2009 Tennessee Game Analysis, Part One: Tech Offense Plays a Complete Game

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That was quite a performance. Outside of a handful of plays, the Hokies
executed flawlessly on both sides of the ball. It was evident that the Hokies
prepared better, game planned better, and practiced better than their
counterparts from Knoxville. And when it was time to play, the Hokies did that
better as well. It was an impressive display of power, precision and toughness.
At the end, Tennessee was gassed and frustrated. This was not what they expected
– to be physically beaten in all phases of the game. And for the Hokies, the
lopsided victory capped off another terrific season of Tech football.

I considered a lot of angles when analyzing the game for this article. After
watching the replay a few times and organizing my notes, I decided the best
angle was to focus on the two things that mattered most – the game planning by
the coaches and the execution by the players. The plan looked great on paper. It
looked even better on the field in the Georgia Dome. All things considered, it
might have been Tech’s best performance of the decade. And that’s saying
something, especially for a team that averaged 9.9 wins per year over those 10
seasons.

Let’s dig into the details….

Key Sequence

Before breaking down the game plans, I wanted to highlight a six minute
stretch of the game that fueled Tech’s big second half performance. One of the
oldest beliefs in football is that games are often determined by the last five
minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half. They
certainly were big in this game.

Initially, it looked like Tennessee was going to have the upper hand heading
to halftime when they cashed in a Tech turnover to tie the score at 14-14 with
18 seconds to go in the first half. And they knew they had the ball first
starting the third quarter.

But the half wasn’t over just yet. To the surprise of some (not me), the
Hokies did not take a knee and head to the locker

...