Rutgers Study: Good In The Trenches

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech will have to play better in the trenches this week to beat Rutgers. (Jon Fleming)

It’s a lovely trip to the Garden State for the Hokies and their fans this weekend as they visit a Rutgers team that’s hoping to climb the ranks of the Big 10 this year. They’re 2-0 after whipping Northwestern and Temple. Those aren’t unexpected/impressive wins, but they were executed fairly well. Let’s see what they bring to the table.


This is a run-heavy team that likes zone blocking, and that carries into them running more full-slide protection than you’ll see with most teams. There’s a pro-style feel to it, as you’ll see them go under-center in normal down-and-distance situations. As blockers, they’re big and strong, and when they get their hands on rushers, they usually create running lanes with their Inside Zone and Zone Read calls:

They run into trouble against quicker rushers, though. When Temple stopped the run, it was usually because a blitzer ran through, someone got skinny and shot the gap, or a backside blocker got juked and gave up a rush lane. The Hokies are doing more feints off the line these days, so that last tidbit might be something to watch for.