2008 Virginia Game Analysis: Defensive Adjustments and Ball Control Offense Key Big Win

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Another Tech / UVa game is in the books and the Commonwealth Cup stays in
Blacksburg. This one was a little strange, a little dicey, but fun to watch.
Five different players took snaps at the QB position and none of that switching
around was due to injury. Strange indeed. In the end, it was the Hokies who
prevailed and the win vaulted them into the ACC Championship game for the third
time in the last four years.

Let’s take a look at how they did it this time.

Defense Surprised Early

Rumors all week had UVa toying with the idea of using Vic Hall at QB. Not
only did they toy with the idea, they featured it. It was a limited package that
included some read option, some direct snap / single wing type stuff, and a
handful of passing plays.

Why did UVa choose to go that route this late in the season? Regular QB Marc
Verica had struggled with interceptions down the stretch and it seemed evident
that the UVa coaches were not confident that Verica could be successful against
the multiple coverages used by the Tech defense.

Instead, their game plan was to get a jump on the Hokies early by using
something very new and different, run the clock and limit Verica’s attempts down
the field against the Tech pass defense. The downside of that approach was that
Verica was never able to develop any type of rhythm, especially when they needed
him to deliver at the end of the game.

They had a lot of success early with Vic Hall running the show. He
demonstrated his playmaking abilities and confirmed why many believe he should
have been used on offense much earlier in his career. He has one year left and I
suspect he will get a lot more opportunities on offense for the Wahoos in 2009.

What did he do so well early and how did Bud Foster and the Tech defense
adjust to it later? Early on, the biggest factor was that UVa was able to