Improved Defense Puts Hokies in Their Comfort Zone

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Raleigh Hokie checks in with his weekly take.  He talks about the Clemson game, and looks ahead to the final month of the season.

What did you think of the decision to go for it on fourth down against Clemson, and what did you think of the play call?

I didn’t like either one of them.  I still don’t understand either one of them, even though they’ve come out and explained it.  The positives, the risk/reward, however you want to call it…just didn’t play out.  You’re on the road, in a very tough place to play, and you’ve got a chance to go up two scores.  You’ve got a chance to build a little momentum.

Even if you convert on fourth down, there’s no guarantee you’re going to score a touchdown, especially given our redzone success.  You’ve got a patched up offensive line, which is the biggest issue of all.  So you’ve got all kinds of different things working against you.  If you don’t make it, you give the momentum to the home team.  They really took advantage of the swing in momentum.

To this point, I can’t think of one good reason why they decided to do it, and why they chose the playcall they chose, or why they chose the personnel they chose.  There were lots of things that worked against it, and I can’t think of a single thing that worked in favor.

They basically had a whole timeout to think about it.  A Clemson defender got hurt and play was stopped.

Yeah.  Go back in history, recently our success on third and one and fourth and one hasn’t been good, taking out the plays where we use the quarterback sneak when we just need a few inches.  Other than those, our success has been 50-50 at best, and I’m guessing it’s been less than that.

After the Sugar Bowl, Beamer came out and said he should have kicked it.  Well, here we go again, he had the same chance to go up by two scores, he’s got his regular kicker in the game this time, and the field goal is almost a guarantee with the way Journell has been kicking.

To me, the reason they decided to do it was because they didn’t believe that those extra three points would really help them get the 35 they needed to beat Clemson.  They did not believe the defense could hold Clemson