The State of the Program, 2010: The Offense

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The subject of Bryan Stinespring and the Virginia Tech offense has been
beaten like a dead horse since the Hokies joined the ACC. Today, we are going to
beat it some more. Warning: if you’re dead set against Bryan Stinespring as
Virginia Tech’s offensive coordinator, reading today’s article is probably a
waste of your time.

Since 2004, Virginia Tech’s offense has not been as productive as Virginia
Tech’s defense. However, this article isn’t going to be a Bryan Stinespring
witch hunt. There are plenty of reasons for the decline of Tech’s offense during
the ACC era, and we’re going to get into all of them.

Before we get into the numbers, it’s important to remember the basic
philosophies of the Virginia Tech offense and what their goals are each and
every game. There are several important philosophies.

1) Establish the running game to control the clock and gain the physical
and psychological advantage. When the opposing team knows they are
physically inferior, the chances of them quitting or making mental errors goes
way up.

2) Establish the playaction pass off a successful running game. A
successful VT offense generally doesn’t throw the ball more than 15 times per
game. When they do throw the ball, in theory it should be very effective because
the Hokies have already established the running game.

3) Control the ball. Don’t turn it over and give the other team extra
chances to win the game.

Beside those main philosophies, there are also game-to-game goals such as
averaging a 45% success rate on third down, completing 60% of their passes and
winning the time of possession battle. Success in these in-game goals goes hand
in hand with success in their overall offensive philosophies. You can’t control
the clock without converting on third downs, and you can’t convert on third
downs without a good running game. It all ties in together.

Because of their ball control, methodical approach to offense, even a very
good Virginia Tech offense isn’t going to put up the numbers that some other
offenses will register with different coaching philosophies. However, a good
Tech offense is of great service