2010 Defense: A Recap, and a Look Forward to the Spring

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Virginia Tech’s defense had carried the Hokies throughout the ACC era, until
the 2010 season. This year the offense had to put up big numbers at times for a
defense that was both undersized and inexperienced. Tech had to break in a lot
of defenders at key positions, and Bud Foster had to employ a nickel package as
his primary defense. Despite Foster’s efforts, the Hokies didn’t get what they
are used to getting from their defense.

Tech’s defense finished in the top 10 nationally in total defense during the
first five years in the ACC (2004-2008), and they also had a 12th place finish
last season. They gave up fewer than 300 yards per game in all six seasons. In
2010, they plummeted to 52nd in total defense, and allowed a little over 360
yards per game.

Tech Defense
 ACC Era
Year Rank
2004 4
2005 1
2006 1
2007 4
2008 7
2009 12
2010 52

The Tech defense allowed 400 or more yards in five of their 14 games this
year. In two of those games, they surrendered over 500 yards of total offense.
Only four times did they hold an opponent to fewer than 300 yards.

Here’s a stat that might amaze you. The Hokies allowed more 400+ yard games
by opponents in 2010 than they allowed from 2004 through 2009 combined.