Wake Forest Review: The Failure Of The Outside Zone

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Virginia Tech
Khalil Herbert didn’t have as much running room against Wake Forest. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

I think fans picked up on the main reasons Virginia Tech lost to Wake. The team came in sloppy and overconfident, and when Wake out-hit them, the Hokies responded poorly/dumbly.  They ran into a stricter refereeing crew.  The defense wasn’t stout enough to get a few more critical stops. Hooker was bad in the passing game, where he didn’t see open receivers and threw to covered ones; and he was restrained in the running game, the latter I’m guessing because of his left shoulder. Even when Hooker found someone, his receivers often let him down.

But there’s a good chance none of that would’ve mattered if Tech had gotten big yardage in the running game. Wake slowed the Hokies down, though. Not only that, but they actually got better as the game went on. The blocking we celebrated last week in many ways fell on its face this week.

The first place I checked was the Hokies’ bread-and-butter play this year, the Outside Zone Read, and that’s where we’ll focus today. The Hokies probably don’t win this weekend if the play doesn’t get fixed, so it’s an important one. If you’d like an overview of the play before getting into the videos,