Offseason Goals: Defense

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Virginia Tech closed the year very strong defensively, and they don’t have as much work to do in the offseason as the offense.  However, there are a few things that need to be addressed that could be the difference between the 2013 defense being great, or only very good.

Start Strong, Stay Strong, Finish Strong

Virginia Tech’s defense was outstanding to close the 2012 football season, culminating with a great performance against Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t that strong in the first half of the season, and it cost the Hokies a game or two.

Here’s a look at the yardage allowed by the Virginia Tech defense in the first six games of the season:

Georgia Tech: 288
Austin Peay: 221
Pittsburgh: 537
Bowling Green: 266
Cincinnati: 495
North Carolina: 533
Average: 390

Antone Exum

Something was wrong with the Virginia Tech defense.  They were shredded by Pitt (#60 in total offense), Cincinnati (#36) and UNC (#15).  The Tar Heels turned out to be a pretty darn good offensive team, but Pitt was very average, and Cincinnati ended up benching quarterback Munchie Legaux for poor play.

Tech just wasn’t playing well.  Kyle Fuller wasn’t adjusting to his role as a true cornerback, while Antone Exum and Detrick Bonner were having trouble picking up their new positions as well.  Ironically, it was Kyshoen Jarrett , considered the biggest question mark of the secondary heading into the season, who was playing the most consistent football.

It wasn’t all the secondary.  The defensive front wasn’t playing well either.  Teams were running the football on the Hokies.  Gaps weren’t being secured, and I think there might have been a situation where a guy or two read their press clippings a little