The Hokies D: Best in the Country?
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Let me preface this by firmly stating that I am not a Virginia Tech Hokie fan.
I don't even know what a Hokie is -- not even the fight song does -- but I certainly have been quite observant through the first four weeks of college football.
Since I'm a Virginia native, I get an earful of Hokie athletics on a daily basis. Additionally, my sister, a Virginia Tech alum, pumps me with unwanted information weekly, even though she's fully aware of the fact that I'm a Florida State fan. With all of this thorough knowledge, bias or not, I think it's highly conceivable that the Hokies certainly do have a case to be considered as one of the most explosive, resilient, and stout defenses in all of college football.
Example No 1: The Hokies' first game of the season against the two-time defending champions, Alabama
The Georgia Dome hosted these two teams, which basically meant a home game for Alabama. Given the stadium, the location, and the team, the Hokies should have been dominated, right? The final score isn't very indicative of what actually transpired. The Hokies' defense was stifling throughout the entire game,yielding a measly total of 206 yards. They halted Alabama's ground attack by allowing a pathetic 2.5 yards per carry. AJ McCarron, a Heisman candidate mind you, threw for a total of 110 yards and his QBR was a measly 23.4.
Bud Foster did a phenomenal job of preparing his defense for Alabama. If it weren't for the Hokies' incompetent offense, this game could have easily gone a different direction. They only allowed two touchdowns against the defending champions. Given the circumstances, that's an impressive feat for a team that, on paper, should have been completely out of its league.
Example No 2: Making preparations in a short week, the Hokies' defense was yet again incredible against Georgia Tech's triple option.
The Yellow Jackets came into the game averaging 45 points per contest. Needless to say, the Hokies held them to 10. That's five touchdowns below their average.
Although Bud Foster has seen this offensive scheme before, given that Georgia Tech is in the ACC, he seems to have a firm grasp on how to defend it. The triple option is a defensive nightmare. The Hokies held Georgia Tech to 3.1 yards per carry. The Yellow Jackets' longest run was 15 yards.
Talk about a suffocating defense!
Derrick Hopkins was a beast in the middle, clogging up the interior with relative ease. The Hokies' front four were clinically effective as a unit, ultimately forcing Georgia Tech to pass, which isn't their strength at all.
The result? A 17-10 win for Virginia Tech.
Although the offense looks horrific -- particularly Logan Thomas -- the Hokies still have a fighting chance in any game they play with their unbelievably skilled and smart defense. Bud Foster is, in my opinion, a defensive wizard.
Watch out, ACC. A recently sleeping alpha dog has awoke and been added to the list of contenders for the ACC crown.