2005 Football: Matchups to Watch/Keys to the Game: Marshall

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Virginia Tech returns home this week after an impressive 34-17 win over the Mountaineers to face the
“other” team in West Virginia, Marshall. Historically, Tech has had some lapses in homecoming games (remember
Miami of Ohio and Temple from the late 90s) and after two big wins in the last two weeks, the Hokies could be a bit flat
for a young Marshall squad. However, this Virginia Tech team has been extremely poised and disciplined to date, so
hopefully we�ll see no let up for the Hokie juggernaut.

Tech�s senior leadership and business-like approach really shined last week as the Hokies survived West Virginia�s
extremely hostile environment. Virginia Tech controlled the ball and beat the Mountaineers at their own game with an
extremely efficient offense and a stout defense that, minus a couple of missed tackles, held West Virginia in check.
Before getting to Marshall, let�s take a quick look back at the West Virginia game.

Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia “post mortem”

For this game I identified three key areas to watch: (1) Tech�s linebacker play; (2) Tech�s offensive line
assignments in blocking the Stack-3 defense; and (3) Marcus Vick�s ability to read West Virginia�s active safeties.
Virginia Tech performed exceptionally well in all three areas and consequently won the game going away.

In
this game, I said that “Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi will be critical to stopping West Virginia�s varied running
attack and will need to quickly read their keys and hunt down the ball carrier.” The linebackers definitely
delivered with Hall recording 11 tackles and Adibi having 10 in what may have been their best combined effort this
season. The defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage for the most part and the linebackers did a great job
diagnosing plays and running down the elusive West Virginia running backs.

The offensive

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