Scouting Report: Virginia Tech Defense
The Hokies have traditionally been a multiple-front, man-to-man coverage team that relies on shutdown corners and attacking with seven or eight men around the line of scrimmage. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster has modified his scheme over the last few years and is playing fewer multiple fronts, relying more on the front four to rush the passer and shut down opposing running games. The Hokies have deployed more zone coverages in recent years, giving opponents the short-to-medium pass plays and waiting for them to make mistakes against a speedy, opportunistic defense.
At its core, the Tech defense is built around highly athletic and speedy defenders. Up front, defensive end Chris Ellis is a player that can wreak havoc on an offense; the other bookend is junior Orion Martin and he can be disruptive in his own right. Though not as productive, interior senior tackles Carlton Powell and Barry Booker are just as disruptive, especially in the run game if allowed to get penetration. The linebacker trio is arguably the best in the ACC but the key to this defense is the secondary. The corners are superb talents and free safety D.J. Parker and rover Kam Chancellor are very good athletes.
You will hear about Beamerball, flashy quarterbacks, and speedy wide receivers over the next few days but make no mistake, Virginia Tech’s success over the years has been predicated on defense. The Hokies are having another successful campaign and it is in large part due to a defense ranked among the top six nationally in rushing defense (#6), pass efficiency defense (#5), total defense (#5), and scoring defense (#4).
- The Hokies have allowed just three first half touchdowns in their last nine games.
- The Hokies have allowed just 10 points in the first quarter of their seven ACC games this season.
- During the Bud Foster era, VT has had at least one defensive player earn All-American honors every year. Four players gained All-American recognition in 1999 and three in 2001.
- The Hokies have intercepted eight passes during their last three games and forced 12 turnovers overall.
Coach Groh Says …
“Defensively, they’re their usually stifling self. They’re fourth in the country in scoring defense and that’s with whatever [the LSU score was] in there. Over the other 10 games, they’ve given up less points than almost any other team in the country. If...
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