Final Jet Sweep Numbers, And Thoughts On Virginia Tech’s 2021 Season

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech wide receiver Tre Turner scored a touchdown on this jet sweep against UVA. (ACC photography pool)

This week, we’ll wrap up our Virginia Tech jet sweep chat, and then fold it into what I’ve got my eye on this season.

A Last Look at Jet Sweeps in 2020

I watched every remaining game of the 2020 season, and in it Hokie jet sweep/motion was successful on 46 of 70 tries, for a rate of 65.7%. It resulted in zero turnovers and lost yardage only five times. That’s good. It shows the calls are structurally sound, and that the coaches have a good sense of when to call them. And as for the sixteen actual jet sweeps I found, they were successful 62.5% of the time, which is also good, and also paints the coaches in a flattering light.

If there was an area in the jet game I was disappointed to see, it was the lack of growth in downfield play-action off jet motion. I highlighted the huge post/dig combo the Hokies hit against Duke off jet motion, though the play and similar calls seemed to disappear from the playbook as the season progressed. I found two more deep passes—a post against UNC and a pop throw against Liberty—off jet motion. Despite both being big completions, they never showed up in games again, i.e., they disappeared after the midpoint of the season. When jet motion was paired with the passing game in the second half of the season, it was almost exclusively with swings and screens—even creating space for short and intermediate routes like hitches and screens was seemingly off the menu.

Downfield shots weren’t just an issue with jet motion, though.