Virginia Tech Midseason Musings

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Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
Is it time to unleash Dalton Keene on the pop pass? (Ivan Morozov)

Here’s some Virginia Tech miscellany while we all get rested for Notre Dame. I’ll have the Domers double-covered for you next week.

Evolving Play-Calling

In the recap I mentioned Tech needs more throws off stretch-action if QB Outside Zone is going to continue being a big play for the Hokies. Here are a few more things I’d like to see.

Eric “VTizzle” Carr’s absolutely right to be calling for some flavor of pop-pass to return, and the arrival of Dalton Keene in the backfield just might be the catalyst for it. You’ll probably remember that Jerod Evans and Sam Rogers thrived on an RPO that combined the backfield pop with QB Power. It’s a play that would help the Hokies right now as they become more QB-run-centric. Compared to the other backs on the roster, Keene would be a bigger target (and therefore an easier throw), and he’d likely be more comfortable making the twisting and over-the-shoulder catches needed on a vertical pop out of the backfield or from the wing/slot.

Speaking of Keene, I’d like to see him wham-block on occasion just to keep defenses honest. “Whamming” means letting a defensive lineman through unblocked so a back or TE can hit him by surprise. It’s the same principle as a trap block, just performed by a skill player. The threat of it can keep DTs in a lower gear. Ryan Malleck was good at it, and while I don’t think Keene’s as good a blocker, I think he could make it work. It would