Running Game Looks to Gain Rhythm Against Clemson

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The Hokies had their final tuneup of the season against Marshall on
Saturday. Now, Clemson comes to town. Raleigh Hokies talked about
both games in our weekly interview.

The following is a transcription of a phone interview with Raleigh Hokie.

A lot of fans have been talking about the running game over the last couple
of weeks. What are your thoughts on the running game so far?

The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter who the running back is, Virginia
Tech is going to run the ball up the middle. We’re a downhill offense. That’s
the whole premise. We run the ball downhill, we block downhill, we throw the
ball downhill. We do everything downhill. It’s a power-based offensive scheme.
Run it downhill, then playaction and throw it vertically. That’s the foundation
of the offense, and everything works from that. Tech has to run the ball between
the tackles, no matter who the running back is.

Do we need to run Wilson more to the outside? That really depends on how the
defense is playing him. Some teams are showing the safeties to the inside, and
some are showing them to the hash. You don’t want to run outside when they are
showing a perimeter, outside-in base defense. You have to be able to run inside
there.

I don’t think Tech is doing too much of any one particular thing. We’re
showing more shotgun running game than I thought we would show. We are showing
more spread than I thought we would. I thought Logan Thomas would be under
center more than he has been. In my mind, we’re actually showing more of the
spread edge formations than I expected. I don’t think we need to change any of
that.

The running game is inconsistent, even though we’re piling the yards up.
They’re just not in sync yet. Everything has to work in a matter of rhythm. The
running backs, the line, the tight ends, the h-backs, the receivers … they
have to be in rhythm with each other, as a zone blocking team. Zone blocking is
all about rhythm and establishing where you want to create those lanes. You
aren’t trying to open up holes, you are trying to create lanes.

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