Hokies Show Attention To Detail Against William & Mary

Justin Fuente and the Hokies took care of business on Saturday. (Photo by Ivan Morozov) 

With the exception of Ricky Walker’s dinged foot and a few gaffes (that were far outweighed by the positives), this was how most folks would draw up an FCS tilt. Given the big margin of victory, I’ll forgo strategy talk in favor of impressions. If there was a general impression I got, it was that Tech wasn’t afraid to open up the playbook a little to make sure they put the screws to the Tribe. Misdirection and option plays were the name of the game for the offense, and on defense the Hokies threw out some looks that were seeking interceptions and also putting half the front in the backfield with the QB. 

Attention to Detail

With a few exceptions, Tech was pretty sharp given both the short layoff from a high profile away game and also the multitude of young players who were on the field. Here are a few plays (big and small) that jumped out at me.

Let’s start with Damon Hazleton’s long TD catch:

There isn’t a good replay here, so you’ll have to watch carefully at the bottom of the screen. This is a stop-and-go route, and the play is going all the way to Hazleton – watch how Josh Jackson (confident he’s looking at a three-deep defense and facing a front that’s worried about the run action) holds on to the ball while waiting for Hazleton to clear. Hazleton, meanwhile, knows he has time to really sell the move, so he gets on the bailing defender’s toes and buzzes his feet hard. A lot of receiver coaches don’t like chopping the feet like this because it clues the cover man that the receiver is about to break. Here, though, the DB is already stressed, and the buzz encourages him to react to Hazleton’s inside fake. By the time the DB recovers, Hazleton is well past him and the ball is in the air.