Hokie, Hokie, Hokie Hi, Tech, Tech, VPI

After a heart-wrenching loss to Navy for the third straight year, Wake Forest fans get the pleasure of turning their attention to the Virginia Tech Hokies.

I am very much looking forward to the trip to Blacksburg with Bart and Jake this weekend. I hope to meet some great people from VT, have a great tailgate, help Jake cross of his final ACC venue (Bart and I still have Boston College remaining), and overall have a fantastic trip. One thing I do not expect to witness in Blacksburg this weekend is a Demon Deacon victory.

Click through the jump to read about the Virginia Tech Hokies

While some may call me negative, I prefer the term realist. This Virginia Tech team may not have lived up to the preseason hype due to consecutive losses to Boise State and James Madison to open the year, but they are still a very good team with Frank Beamer at the helms.

Virginia Tech comes into the game on Saturday with a 4-2 (2-0 ACC) record. Let's take a look at how they got to this record with a brief paragraph from the ESPN post-game recap.

Boise State-33 Virginia Tech-30 (0-1)

Moore hit Austin Pettis with a 13-yard touchdown pass with 1:09 left and No. 3 Boise State passed what might be its toughest test of the season, beating No. 10 Virginia Tech 33-30 on Monday night.

James Madison-21 Virginia Tech-16 (0-2)

Two games into the season, and No. 13 Virginia Tech can already forget the national championship talk that prevailed throughout their preseason camp. These Hokies can't even beat an FBS powerhouse, losing 21-16 to James Madison on Saturday. It was their second consecutive performance dominated not by a powerhouse offense, a stout defense or game-changing special teams, but by mistakes, missed tackles and disappointment.

Virginia Tech-49 ECU-27 (1-2)

David Wilson ran for two touchdowns and Darren Evans added a rushing score to lead Virginia Tech to a 49-27 win over East Carolina on Saturday. (Note: Ryan Williams injured in this game, still has not played since)

Virginia Tech-19 Boston College-0 (2-2, 1-0)

Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley intercepted Dave Shinskie in the end zone, and linebacker Davon Morgan stopped the Boston College quarterback at the goal line as time ran out in the first half to help the Hokies shut out the Eagles 19-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.

Virginia Tech-41 N.C State-30 (3-2, 2-0)

Tyrod Taylor threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jarrett Boykinwith 1:27 left, and the Hokies staged their biggest rally under coach Frank Beamer, rallying from 17 points down to beat No. 23 North Carolina State 41-30 on Saturday.

Virginia Tech-45 Central Michigan-21 (4-2, 2-0)

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another score to lead Virginia Tech past Central Michigan 45-21 on Saturday. (Note: Taylor sets VT school record with his 27th win)

After struggling in their first two games, the Hokies have won 4 in a row, including two very impressive wins over Boston College and N.C State. Momentum is certainly on the Hokies side since we all know how Wake Forest has fared in their last 4 weeks.

Virginia Tech Offense

Here is a game by game breakdown of Virginia Tech overall on offense. The first chart are the rushing statistics and the second chart are the passing statistics.

Date Opponent Surface Result Att Yards Avg. TD

09/06/10

+ 3 Boise St.

Grass

L 30-33

44

128

2.91

2

09/11/10

James Madison

Grass

L 16-21

44

238

5.41

0

09/18/10

East Caro.

Grass

W 49-27

41

249

6.07

4

09/25/10

@ Boston College

Turf

W 19-0

40

106

2.65

1

10/02/10

@ North Carolina St.

Grass

W 41-30

37

317

8.57

2

10/09/10

Central Mich.

Grass

W 45-21

28

230

8.21

4

 

Totals

234

1268

5.42

13

@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

 

It is scary how much the Hokies have improved running the football as the year has gone on. 3 games over 6 ypc (2 over 8) is very, very good, especially against N.C State. It is pretty obvious right now that having Ryan Williams out right now is not hurting them (been out since the ECU game with a pulled hamstring). It would be really nice if Wake Forest even had a pre-season first team All-ACC player, much less could thrive this much without him.

The brunt force of the running is done by Tyrod Taylor and Darren Evans. Evans has regained his 2008 form in which he rushed for 11 touchdowns and over 1250 yards. He is averaging 6.34 ypc right now and has already racked up 355 yards on just 56 carries. Here is a look at Evans rushing stats so far. His 10.67 ypc on 15 carries is an astonishing number, especially adding 2 touchdowns in there.

Date Opponent Surface Result Att Yards Avg. TD

09/06/10

+ 3 Boise St.

Grass

L 30-33

3

12

4.00

0

09/11/10

James Madison

Grass

L 16-21

7

27

3.86

0

09/18/10

East Caro.

Grass

W 49-27

10

91

9.10

1

09/25/10

@ Boston College

Turf

W 19-0

14

30

2.14

1

10/02/10

@ North Carolina St.

Grass

W 41-30

15

160

10.67

2

10/09/10

Central Mich.

Grass

W 45-21

7

35

5.00

1

 

Totals

56

355

6.34

5

@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

 

Tyrod Taylor has been equally, if not more impressive on the ground so far. He is averaging 74 yards per game on the ground and boasts gaudy numbers as well.

Date Opponent Surface Result Att Yards Avg. TD

09/06/10

+ 3 Boise St.

Grass

L 30-33

16

73

4.56

0

09/11/10

James Madison

Grass

L 16-21

13

86

6.62

0

09/18/10

East Caro.

Grass

W 49-27

9

32

3.56

0

09/25/10

@ Boston College

Turf

W 19-0

9

10

1.11

0

10/02/10

@ North Carolina St.

Grass

W 41-30

16

121

7.56

0

10/09/10

Central Mich.

Grass

W 45-21

9

127

14.11

2

 

Totals

72

449

6.24

2

@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

 

As you can see, both Evans and Taylor ran wild against the Wolfpack. Taylor has been equally as impressive through the air though. In Taylor's freshman and sophomore years, the defense could try to force him to run and essentially view him as one-dimensional, but that is simply not the case anymore. Here are Taylor's stats through the air so far.

Date Opponent Surface Result Att Comp Pct. Yards Yards/Att Int TD Rating

09/06/10

+ 3 Boise St.

Grass

L 30-33

22

15

68.2

186

8.5

0

2

169.20

09/11/10

James Madison

Grass

L 16-21

16

10

62.5

124

7.8

1

1

135.73

09/18/10

East Caro.

Grass

W 49-27

16

8

50.0

199

12.4

0

2

195.73

09/25/10

@ Boston College

Turf

W 19-0

21

16

76.2

237

11.3

1

0

161.47

10/02/10

@ North Carolina St.

Grass

W 41-30

24

12

50.0

123

5.1

1

3

125.97

10/09/10

Central Mich.

Grass

W 45-21

23

13

56.5

161

7.0

0

1

129.67

 

Totals

122

74

60.7

1030

8.4

3

9

151.00

This will make it very difficult for the Wake Forest defense to shut down Taylor because they will have to keep a spy on him at all times, which will open up the middle of the field a little bit more for Taylor to pick up some intermediate gains.

The man that Tyrod will be throwing to during much of the day is Jarrett Boykin. Using the 2009 season as a catapult to success, Boykin has picked up right where he left off with 21 receptions for 407 yards and 4 touchdowns. His 19.38 ypc ranks him 12th nationally, and with Wake Forest's lackluster secondary I feel that Boykin may have more than 1-2 catches over his average.

On a slight aside that I wouldn't normally add, I am going to throw out a kudos to Greg Nosal, an OL for the Hokies who apparently lost a tip of his pinky finger during their win over CMU and continued to play until it needed to be stitched back on.

It is things like this that make Virginia Tech so difficult to play. They are willing to play through anything, especially at home, and will do absolutely anything to try to get the job done.

 

Virginia Tech Defense

Moving on the Virginia Tech defense and one of the best assistant coaches in the country in Bud Foster. Virginia Tech is tied for 49th nationally in points allowed, right at 22.0 ppg. This is a big slip for the Hokies considering they have spent the past7 years in the top ten nationally in points allowed. Here is a breakdown of how the Hokies have allowed their points this year.

Date Opponent Surface Result TD FG 1XP 2XP Safety Points
09/06/10 + 3 Boise St. Grass L 30-33 4 2 3 0 0 33
09/11/10 James Madison Grass L 16-21 3 0 3 0 0 21
09/18/10 East Caro. Grass W 49-27 3 2 3 0 0 27
09/25/10 @ Boston College Turf W 19-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10/02/10 @ North Carolina St. Grass W 41-30 3 3 3 0 0 30
10/09/10 Central Mich. Grass W 45-21 3 0 3 0 0 21

Totals 16 7 15 0 0 132
@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

 

There does appear to be a little bit of hope considering the Hokies have allowed 3 touchdowns in all but one of their games. This is part competition they have played, but this is a VT team that is not as strong defensively as they have been in the past and are known for.

Sophomore LB Bruce Taylor leads the Hokies in tackles at 49 (8.17 per game), including 11.5 TFL, which is good enough for 5th nationally.

The readers may find this next stat particularly hard to believe, but statistically Virginia Tech is worse on pass defense than Wake Forest. VTis ranked 86th nationally, and Wake Forestis ranked 85th nationally. This is obviously a bit skewed since Wake Forest has played Navy and Georgia Tech, but the point remains. VT allows just over 232 passing yards a game and a 53% completion percentage. On the year they have allowed 11 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. This should lead to Tanner Price having a good chance of getting 250-300 yards if our offensive strategy is (and what is should be) what is was on Saturday against Navy.

The Hokies rank 36th in rushing defense at 123.67 ypg and 9th in TFL at 44.0 through 6 games (7.33 a game). This is a bit misleading though because VT has allowed a few 100 yard games to runningbacks. Take a look at the rushing defense game by game.

Date Opponent Surface Result Att Yards Avg. TD
09/06/10 + 3 Boise St. Grass L 30-33 24 168 7.00 1
09/11/10 James Madison Grass L 16-21 41 114 2.78 2
09/18/10 East Caro. Grass W 49-27 30 110 3.67 2
09/25/10 @ Boston College Turf W 19-0 28 70 2.50 0
10/02/10 @ North Carolina St. Grass W 41-30 33 145 4.39 0
10/09/10 Central Mich. Grass W 45-21 36 135 3.75 0

Totals 192 742 3.86 5
@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

 

That is not bad at all, especially the last 3 games where teams have run 97 times for 3.61 ypc and 0 touchdowns. That does not bode well for Wake, who has had a difficult time moving the ball on the ground recently after starting the year off pretty strong.

Virgina Tech Special Teams

Now we move on to Beamer Ball, one of the most overused terms on ESPN in the past 10 years. While it is certainly impressive what Frank Beamer has done through defense and special teams, I often think it is blown way out of proportion. Virginia Tech has blocked two kicks this year (both against Boise State), and neither went for a touchdown. I'll also throw in the takeaway/giveaway stats here because I consider this part of the game special. This next chart has all the special team stats in one place. Virginia Tech is on the left and their opponents are on the right.

Punt Returns: Yards / Return 12.56 7.42
Punt Returns: Returns - Yards - TD 9 - 113 - 1 12 - 89 - 0
Kickoff Returns: Yards / Return 22.92 23.13
Kickoff Returns: Returns - Yards - TD 26 - 596 - 1 24 - 555 - 0
Punting: Yards / Punt 42.52 42.00
Punting: Punts - Yards 25 - 1063 31 - 1302
Interceptions: Returns - Yards - TD 8 - 143 - 1 3 - 60 - 0
Fumbles: Number - Lost 11 - 5 11 - 3
Penalties: Number - Yards 32 - 309 48 - 433
Time of Possession / Game 29:52.50 30:07.50


Virginia Tech has a pretty decent sized advantage in punt return yards, as well as 19 takeaways to 14 giveaways (just under a +1 differential per game on the year), but they are pretty equal in everything else.

Once again the Deacs face a kicker in Matt Waldron that is quite impressive on the year. Here are his stats in place kicking.

Field Goal Extra Point
Date Opponent Surface Result Att. Made Pct. Att. Made Pct.
09/06/10 + 3 Boise St. Grass L 30-33 2 1 50.0 3 3 100.0
09/11/10 James Madison Grass L 16-21 3 3 100.0 1 1 100.0
09/18/10 East Caro. Grass W 49-27 0 0 - 7 7 100.0
09/25/10 @ Boston College Turf W 19-0 4 4 100.0 1 1 100.0
10/02/10 @ North Carolina St. Grass W 41-30 0 0 - 4 3 75.0
10/09/10 Central Mich. Grass W 45-21 1 1 100.0 6 6 100.0
Totals 10 9 90.0 22 21 95.5
@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

 

Not as good as some of the other kickers we have faced this year, but obviously nothing at all to shake our heads at. This guy is pretty good and can kick well into the 40's range.

 

This pretty much wraps up my team capsule report for this week. I would say it gives a pretty comprehensive look at Virginia Tech statistically, and should paint a clearer picture of what we can expect from the Hokies this weekend. They are a pretty good team, and that loss to James Madison isn't really a fluke, the Dukes are very good FCS team and in my opinion would be favored over us on a neutral field.I f there are any other stats that you are curious about just ask and I can pull them up for you and relay that information.

Thanks for reading, and as always...GO DEACS!

ETA: Sorry for the odd format in the middle of article, the tables that I inserted threw the formatting off a little and I don't know how to fix it!

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