Virginia Tech 59, North Carolina 7
Virginia Tech football looks pretty damn shinny at 6-1 and in total 100% control of its very own Coastal Division (a.k.a. its A.c.c championship game) destiny.
That’s not half bad if you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- this side of departing two epic catch-game testing and record breaking talents respectively. Not to mention an offense that had not one, a 2016 offense that had two full once a decade pure alpha leaders to fire the troops up when the O&M pilot lights out; plus 100% of the right-side oLine, all being gonzo. And yet, per always; “the (R.A.T.T.) truth is out there“… don’t believe me? Just read on to find, out…
The Fu‘th and mythperceptions…
As 6 up and only defending national champion Clemson 1 down things stand, here are the #13 nationally ranked realities… allegedly…
- 35th in total O.
- 48th in rush O.
- 31st in throw O.
- 15th in team passing efficiency. (that is impressive!)
- 25th in scoring O. (which is a misnomer as there is no ST’s or D scoring tally)
Pretty spiffy so far, right?
All is more or less right in the offensive New River Valley, correct?
As (parking) lot #1 lightening strikes and we all know… “Not so fast my friends…“
Because when you dig-deeper as any Holden Hall quality data-MINE(r) would, you see the metrics that paint the more authentic and somewhat fair to middling or the more offensively centrist picture in my book…
- 45th in sacks allowed.
- 50th in explosion.
- 53rd in third-down conversion O.
- 57th in offensive efficiency.
- 58th in forth-down conversion O.
- 59th in red-zone O.
- 70th in power success rate.
- 73rd in TFL allowed (tackles for a loss)!
- 86th in finishing drives!
- 95th best in rushing S&P. (an offensive drive data comparison metric of all college football D-1 games vis-à-vis thus far)
- 124th best in rushing IsoPP. (points per play on successful or positive yardage gaining plays) i.e. this stat measures how: “potent” you are when you are actually gaining positive yardage.
- 124th easiest Rb’s to tackle! Dang…
- and we only have one ball carrier on the entire team above a 47% OPPRate (opportunity rate). Qb2 AJ Bush! i.e. this metric charts how often the offensive line does its job and achieves a >5 yards per carry for the runner.
- with only the really lame (God Bless) C.J. Carroll checking in north of a 67% catch rate! (84% for the sure handed CeeJay).
Or in other words… is it really that bogus to say that this 2017 O is really only a Sean Glennon drumstick removed from being: “inert”, all over again?
Now now, before you get your Hokiebird tail-feathers all bent outta shape, what does such a divergence in seemingly excellent, to seemingly middleocore and then seemingly downright “inert” statistics really tell us?
Well in order to R.A.T.T. dowser what this all means, we have to look at the week-by-week trends…
When we do so we see that the 2017 O has not expressed as much statistical variance in textbook terms as Bud Bôck has. Or in other words coach-Fu and coach Corny; somehow (and I don’t really know how); nevertheless, they somehow got such a retooled 2017 Fu’fense to its ceiling in a hurry and that is where it has adhesively stuck since early September. (comparatively, whereas Foster’s stop-unit has been in a steady state of betterment nearly all season long. Though why is that?)
Before we begin, and to compound fracture all of that, mind the store that this somewhat truncated 2017 O does pretty decently (mid-40’s ‘ish) in all four Standard Down rankings. (i.e. when not facing Lo.FM’s the Fu’fense gets by well enough). Or to put it another way, this is not a pursuit pilot’s P-51 or dream O. It is not good in chase: be that vs. the chain-gain in long yardage Lo.FM’s or much less when trailing and in need of burst type plays on the scoreboard. File that one away if we trial by more than two full scores for future ’17 reference…
To take that an objective step further… this 2017 Fu’esne ranks a paltry 119th best in America on Lo.FM’s! This is also a very slow starting offense that opens the 1Q 90th best, then goes 71st in the second stanza. This is coaching every bit as much as it is conditioning, however it is also a more that subtle warning. As this impoverished of a Lo.FM offensive set can not afford to chase now that we are into the meat of the regular season schedule. As it was none other than Frank Beamer -who in a startling moment of non Frank ‘esque in-game on-air microphone candor- admitted that this 2017 O had better get its ground-game in gear before the real teams get here. Amen Frank.
Now we begin… as that’s code for two things sports-fans… first of all that’s code for coaching the verb and secondly it is code for personnel limitations that no amount of verbiage can elevate this side of Coach God Himself.
And here is a word to the long-view wise… don’t hold your Tech breath and turn all O&M in the face, as this contemporary O is prolly not real far from it’s foreseeable ceiling for the next 10 to 20 games beyond a Hooker or a QVT (Patterson kid) breaking through said ceiling or some sorta mega **** or ***** signing at Rb and/or Wr to truly spark things up.
As coach-Fu and coach Corny, coach Z, coach Wiggins and coach Vice are doing damn well all they max’ed out can with (mostly) C+ to B- type mismatched or even at times downright juxtaposed possession parts.
That all being objectively science-fact rightfully stated, don’t die of shock if this O eats a hiccup game or two before 2017 comes to a close.
Although this is also code for the growing glory of coach Hilgrith’s S&C and nutritional applied sports and cultural mental toughs really showing out in the last 10’ish minutes of scrumming. Where they -to their credit- have beaten up on mentally softer teams and truly elevating an otherwise middleocore Hokie offensive crew via some easy on the Eye garbage time yards. As such is simultaneously the fiction and the fiefdom in the skewed realm of turning loose a decidedly Rb4 or of a message board favorite getting out Fox(ed).
On the other side of the line-of-scrimmage, I actually part company with myself and say to you that this side is mis-ranked. Albeit in this particular case, the 2017 national halt-unit metrics are too low, if anything; as this is rounding into one of the better Foster defense’s dating back to 2005 or 2007 give or take.
- 13th in Total D!
- 16th in rushing D.
- 26th in passing D.
- 11th best in defensive Havoc!
- 4 of our top-5 tacklers at a 42% or better Success Rate; (phenomenal)!
And that's a helluva a departure from opening the year ranked 119th in Total D!
And yet the now ranked 35th in total O opened the year ranked 42nd! "Do you believe me now Trinity?"
Now, do pause to consider that this is a Foster stop-unit that is playing defense without a true Fs anywhere on the entire 2017 football roster! As our Fs1 was actually a Wr who could not catch and our Fs now is a Rover/Cb with a bum right-shoulder. Likewise consider that there are a few occasional gaps in our medium to deeper zone looks accordingly; and you see what I mean when I type that a 113th spot improvement is not only arithmetically astonishing… this is a 2017 Bud Bõck unit that still ain’t at its defensive zenith!
Don’t believe me? Just ask the most improved Dt1 (Settle) and Dt2 (Walker) play this side of when Pugh and Beasley went from so-so to downright good in-season. Except for the little fact that bump and lump have gone from downright very good to great and are possibly on their way into the Top-2 all-time Wiles’ starting Dt-combination conversation. As the insider whispers in/around Blacksburg say that Foster thinks 2018 would be his best defensive unit ever; if he can only convince everyone to stay; wowow!
Let us now examine the last two games in particular vs. a very inviting 119th ranked U.n.c. D and a well well less than its former vanguard self 93rd ranked BeeCee D.
These two games are what tipped my film-study off… as less defensive and special teams scoring on Saturday afternoon and we really lead U.n.c. 14-zip for a good long while in what erstwhile bogus appeared to be a runaway rout with zero offensive points scored vs. a totally ready to spit-the Unc.edu bit entire T.heel football program for the first 20 mins. of play. Recollect that prior to that we mucked around on a three FG-make offensively yo-yo type day up on Chestnut Hill. As when you add that all up that’s 15 drive staling punts, 2 drive halting fourth down stops, with one INT and two missed FGA’s. All of this in eight quarters of scrumming vs. two pretty pitiful defenses by-the-bye. So do you see what I mean yet?
As this is a 2017 Fu’ense that executes nearly mistake free football efficaciously enough, and yet it is also a 2017 Fu’fense that lacks the individual twitch to create plays when need be.
And yet little things like being ranked 24th best nationally in punt-returns, 20th best in KO-returns and 13th best in Net Punting to go with being ranked 24th best in fewest penalty yards accessed is covering a lotta hidden-yardage ground.
Not to mention covering a lotta field-position and covering our arse on a whole whole lotta slow to stuttering offensive starts. If you don’t believe me just ask w.v.u. how this one tastes. Then ask being 20th best in the all important Turnover Margin metric. As this 2017 Virginia Tech football team is not so much beating you quite as much as they are not beating themselves. Because they are actually forcing you to beat them and in order to do that you too need to field a matching great defense with epic special-teams and a better offense. As one could dare to say that you need a knock-out punch or at least several 10-8 rounds to win vs. a St.Charles Place physically limited and yet simultaneously a Park Place mentally well schooled football squad —or a sportsman’s monopoly on Gestalt Theory gone ballistic if you will.
Now, and in closing, recall where we are with film-study on our ’17 offensive limitations and scouting tendencies abounding after our less than overwhelming offensive outputs vs. the two most recent 119th and 93rd best defense’s in the land… then riddle me this…
- Duke 27th in total D.
- @Da U and their 41st total D.
- @Georgia Tech and their 20th total D.
Pitt (105th in total D).(not much to see here)
- @hooVa with their 29th ranked total D.
…you do the, 6 up and 1 down with 4 quality remaining defenses on tap maths!
As one could be forgiven for saying we are trending as close as the Fu’ense will ever be to returning to our Beamerball or Fancy Gap now gone offensively
schematic fancy-pants ways.
Virginia Tech=59, North Carolina=7