VT is last in passing offense in the ACC and eighth in scoring offense. How much of that is due to youth, especially at the skill positions?
Frankly the problem is worse than you characterize, in that the Hokies rank 110th in total offense in the nation out of 119 teams. A lot of it is youth, because by some strange combination of graduation, injury, dismissal, and poor performance Virginia Tech is all freshman in the 2 deep at wide receiver and running back. Plus quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a 19-year old true Sophomore who’s still a dual-threat type learning the passing game. Even key players at tight end and fullback are starters for the first time this year. So, yes, our offense is really, really green.
However there aren’t many Hokie fans who’ve been paying attention the last several years that will let the problem be totally be blamed on youth. The lack of offensive production at Virginia Tech is nothing new and we’ve had plenty of talent at those positions in previous years. For example, last year Virginia Tech had several experienced wide receivers who are now in the NFL (some already productive) and our offense had problems last year. So I’m sure most Hokies would say there’s also issues with scheme, play-calling, coaching or some combination of these contributing to the problem.
Is Tyrod Taylor secure as the starter at quarterback? Or will Sean Glennon get a chance against FSU if Taylor isn't getting it done through the air?
Frank Beamer and Mike O’Cain (the VT quarterbacks coach) were asked about that again this week, and both hinted that the coaches have briefly considered putting Sean Glennon in the game during times when Taylor struggled. However they reiterated that the staff really wants to avoid the dual quarterback approach that was used last year. I think Beamer especially has had enough of the decision making, media scrutiny, and ‘player management’ that goes with constantly figuring out which QB is going to play when and will really avoid pulling Taylor at this point.
I wouldn’t count anything out, and this coaching staff has obviously shown itself to make abrupt decision on quarterback play, so who knows. For all we know, Tyrod will get pulled after his second bad series.
Bryan Stinespring may be Va. Tech's version of Jeff Bowden, the much criticized former O.C. of the Noles. How much do Hokie fans blame Stinespring for this year's offensive downturn?
Yeah, when contemplating our upcoming game versus Florida State, I had the same thought. Stinespring is under serious fire from Hokie fans. He’s completely lost their confidence as an offensive coordinator. The statistics don’t help his cause (VT’s been at the bottom in offense during his tenure) and he unfortunately gets measured with Virginia Tech’s defense, which Bud Foster regularly has in the top 5.
Before the loss Saturday to B.C., Tech had impressive wins over Nebraska, North Carolina, and is the only team to beat Georgia Tech. What went wrong at B.C., and what different will see against FSU?
Virginia Tech did have wins, but I’m not sure they were impressive (“skin of their teeth” comes to mind). All of Virginia Tech’s games have been close, heck, they only beat I-AA Furman 24-7. Things that went their way in games against Nebraska, UNC, and Georgia Tech (namely penalties, made field goals, and steady play by Tyrod Taylor), all went against them in the BC game. BC was by far the best defense they played, and Tyrod Taylor ( who let’s face it is Virginia Tech’s only source of offense) had a terrible game.
I’ve said that I think all of VT’s games this year will be close, and I think the game on Saturday vs. FSU is no different. VT’s defense is a fairly stout group that generally gets some turnovers. The offense is abysmal, it’s totally reliant on Taylor making plays and getting short fields. As far as doing something different, the Hokie offense hasn’t done anything different in years.
The Hokies do a have a outstanding kickers, unfortunately the punter out kicks his coverage sometimes. Good defense + good kickers + bad offense = close game.
Tech's normally tough defense is in the middle of the pack of ACC stats. What is its strength and where is it most vulnerable?
Bud Foster as usual has built a solid group. The defense also lost a lot of starters and some major NFL-caliber talent, but Foster has done his usual magic and they’ve developed nicely. Cornerback Macho Harris (also punt returner and occasional WR) is the team’s best player. Their only problem is giving up occasional big plays, which keeps teams in games when they otherwise look to be shut down.
This is how FSU will need to beat them, with some big plays. Sustained drives are less common against the Hokies.