The First Bank & Trust Friday Q&A: Early-Season Learning, And The Future At Running Back

Virginia Tech
Mose Phillips will probably be a target early in the season for Virginia Tech. (Ivan Morozov)

1) Other than serially bad news {sic: injuries}… what will we rationally learn prior to BIG X arm-punching vs. bruising Rutgers? What should we credibly be vetting in what appears to be three winnable games? — bourbonstreet

Chris Coleman: Vanderbilt has been completely wretched over the last few years. Marshall lost a ton of production and the game is in Blacksburg. And while the Hokies have had their issues in Norfolk recently, a fully-functional Virginia Tech team shouldn’t have any trouble at all winning that football game. If the Hokies start off any less than 3-0, it would be a disappointment. Not only that, but if the same Tech team that showed up for the final two-thirds of the season last year comes out to play again this September, then those three games should be relatively easy wins considering none of them are in any way, shape or form like FSU, Louisville or NC State.

Considering the talent advantage in the Hokies’ favor, I figure most of what we’d potentially learn in those three games would be negative. Take last year’s Old Dominion game as an example. It was a win, and a fairly easy one despite the fact that it was close at halftime, but one look at the box score reveals some numbers that were awfully concerning at the time:

VT Rushing: 43 carries, 109 yards, 2.5 ypc
ODU Rushing: 43 carries, 201 yards, 4.7 ypc

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