Georgia Tech Game Analysis: Hokies Tough Out Big Win

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I’m
sure I reacted the same as most Hokie fans. When the schedule came out earlier
this year, I looked at the Monday night game to start the season against Boise
St and then I looked at the four game stretch in November to close the season.
First up on that four game closing stretch was Georgia Tech. I’m sure I speak
for all Hokie fans when I say that I am relieved to get past GT with a victory
in hand. The Jackets played one of their best games of the season, but it wasn’t
enough to steal a Thursday night win in Lane Stadium. It was Virginia Tech that
pulled out the 28-21 win to further secure the top spot in the ACC’s Coastal
Division.

The main questions going into the game was how would Bud Foster game plan
against Paul Johnson’s flex option offense, and how would the Tech offense
prepare for another look at an Al Groh 3-4 defense?

Let’s take a look …

VT Defense vs. GT Offense

Bud
Foster’s group has now faced Paul Johnson’s version of the option offense three
times. The first two times, Foster went with a game plan that was heavily
oriented to 8-man fronts in order to get more players near the line of
scrimmage. Made sense right? Johnson’s offense is heavily run-oriented, and
getting more defenders up close is a proven way to defend the run.

Getting that many defenders near the line of scrimmage is particularly
effective in defending the dive option. The first two years, GT had a real
weapon at the B-back spot in Jonathan Dwyer. Foster’s first priority was to
contain Dwyer and force QB Josh Nesbitt to go away from the dive option. It
worked the first year, but overplaying the dive creates a weakness on the
perimeter and GT was able to exploit that weakness last year in Atlanta.

Let’s dig a little deeper into that before we discuss how Foster game-planned
the Jackets last Thursday night. With an 8-man front,

...