitpicking and I don't want to be myopic. We're obviously doing some things right on the offensive side of the ball.

Proud author of one plaid comment.

Remember when the Fuente offense couldn't showcase a running back?

If I am a running back or a lineman recruit right now, I would answer the phone when VT calls.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I love the offensive production, but what will it take to sustain this over a multi-year period? Let;s make this the new standard rather than a historical aberration.

1. We know that having quality and depth at O-Line is #1.
2. We need at least one top notch back with great vision and patience, and at least good speed.
3. We need a QB that is a credible run/pass threat.

WIth the possible exception of the stud RB, that is not an insurmountable recruiting challenge. In the short term, the question will be who is that RB that can do what Herbert is doing next year?

Herbert is the RB that can do it next year since they all have 1 more year of eligibility, lol. I know that's probably not going to happen but maybe Blackshear sticks around to be the featured back? If not, King will have had this year to bulk up some and he was really promising last year as a true freshman and had a really nice kick return this past game

Blackshear is a redshirt junior so I would think he'd be back.

Good call, forgot about that

Gary is more of a power back and it will be his 3rd year in the program next year. We saw him in VERY limited action last year (coming off a big injury in HS), but think he had one nice run (out of less than a handful). King I remember being really elusive and appearing to have the kind of vision Herbert has, but undersized, so hopefully bulking up some this year - and he had that one nice return against BC. I imagine Holston will stick around. Not sure what happened to Marco Lee, but he should be available. There are a couple freshmen on the roster too, but figure they won't play unless we are destroying someone by at least 30 points and our defense is getting stops.

Basically next year I would guess we'll see a lot of Blackshear, King, and Holston/Gary.

All of this offensive success is built upon the foundation of elite blocking by primarily the linemen and secondarily the skill positions. Both have been critical to the stunning success at running the football we have witnessed. I haven't seen it mentioned yet, so I am going to ask the obvious question.

How does VT (Whit and CJF) prevent a big money SEC program (cough aTm) from swooping in and stealing Coach Vice with an offer to double (triple?) his salary at VT? I can see that train a'comin.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

How does VT (Whit and CJF) prevent a big money SEC program (cough aTm) from swooping in and stealing Coach Vice with an offer to double (triple?) his salary at VT? I can see that train a'comin.

Hope that Fuente and Vice's relationship which goes all the way back to Murray State is worth more than the offer, because we can raise his pay but I doubt we'd be able to match the highest bidder.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Hit him with a raise and extension mid-season

I think they might have done this under different circumstances. Given how much revenue we'll lose because of COVID, I think they'd take the approach of matching his salary if he gets another offer. Definitely want to keep him around and hope his relationship with Fuente keeps him even if he could be making more somewhere else.

Fortunately, I see the coaching carousel being slow this offseason.

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Well yeah, you got to fire you're coaches after 4 games like Tennessee (DL so Vance is safe)

Foster, Wiles, and Stinespring were content to work under Beamer for decades. Continuity helped us build a program, but loyalty to a fault did rear its ugly head a few times.

Can Fuente build a culture with his coaches, that stay? The offensive staff changed at RB and WR, but the rest has settled since 2016. That's a positive sign.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Counterpoint: nobody was interested at VT's level or above in poaching Wiles(unique scheme) or Stiney (obvious reason). Foster was tremendously loyal to Beamer, reportedly a gruff interview, and likely only interested in a head whistle job. Plus, Claytor Lake is in his veins.

Vice reportedly has strong ties to CJF, but if an SEC team wants him after the amazing job he's done the past 5 years putting this line together from scratch, then the money train's a'coming. Whit better dig deep and dig early, because not many coaches say "no" to $EC money and prestige.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

counter counterpoint: what SEC schools are going to give a coach 5 years to build an O-line?

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 agree, SEC teams would not give Vice 5 years to build his O-line to championship caliber. The thing is, Vice won't need to recruit as hard in that conference due to the financial, geographical and reputation advantages that the majority of SEC schools have over VT.

Having "SEC experience" on your resume is a major plus for college coaches as we all know. Don't get me wrong, I definitely want Vice to stick around with CJF as long as possible. The sad reality for VT is that our program/conference is viewed as a springboard for "higher" levels of competition and compensation. If the current level of success on the offense continues, Vice will be a hot commodity and keeping him around will be a huge challenge. Better get proactive with the salary and bonuses, or VT will be scanning the G5 programs again for an up and coming talented O-line coach.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

The running game sure is fun to watch right now.

Lol, not to call anyone out but remember last year when some of y'all said that Jerry Kill came in and had to "show us how" to run the ball?

Maybe that's exactly what happened, and VT is still reaping the benefits of Kill's advice?

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

I guess the counter-argument would be that we developed a QB who can fully operate the scheme, the proper level of talent/experience on the O-line, and an RB who can see the future.

I'm sure the truth is it's a mix of Kill's influence and proper personnel. I think French has mentioned changes in certain O-line blocking technique once Kill arrived.

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I think French has mentioned changes in certain O-line blocking technique once Kill arrived.

This is the biggest piece of it for me. I'm relying on French's expertise because I don't have the football acumen of anyone who has ever played the game. But our O-Line technique is, according to French, much improved over previous years. And the changes began around the time of Kill's hire. Coincidence? Perhaps. I'll let folks decide for themselves but I know what I believe. Kill was specifically hired to come in and advise our offensive coaches (I don't know if it was explicitly said but I assumed the running game would be the focus) and it appears that he did exactly what he came to do. And to say that "because we're able to run successfully without Kill means that Kill didn't do anything and our coaches were fine without him" completely disrespects both Kill's ability to teach and our other coaches' abilities to learn.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I mean, we've been running pretty well since then...so what's your point?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

We've been running better behind an improved offensive line, and we weren't running last year the way we're running this year (more improved line and a WAY better RB). Don't forget that the other "magical" thing that happened around when Kill arrived was we started HH at QB. As everyone on here seems to agree, HH is our biggest/best formula for success right now. So did Kill REALLY have the program defining touch on things that some of you think, or did he give us more of a nudge in the right direction and HH was the real reason we improved so much last year? If Kill was really the only reason we had success last year, we should be failing this year, especially given our defensive woes. Even French said that some of the things we're doing (and succeeding at) he didn't think would work with HH and KH.

So did Kill REALLY have the program defining touch on things that some of you think, or did he give us more of a nudge in the right direction and HH was the real reason we improved so much last year?

This is a great question and I think the point is valid. I don't believe that Kill necessarily had the "program defining touch" that you're suggesting some people think but I do think it is unfair to assume that he wasn't helpful either.

If Kill was really the only reason we had success last year, we should be failing this year, especially given our defensive woes.

I completely disagree with this premise. I'm going to assume that the coaches we have on staff are capable of learning. I'm also going to assume that Kill was brought in to advise/teach those coaches. Maybe Kill saw something that they were overlooking and by showing them something they're missing they now have an improved skillset which they can employ in his absence.

Students don't suddenly forget to do math when their math teacher isn't around to help them. That's essentially what you're saying here. Our running game was hot garbage before Kill came in. It has been on the up-and-up since he was here.

I think there is enough evidence to assume that he did what he came here to do and that was to help our coaches refine the running game. And it's a testament to the job he did that we've continued to improve, presumably with the help of what ever advice he bestowed on our coaches, in his absence.

This is not a black-and-white issue. I don't fall into the camp of folks who think Kill was the savior who fixed everything. But I am willing to acknowledge that maybe the coaches we have on staff learned something valuable from him which has paid dividends in our running success this season.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I think Kill helped, but some people on here seem to think he helped PROFOUNDLY. If the coaches weren't capable of winning, we wouldn't have played in the ACCCG in 2016. And one of the reasons why our running game was hot garbage is because our O-line used to be a mess. I remember thinking for YEARS how bad our O-line was. Now we're abusing people with our O-line. Kill didn't recruit the guys and he didn't coach them (maybe some pointers). The other factor is the RB's. McClease did better last year, but he would still run into the backs of linemen if that's where the hold was supposed to be. And he would stop running and wobble his shoulders when he came up against defenders in the backfield, like that move was better than plowing into them, stiff arming them, or something else to prevent getting tackled. Like I said, I don't disagree that Kill had an impact, but the fact that people still bring up his name really seems to mean they think he had a MUCH larger impact than you're suggesting. In your math analogy, along the lines of someone struggling to solve basic math, the teacher helps a little, student gets a tutor who helps, now student goes back to teacher and can somehow do calculus (our offensive success this year).

and the student gets all the credit for learning calculus and the tutor moves on to help some other poor kid. Some kids are smart enough to be taught, others aren't. Suggesting that wherever Kill is now should be as proficient running as we are is also silly. Maybe our coaches are better this year than they were last year. Maybe Kill helped them to get better. All I know for sure is that our running game is better than it has been as long as I've been watching the Hokies play and that is something to be excited about. We should be celebrating our success, not arguing over it's genesis

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

My point was that the narrative that Jerry Kill came in and showed us how to run the ball just seems silly now. Heck, he's got the same position at TCU now and they are back under 4 yards per carry. From memory, his Minnesota teams never ran the ball particularly well either.

And this isn't a knock on him at all. My only point is that there is no evidence that he came in mid-season and had the secret sauce to show us how to immediately run the ball. If it was that easy, every team in the country would be running the ball as well as we are right now.

Maybe the difference is that we have the parts to make a running game successful, whereas Minnesota and TCU were limited in that regard.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

It is silly. Now and then. To think one coach is going to change another experienced coach, without changing scheme, to such a degree to have the type of production we are having this year is absurd. People didnt like Corny, heard some ridiculous rumor about Kill wanting to punch him, and assumed that Corny wasn't worthy to coach pop Warner and Kill was the second coming. Unrealistic.

Was Kill helpful? I hope so. I think he is a great guy and Fuente wanted a little help to do some things he was struggling to carve out time for.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

My uneducated (in football coaching) belief is that Kill's biggest contribution was telling Fu to get his head out of the sand and run the program like he knew how to do.

I agree that this was overblown. Lots of people also hated the Lechtenberg hire because...they didn't like his haircut or something. Part of the problem is we don't really know what's going on with the program so people connect dots and base things on assumptions and hearsay. Another part is that some people are very confident in their opinions regardless of how much they have to back it up.

Zohn is a nice guy, but he was not the right guy.

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BSME 2009

Lots of people also hated the Lechtenberg hire

@OldTakesExposed

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

it's always scary to go back to those old time threads and see what you said....

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I think the Lechtenberg hire is because people wanted a resume that read like this:

Running backs coach at prestigious SEC program. Has led the P5 every year for the past 30 years in rushing totals at an average of 627 yards per game. 82 of his past 85 RBs were the number 1 NFL draft pick. Collects an annual salary of 87 cents and two packs of bubble gum.

Rather than this:

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente confirmed in December 2019 that Adam Lechtenberg has been promoted to running backs coach after previously serving as Assistant Head Coach/Executive Director of Player Development. In his previous role, Lechtenberg worked directly with Fuente in overseeing the program's recruiting efforts and managing Tech's roster. The Butte, Nebraska native originally joined the Virginia Tech staff as director of player development in March 2017.

During his tenure working with Fuente at Memphis from 2012-15, Lechtenberg served as director of player personnel, and he managed many aspects of the evaluation and recruiting process. In addition, he acted as a liaison between the football program and academics, admissions and housing, while overseeing the Tigers' walk-on program that made a substantial impact on the on-field turnaround at Memphis under Fuente. In total, 11 of his walk-ons eventually earned scholarships at Memphis, while 23 made major contributions.

Lechtenberg spent the 2016 season as passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach at the University of Tennesee at Martin. In addition to his on-field coaching duties, his recruiting territory included Alabama, Tennessee and junior colleges.

A former football student-athlete at the University of Nebraska, he began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant working with Fuente at TCU from 2007-09. He spent the 2010-11 seasons as co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Central Connecticut State

.

Message Boards: We need to focus more on recruiting!
Fuente: promotes someone with a recruiting background to coaching staff
Message Boards: Not like that!

Well he should be doing much better at recruiting then with his "background" I would argue last isn't a great place to be in.

I thought about putting a /s with my post because I do mean it more as a joke than anything. I'm very aware that there's a lot to be desired in our recruiting the past two years.

It does seem strange to put background in quotes though. Present performance notwithstanding, much of Lechtenberg's past experience in college football has had a large recruiting component.

I don't think it seems strange. As my former boss used to say. "The audio doesn't match the video." The quotation marks are a way of saying that I think most of the background is indeed resume fluff as nothing indicates otherwise.

I think most of the background is indeed resume fluff

This harkens back to my original point about people being confident in assumptions.

I don't understand the point you are making. Not uncommon for me, so don't be alarmed.

People didn't like the hire based on assumptions without knowing much about him. You are making assumptions about his background and experience in the same way. My overall point is that most people here are not working with enough information to express opinions with the confidence that they often do.

I can agree, but I think my assumptions have some real validity. I don't think I am making any crazy stretches or going from A-Z.

This is a message board. Recruiting is poor, don't you know it is our job to complain about it until we get a 4 star recruit?

Sigh, you're right. Hold on, my pitchfork is around here somewhere.