So ends a classic game against Mike London’s Brawlin’ Brie-eaters. It had all the ingredients: angst over timeouts, a bizarre special teams call, and (most importantly) a Hokie win. As we wrap up the regular season, I want to give some props to Tech’s passing game, and in particular the route-running by its receivers. Some nifty footwork set up Tech’s biggest offensive plays of the game, and three in particular deserve notice. I’ll close out this recap with some quick thoughts on Coach Fuente.
The first play is Ryan Malleck’s reception at the end of the third quarter. His post-route catch and subsequent bulldozer imitation invigorated the Hokies after a UVA touchdown.
There are two things here that make the post to Malleck such a good play. The first is how the second-level players are aligned. The linebackers are bunched over the bubbles in the line and the nearest defensive back is aligned in the alley. This means that unless the defensive end does something funky, Malleck has a free release: there’s just no one in front of him to bump him off course or to run with him in coverage. At the snap, UVA linebacker Mark Hall recognizes Malleck’s release and tries to bump him off, but he never really had a shot due to his alignment.