clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Clinic Talk: Film Preview of Virginia Tech vs Miami

How the Hokies and Canes will match-up on Thursday night

NCAA Football: Florida State at Miami
Brad Kaaya, Canes QB, standing tall in the pocket
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For many coaches, Bud Foster has been the staple of what defense should be. For years, Coach Foster employed his 4-4 G defense playing mostly cover 3 with some long-yardage cover 4. Then reality hit, “6” became a common route combination along with spread 10 personnel defenses and the air raid guys made the need for a 4-4 obsolete. It was a great answer to the I-Formation days of the 90’s and early 2000’s, when most of the country ran 20 and 21 personnel from under center, or what many call “pro style.” The shotgun was used for throwing, and there was play-action, iso, and toss!

Above, you can see the VT 4-2-5, the defense Foster employed once he decided to come into the modern era and really adapted to it. From 2004-2007, Foster had the 1, 2 or 3 ranked scoring defense in all of college football. He’s brought up in every defensive conversation for a reason. By 2010 though, VT had risen to #23 in scoring defense and in 2015 all the way to #59. The Hokies are now ranked #10 and 4-2-5 quarters coverage is the key.

The Hokies use play-action here to attack deep downfield against UNC. It’s an amazing catch and throw but the #Canes defensive backs have to realize they’re pass first players and not bite up on the PA.

This is a nasty play-action off jet sweep and The Tech QB, Evans looks like he has sharp timing with his Tight End. Young linebackers have to be aware of the release from the TE and FB on a flood play.

Another play-action pass with 3-verts here as the Hokies hit the H-Back up the seam. That’s something Miami needs to do more with Herndon.

This is a nice look at power-read from VT. A mobile QB works wonders inside the +5. Evans has played well in the run game except for against the Vols back in week 2. Otherwise he’s had multiple 9 yards / carry games to go with 1300 passing yards and a 17:2 TD:INT ratio.

Above is another GIF of the VT play-action flood play. This worries me against those young Miami linebackers.

Now the question is, what did Syracuse do to beat the Hokies and can Miami use that blueprint? They sure didn’t slow Evans down as he threw for 300 yards and 2 TDs and ran for 5.5 yards / carry

Above, you can see ‘Cuse break out a toss pass that works for a deep 6 points to extend their lead to 11. We haven’t seen trick plays from Miami this season (maybe because blocking is tricky enough for the #Canes?)... could this be the week to take advantage of an over-aggressive Hokies defense?

Above, the Orange use Strickland again (he threw the 80 yard TD) and he bounces off Hokies for a 15 yard TD run. Miami has the backs to bounce off tackles and scamper for big gains. I hope #Canes fans are glad the poor tackling U defense doesn’t face this guy.

What this basically says is Syracuse knew they had a dynamic playmaker and got the ball in his hands with a great gameplan. Hopefully Miami finds this guy (Coley?) and does the same.

Syracuse has improved leaps and bounds from 2015 and one way is in team defense. Look at the penetration, pursuit, and swarm with three hats to the ball on this run. I think Miami can duplicate this type of defense and success.