Friday Q&A: September 24, 2010

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Special teams, slow starts and the strength and conditioning program are all
major topics in today’s Friday Q&A. We’ll also talk about the injury bug,
and how it has impacted the team’s performance thus far.

1) It seems to me that the football team typically begins the season pretty
slowly. Is that true? Are they slower than many other teams? Is there a reason
they start slowly? Is there a solution to the slow starts? I watched the UNC and
LSU game and, though UNC stumbled out of the gate, they played a remarkable game
with the absence of 13 players, many of them starters. I did not watch the UNC/GT
game, but apparently UNC gave them a battle. It suggests to me that the second
team for UNC is talented and ready to step up. I could be wrong but if the
Hokies were in the same position I doubt they could have played that well.

Chris Coleman: UNC is a very, very talented football team on the
defensive side of the ball. They definitely have depth on the defensive line,
and their secondary has played better than expected. Overall though, considering
Tech’s youth on defense, I think the Hokies are playing solid on that side of
the football.

As to your original point, yes, Tech does start slow offensively. There’s a
different reason each year.

2006: New quarterback, basically a new offensive line.

2007: Richard Graham in the starting lineup, Nick Marshman playing tackle,
t-Fr. QB.

2008: All freshmen at wide receiver, new running backs, below average OL.

2009: Tech played Alabama and Nebraska in the first three games.

I wasn’t expecting much in 2006, 2007 or 2008. Starting 2007 against ECU and
LSU, and ECU again in 2008, seriously exposed the flaws of each of those Tech
teams. I expected more in 2009. The Hokies looked pretty bad offensively against
Alabama and Nebraska, and in fact would have been held to less than 200 yards by
each of those teams were it not for one great play by Tyrod Taylor and Danny
Coale against Nebraska.

Still, as long as they weren’t playing top 10 defenses, the offense played
well at the start of 2009. They steamrolled Marshall, had no trouble moving the
ball against Miami, and were generally dominant up until the Georgia Tech game.
I think the 2009 offense started off the season very efficient, for a Virginia
Tech offense, at least. The Hokies