Grading the Virginia Tech W2W4

As I continued to receive congratulatory texts on nailing the game in the W2W4, I couldn’t help but wonder why more people didn’t anticipate what we witnessed.  Any time you match up a veteran defensive unit that practices complex schemes against an inexperienced line, you’ll get what you got on Saturday night.  We did miss a few things but all in all we did pretty well for our first time out of the gate this season!  Here’s a review of what we got right and what we got wrong.

Predictions we got Right: 22

Bud Foster will be hell bent on stopping the run and will put 8, 9 and 10 men in the box. Um, yeah, so we got this one so right it should really count as two!
Foster will use stunts and slants along with his blitzes to create havoc. Stunts?  Check.  Slants?  Check.  Blitzes?  Bunches of ‘em.
Virginia Tech will attack the edges hard and funnel the running game to the inside. Both of their outside linebackers seemed to blitz on every single play, caving in the edges and forcing the ball back inside.
The Hokie’s attacking defense will result in several negative yardage plays. Holy cow did we get this one right.  It was actually worse than we feared.
Bame will get called for a holding call or two. Two.  Both by Cyrus Kouandjio.  For a team that never gets called for holding, we went out on a limb on this one but we nailed it.
Va Tech will play a ton of man to man Boy did they.
You will get to know the name of James Gayle as he will spend a lot of time harassing the backfield. Gayle was a nightmare all night long.
AJ will be sacked a minimum of 3 times. Four, to be exact and with several near misses.
The Bama offense will come out flat. Yes, and they’ll apparently finish flat and be flat in between.
It won’t be 21-0 at the end of the first. With a little help from Christion Jones, it was 14-0.
The right tackle for Alabama will give up 2 sacks. Yep, but they weren’t all his fault.
Over 50% of the offense will come via the pass. Yep, 110 to 96.  Sigh.
Alabama will max protect much more than usual. They did max protect with Vogler and Fowler but it didn’t seem to help.
Va Tech’s offense is very vanilla and you won’t see anything flashy. Let’s be honest – they were awful.
Thomas is a good runner but not a good passer. Um, so Thomas was 5 of 26.  5 of 26!
Look for all the work Thomas has put in on fixing his fundamentals to go out the window. Five of 26!
Va Tech will not challenge our defense. Save for one belly dive, they never threatened.
Watch Ivory to control the middle. Again, except for one play, he did a great job.
Without the help of the Bama offense, the Hokies will get into the red zone less than 2 times. Or none.  If you count the long run, then the answer here is one.
Field goals.  If they do reach the red zone, they’ll have to kick a FG. When Alabama turned the ball over on a McCarron pick, the defense held and forced a field goal.
There won’t be many designed runs by Logan Thomas. He ran the ball four times including one sack and on one of those he was forced to run.
Prior to the snap, Tech will use a ton of motion to gain a numerical advantage.  This will result in four penalties. Nailed it.  They had seven total penalties with most of them coming from the offensive line or from the excessive movement.
Score:  Alabama 34  Virginia Tech 3 We covered the spread and I nearly nailed the Alabama score.  35-10 is a win in our books!

Predictions we got Wrong:  14

If AJ gets the ball to Bell, White or Cooper, it should be a quick six. Well, it was Christion Jones with the quick six so we were close but not quite right.
Play action passes should put the Hokie birds in a pressure cooker. Nope.  This was a huge surprise, too.
We predict at least two plays where you wonder where the Hokie defender was on the play The Hokies were in our jocks all night long.  AJ rarely had an open receiver, let alone a wide open one.
Derrick Henry will be the second leading rusher and he will blow your mind. Of all the missed picks, this is the one that hurts the most.  He never got a chance but when he finally did, he never had a chance.  Sigh.
Yeldon will be the second leading receiver. This was the biggest upset as we thought this was a complete lock.  We’ll just say he should have been the second leading receiver and leave it at that.
AJ will toss two touchdowns and complete four passes over 20 yards. Only one TD and two passes (ok, one was 18) for 20 or more.
OJ Howard will make a critical catch on third down. Another upset – this was supposed to be a lock.
The offense should gain 400 yards Um, how about half of that?  Yeesh.
You will see a double move result in a big play for Alabama Heck – we didn’t have time for a double move let alone a single move!
You should see Alabama in the hurry up some as FSU was effective with it against the Hokies last year. Unless you count hurrying up to punt, I think we missed this one badly.
Tech will have less that 75 yards rushing. One.  Stinking.  Play.  We would have had this one right were it not for one stinking play.
The safeties will combine for 3 picks. They only got one but could have had 2 others.
Bama will get lots of sacks. Bama only got one but controlled the line of scrimmage, forcing several errant throws.
If Rueben Foster plays he will rock somebody’s world. He played on special teams and on a few snaps at the end of the game.  Since you didn’t notice, that means we missed on this one.

 So, there you have it.   We got the major pieces right and nearly nailed the score so we’ll take it!

 

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