check the injury lists for last season, literally the most injuries I've ever seen a single team be hit with. 2 OL prior to the season starting, top 3 RBs, TE, MLB, Corner, LT, DT.. and all of those listed were starters. Offensive lineman made the biggest impact IMO, losing those two prior to the season impacted depth in a big way, then a couple more during the season.. next thing you know you're starting a former walkon DE at tackle - not good.
we also had a severe case of everyone one and their mom got hurt after the OSU game.. injuries happen and are apart of the game, but it can't be discounted. I mean, top 3 RBs, top TE, several starting offensive lineman. Best DT on the team, middle LB'er, All ACC freshman corner.. all of that eventually adds up. Props to OSU though, managed to lose ride all those different QBs to a title.
Blast thru the VT D though - come on now.
Eric Gallo at center is the only newcomer on the OL. Wade Hansen at RT doesn't have a TON of experience, but he did get inserted into the starting lineup late last season and has now earned that starting spot going into this year.
About the 'explosive offense' comment... just a fact check, VT did start a QB that had been on campus for 1 month going into the OSU game last season. Isiah Ford and Cam Phillips at WR (both freshman last year), Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie at RB (both freshman last year), Bucky Hodges at TE, (freshman).. all of those guys played huge rolls as the year went on, and VT ended up losing its top 3 RBs, and co starter at TE in Ryan Malleck... not to mention 2 starters on the OL weeks before the OSU game. It was a crazy year injury wise, especially after the OSU game. Having said that, the skill positions at VT are looking better than ever and they all have a year under their belt. If anything, the potential of VT's offense is trending up, in a fairly significant way.
I think Stacy Searels has the OL moving in the right direction. Guys like Wyatt Teller and Augie Conte excel in the run game so I would hope that's a strength of the OL. Eric Gallo at C is the newcomer to the mix, but the coaches have had nothing but good things to say about him. McLaughlin, Teller, Gallo, Conte and Wade Hansen is how they'll line up. Wade Hansen on paper (RT) is probably the weak link of the group, he was pressed into action last year due to injury and held his own in the run game.. but his inexperience at the position was apparent. By all accounts he's stepped up his game. Depth behind the starters is relatively young, but the key reserves... Phaff, Osterloh and Nijman have all had impressive Springs.
All of the starters, outside of Gallo at center have plenty to experience under the belts... so that shouldn't be an excuse for this group.
You're right.. JC Coleman is not very tall, listed at 5'6 and right at 195lbs.. not sure his height really makes a difference. He's pound for pound one of, if not the strongest guy on the team.. he also just turned in a not so shabby 5th place finish in the ACC championships 60 meter final. He really came into his own over the last 4-5 games of last season, averaging over 100+ yards per game. His backup, (former starter before his injury last season) is Trey Edmunds.. 6'2 225lbs. Travon McMillan is listed as the #3 back.. he's 6' and 200lbs, and has the most big play potential of all the backs. He and JC will also handle kick returns.
Congrats to OSU on the national title. after the loss to VT, your QB really stepped up to the plate, and Jones filled in nicely to close out the year. Elliott was a beast too. VT on the other hand was not able to overcome the rash of injuries and inexperience. Outside of the Miami loss, which was just plain ugly.. we lost a lot of close/ugly games - most of which we either tied or led in the 4th quarter.
Next year, it goes without saying... OSU will be favorites to win that game. Does that mean VT can't win it...... Nah. VT is returning virtually everyone, including guys like Brandon Facyson and Luther Laddy, who ended up missing the entire season.. both being All-ACC caliber players.
The defense for VT... will be stout. Outside of the Miami game, they had a consistently good year - and that was without two of their best players.
The offense will have to improve, specifically the OL.. the run game showed signs over the last 4 games.. how that progresses over the off season/spring/summer will be key going into next season. VT has a lot of talent at the skill positions, it starts up front though. Anyway, looking forward to that game and the challenge of having OSU come to town. Congrats again.
Brewer didn't get a ton of PT at TT.. he was in line to start there prior to injuring his back. He was a 4 time Texas state champ in football.. all of that aside, he looked extremely poised and efficient in game 1.
The UCLA game... it was a cluster f from get go - things went from bad to worse when Logan Thomas got knocked out early on in the game.. backup QB came in and threw a couple picks and it snowballed. Their QB had a big game, mainly running the ball... those types of games are few and far between against Foster's D.
Anyway... people are really sleeping on the VT offense. What VT put on the field last year is really not even close to what's out there this year.. I guess that's what fans/media are going on. VT's two TE's are going to have huge years, and I would expect them to be a big factor in the game Saturday night... Hodges especially can cause some serious mismatch issues.
McKenzie is 5'11 221lbs with offers from Pitt, FSU, GT among others... Marshawn Williams is also 5'11 and listed at 227lbs.
Pretty sure that Emmit Smith - considered by most to be one of the all time great NFL RBs, never ran a 40 time faster than 4.5.. with it more likely being in the 4.7-4.8 range.
Thanks. I think with Braxton Miller being out... our chances for pulling out a W definitely went up. Still though, I think we'll have to play a nearly perfect game to make that happen. The key for VT probably comes down to how our OL holds up against OSUs front 4... likewise, it'll be interesting to see what VT can do with Barrett and the OSU OL.
The question marks on D for VT are definitely the LBs... and overall depth, especially in the front 7. That's one thing about Bud Foster though.. he gets every last bit of athletic ability out of his defenses and typically he's able to plug people in year in and year out and have one of the better defenses in the nation. This year the depth, especially in the front 7 is young.. so hopefully for VT the offense is able to sustain some drives so those 2nd team D guys aren't seeing too many snaps.
Miami gets the talent... they just can't put it together on the field. I thought Al Golden might get them turned around, but... based on their game last weekend, they might actually have a hard time getting out of the basement in the ACC Coastal Division.
I am somewhat surprised, especially since its OSU - and a primetime start.. that it isn't getting more attention. Having said that, after the past 2 sub par years at VT that's been somewhat the norm for our games. I think next year, expectations for both schools.. especially for VT considering were not even mentioned in Top 25 talk at this point.. will be higher, and will create more of a buzz nationally.
Yea Kyle missed several games last year due to injury... in those games Kendall and Brandon Facyson started at the CB spots. Kyle also played the whip spot in certain games/situations - against GT for example.
The achilles heel for VT's D last year.. was the VT offense. VT gave up a couple of big runs against BC last year, but in the games you mentioned turnovers by the offense killed the D.
This years defense should be good, how good.. its probably too early to tell. The DBs are legit, all 4 returning starters.. The LBs aren't that big.. one is a 5th year senior, 1st year starting.. the other kid (Clarke) is also in his first year starting. Maddy returns at DT. Corey Marshall returns, he along with Dadi Nicolas have seen significant playing time. Nicolas' time previously was more as a pass rush specialist type role... this year obviously he's out there full time. Ken Ekanem is the other end.. more prototypical size for an end.
Another guy who could have a big role is Ronny VanDyke at the whip spot... he was slated to start last year but an injury in the preseason kept him out all year. He's back and played sparingly against W&M.. not sure what his status is for OSU.
No worries - I didn't expect many to agree. I don't think the talent gap is THAT significant though... it's not like VT is an FCS level school with 20 fewer scholarships. VT plays some very talented teams. Miami, Clemson are probably on par with the types of recruiting classes OSU pulls in on a yearly basis.
I think it's a toss up really..
I think Foster is going to throw all he can at Barrett and try to force him into some mistakes. My guess is, VT will put a lot of guys in the box to try and limit the run game... leaving Fuller/Facyson/etc to hold down the defensive backfield.
I'd like to see VT's Ronny VanDyke back out there this week.. he's a big time playmaker when 100% healthy, and would likely be a huge asset in TE coverage.
For VT to win though, the O needs to build on more of what we saw last week.. which was an effective ground game, and Brewer being really efficient thru the air. If the VT O stalls, that will likely catch up to the D later in the game. I think our 'undersized' D is fine - unless they are just on the field way too much.
For OSU fans... I'd watch both of the VT TE's.. Bucky Hodges #7 and Ryan Malleck #88, they are essentially Michael Brewer's security blankets. Hodges iespecially has huge potential.
Anyway, my prediction is a tight game that could go either way. I think the surprise of the game though... is how effective the VT O ends up being. VT pulls out a W by 7.... 24-17.
hah! not trolling around... just asked a question and haven't said the first negative thing about OSU. it's whatever though... I get that this is an OSU board and obviously the picks etc are going to go OSUs way. It's somewhat comical to see the VT is going to get blasted posts though.
Just asking what's behind all of the 'defensive and special teams scores'? I think, given VT's defensive backfield.. and OSU starting a RS Freshman QB.. his first start on a big stage.. VT is likely to be the one making big plays on defense.
I could say the same thing about OSU playing Navy.. and actually trailing that game into the 3rd qtr. Do you not think VT boasts a MUCH better defense than what Navy put on the field, or has better athletes on the offensive side of the ball? If not, you're mistaken.
what's behind the 'hefty does of defensive and even special teams points'?
VT doesn't appear to be a team prone to turning the ball over - especially with Brewer at QB. The INT last week came after the pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage - his read on that play though was perfect according to Loeffler. Looking at his past stats, INTs are few and far between.
As for special teams play - after a somewhat lackluster year in the return and coverage teams.. Beamer made it a point to add more of his starters to those teams.
Not projecting what should happen in this upcoming game based on what I saw against W&M... Having said that, we've only played one game this year, not sure how else to judge a team - going back to last year isn't relevant for this Hokie team.. too many new players especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Dread.... really? Not from my perspective - great opportunity for VT. Lot of people in the media might be down on the program after two sub par years but that's not the feeling from the people within the program.
Dadi Nicolas is closer to the 230-235lb range.. but yes, undersized DL. Corey Marshall is a beast at DT... he may be 'only' 262lbs.. but he's a big boy. Either way, VT does play other teams believe it or not, that have big OL's. It's all relative. If VT's O is unable to make progress on offense and the D is on the field all game, it's going to be an issue. It's not often though, that I worry about the defense that VT puts on the field.
On the flip side, in passing situations... OSU fans have to hope those big tackle's can handle Nicholas off the edge - quick is an understatement.
I agree, most week 1 contests offer little in terms of long term team success... for VT though, starting a new QB, playing roughly 10-11 true freshman.. it was at the very least a peak into their potential and if you have watched our offense the past two seasons, it was enough to say very loudly that we have made big strides on that side of the ball. Last year, the offense was Logan Thomas and whatever he could do.. not so much this year.
Biggest question marks for VT - IMO anyway... OL play. Week 1 - they played well. In the red zone, they need to improve. Marshawn Williams had one TD run inside the 5 called back for a penalty.. can't settle for FG's against better competition.
2nd question mark for me.. is DL depth. the 1st team DL is good, undersized, but very athletic with guys who can make plays off the edge. Maddy in the middle is a man. 2nd group has to be more productive.
What message board have you been reading? After watching the O play against W&M.. and seeing some of the young guys in an actual game... I came away feeling a TON better about this year, compared to our O the past two seasons. The offense didn't record a single negative play against W&M - granted it's W&M.. so yes, take that stat with a grain of salt. The two freshman RB's have shown huge potential through out spring ball, and didn't disappoint in game 1. McKenzie was awarded ACC rookie of the week after posting a 100+ yard game on 12 carries. Another freshman, Isiah Ford recorded his first TD catch... as did Bucky Hodges. Michael Brewer threw the ball around to 10-11 different receivers... bottom line for me - I came away feeling 10x better after that game. I expect OSU to be HUGE step up in competition.. it'll be interesting to see how the VT O reacts in that atmosphere. 28 pt spread? The only way that happens if VT goes in and has multiple turnovers..
Turnovers can go both ways... VT has a pretty decent defense, and one of the better D coordinators in college football.
VT may not get the quantity and depth of talent that OSU does, having said that, VT certainly has some really talented guys on both sides of the ball. Guys like Kendall Fuller, Brandon Facyson, Dadi Nicolas, Luther Maddy, etc on the defensive side of the ball... Isiah Ford, Shai McKenzie, Bucky Hodges.. The talent on O is young, but these guys are definitely capable of making plays so it would be a mistake to sleep on them. Michael Brewer at QB - after watching him play one game.. IMO anyway, it's obvious he has the goods. He's not going to wow you athletically, but he gets it as a QB. Smart guy who can spread the ball around, and isn't likely to put VT in bad spots.
I agree that attacking VT with the run game is probably the ideal scenario for the OSU O... VT's d backfield is legit. The DL is a bit undersized, as are the LB's... the D is more built for speed and pressure. Maddy is a big time DT. The achilles heel for VT is likely the 2nd team guys on the DL - they need more production out of that unit and against teams that pound the run game that will show up more.
Another thing not to discount.... Bud Foster. He's going to dial up some different looks up for JTB4.