Wake Forest Review: Hokie Defense Dominates

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Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
It was a masterpiece for the Hokies on Bud Foster Day. (Ivan Morozov)

I felt good about my Wake Forest preview, and as the game opened it didn’t take long to see a lot of my talking points get validated. When Tech had the ball they borrowed heavily from the Louisville approach (their very first play was Jet-Power Read) and worked the Deacs’ defense on the perimeter in the running game. The screen game returned (with a swing element surprise) and lousy tackling in the secondary spots gave the Hokies plenty of YAC on these plays and on short one-on-one routes.

Across the LOS, Basham made plays on the edge and Greer had a few good licks, as expected. The biggest surprises were their linebackers tackling better than expected, and Suleiman Kamara and Dion Bergan Jr. standing out on the line. The surprises weren’t enough; even though Hooker had his first bad start of the year (one still highlighted by some great plays), the Hokies piled up yards (and eventually points.) On special teams, Tech’s returners had some better runs than normal, but couldn’t capitalize on Wake’s bad coverage units as well as others have. The coaches were disappointed, as the shuffled returners attest to.

On offense, Wake Forest came in as they had, sticking to the core concepts of their offense and