NC State Game Analysis: One to Remember

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It was a game to remember. My son, an NC State grad, may not agree with that
sentiment, but as a fan of college football it would be hard to see it any other
way. It was a game with so many big plays, a game-winning drive on both sides,
and ultimately the largest come-from-behind victory in the Frank Beamer era at
Virginia Tech. Frank Beamer has been coaching at VT a very long time, so that
last statement is saying something. Given some of the struggles of the early
season, no one could have seen that one coming. Was it the springboard the team
was looking for? That remains to be seen. What can be said is that the Hokies
are improving, but there is still a long way to go.

Game Plans At-A-Glance

Breaking down games plans is something I try to do as part of the game
analysis. That can be a challenge at times (I am guessing most of the time on
these things). For this game, the game plans were evident from the start. Let’s
take a look in a bit more detail, starting with the offense.

Offense Opens Up Wide

On November 1, 2007, one week after a difficult home loss to Boston College,
the Hokies ventured into Atlanta to play Georgia Tech. At the time, GT’s
defense was led by defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta and all of his zone-blitz
happiness. That game is remembered by most as the “stolen jersey” game and
the red-hot performance by VT QB Sean Glennon. But it also should be remembered
for the spread out, open game plan that Bryan Stinespring utilized to attack
Tenuta and his zone blitz schemes. It was a plan that worked perfectly and to
this day, many point to that game as one of Stinespring’s best as offensive
coordinator at VT.

Fast forward three years. The Hokies were again coming off a tough game with
BC and headed to Raleigh to face a Wolfpack defense coordinated by Mike Archer,
but one that had a familiar name up in the booth – LB coach Jon Tenuta. In
watching NC State game film, it was obvious that Tenuta’s fingerprints were
all over the Pack defense. And most of those fingerprints were found in the
numerous zone blitzes that State’s defense has incorporated this season.

So what was Bryan Stinespring’s plan? Just like in 2007, spread out the
defense, give the QB