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1) With so many young players on this year’s team (and starters at that), any concerns about the team (collectively) “hitting the wall” towards the end of the season? Or is Ben Hilgart so great at his job that the conditioning of the team has somewhat insulated them from that? – Eddie4hokies
Chris Coleman: From a physical standpoint, I don’t think it will be an issue. Other than Ricky Walker and Josh Jackson, this seems to be a very healthy team through four games. Getting the extra bye week with the ECU cancellation probably didn’t hurt from that standpoint.
I think Justin Fuente has always been good about knowing when to practice his team hard, and when to hold back. He generally has a good feel for how fresh his guys are, and whether or not they need to ease up. I trust him to handle that properly this season.
The only thing that concerns me is the mental grind of a 12-game football season. Preparing for one opponent, playing a game, and then preparing for a completely different opponent isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds, especially for a group of young players who have never gone through it before. Guys like Dax Hollifield, Caleb Farley, Terius Wheatley, Christan Darrisaw, Silas Dzansi, Lecitus Smith, TyJuan Garbutt, Zion DeBose, etc. have never gone through that process before. Even true sophomore linebackers Rayshard Ashby and Dylan Rivers were third string players last year, so they really didn’t get to experience it in the full scope.
Perhaps that’s what we saw against Old Dominion as much as anything else. The Hokies clearly weren’t prepared to play that game from a mental...
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