Inside The Numbers: The New And Improved TyJuan Garbutt

TyJuan Garbutt, Virginia Tech
TyJuan Garbutt had a terrific individual performance for Virginia Tech on Saturday against Middle Tennessee. (Ivan Morozov)

Virginia Tech’s victory over Middle Tennessee is in the rear-view mirror.  In this week’s Inside The Numbers, I’m going to focus on the play of one particular defensive starter, go over the snaps played by true freshmen and discuss the performance of Tech’s backup linebackers.

The New And Improved TyJuan Garbutt

Virginia Tech defensive end TyJuan Garbutt graded out at an even 90 against Middle Tennessee on Saturday.  It’s really difficult to get up to that 90-point barrier.  It was Garbutt’s highest grade of his entire career, with his previous best being an 83.9 performance against Duke in 2019.  Yes, I said Duke in 2019.  That was an odd game.  Tech’s entire defensive line played a very good game, with all the starters grading out at a 70+.  I expect that’s rare to see in a 35-point loss.

But back to Garbutt.  He’s always been a solid performer for the Hokies, but as Brandon Patterson has pointed out, he seems especially suited for doing what Justin Hamilton asks his defensive ends to do.  I’ll try to sum it up in very simplistic terms.

In the past, when Tech would try to funnel the ball carrier to the free hitter, the free hitter was often on the outside – a whip, free safety or rover.  Defensive ends played a big role in helping to funnel those runners to the outside.