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Tech Pass Defense is Excellent
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #401, October 2, 2009

Virginia Tech has done a lot of impressive things on the football field in recent years, but nothing has been as good as the job the Hokies have done in pass defense through four games in 2009.

Defensive coordinator Bud Foster has always been a genius when it comes to disguising coverages and making opposing quarterbacks look silly, but this year he's taking it to a new level. Tech has played some good quarterbacks so far, and here are the numbers they have put up against the Hokies.

Opposing QBs vs. VT
Name Comp. Att. Pct. Yards TD INT

Greg McElroy

15 30 50% 230 1 1

Brian Anderson

15 31 48.4% 116 0 0

Zac Lee

11 30 36.7% 136 0 2

Jacory Harris

9 25 36% 150 0 1

Totals

50 116 43.1% 632 1 4


The completion percentage of opposing quarterbacks has gotten progressively worse through each game. Greg McElroy of Alabama started the season by completing 50% of his passes. That's not a great number, but it's the best anyone has managed against Virginia Tech this year.

McElroy also had 230 yards passing, which is the highest total any player has put up against Tech. He also has the only touchdown pass thrown against the Hokies this year.

Zac Lee and Jacory Harris of Miami had been putting up huge numbers before they came to Blacksburg and ran into Bud Foster's defense. In fact, all of these players have fared very well this season, except when they've played the Hokies.

Opposing QBs vs. Other Teams
Name Comp. Att. Pct. Yards TD INT

Greg McElroy

48 63 76.2% 708 6 0

Brian Anderson

48 75 64% 513 4 2

Zac Lee

57 75 76% 791 7 1

Jacory Harris

41 59 69.5% 656 5 2

Totals

194 272 71.3% 2668 22 5


Opposing quarterbacks have an efficiency rating of 84.8 against the Hokies. Against other teams, their efficiency rating is 176.7. That number would rank third in the nation, if one player put up those statistics.

Wrap your head around those numbers for a moment. Virginia Tech has thoroughly dominated a group of players who, on the whole, haven't been stopped by anyone else. Brian Anderson of Marshall hasn't put up great numbers against 1-A teams, but there's no questioning the ability of Greg McElroy, Zac Lee and Jacory Harris.

For the most part, the Hokies have already faced the best quarterbacks they will play this year.

Future Opponents
Name Team Comp. Att. Pct. Yards TD INT

Thad Lewis

Duke

72 123 58.5% 783 5 2

Dave Shinskie

BC

35 56 62.5% 413 5 2

Josh Nesbitt

GT

22 51 43.1% 446 2 2

T.J. Yates

UNC

62 102 60.8% 711 6 5

Patrick Pinkney

ECU

74 136 54.4% 756 4 4

Chris Turner

Maryland

82 136 60.3% 962 4 5

Russell Wilson

NC State

74 115 64.3% 969 12 0

Jameel Sewell

UVA

41 81 50.6% 512 4 5

Totals

462 800 57.7% 5552 42 25


Future opponents have a quarterback rating of 127.12. That's good enough (or average enough) to be 68th nationally in pass efficiency.

Of course, much of that is because of NC State sophomore phenom Russell Wilson. Take Wilson out, and the efficiency rating for the others is 119.99, which would rank 82nd in the nation.

Virginia Tech's pass defense has been dominant so far, and considering the upcoming competition, it could get even better.

Lanier to Start at Right Tackle

Right tackle Blake DeChristopher is listed as probable on Virginia Tech's injury report, but he will not start the Duke game. Instead, r-sophomore Andrew Lanier will get the first start of his career. DeChristopher is battling an ankle injury suffered during the Miami game.

Lanier got 13 snaps against Miami in relief of DeChristopher. He also played 16 plays against Marshall. Offensive line coach Curt Newsome has been excited about Lanier's progress, and now he'll get a chance to prove it on the field against the Blue Devils.

Three other Hokies are also listed as probable: rover Davon Morgan (shoulder), wide receiver Dyrell Roberts (hamstring) and defensive tackle Demetrius Taylor (calf).


 

Virginia Tech Football Vault
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In the "Virginia Tech Football Vault: The History Of The Hokies", Chris Colston of USA Today and the former editor of the Hokie Huddler tells the story of Virginia Tech football from the days of Hunter Carpenter and the Pony Express through the program’s rebirth under Frank Moseley to the power game of Jerry Claiborne to the glory days that continue under the watch of Frank Beamer. This detailed “scrapbook” contains never-before-published photographs, artwork and memorabilia drawn from Tech’s athletic department and school archives. No Hokie fan should be without this “home archive” of Virginia Tech’s illustrious football history. Foreword by Frank Beamer, Afterword by Bill Roth.

This scrapbook-style book contains reproductions of old game programs, tickets, postcards and photos.

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