Q & A With Hokies Blog The Key Play
Posted by William Kristoph
1. I realize that David Wilson is very good. So good that he eats Chick Fil A on Sundays. How will the Hokies best use him against the FSU defense?
I believe effectively rushing the ball will be one of our biggest challenges Saturday. Florida State is only giving up 123.67 yards per game, while we’re gaining 211.42. David Wilson is one third of our rushing attack (with Ryan Williams and Darren Evans) so expect him to get around 10-12 carries if everything goes to plan. David Wilson is our most explosive offensive player. He runs a 4.29 forty and is also an Iron Hokie (second highest level of strength testing). His late kickoff returns against NC State and Georgia Tech swung the momentum in our favor. Bryan Stinespring (offensive coordinator) likes to try to get him the ball in space a few times, so be prepared for an obligatory reverse or flanker sweep and a couple of screens to him when he’s lined up wide. He also back flips, recovers from Mono in a week, catches bunny rabbits and, yes, eats Chick-fil-A on Sundays.
2. Tyrod, Tyrod, Tyrod. Tyrod Taylor has the Hokies offense scoring seemingly at will. He’s a threat through the air and with his legs. FSU struggled mightily with another great ACC QB in Russell Wilson. If you’re Mark Stoops for a day, how do you stop Tyrod? Do you leave a spy and take your chances elsewhere? Force him to stay in the pocket?
Eric (BeerControlOffense) suggests playing tight man on the wide receivers and zoning the rest of the defense. You want to keep as many eyes on Tyrod as possible and hope your corners can handle the wide outs. I think regardless of the coverage, the key to stopping Tyrod is to pressure him with as few players as possible. Coverage sacks, or no gains have absolutely killed us this season. The one thing Tyrod hasn’t done well this year is throw the ball away when there isn’t a play. It’s led to unnecessary hits and many yards lost. If you blitz and there’s an open man, or a lane he’s going to make the play. If you contain him in the pocket and have good coverage down field, chances are you’ll get a couple of big plays out of it.
3. The Hokies are known for great special teams. On the flip side of that FSU has a great punter in Shawn Powell and a pretty good kicker with a booming leg in Dustin Hopkins. Can the Hokies do anything to neutralize them or is VT better off hanging back and covering on punts and hoping Hopkins just misses instead of risking penalties on low chance blocks? Does it all come down to the score and timing of things?
Whenever people ask me about special teams, my answer is always a not too helpful, “I don’t know.” Beamer is a mad scientist of the kicking game, you never know what he’s going to do. I will say this, with Jayron Hosley back returning punts, we haven’t come after many kicks. Like you said, I think a lot of it is situational.
4. Your turkey calls annoyed the crap out of me on Bourbon St in 2000 for the Sugar Bowl. That’s not the question, I just had to get that off my chest.
Seriously though, regarding the VT defensive line, how have the Hokies done so well with seemingly light line and defensive ends that are 230 pounds? Is the speed just that overpowering, or have opponents not tried to exploit the Hokies on the ground enough? Is it a function of the offense putting opponents behind the 8-ball forcing them to give up the run?
The defensive ends are indeed fast, but they’re not that light. Chris Drager is 255 lbs and Steven Friday is 250. As a whole, the ends: Friday (7.5), J.R Collins (5), James Gayle (4), Drager (2) have been solid at getting to the quarterback. They’ve account for 18.5 our our 32.0 (T-17th) sacks. Like I said above, teams are successfully moving the ball against us on the ground and it is a case of opponents getting behind the 8-ball because our offense has been putting up points.
5. Do you feel like the Noles are in the Hokies “heads”? The last time both met for the ACC Title, even FSU fans thought that the Noles had no chance, but they walked away with the championship. Overall, the Noles are 22-11-1 against the Hokies and Frank Beamer is just 1-8. Why will we see the 10 game winning streak Hokies on Saturday and not the 0-2 Hokies?
If anything the ‘Noles are in our fans’ head for the reasons you mentioned. We were the ones around for the heartbreak. The freshmen probably only know Bobby Bowden as a guy pitching Discover Cards, not the man who dominated the ACC and NCAA. The seniors are 1-1 against FSU. The 0-2 Hokies were inexperienced on defense, had no offensive identity and couldn’t block or tackle. We took our lumps early, but over the last ten games we fixed our fundamentals, the defense has gelled and the offense is doing work.
6. First… I need to straighten your users out on this thread. No hat is Chief Osceola. That’s it. The other guy with the hat is just The Warrior and used at basketball games, since Osceola is only authorized by the Seminole Tribe of Florida to be used as a “symbol” at football games. That said, it’s a funny thread. More than anything I like funny blogs and The Key Play definitely has that edge. What inspires you guys to keep it going on Twitter and on the blog? Is it just pure college sports love? Is comedy a general hobby? Oh and explain why you think Pie sucks and Fudge is the better option?
It’s my unhealthy obsession with football. The funny (or attempt) is just my personality. I don’t take myself seriously, and really football should be taken with a grain of salt. I used to be of the mindset that each season was National Championship or bust, by that logic every season has been for naught, and that’s just stupid. Over the last few years I’ve realized there’s no point of drudging through nine months while anticipating a precious three only to be disgusted when your team isn’t the one holding the crystal at the end. The comedy aspect is just another part of what makes the college football season special to me. I do try to keep it at a balance with actual analysis, statistics, etc…
Pie sucks because for the most part it’s either hot, liquidity, mushy fruit surrounded by a soggy crust or, pumpkin (which sucks), or some sort of nut that I can’t eat because I’m allergic (which sucks). Fudge is awesome because it’s an unhealthy amount butter, sugar and chocolate.
Thanks again to Joe for doing this Q&A and be sure to stop by The Key Play for lots of VT related info!