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Phil Elmassian brought the UW 4-4 defense to Blacksburg, and its inaugural year is where we’ll end this series. He also helped instill a greater degree of toughness in the team. Scheme-talk and attitude are fun, but they aren’t always indicators of future success. Plenty of new, much-hyped coordinators and resets of program mentality have wilted under the stadium lights come kickoff time. No one on the ’93 Hokie staff wilted, however, and least of all Elmassian. The entire team turned things around, going from 2-8-1 to 9-3 with a bowl win, but the defense set the tone in a special way. Of the Hokies’ three losses on the season, only one was a truly flat defensive performance.
Perhaps the most telling improvement can be seen by comparing stats between common opponents between years:
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