Inside The Numbers: Cornerbacks Dominant, Pollard Impressive

Jermaine Waller, Virginia Tech
Jermaine Waller is having a very good season. (Jon Fleming)

Following Virginia Tech’s dramatic 43-41 victory over North Carolina, we’ll examine a few aspects, including cornerback play, Norell Pollard, Bryan Hudson, and more.

Virginia Tech’s Cornerbacks Remain Dominant

Pro Football Focus has updated their grades for Virginia Tech’s game against North Carolina. Originally Reggie Floyd was the high grader on defense when I checked on Sunday, but apparently the grading was incomplete at that point. Now the high grader is Caleb Farley, and that makes a lot more sense. Farley graded out at an 81.9 overall, including a dominant 87.1 in coverage.

Farley only played for a little under one half before leaving with an injury (concussion protocol, I hear). In that half of football, North Carolina targeted him eight times, which matches the previous high against Miami. However, he played the whole game against Miami, rather than just a half. UNC chose to go after him a lot, for whatever reason, but they only managed to complete one of their eight attempts against him. That was the best half of football that Farley has ever played in coverage.

Jermaine Waller was again very good, with the exception of one blown coverage on the long TD pass that made the score 31-24. Bud Foster said after the game that the Hokies were in man coverage on that play, and if that’s the case, then Waller let his man go free. But on the whole, he played well and has had an excellent season.