The First Bank & Trust Company Friday Q&A: Offensive System, Playoff Expansion, And More

Tyler Bowen Virginia Tech
Tyler Bowen (Jon Fleming)

1) Is the Pry/Bowen Virginia Tech offense a “ground and pound” system, and if so will we struggle with an OL recruited for a more spread inside/outside zone? At least until we get the type of linemen for the power run game? Or do you think we’ll see more spread concepts as we get better WR talent & TE blocking? – hokiepro

Chris Coleman: It’s a good question, but I’ll be honest, I have no idea. I don’t know what I really expected it to look like heading into last week’s game, and I still don’t quite know what it would look like with everybody healthy. Even then, as you pointed out, not every offensive lineman on this team would have been recruited by Rudolph for his preferred type of offensive lineman (Johnny Jordan for example). We didn’t truly see what a Vance Vice offensive line looked like until he had an entire group of his own players.

There are a few reasons why we won’t know what this offense is supposed to look like for awhile…

1) Tyler Bowen is the OC, but Joe Rudolph and Brad Glenn have been OCs in the past, and they come with the titles of running game coordinator and passing game coordinator, respectively. Each guy brings different ideas to the table. How do those ideas get meshed together? Heck, I don’t know. We’ll need to play a whole lot of football games before we can completely figure that out.

2) As noted above, not every offensive lineman is a fit for how Rudolph has coached in the past. Does he try to plug round pegs into square holes, or does he adjust his schemes to his players? I’m the last guy you should ask about OL schemes, but I thought it was more of the latter against ODU. But is Rudolph comfortable coaching that style?

3) Keshawn King had a great game against ODU as a traditional tailback. However, he was supposed to be the Swiss Army Knife of the offense this year. With Malachi Thomas and Jalen Holston banged up, he can’t play in that role right now. If those two guys get healthy and effective at some point, and King returns to the Swiss Army Knife role, how different will that make the offense look?

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I’ll be honest…I don’t particularly care about what scheme Virginia Tech runs or what plays the coaches call. I get that it’s the one thing that everybody can see on Saturday, so it’s what people naturally like to talk about. It’s a lot harder to talk about things that they can’t see. But to me, there are three more important things…

1: Overall talent
2: Player development
3: Recruiting players who are good schematic and cultural fits

Most people think Bryan Stinespring wasn’t a very good OC. I certainly agree that in Virginia Tech’s worst offensive