Your winning Delaware Eye in the Sky!

Virginia Tech football beat upstart and upset minded Delaware on Saturday afternoon down in the getting more autumn like as I type New River Valley.

The Hokies –I repeat- beat upstart and upset minded Delaware on Saturday afternoon in Lane Stadium by a final score of 27-o. In a game that –somehow- actually felt closer than that. And yet it wasn’t, as Virginia Tech football left a good three scoring plays out on the Worsham Field last Saturday and actually played better than I had expected in real-time upon breaking tape. Call this one whatever you want… “vanilla” as most of the never played before media is calling it, or mundane, middleocore, plain, basic, austere, inelaborate or whatever else you deign to call it. Meh… if you ask me –and you did by reading these words- I agree with Mae West: “call me anything, just call me, often.” And oh by the way, go ahead and call Virginia Tech perfect on the year, in first place in the A.c.c. and ranked 16th in both polls while you are at it.

 

Deeper=code for what, here?

2nd game duration:
Armchair Qb’s riddle me this… why the positively Canadian Football League (C.f.l.) looking dLine offset in this one? Including here in positive field position under short-yardage circumstances on 3rd & 2?

Then later on near the end of the 2Q we spy this look… now unless the wide-side De is inaccurate -i.e. too far up or to close to the line-of-scrimmage (L.O.S.)- you almost have to wonder if Foster and Wiles are going original school Lombardi/Landry, Sam Huff era NY.Giants flex defense. As the shrewd among you will recognize this offset as something outta the 1970’s Dallas Cowboys forty-three look. And the gridiron theologians among you will carbon-date this all the way back to the Polo Grounds. Which technically speaking is a variant of the “double eagle” that Bud tapped up at Ohio State a few years back.

The idea with the flexed D-linemen is to improve pursuit angles to stop a particular rushing play; typically one to the outside or towards the “flexed” or deeper offset D-lineman be that internal (Dt) or external (De). The Flex Defense was also innovative in that it was a kind of zone defense against the run. Each defender was responsible for a given gap area; (that sound familiar?) and is told to stay in that area as a read-n-react check to make sure they know where the play is going.

Clearly Bud Foster is a lotta things… and dull ain’t one of ’em!

1Q duration:
The first stanza graded out to 10 outta 11 —that’s 91% of our blocking plays graded as good or better (with one left-side miscommunication that graded negatively). I’ve been Blessed to do this a long long time, never ever seen that one before.

Though here’s the catch-44, two missed (dropped) TD throws later and it sure did not feel like it in real time. As quiet honestly this O felt “inert”, in a word, at least to me on Saturday between 3:35pm and ~7:30. Nonetheless, one could argue that we were two HR throw drops away from staking a 21-zip lead, in a hurry.

Wide open spaces…”

2Q 11:o9 remaining:
Third TD left out on the field in the first ~20 mins. of scrumming and the second missed old-school Naval Academy jump-pass as JAX simply led T.Mac’ too far on the Tb fly pattern right up the even side A-gap gut; or T.Mac’ would still be running. Now mix in the Savoy TD drop and the Clark TD drop and suddenly you have a 28-nil contest that is likewise suddenly way sexier than a one play game or a 7-o tally.  Perfect summa cum laude play calls, just sloppy …wait for it… just sloppy, “execution.

2Q duration remaining:
Other first-half theme was… Joe Walker the Delaware Qb simply made some rugged plays. As we had him within one or two tenths of a second of being sacked or whistled dead and at the very last split second; Walker simply went playground athlete on a throw downfield and made nearly 45 yards worth of something happen on the Hens (almost) scoring drive. That’s not our fault as much as it is to Walker’s credit; a gamey, gutty, crusty kinda kid.

2Q remaining:
So, who is our right-G on P.A.T.’s? As he just fired off the L.O.S. like it was a downhill seal-blocking play and knocked two Hens loose; almost knocked the Umpire out; all before the third Hen had had enough and dusted our right-G off for keeps. LOL, I have no idea what is going on here; unless our right-G thought this was an internal ball carrying try for two? Nonetheless, this is my kinda right-G, anyone who is this Apocalypse Now special teams nutty in the head “…can drink from my canteen any day“.

EPIC, and easy peasy call for any 3rd and 16!

3Q 11:31 remaining:
Sprint right, screen-left, on 1, on 1, ready… BREAK!

This call, the old-school Te boot-play and the similar circa down-out-down play; three best passing plays I’ve ever known and I’ve not seen this old Service Academy jailbreak screen since 1982, rubix cubes, Stranger Things; and Coach Barnett and Coach Hammer days. Same as the other two aforementioned clear-out type holdover plays, (virtually) never ever fails. WOW, talk about a blast from the X’s and O’s A+++ past! As this is one Fu’ and Corny really ought to borrow from Rocco. As you see it about as often as bigfoot, or once every 35 years.

Kinda the same drill at the 3Q 7:09 remaining mark… notice how Vinny is very tardy getting onto the field in relief of Gaines at left-De. Guess what happens next? Walker hot reads an off-T zone-stretch keeper for himself right into Vinny’s outside shoulder. As these Hens may not have the horses; although this is one Bob Baffert triple-crown quality trainer.

Last 40 min. duration:
Don’t wanna hit this too too hard; although I don’t wanna ignore it either, as Teller and Nijman were out-blocked, or at least out-(pass)-protected by our Buzz Williams 3-guard offensive line-up over on the right side. Couple of miscommunications between the seniors, and -at times-just a pokey looking effort from Dub.Tell’. As I suppose if #57 just had to have one more unfocused senioritits kinda game, Delaware was as good a place for it as any; though still…

…on the other hand, or should I say on the other side of the L.O.S., Hill had one of his better up-field speed-move pass rushing days. Observe as Trevon is generating a lotta heat, Qb pressures and/or hits on opposing Qb’s from his right-De slot. As this #94 kid is gonna be pretty dang tight; just ask 2019.

4Q 13:34 remaining:
Don’t see a sporting “Q-dawg” symbol much more this side of Shaq-Fu’ retired dunks; as you gotta wonder if this is still politically correct or even legal in erect and/or tear-down overly sensitive statue ‘esque terms? Tho’ Shaq and I still enjoy this… no word if we both still enjoy, dunks?

strokes it to the woman that he loves best!”

4Q 8:18 remaining:
I be strokin’
-Clarence Carter-

And Reggie Floyd is too, as someone forgot to tell my almost boy that a true real live (head) Hunter wanted a starting word with his Rover1 spot. As my peeps told the pay-side back in the summer; Reggie plays with a very heavy shoulder and here he plays with the old-school Jack Lambert double-forearm shiver upstairs. Pretty impressive that #29 got up from this. As Reggie be… “strokin”!

4Q duration:
These are your back-up dLinemen or Wiles’ 2’s… De’s in maroon and Dt’s in orange. This is little ole D-1aa Delaware… you do the maths.

4Q 4:10 remaining:
Just what you do not wanna see with ~4 left in a meaningless game, a starter still out on the playing field as Nijman pays the price. Although what price did he pay? As at first it looked like a contact {sic: lens} or a finger to the face. Although at the end it looks more like a right side arm/wrist or a possible stinger.

As the Eye is obscured as big ole #69 has his back to the camera most of the time on this insalubrious sequence. Godspeed Y.N.!

^This^ and the fact that the 1’s nearly went the distance in a meaningless short-week game tells you a little something-something about the future… don’t it?

FREE AJ Bush!!!
I’ma just sayin’…

Time To Throw (TTT)©:

Virginia Tech:
Qb pressured=8
Qb hurried=1
Qb hits=14
Sacked=1

Delaware:
Qb pressured=13
Qb hurried=2
Qb hits=21 (1 fumble)
Sacked=4

Tackling was still a little shallow —although nothing bad; and our geometry was better than game no.1. It was a little softer in Q1; and I can live with that. Had to get the old-gold and blue whelps worked out and start physically dealing on this Michigan looking lowercase team next.

Dline and Linebacking were very solid. Nice, neat, thorough, effective run fits; nothing bad in pass protect. The bigger Edmunds, Mook and Floyd all had monsta games. 35 total stops (21 of which were solo); 5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and a Qb hurry! Yah; I’d say that counts and you can call me a homer here, although if this was a given offense we’d all be saying there were not enough footballs to go around. As is there are not enough vegan ball carriers to satisfy this many defensive carnivores. Accordingly, O&M Bud has to be tickled pink with these three thus far. Wiles boys were solid enough, Walker, Hill and big Vin all had sharp enough box score days and Tim kept everyone else, clean. As Tim ate a buncha double-team blocks and that leaves Bud Bock +1, (or more), in the second layer for it.

Secondary was bringing a little more lumber and their coverage was strong enough vs. a willing, athletic, and yet ultimately limited throw-game Delaware Qb. And same as #23 beating up on so-so N.b.a. Finals teams; that’s not their fault and they prolly did need a breather after chasing wilma grier.  Who appears set to crack the mach-1 or 1,000 yard passing barrier after halftime next week.

And generally speaking, the Vice-squad has kept Joshua Jackson upright and relatively clean this season. Also saw Bud Bock blitz a bit more, the Cb blitz or Mook in particular. Still hoping to see Edmunds attack like Lawrence Taylor here; though we did bring a bit more heat this week and honestly we did not show a whole helluva a lot in doing it on tape. That’s called: coaching, the verb.

Longfield Management (Lo.FM)©:

Virginia Tech:
positive: |||| (1 Hen penalty)
negative: |||| ||| (1 FGA blocked)
Swiss (neutral): ||||

Delaware:
positive: |||| ||
negative: |||| |||| |||| |||| (6 Hen flags!)
Swiss (neutral): |||| |

JAX is a little slow to accelerate on the option look at times. He does not have a ton of burst although he does have a stretchy enough top-speed; once he gets there. He can make a D elastic once he hits the second-layer (Linebacking) with his wheels. Though he did miss one easy TD throw and he was 57%, which is basically what he is for the season (57%). Making him more and more my peeps original call of Bryan Randall lyte. (Now he’s even sporting the coolmodine smooth as silk Lando Calrissian B.R. mustache too boot). JAX has yet to make a really horrific throw, he seems -at least to me- he seems hesitant to force a throw or three per game that he prolly could make (see: Lo.FM marks). Fair to say that 120 minutes does not a season make; though let’s keep an Eye in the Sky on those elongated vertical misses from JAX –as you just know Fs’s will too.

oLine?
Graded pretty dang well overall— as the Corny play-calling mix was subtly more elegant than I had Saturday afternoon thought. He set a smart enough table, just forgot to bring the spoons.

A little big preggers.
Hand-grenades and horseshoes.
And if my aunt Kim had nuts and a bolt she’d be my uncle… Tim.

Yah yah; 10-4. All true.

Still, this one was much much less sterile upon breaking tape than it felt like it was Saturday afternoon. Ergo,  this is why you write the Eye in the Sky. Don’t fret too much TSL nation… this was more encouraging than I had expected. As this game coulda -possibly even shoulda- been right on top of 40-zip at the end.

Do wanna quickly point out that Wr blocking has been better than expected so far; not epic; although better than you’d lb. for lb. expect with only one true size Outside-Wr getting reps. Cyber tip of the hat to coach Wiggins… (Insert here:______), check!

the takeaway…

The takeaway here is what esteemed VTGolfer judiciously pointed out to me post-game on Will’s pay message board… if this had been game number one and beating wvu had been game number two, everyone would be raving about how much we improved on a short (Holiday) workweek. Absolutely, except we were a bit flat, a bit centrist, and coach Rocco sure shorted the game (only 62 offensive plays for the Hens). This made this Sleepy Hollow day all the more Ichabod Crane ho-hum. Don’t know if I’d call that: “vanilla”; however it sure ain’t spumoni, either.

Though still, 2-o, no major injuries, we are incrementally getting better, we are ranked in the mid-teens; and things could be worse people, just ask .5oo w.v.u.

***

“Inert”. That was gonna be my post-game word of the day, as it took us 33 minutes of scrumming to log our first positive Lo.FM on our own with no Hen help! Because on Saturday? There was something rather Glennon ‘ish at times about this O. Kinda workman like, can change a washer and fix the drippy O&M Owens Hall sink; still yet, kinda droopy at times as well. Except for one thing… we are doing a pretty dang keen job of -quietly enough- of hitting a few M-80 type explosion plays even if it sometimes feels more snap-n-pops.

As Virginia Tech football has logged: 170% more Tackles for a Loss, 300% more sacks, two to none in passes pilfered, 220% more passed broken-up, 260% more passes in defense and 143% more Qb’s popped right in the mouth than our opponent’s have if you are keeping score at home.

And yet -mea culpa here- don’t really intrinsically feel like it, does it? Or at least not yet, as this is not a truly explosive Jimmie Walker d-yno-mite offense via strict individual player metrics definition; beyond the odd tasty long ball hook-up to Cam. Nevertheless, this O ain’t quite potted-meat, either. Give it some time, some room to grow and bear with it during a likely Sept. 30th growing pain. As this O will get better even if it never quite turns 2017 great.


Along similar lines, we see that Virginia Tech football is 4th best in penalties, lights out special teams, dominating field-position; and I’d hint this speaks to one other thing… coach Fu’ and staff -to their credit- Fu’ and staff have really electron microscope measured their ’17 Margin of Error. To at least three decimal places same as E.S.M. and Norris Hall homework. And margin of error -exactly the same as team wide depth- looks, thin, upon breaking tape to me.

the skinny…

Or in other words… health writes a snappy bowl game prologue or a regular season epitaph; take thy pick.

The most interesting early season theme so far is... what???

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Virginia Tech=27, Delaware=o

LETS GO!

Hokies!

bourbonstreet**

2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Good stuff B’Street, but why no mention of 6 for 26 this season on 3rd downs. Need to pour through the numbers, but the lack of a “consistent” running game can out you in 3rd and long where your chance for success decreases or you can’t move the D on 3rd and short. Whether by committee, or individual play the run game must improve. Too many 3 and outs and in the Fuente era we have have yet to score a TD on an opening drive. Think about that for a moment. Nice work as usual, just not that optimistic yet, but then again it’s only 2 games!!!

    1. Inconsistent and very NOT surprising 6/26.

      The more interesting thingy would be… how many are Lo.FM’s?
      Or are they just not getting 3 to 6′ right at the end?
      Which are 2 different animals/thresholds.

      b.street

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