Scouting Report: Georgia Tech

Eric's Notes

Based on talent, I think VT is the better team, as does Vegas.

However the difference isn't that great and there are hidden X's and O's that look to favor the Ramblin' Wreck a bit. Virginia Tech likes to use a double tight end set vs Al Groh's 3-4 defense. Those two tight ends help form a seven man offensive line, that spreads Groh's 3-4 wide. That's a hat on a hat with Groh's deep safeties too far off the line to help in the run game. This year the Hokies are lacking a second tight end, will this allow GT to have a man run free?

Defensively, we know Bud has spent A LOT of time trying to figure out how to slow down the Flexbone (it's not a spread) option. Unfortunately Bud's best unit this season is a 3-3-5 that features 2 iffy linebackers. He has stated in not so many words to expect to see multiple looks and fronts, but I am pretty sure it's going to take four good, full time defensive lineman and three gap controlling linebackers no mater which way he designs it. Simultaneous play like that would be a first for the season.

I do expect Bud to disrespect the pass playing a safety over the top and manning up the wide outs.

GT's offensive line has underwhelmed this season, much like VT's defensive line.

Joe's Notes

Six Pick: Week Ten

Welcome everyone, it's Week 10 of the Six Pick and I only have one game on my mind, VT vesus GiT. I'm not alone, 99% of you reading this are with me and I suspect the pregame tension is building with you as well. As a fan, you want every game, but some have that little extra to it, the ones where you want the win so bad you can taste it. That's Hokies-Yellow Jackets. It's Tuesday night and already my anxiety levels are skyrocketing. I fully expect to be bouncing off the walls by Wednesday morning. I sure hope my new workplace is OK with me wanting to square up and knock the piss out the next person who walks in my office wearing any navy or gold. Note to self, drinking coffee this week was a bad idea.

This week's Six Pick is going to be a bit different. It's GiT week and every other game is going to get short changed, I make no apologies for this. In this column, it's the game of the week and my personal Hokie Game of the Year and it will be discussed last. But first, a 'lil teaser of what I expect to see on Thursday.

To the other games...

The Key Play 2.0

When I launched the site earlier in March I had no idea what type of response to expect from it. I just knew I loved the Hokies and I wanted to create a place where myself and others could discuss the team rationally, toss around some numbers and have fun. The positive feedback was more than I expected. As the site continues to grow I want to enable more community features and make them easier to use. Up until now, you've been able to comment and start discussions in the forum. Now you can blog. Under your user menu on the left sidebar just click "Blog Entry" underneath "Create content" and, boom, you have the power to publish. This is the first in a series of changes coming your way.

If you have any suggestions or feedback on ways we can improve or features you would like to see please let us know.

With all of that said, thank you for your support, welcome to The Key Play 2.0, and Go Hokies!

Q&A with From The Rumble Seat

This week we're doing something new around here. I've exchanged questions and answers pertaining to Thursday night's game with our friend Bird of the Georgia Tech blog From The Rumble Seat. Here are Bird's answers to my questions. Be gentle to him. I hope you find his answers to be as fun and informative as I did. Everyone say thank you Bird.

1. Last year the Perfect Option averaged 422.1 yards per game and 33.8 points per game compared to 402.1 yards per game and 29.5 points per game this season. Why has the offense taken a step back?

The biggest downgrade at any individual position from 2009 to 2010 was at wide receiver. We lost an NFL first round receiver and replaced him with young or untested receivers. Stephen Hill has had a tough season particularly in the recent historical comparisons department.

Nesbitt doesn't deliver an easy-to-catch ball and his receivers appear to have gloves made of concrete. Simply put, the passing game is doing us in. We can't stretch the field vertically. Defensive backs can play the pitch rather than having to worry about a deep bomb.

Week 10 BlogPoll Ballot

My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the movers, shakers and frozen.

  • I swapped Boise State with TCU because I believe TCU has been more dominate relative to the competition they've each played. I really hate having to judge a team by how the teams they've played have performed. Can we just get a playoff already?
  • LSU moves up even though they were on a bye week. Their defense has been spectacular, and I probably overacted too much after they lost to Auburn. On a neutral field, I'd favor them against any team I've ranked below them.
  • Nebraska thumped Mizzou and each rise and fall, too much, respectively.
  • Sparty takes an extra-large drop after being pummeled by Iowa, they've looked terrible 7 of their 8 last quarters of football.
  • Florida State lost a game that in every alternative reality they win, but they lost so they drop.

I'll be submitting my final ballot on Wednesday, so if you have any suggestions get them in before then.

Bring on the Slop

The first bit of knowledge imparted to me by my first professor at Tech was, "If you don't like the weather in Blacksburg, just wait five minutes." That turned out to be sage advice.

It's supposed to be cold and rainy in Blacksburg on Thursday night. On Thursday night we play Georgia Tech, but you already knew that. I don't know if it will end up raining any more than I know if we'll win, but I want it to rain, buckets, and I want us to win.

Georgia Tech's option offense heavily involves pitching the ball around. They gain a lot of yards on the ground, but they don't execute flawlessly. They fumble a lot.

Fumbles Lost Since '08

Year Hokies Bees
2010 6 (42nd) 10 (110th)
2009 10 (49th) 12 (79th)
2008* 8 (28th) 20 (118th)
*Paul Johnson's first year at GT.

Rain means a slicker ball and a greater chance for Georgia Tech fumbles and turnovers.


At 6-0 the mascot mock is now ranked 23rd in the BCS.

Al Groh is UVa tested and Buzz approved.

Six Pick: Week Nine

BCO's College Football TV Viewing Guide

Welcome to the Six Pick Trick or Treat edition. While this isn't some World Wide Leader Superlative Saturday like "Monster" or "Show me", there are some intriguing matchups. This week due to some studying for certification I need for gainful employment, the column will run a bit short. I plan to make it up to myself by heavily drinking Thursday starting around lunch at the Bier Garden. This Six Pick will also be done A cappella, with only my limited knowledge and strong personal bias guiding me, to hell with cfbstats this week.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the greatest amateur weekend of the year, Halloween. So If you bail on the late games for parties to get your drink on and see some skimpily dressed ladies I understand and fully endorse this decision. If you're an old, married and tired father like I am then you will be on your living room sofa taking in the games. For those missing Herbie and Musburger I promise to watch for you, if you promise to post pics of all the lovely ladies of the evening for me.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

A Little Housekeeping

The crazy 2010 season has left us no time to sweep around our own porch. Things are now a little more relaxed with the bye week. So let's take care of some outstanding items.

2010 Memorabilia Contest Winners

  • hokietriana
  • Zegolf
  • HokieGal
  • Linze2

2010 Trivia Final Standings

  1. Winner - VTJawo 14
  2. vtbaz 12
  3. The Miz 11
  4. RonMexicoRules 4
  5. magduffs 2
  6. furrer4heisman 2
  7. hokieshark 1
  8. 1MoreHokie 1
  9. hokie4u2c 1
  10. Hokie_Wolf 1

Standby for an email if you've won.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

O'Brien Award Snubbed Tyrod

The Davey O'Brien Foundation released their semifinalists for the 2010 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award today. It came as a surprise to me that Tyrod Taylor was not among the final 16 quarterbacks. Through eight games I believe Tyrod can hold his own against any quarterback in America. No, he isn't going throw for 3,500 or even 2,500 yards in a season, he doesn't play in an offense that generates gaudy or even flashy statistics. However, he makes the most of his opportunities and produces big plays.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

The Touchdowns

The last couple of weeks the film study has focused on things we did wrong. Enough of that bunk, let's take an in depth look at our five touchdowns.

1st and Goal at the Duke 14

This is a simple four man pattern off of the play-action fake. Boykin runs a 5-yard in, Dyrell streaks down the middle of the field to the end zone, Andre Smith runs a post to the corner of the end zone and with no one to block Kenny Younger is going to leak out of the backfield into the flats.

The first thing I noticed about this play was the great protection. The offensive line nailed their blocks and Darren Evans chopped down the blitzing linebacker.

Duke man covered Andre Smith with a safety. Smith ran a fantastic post route and split the safety and corner helping over the top. It was an all too easy touchdown.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Week 9 BlogPoll Ballot

My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the movers, shakers and frozen.

  • Oregon or Auburn? Oregon has looked more dominate, but Auburn has beaten better teams. I'm going with the Ducks because I'm infatuated with the Blur.
  • Mizzou travels to Nebraska this Saturday; both tagteamed the state Oklahoma over the top rope. We'll know a lot more about each team after they play. For now Mizzou gets a huge bump, because they're undefeated. Nebraska's loss to Texas is an even bigger blemish on their resume after the 'Horns got dropped by Iowa State.
  • Florida State drops because I should have bumped them down last week after they struggled with BC.
  • Iowa's losses are respectable, as soon as they notch a quality win they'll move up.
  • I didn't think I'd rank Virginia Tech before we played Georgia Tech, but then a lot of other teams lost and we started playing offense.

I know this ballot is a mess. Let me know what I need to change before Wednesday.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Hokie Happenings

Your sights and sounds of Blacksburg or wherever Hokie Nation is headed.

I hope at some point, someone was wearing that pumpkin on their head.

via: @Slicktrip

Enter Sandman from the North Endzone, aka the happiest place on Earth.


DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Midseason FEI

Good afternoon class, for today's math less we're going to have guest lecturer Brian Fremeau explain the Fremeau Efficiency Index. The floor is all yours Brian.

The principles of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) can be found here. FEI rewards playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punishes losing to poor teams more harshly than it rewards defeating poor teams. FEI is drive-based, not play-by-play based, and it is specifically engineered to measure the college game.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Six Pick: Week Eight

BCO's College Football TV Viewing Guide

Correction: LSU is +6 vs Auburn

I’m bringing a full sixer to your living room this week. It’s tastier than last week’s sampler too. Keep your remotes in hand and be ready to start flipping at 3:30 and again at 8:00. A disturbing trend over the last decade is the lack of quality games at noon. Due to TV maximizing viewers, almost all the big time games are at 3:30 or later on Saturdays. To make it worse, this season has yielded a bad crop of Thursday night games. Trying to keep up with three games worth watching at the same time is a bit annoying. Speaking of crappy nooners, our Hokies face the doookies as the Jefferson Pilot ACC Network game of the week. The Hokie O will likely pile on the points and I expect the D will look a lot better this week with more favorable matchups. In two weeks the rest of the Hokie games will mean something, both in conference and nationally again. The Gobblers will be back in the Six Pick soon!

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Subject 8

There's no guarantee that Hawaii Five-0 will stay on the air longer than the mascot mock stays undefeated.

The cutout is here (1).

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Week 8 BlogPoll Ballot

My full ballot is after the jump. Here's a quick justification of the movers, shakers and frozen.

  • Oregon remains at number one for now, but there will be a reshuffling next week after Oklahoma-Mizzou and Auburn-LSU.
  • Should Ohio State be lower? They got whipped by Whiskey and the Miami victory isn't much to brag about.
  • Nebraska: K-State made them look like world beaters, Texas made them look like doormats. Will the real Nebraska please stand up? They'll need quality wins to move up in my poll.
  • I was waiting to see if West Virginia stumbled against USF like they've done 3 of the last 4 years. They did not, so welcome.
  • K-State is here because they're 5-1, but they got clobbered by Nebraska and their best win is versus UCLA. Should they stay on?
  • Should Virginia Tech be ranked? I slotted in UNC over the Hokies. The Heels are missing a quality win, but they don't have a bad loss (cough JMU, cough).

As you can see, I need your help. Let me know how I should reorder this mess before I submit my final ballot Wednesday morning.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Breaking Down Wake's 21 Points

The only letdown in an otherwise dominating performance against Wake Forest a Bud Foster defense that surrendered 21 points. Let's look at Wake's three scoring drives a little more in depth. Note that I use the word drive very liberally, because all the points came on three big plays.

1st Drive

1st and 10 at Wake 22

Wake's receivers are confused as to where they should line up after they get up to the line and motion. Quarterback Tanner Price calls a timeout before the play clock expires.

1st and 10 at Wake 22

After a little play action fake Price rolls out to his right. Steven Friday doesn't bite on the fake and applies immediate pressure. Price throws a low ball for an incomplete pass. Davon Morgan had the intended receiver blanketed in coverage

2nd and 10 at Wake 22

Wake center Russell Nenon snaps the ball, pulls to his left, and kicks out Lyndell Gibson who is over pursuing providing running back Josh Harris all sorts of running room. Both Eddie Whitley and Antone Exum are frozen for a bit while reading the play as it develops. There's no chance of them scraping to the ball and they both immediately start in pursuit down the field. Gibson needs to make that tackle at the point of attack and can't be taken out of the play that easily.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Nosal's Nub

If gruesome is your thing, then the picture is after the jump.

DISCLAIMER: Blog posts may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.