VT Defense v. GT 2013

stylee

Ramblin' Wreck
Featured Member
Messages
600
(LONG POST)


A lot has been made about Foster's gamplan in this matchup. Here's what I see:


It's a 4-3 front with 7 guys in the box. The defensive tackles aren't married to one set-up. but more often than not you're seeing an inside shade tackle (between the guard and center) on the short side of the field and a head-up tackle (over the guard) on the wide side of the field. The defensive ends are playing outside shade of our offensive tackles.

The most obvious thing about the Hokie D last year was #17's role as outside linebacker/blitzer. The vast majority of the time, he lined up on the wide side of the field and came through the offensive line's B-gap. When motion came his way, he blitzed every time. When motion went away from him, he didn't. This wasn't categorically true but it happened most of the time.

The middle backer was very deep, as we've come to expect.

The secondary played at about even depth across the top - corners and safeties were level at 8-9 yards. They were man-up most of the game, a true Cover 0 with no "free" safety to help out over the top. When A-Back motion went away from him, a cornerback would keep his eyes in the backfield and try to work across the field to help out.

This is the defense. It's not exotic, it's not reading Kant or designing a bridge.
What it came down to was this: they whooped our butts.

#17's riff of bumrushing through the B-Gap was disruptive but, in theory, it should have opened up the edge: now there's nobody home there! But the defensive ends played hard and smart and FAST - when they read an outside run, they'd get outside leverage on anyone trying to block them. Complementing this inside-out attack was the safeties coming down and outsisde-in; these guys, playing man-up on the A-Backs would stick their nose into the lanes when they saw a run coming their way. Cornerbacks played the same way.

The defensive tackles were hyperactive and smart but it appeared that our interior guys played as well as we could hope. The frustrating thing wasn't getting beat head up - that's expected sometimes with tackles this talented - but with totally missed assignments. Jay Finch played consistently well.

Our offensive tackles had a tougher time. They couldn't step down on the blitzing outside backer in time and, when asked to simply slow down a defensive end's pursuit to the outside, failed most of the time.

You've got to feel for Vad in this one. He played hard, got some nice reads on the triple and on midline, but struggled seeing guys downfield and was given no help in pass protection. Of course, it's hard to see anyone open up downfield when the wide receivers are having a hard time actually get open. The defensive backs are really solid.

So the question is this: is it that they're that much more "talented" than we are?
The defensive backs ARE very talented, without question, and those guys can run with just about anyone. Smelter actually got some separation, especially with some of his broken-off short routes off the vertical stem. But they're going to be a tough matchup for most teams.

However, they're also just exceptionally well coached and game into the 2013 game really well prepared. Shedding blocks, recognizing keys, staying on your assignment - doing this stuff right will make a 3 star into a 5 star. And VT did. They were focused for this game. We were not.

We can score points on this defense if we execute well, but that requires that our guys come into this game as well prepared as THEY did last year.
 

dressedcheeseside

Helluva Engineer
Messages
13,661
Do you think the fact that JT runs the O faster than Vad will be a neutralizer? Seems like they'd be ripe for counters. What about the quick pitch we saw from Byerly in the spring game? Rocket toss? Rocket counter?
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,967
I love this post/tread. Thanks. CPJ said that their D will stop us, but also be open for big plays.

What do you think he meant? Passing or also running, both outside and inside?

@stylee
 

steebu

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
553
However, they're also just exceptionally well coached and game into the 2013 game really well prepared. Shedding blocks, recognizing keys, staying on your assignment - doing this stuff right will make a 3 star into a 5 star. And VT did. They were focused for this game. We were not.

You have to give Bud Foster a lot of credit for coaching up his D, giving them every edge possible to succeed.

Like yelling, "MOVE!" right before the snap and shifting the D-Line to make us false start. Totally legal, and our knuckleheads fell for it repeatedly in 2012 and 2013.

I wonder if PJ is going to go back to his 2012 strategy and run dive + ISV, particularly against a lighter front.

Our tackles have to play much, much better for us to even have a remote shot of beating them.
 

augustabuzz

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,106
I love this post/tread. Thanks. CPJ said that their D will stop us, but also be open for big plays.

What do you think he meant? Passing or also running, both outside and inside?

@stylee
I think he is expecting VPI to run what many have run against us this year. We have frequently seen a 4-4 with a safety centered ten to twelve yards from the ball. This leaves the corners manned which can lead to big plays passing.
 

GTNavyNuke

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
7,386
Location
Poquoson Virginia
Thanks Stylee. I was at the game and it was awful, we were just out executed. They blew up the line and prevented lateral movement is what I remember. I fully expect for them to run what was so successful last year until we show we can exploit the weaknesses. VT has only allowed an average of 86 yards rushing a game. They only need to do what they regularly do so well.

CPJ on his show last night said we'd have to pass when VT blitzes, just have to make plays. There will be open receivers and good mis-matches. We have a different team this year and the OL is much better for the rushing game. Last year we had so many injuries there was no telling who would be at what position.

Again, welcome back Stylee.
 

techdad

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
102
I am hoping CPJ has left some plays "in the bag" as we begin conference play. Also, he has not broken out the "hurry up" offense either. I still wish we would use some offensive sets that had more than 2 receivers in them.
 

4shotB

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
2,045
so if the outside AB blitzes every time motion comes his way, seems like you could find a seam in their protection with the Abacks. let the WR run deep and take the corner, then you have a safety trying to cover 2 Abacks, one setting down in the middle of the field and one on the boundary. Assuming decent pass pro this ought to be open all day against a blitz. What am i not seeing here?
 

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,033
We actually moved the ball okay at times in that game, but we would always shoot ourselves in the foot. I am in favor of attacking the edge where pressure is coming from with our speed. Some short passes to the BB would not be a bad idea either.
 

Techster

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,589
Smelter and Waller (as well as our other receivers) will have to step up in this game. Kyle Fuller is gone to the Bears. I believe Smelter is going to be a difference maker for us if we can get the ball in his vicinity. Those catches OSU receivers couldn't make, Smelter makes routinely for us. Waller is as physically imposing as any WR we've had (and we've had arguably one of the best WR runs in the past 8 years or so) and we need to see him take advantage of it.

Like Stylee said, the opportunities will be there...it was there for OSU when VT played them a couple of weeks ago. It's up to our guys to make the plays. JT can make the throws...it's whether our OL gives him enough time. I think JT is going to take a lot of hits this game so he's going to have to hang in there.

Interestingly enough, last year's game plan isn't something new. If you go back and look at the tape in our games against them, Foster has used guys to attack gaps before. Last year he just out and out declared it before the snap, which in theory makes our blocking reads easier. Our blockers just need to make plays.

Theoretically, VT is doing what other teams try to do. Make our lives hell trying to run the ball, and daring us to throw the ball. When we throw the ball we have to make them pay. If we can't, it will be another long ugly game for us.
 

Js-showman

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
273
#17 tore us up last year, but what I recall most is that the timing of the plays seemed to be completely disrupted by their defensive scheme. There was one series where we had numerous false starts that were flat out fugly.
But didn't it seem that the coaches were just as confused as to how to counter the Defense that Foster threw at them as the players were? With #17 consistently crashing the gap, or pretending to do so, that position of the field was left open for exploitation. Seems like a quick throw to the A back in the area of the vacated LB position would have burned their a$$ quite a bit.

I'd be interested to know what others would throw at VT if/when they do the same thing this year.
 

Longestday

Helluva Engineer
Featured Member
Messages
2,742
The VT game will follow our passing protection ability and JT's ability to hit the open receivers. The routes will have to be fast as I am not sure JT will have more than 3 seconds to pass.

VT will play a safe game and go for zero turn overs with runs and short passes. I do not think they will pull the GSU successful long passes unless they get behind. They will depend on stopping us and causing turnovers in short field positions like last year.

I hope I am wrong and we can score with runs even with 8 in the box against VT. The past says passing with receptions is the key.
 

alaguy

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,117
Smelter and Waller (as well as our other receivers) will have to step up in this game. Kyle Fuller is gone to the Bears. I believe Smelter is going to be a difference maker for us if we can get the ball in his vicinity. Those catches OSU receivers couldn't make, Smelter makes routinely for us. Waller is as physically imposing as any WR we've had (and we've had arguably one of the best WR runs in the past 8 years or so) and we need to see him take advantage of it.

Like Stylee said, the opportunities will be there...it was there for OSU when VT played them a couple of weeks ago. It's up to our guys to make the plays. JT can make the throws...it's whether our OL gives him enough time. I think JT is going to take a lot of hits this game so he's going to have to hang in there.

Interestingly enough, last year's game plan isn't something new. If you go back and look at the tape in our games against them, Foster has used guys to attack gaps before. Last year he just out and out declared it before the snap, which in theory makes our blocking reads easier. Our blockers just need to make plays.

Theoretically, VT is doing what other teams try to do. Make our lives hell trying to run the ball, and daring us to throw the ball. When we throw the ball we have to make them pay. If we can't, it will be another long ugly game for us.

East Carolina beat them PASSING-400 yds. VT high risk/hi reward def got burned.If we beat them ,this the key.Timely running with big passes.well, good in theory.
Of course ,then our def has to play only TWICE as well as previously.Good luck.
 

jchens_GT

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
573
Location
Georgia
East Carolina beat them PASSING-400 yds. VT high risk/hi reward def got burned.If we beat them ,this the key.Timely running with big passes.well, good in theory.
Of course ,then our def has to play only TWICE as well as previously.Good luck.
We are obviously far from elite, but we still have the potential to be a good, feisty team that frustrates and can beat any of our remaining opponents. I am very curious to see how we play Saturday. I think our performance in this game and our response to its outcome when we play Miami and Duke will set the tone and patterns for the remainder of the season.

I love the fight in this team so far, but the inconsistency and the poor defensive play worry me (just like everyone else who has been paying attention). I have noticed improvement on offense through the first three games. I have not noticed very many steps forward on defense so far. A few bright spots here and there, but the collective, end result of each game seems to be about the same for the D.
 

redmule

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
656
Watched the VT/ECU game yesterday. Unless their qb really elevates his play, their offense will cost them some more games. Tulane's qb looked better to me. ECU had some talent on the DL no doubt, but VT's OL did not block well IMO. I think we get a couple of interceptions. I loved the fact that when the game was on the line late, when VT had the momentum and the crowd, ECU went 65 yards in three or four plays to score the winner. VT's defense looked clueless on that drive and for most of the first half. They were beaten deep many times on what were essentially jump balls. Either VT was very flat after OSU, or Urban has a big problem. The thing that scares me the most is that every since the first day that VT entered the conference, they have been the refs favorite team. Not sure where the refs were from, but the number of times ECU got called for pass interference on touches when VT was mauling receivers was disgusting. VT can be beaten, and even if we lose, we are not out of the Coastal race at all.
 

takethepoints

Helluva Engineer
Messages
4,495
Good post and I learned a lot from it.

Now we need a post about what will decide the game: VT Offense v. GT Defense 2014. If we play decent D, we could win this one. Expect some no-huddle, despite the Turkies not hang used it before, say I.
 

alaguy

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,117
Watched the VT/ECU game yesterday. Unless their qb really elevates his play, their offense will cost them some more games. Tulane's qb looked better to me. ECU had some talent on the DL no doubt, but VT's OL did not block well IMO. I think we get a couple of interceptions. I loved the fact that when the game was on the line late, when VT had the momentum and the crowd, ECU went 65 yards in three or four plays to score the winner. VT's defense looked clueless on that drive and for most of the first half. They were beaten deep many times on what were essentially jump balls. Either VT was very flat after OSU, or Urban has a big problem. The thing that scares me the most is that every since the first day that VT entered the conference, they have been the refs favorite team. Not sure where the refs were from, but the number of times ECU got called for pass interference on touches when VT was mauling receivers was disgusting. VT can be beaten, and even if we lose, we are not out of the Coastal race at all.

Mule,
the VT QB looked great vs osu up there,.he made plays. The whole team was flat for EC apparently--er, like us in 2nd half.
I wish they had won.A mad Hokie is a bad Hokie,I'm afeared.Even if their confidence is dented some.
 

YJAlleyCat

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
452
Location
Atlanta
Mule,
the VT QB looked great vs osu up there,.he made plays. The whole team was flat for EC apparently--er, like us in 2nd half.
I wish they had won.A mad Hokie is a bad Hokie,I'm afeared.Even if their confidence is dented some.

Our team ought to be mad also at how they played last Saturday. They could very easily have been in the same boat as VT.

Should be an interesting match this year - two teams that are hungry and unhappy with their last game. We will see who wants it more, and who is willing to fight the hardest to win. I am hoping for a four quarter effort from Tech (the real one, not poly).
 
Top