Frank Beamer always says that in any sport there will be tough losses. But
the true measure of a team is its ability to rebound from adversity. The
adversity has never been more evident than last Thursday night as the Hokies hit
the road to face a tough Georgia Tech team just seven days after a gut-wrenching
last second home loss to Boston College. No team could have rebounded more
decisively. The resilient Hokies shook off the BC loss and dominated the Yellow
Jackets in all three phases of the game, sending the home crowd to the exits
early and the ESPN TV broadcast into a CSI episode on stolen jerseys and a side
lesson on the Teletubbies.
For the first time the Hokies demonstrated the identity that had evaded them
all season. The defense stuffed the run and forced turnovers, the offense
controlled the ball and closed drives with touchdowns, and the special teams hit
for big plays. It was the performance everyone had been waiting to see and it
came on the heels of one of the most devastating losses in the program’s
Over the years, “Beamer Ball” has been defined by strong defense
and special teams. After so many examples over the years (including Thursday
night), I would add “resilient” to the description.
This was a game where two excellent game plans were well executed on both
sides of the ball. As with most teams, John Bond and GT’s offense struggled to
sustain drives against Bud Foster’s defense. On the other side, Bryan
Stinespring and the Hokie offense always seemed one step ahead of Jon Tenuta and
his vaunted zone blitzing defense.
Let’s break down each game plan and analyze how each was executed on the
field, starting with the offense.
Offensive Game Plan
Georgia Tech’s defense is known for their wide array of zone blitz looks —
they will bring anyone at any time from any position, normally playing some form
of zone coverage behind the pressure. It’s a defense that can be very difficult
to read pre-snap, and they bank on the fact that they can get to the QB before
he can find the open receiver down the
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