Tuesday Thoughts: Football, the ACC and Recruiting

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Well, that certainly wasn’t expected. Tech was hammered at the line of
scrimmage on both sides of the ball in the second half, and lost to Stanford
40-12 in a game that wasn’t nearly as entertaining as everyone thought it would
be.

If you watched the pregame show on ESPN last night, you saw Jessie Palmer,
Kirk Herbstreit, Lou Holtz and Mark May all pick Virginia Tech to beat Stanford.
Though Will and I both picked Stanford, we thought it was going to be a close
game that could go either way. And for a half of football, that’s exactly what
it was. However, that second half was one that I’d just as soon forget.

Let’s talk a little defense first. Stanford mainly used power formations last
night, running and throwing out of two and three tight end sets. Once they
established a running threat, their playaction game became very effective.
Basically, the offense we saw from Stanford last night is exactly how Frank
Beamer would like his offense to look, but the Hokies aren’t as good in the
trenches as the Cardinal.

With Stanford using so many power formations, Bud Foster went with his base
defense for most of the game, rather than the nickel package. However, Tech’s
base defense is pretty much a nickel package in its own right, with the whip
linebacker a hybrid outside linebacker and defensive back. Tech’s defense is
always going to be a bit on the small side as a result. That’s fine for ACC
play, but when Tech has to play a non-conference game against a team with a
physical offensive line, things haven’t gone as well.

The Hokies played three teams this year against teams that I would classify
as really big and physical up front: Boise State, Miami and Stanford. Here’s how
the Tech defense fared against the run in those games.

Tech
Rush Defense vs. Boise, Miami and Stanford
Team Rushes
...