Raleigh Hokie’s Midseason View

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We’re halfway through the season, and it’s time to take a look at some
developing trends on both sides of the ball. Raleigh Hokie breaks that down for
us today.

In case you didn’t notice, Raleigh Hokie wasn’t able to do a game analysis
for Boston College or Central Michigan. His full-time job is cutting into his
schedule quite a bit this year. We know you all want to get his take on the game
and the program, however, so we came up with a solution: a phone interview,
which we transcribe into article format. That saves Raleigh a lot of time, and
it also gets you your weekly fix.

Offense

How Teams are Scheming against Tech, and How Stinespring Responded Against
Central Michigan

Tech certainly did a lot more spread against CMU than we usually do. They did
it a lot more than I think the coaches would prefer to do. The reason they are
doing that is because everybody is playing us the same way and we haven’t
figured out how to beat it yet. It goes all the way back to last year. What
we’re seeing almost every game is every defense playing the safeties shallow.

They aren’t playing in the box, but they are playing shallow. They are lining
up about eight yards deep. It’s like what Virginia Tech does defensively. The
coaches call Tech’s defense a two deep safety look, but they almost never play
both safeties deep. They are always pretty shallow. One safety is typically
aggressive against the run, and the other will play out in coverage.

Because the offensive line isn’t really controlling the line of scrimmage,
that extra safety is getting easily involved in the run game. Sometimes defenses
don’t even need the safety up because the linebackers or the defensive line are
making plays.

As a response to that alignment, Virginia Tech is taking shots downfield, but
they aren’t having a lot of success. They hit two of three of those in the
Tennessee game. Danny Coale caught one, Boykin caught one right before the half.
Tech is trying to get the ball deep so the safeties will back up, but they don’t...