Assumedly more in-depth and stat-friendly Clemson preview to come from IH.
What’s up FBS’ers?
Sorry I’ve been quiet on the boards this year. My biggest reason (excuse?) is my wife is 8.5 months along and a few weeks from delivering Lil HokieJayBee #2. And I’ve been working around the house and such preparing for the arrival of #2.
I made it in for the AppSt and ArkSt games, but really didn’t have much to say thus far and didn’t really warrant a blog post from any of it. All 4 games have gone how I expected. ECU could have used another mop up score for the west coast voters to see a higher margin, but we clearly took our foot off the gas and were fine with the ToP win.
I expected to be 4-0 at this point, and am actually a little happier than I expected to be (regarding the way in which we got to 4-0). I’d like to think I’m football knowledgeable enough to recognize situational “bad” calls that are similar to NFL preseason coaching, where you call a certain play you want to see your young QB run, regardless of current game situation.
In regards to being satiated at this point at 4-0 but not ecstatic about the offense, we’ll see against Clemson. There is no more “get out of jail free card, we understand training wheels and situational bad calls to bring up a new QB” for MOC. This is our season right now in a nutshell. To be 5-0, with a conference win, against the current winner of the other division, this could be huge. And Clemson is currently growing into one of the media’s little darlings with their Auburn and FSU wins. This will be good press for us to end their pretty little run right now and put LT and DW more firmly on the national map rather than the current “meh, they’re top 15 I guess but no Tyrod or RMFW” vibe I get from the media outlets thus far this year. (Note I am not whining and saying we deserve more press than the “meh” line, yet. I’m saying this is the game to do it. Clemson did *us* a favor on their run through Auburn and FSU, if you want to look at it that way. I am not opposed to stealing thunder. We do it 8 out of every 10 years when Miami is backer than back while being back and having swagger back. Then they play us and they’re not back and we’re in or near the top 10.)
So, for Clemson and going forward in ACC play, here’s HJB’s list of wants/changes/suggestions/pleads/begs………………(None of these are complaints about being 4-0. None of these are doomsday VT hatred predictions. Just some wish-list-tweaks for our O. Of which I know the Devil’s Advocate answer could be that HCFB and MOC already have these tweaks in mind and we haven’t seen it yet to protect the playbook through the OOC schedule and we’re saving it for ACC play. In which case, I simply get to take credit for it.)
1. We need to run more sweeps with DW. He’s faster than everyone on the field. Not “off tackle”. I mean sweeps, even give DW two extra steps and run a few actual pitch plays. I mean, TE crack-back-contain, WR hold your block for 2 seconds without holding --- DW only has to beat one OLB to the edge for a 7-10 yarder, or beat one SS to the edge for a 15+TD run. We do not run outside enough, never have. And I’m not liking MOC continuing that avoidance. I hope to see ~10 sweeps against Clemson. FSU did it, and successfully last week. And I’d like to think, even if I’m wearing Chicago Maroon tinted shades, that DW is faster than FSU’s RB. Even if the sweeps start to fail, they will cause the LB’s to spread or lean ever-so-slightly, and make our middle running a little more fruitful.
a. And dear God run the sweep to the wide side of the field. When and if we actually do run outside, HCFB and BS always ran it to the short side of the field. Thus eliminating half of the advantage of the sweep itself and your RB’s speed, because there’s a defender over there on every team, who NEVER misses a tackle. His name is sideline.
b. You can’t have an “a.” without a “b.” This is that b.
2. Reverses. I am not a big fan of reverses in general, they are a misdirection trick play only to be used sparingly. But, I am a big fan of reverses when you fake them as often as we do. (note: I’m counting the wide trail on LT’s read-option plays in my calculation as unused “reverses”). But we *NEVER* hand it to the reverser. I vote either run the reverser more often, thus making all the fake reverses we run, have some validity and hold a tackler or two at psychological delay – or stop running the fake reverses so often. At this point, the other team ignores the reverser, and we’re down a blocker. If we’re *NEVER* going to hand it to him, he’s not doing any good faking anymore, and he could be blocking someone.
3. Bubble screens. Ok, so I can’t argue with the results of the bubble screens thus far this year. Literally they are gaining yards. Figuratively they are good for bringing up a new QB (completions, safe, stats, etc.). I promised my brother and other VT game viewing friends I’m not allowed to whine about the bubble screens anymore until LT throws a pick-6 out of one that was clearly read by the D.
a. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. For the love of everything that is holy. Pump fake a friggin bubble screen to Coale, and have Marcus Davis (who faked like a blocker on said pump bubble screen) release and run a go. Dear God, it would be a TD, I’d bet a steak-and-cheese on it.
b. And, even if you overthrow MD on the bubble-screen-blocker-go, all future bubble screens would have the benefit of the safety or deep nickel corner waiting back one extra second to ensure MD doesn’t release and go. Giving the bubbler a few more yards to run each time.
c. If b. here were to be true, I know I owe you a steak-and-cheese. But it would be worth it as one of our coaching staff’s favorite calls will now have a better chance to work.
4. Speaking again on 2.b. LT needs to overthrow more than underthrow. IllinoisHokie already mentioned in other posts that LT’s interceptions have come on underthrows, and they’ve come in mop up time. So, benefit of the doubt says we’re not mad at LT for them, it might have even been a called back shoulder underthrow. But, not being mad at some of his learning curve through our butter OOC schedule is different than agreeing to not be mad now but we don’t want to see it anymore. LT has a cannon. We have fast receivers. Go. Go fast. Try to overthrow them. They’ll run under it. Cannon will go off. Fans will jump and celebrate. HokieBird will lift the fake barbell 7 more times.
5. Did I really see Billy Hite on the sidelines at Marshall? Was he really wearing a headset? Whatever consultant role he has, I vote it does not involve sideline work, and definitely not headset availability. And oh please oh please oh please, not redzone play calling input. Billy, you had a great run, go play golf. (not a golfer? Fishing?)
Other than that. Go Hokies!
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.