So admittedly, I was not able to watch our 14-3 wrist-slapping of Duke (because "beating" or "spanking" would infer that actual punishment had taken place), however, I have seen many of the games this season. Throughout all of them, I have noticed one blaring omission to Stiney's Play(skool)book: the screen pass.
In last season's Orange Bowl, the Jayhawks implemented a very simple defensive game plan in order to throw off both Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon. When Taylor was under center, they blitzed, when Glennon was in, they dropped back into coverage. Simple and effective. Disturbingly effective. Stiney became so frustrated by this defensive look that he changed our offensive game plan for the entire second half. He all but pulled Taylor out of the game in the second half. After the game, he justified this move by saying that Taylor was too young and inexperienced to handle constant blitzes. While that may be true, the one at fault is Stiney for not preparing any plays to counteract this.
Screen Pass 101 (Stiney, get out your notebook):
When a defense sends a blitz, the defensive linemen and linebackers often have less trouble getting into the backfield, and will usually enter a dead sprint towards the quarterback after breaching the line. When the offense runs the screen pass, the line effectively allows the defensive line and/or linebackers to go by them easily, if not untouched. The line is then free to block the remaining linebackers and/or secondary. A runningback, tight end or reciever is sent on a drag across the newly-formed seam behind the defensive line. After a short pass from the quarterback, they are often left with 5-15 yards of free space, as well as 4+ fat men to clear the path in front of them.
Interestingly enough, this same play is almost equally as effective when a defensive secondary drops back into coverage, since a lineman is less likely than a linebacker to recognize when they are getting screened. It actually takes a large amount of discipline from a defensive lineman or linebacker to recognize when they are being screened and drop back to fill the field.
Had Stiney utilized this play (both with Glennon and Taylor) it is likely that Kansas would have settled into a more conventional defense, and we could have jammed a heaping helping of Branden Ore/Tyrod Taylor/Kenny Lewis down their throats until we retake the lead.
Here is an example of a well-executed screen pass by Penn State:
Basically, this forces a defense ot cover the middle of the field, a move that requires at least 1-2 players to accomplish. Thats 1-2 less players blitzing and/or covering Boykin/Coale/Harris. If Virginia Tech were to implement the screen pass this season, we would have noticed a decrease in pressure on both Glennon and Taylor, and increase in touches for players like Greg Boone and Andre Smith and possibly even an increase of open wideouts downfield. That said, I have seen no more than two true screens this season, as Stiney seems to be more of a fan of quick screens out to the flats (which I expect from him EVERY time we have 3-4 wideouts on one side of the field. It's like reading a childrens' book).
Bottom line, add the screen to the gameplan. It may only be needed 2-3 times in a game, but can be used effectively 5-10 times if the opposing defensive coordinator is stubborn or gullible. It's making the opposing defense honest so we can beat them with talent, not tricks.
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FBS Mission Statement:
We at FBS believe that offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring bears the largest share of the blame for years of sub-par output from some of the most talented players ever to set foot on Worsham Field. We believe the main objective of the VT football program - a national championship - will escape us as long as Stinespring is making the calls. We therefore advocate the improvement of our football program through the replacement of our offensive coordinator.