Friday Q&A: August 6, 2010

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After a quiet summer, Raleigh Hokie is back! He answers questions about
Virginia Tech’s defense, as well as Tyrod Taylor and the Hokie offense in
today’s Friday Q&A.

Have any questions for a future Friday Q&A? Send them to [email protected].

(1) With our ability to generate pressure with the down four in question, do you
expect Bud to dial up more blitz packages and gamble a bit more?

Raleigh Hokie: That will vary depending on the opponent, but it is very
unlikely that we will see a lot of blitzing against Boise State. In my opinion,
if we see man blitzes at all it will be limited to favorable down/distance
situations – 2nd and 10+, 3rd and 10+. As usual, I do think we will see Bud
Foster use zone pressures, but more against the Boise State running game.

Their offense is built around physical play at the line of scrimmage and a
quick-game passing attack. They invite defenses to blitz them – that is what
they want. They use formations, shifts and motion to identify the one-on-one
matchups and then read pressure at the snap. If the defense blitzes, they have
built-in quick-game concepts to cut off routes, go hot, or use dump offs to
secondary receivers and running backs.

With their experience at the skill positions, I am expecting Boise State to
use personnel packages and formations to intentionally trigger a blitz from the
Tech defense. For example, history (and game film) has shown that Bud Foster
loves to blitz when the offense empties the backfield. Normally, that is an
automatic read/hot adjustment when a back empties by going in motion, or if the
offense goes with 5-wide personnel. On many occasions, Foster has shown a
tendency to go Cover-0 in those situations.

It is very doubtful he will have that hot adjustment in the game plan against
Boise State. Their offense is the type that will intentionally attempt to draw
the blitz by emptying the backfield only to go one-step and throw to their best
one-on-one matchup outside. Showing new formations and inviting blitzes is
typically how they get receivers running down the field uncovered for an easy