Shine Up the Cup: Reviewing a Dominant Virginia Tech Victory over UVA

Analyzing 13 plays of Virginia Tech's thrashing of UVA in the Commonwealth Cup. Breaking down successful match zone concepts, one-on-one battles in the trenches, an offensive scheme that dictated where defenders went and that reverse.

[Virginia Tech Athletics]

Despite dominating weaker ACC opponents earlier in the season, smashing Virginia 55-17 in the Commonwealth Cup felt different. The Hokies corralled the Cavaliers' best players, won all three phases of the game, and physically controlled the line of scrimmage. The end result was a cathartic release, jubilation after a dominant victory over a hated rival, celebrated on their turf, and perhaps for the first time since the graduation of the core of the last great Bud Foster defense, it felt like the Virginia Tech program turned a corner. Relief, hope, and joy permeated Virginia Tech fans as they spilled onto the Scott Stadium field after the final whistle. Virginia Tech whipped UVA's ass, leaving no doubt which program had the momentum going into 2024.

'You Know Nothing French60Wasp' — Chris Marve uses Zone to Match Washington

Well, after a week of this analyst lamenting the use of matching-zone coverages against a top notch wide receiver and calls for Dorian Strong to play man on the slot, defensive coordinator Chris Marve went right back to matching against all-world receiver Malik Washington. To their credit, the collective of Keonta Jenkins, Caleb Woodson, Jayden McDonald, Jalen Stroman, and Jaylen Jones bracketed him extremely well, minimizing big plays even as he racked up 14 mostly unimpactful catches. The key moments were early in the game, as the match coverage kept Washington short of the sticks on third downs to force three and outs. Initially though, Tech had some shaky moments playing zone.

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