Virginia Tech-Florida State Analysis: The First Drive

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In hindsight, Virginia Tech’s opening drive for a touchdown was all they needed to beat Florida State. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

In lieu of an ECU preview, here’s a look back at Tech’s sterling opening drive versus the Seminoles back in week one. I must’ve jinxed the ECU game getting cancelled because in an earlier article I wrote that this recap would be hitting TSL’s servers today; I caught my mistake in editing, but alas the damage was done.

If there’s a takeaway from this first series, it’s that Coach Cornelsen was more interested in creating and probing weaknesses in the structure and scheme of the defense than he was in trying to cross up the defenders. The plays consistently attacked open grass, personnel, and numbers advantages, but didn’t try to bait the defense into making mistakes. Notably, Tech often passed on the field edge of the box, which happened to be where freshman Jaiden Woodbey was manning the “star” position, which is basically equivalent to Tech’s whip spot. Conversely, they ran often to the boundary edge, which happened to be opposite of where big-time defensive end Brian Burns aligned.

As you’re reading, if you aren’t familiar with “personnel” lingo, a big way defenses define offensive formations is by how many running backs and tight ends are in the game. A number followed by