We are very lucky to have Furrer 4 Heisman from Gobbler Country join us this week to help draft the keys to the game for VT. Hopefully his insight will be better than ours, as...well, ours is crap. His keys are below ours.
But enough about what you already know....here's what Wesley and I believe the keys to the game are this week vs. Virginia Tech!
1M) Wes Davis and Dom LeGrande staying home
Virginia Tech wants to run the ball, that’s a given. Tyrod Taylor is a running threat, that’s also a given. However, what VT is able to do on offense quickly is fairly limited unless the safeties creep up trying to stop a crazy Tyrod Taylor scramble or in run support to stop
They’re plenty talented running the ball, but BC’s D is based on making our opponents earn every yard to get down the field. Let’s play back on the safeties and make Taylor be precise with his passes if he wants to attack the Eagles downfield.
2W) Utilize the crowd
Whether bs or not by beamer alumni gets loud, and this will be a good time to show it even being a noon game and our edited version, should be able to be a factor
3M) Take a shot with Coleman deep early
VT has lost two of three, but let’s not kid ourselves, they’ve got a terrific coaching staff and we know they’re going to force Uncle Dave to beat them. Early on, BC is going to want to establish the run but that’s nearly impossible when there’s eight guys in the box. I say early on, we need to take a chance deep with the freakishly athletic Coleman and stretch them to let them know what this young man is capable. If we’re lucky, we can get on the board early. If we miss, at least we show his abilities and talents early and force them to play back a little bit.
4W) O-line cohesiveness
Especially with Mark Spinney in there, they had issues with kent, now it's vt, hopefully the 2 week break fixed this issue and restores the gpa at o line u
5M) Gause and Fletcher tackling near LOS
While some BC fans breathed a sigh of relief that BC would only have to worry about power back Darren Evans, perhaps you haven’t watched much of the Hokies this year. In addition to the powerful Evans, the kids from Blacksburg also have a little hyper sprite in their pocket named David Wilson. He’s very fast and likes to hit the hole early, but has no problem bouncing outside where many times BC forces speed backs to go.
That translates pretty simply into our corners getting off of blocks and coming up in run support once the run had been bounced outside, or at the very least containing the run so our more than adequate LB corps can come up and make the play. If Gause and Fletcher don’t tackle well on Saturday, don’t expect a BC win.
6W) Settle Shinskie early
After last years beat down courtesy of the hokies, one thing is certain, shinskie is more streaky than my college freshman year 's love life.Settle him down get some easy tosses in and then progress from there. We want more tds than int s
7M) Don’t pressure Tyrod Taylor
This one might have you scratching your head, but hear me out. Recently I was chatting with a BC defensive player who intimated that he thought Taylor wasn’t running nearly as much this year even though the situations continue to present themselves. Why we both wondered. His best guess? This is Tyrod’s final audition in a Hokies uniform before his NCAA days are over and he’s trying to prove himself to “The League” that he can be a pocket-passing NFL-caliber QB.
After watching every VT game this year, I have to say that argument actually holds a lot of weight. Taylor is taking more time than ever back in the pocket and very frequently has thrown the ball on medium and short routes when the five to ten yard run was blatantly open.
My point here? I’d rather take my chances vs. Tyrod Taylor’s arm than his legs. Let’s play back and see if he continues to try to force the action to show that he’s capable…and perhaps the BC defense can prove him wrong. It’s very unlikely we’re going to get many sacks on Taylor anyway, and the chances of him breaking contain are good to great even if we do…so the smart thing in my opinion is to let him force the throw and capitalize when he does.
8W) Herzy coming back out party
It's time VT is reminded of the Herzy of old!
9M) Stripping Darren Evans
Ever since Evans has come back, he’s running hard, but he’s also running recklessly with the ball. From the limited time he’s seen, he consistently not covering up and holding the ball out like a loaf. I expect Keeks, Herzy, and KPL to try to strip Evans and Mr. Johnny on the spot, Mr. LeGrande to be there to pick up the fumble recovery.
I think this game will be a very tight contest and turnovers are going to play an even bigger role in this game than most. Time for the D to keep up the turnovers and strip Darren Evans.
10W) DeLeon Gause KR / PR
How can I not mention gause.. Pr and kr its going to be key.. gause needs to show that he can take his close break outs to the next level 10
Okay, that's the take from two BC guys...but what about from the VT faithful...what do they think their Hokies need to do to win this Saturday in Chestnut Hill?
Gobbler Country's Keys to Victory for VT:
1G) Get Pressure Up the Middle
Shinskie and Marscovetra aren't fazed by outside pressure because of their confidence in their left and right tackles. For the Hokies to disrupt the BC passing game, they'll need to get through the middle of the BC offensive line. John Graves, who was the anchor of the Hokies' defensive line last season, has been quiet so far in 2010. That puts pressure on Antoine Hopkins, who is starting for the injured Kwamaine Battle, to get to Shinskie in four-man rush situations.
If he can't, then you'll blitz packages similar to what Virginia Tech ran against East Carolina last week. Look for Bruce Taylor and Lyndell Gibson to blitz up the middle to try and put pressure on the BC QBs. If they're successful, it will force Shinskie and Marscovetra outside the pocket and hopefully into making some of the same mistakes we saw last year in Blacksburg.
2G) Keep the Defense Fresh
The most important reason the Hokies need to establish the run game is to help their defense. The Hokies' front seven is facing a much bigger, much more physical offensive line than they're used to and if they're not careful they'll get worn down as the game goes along. Sustaining drives and converting on third-and-short and critical for the Hokies to keep their D on the sidelines.
Conversely, the Hokies' D have to force some three-and-outs. This starts with containing Montel Harris on first down and forcing the Eagles to pass.
3G) Get on the Scoreboard Early
When Montel Harris has struggled against Virginia Tech, it hasn't necessarily been because of something the Hokie D has done. It's often been because Tech jumped out to an early lead and forced the Eagles to go to the air. This happened last year in Blacksburg and in the 2008 ACCCG.
Tech needs to neutralize Montel Harris because he's BC's best offensive weapon and because it will make BC one-dimensional. It's not just up to the defense to do this, it's also up to the offense. The Hokies haven't scored an offensive touchdown in Chestnut Hill since 2002 and if that happens again, there's obviously no way they can come away with a win. They need to get in the end zone -- and do it early -- to help take the Eagles out of their game plan.
A BIG thank you to Gobbler Country for joining us this week. We hope the VT team has a short, but very influential case of food poisoning before the game but then has a great rest of the season.
All kidding aside, these have almost always been great matchups and we look forward to hopefully another great game this Saturday at Noon. Make sure to catch more of Gobbler Country over at GobblerCountry.com....and over on Twitter @GobblerCountry