The Blue Collar Breakdown: Duke


Don’t look now, but I think what is happening with the football program in Blacksburg, Virginia might be kind of special.  The Hokies have slowly (and, I do mean S-l-o-w-l-y) emerged as a legitimate contender for the ACC Championship and established themselves as a team to be reckoned with on the national stage.

The Hokie defense is getting it done in classic Beamer style reminiscent of those teams in the mid to late 90’s:  A dominant, intimidating group that controls the line of scrimmage, terrorizes quarterbacks and hawks the ball in the secondary.  Tech’s secondary is so full of playmakers that I honestly think at least three of those guys would start as wide receivers on offense.  That’s ridiculous.  The Hokie defense is every quarterback’s worst nightmare right now.  A swarming, penetrating front and a ball-hawking secondary that jumps routes, physically dominates wide receivers, has great hands and is a constant threat to take a pick back for six at all times.  Yikes!

Offensively, things haven’t been as bright.  Scot Loeffler has proven himself to be a malleable offensive coordinator who is willing to compromise his overarching philosophy in order to accommodate his talent.  Instead of focusing on the bread and butter outside zone running plays that Lefty and Grimes would love to use as their base running attack, the Hokies have established a spread option running game featuring Logan Thomas using veer and inverted veer attacks.  The offensive line and the tight end simply haven’t been capable of making the blocks needed to help those outside zone plays be successful.  And, the running backs haven’t demonstrated the vision or the ability to break tackles.