TSL Pass Supplement to the Miami Game Analysis
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 12/11/02

Bryan Randall, the Mad Scrambler

Against the Hurricanes, Bryan Randall had 132 yards rushing on 25 carries (5.3 yards per carry). If you take away the five Miami sacks for 24 yards in losses, Randall had an astounding 156 yards rushing on 20 carries (7.8 yards per carry).

Some of Randall's yardage came off of scrambles from the pocket on a passing play, and some of it came from designed running plays -- the QB draw and option keepers. Randall had a lot of room to work with, because the Hokies spread the field and gave him running room when he left the backfield.

Many of Randall's runs earlier this season were juke moves in heavy traffic, but there was very little that was fancy about his runs against the Canes. Most of it was "see the open spot and go." One exception was an 18-yard scramble late in the second quarter in which he left the pocket, ran straight at Miami defensive end Andrew Williams (#99), juked him into last week, and ran right by him.

I'm not going to list every one of Randall's 20 carries, but I will break down what he did off the scramble. A "scramble" is defined here as a passing play in which Randall leaves the pocket and takes off running, not a designed running play. Sacks are not classified as scrambles.

Bryan Randall's Scrambles (shading indicates plays in the same possession)






2-14 from VT 10


Scramble up the middle


2-7 from MIA 10


Scrambles up the middle, goes airborne, almost scores


1-10 from VT 26


Rolls left, tucks and runs (designed play?)


2-1 from VT 29


Ran from the pocket


1-10 from VT 31


Scrambled from the pocket to the left sideline


3-1 from MIA 48


Scramble to left sideline


3-10 from MIA 41


Goes up middle, jukes #99, goes to the left sideline


3-19 from VT 44


Flushed, scrambles but didn't get far


2-18 from VT 25


Flushed, scrambles up middle/left

9 plays


9.9 yards per carry

Note that in Tech's 2nd quarter scoring drive right before the half, Randall scrambled from the pocket four times for 39 yards. The total drive was 15 plays, 80 yards, so Randall gained nearly half the yardage scrambling from the pocket.

You can also see that he picked up six first downs scrambling. That's nearly one-third of Tech's 19 total first downs, and over half of their 11 rushing first downs.

Randall's 25 rushing plays break down like this.

Bryan Randall's Rushing Totals

Play Type

# of Plays


Ave. Gain/Loss




-4.8 ypc




9.9 ypc

Designed Run



6.1 ypc




5.3 ypc

While history will record that the Hokies had 45 carries for 192 yards against the Canes, the truth is that a large portion of it came from Bryan Randall scrambling from the pocket. Outside of his scrambles, the Hokies only had 36 carries for 103 yards (2.86 ypc).

The Hokie tailbacks and fullbacks had 20 carries for 71 yards (3.5 yards per carry). Contrast this with the 1995 game, Tech's first-ever win over Miami, in which the Hokies rushed for 300 yards on 49 carries. That day, Jim Druckenmiller had 7 carries for 14 yards, wide receiver Bryan Still had one carry for -1 yard, and the running backs had 41 carries for 287 yards (7 yards a carry).

You can see that over the years, the character of how Virginia Tech attacks Miami's defense with the rushing game has changed. The days of that strong 1995/1996 VT offensive line dominating Miami's defensive line are long gone, for the time being.

DeAngelo's Long Day

One of the biggest surprises to come out of this game was the way that VT cornerback DeAngelo Hall was beaten like a drum in the passing game. Hall had one of the worst days a cover guy could ever have, giving up most of Andre Johnson's 6 catches for 193 yards.

Hall has been battling a back injury, the origin of which is a closely guarded secret. No official information has come out of Virginia Tech or BeamerBall.com about the nature of the injury, but ABC announcers Brad Nessler and Bob Griese talked about Hall having a "stress fracture of a vertebra" in his back.

DeAngelo's problems in coverage didn't appear to be physical, though, because he not only had a 71-yard punt return, but he made 13 tackles and didn't have much trouble running down the receiver on many of the plays on which he was beaten.

Here's how Hall's day went.

DeAngelo Hall's Day in Coverage






2-3 from the 50


Hall and Manning blow coverage on Johnson, who catches a 50-yard TD down the sideline


3-10 from MIA 40


Hall beaten by Johnson on deep seam route


3-4 from MIA 32


Hall buys pump fake by Dorsey, gets beaten by Roscoe Parrish down the left sideline.


1-10 from MIA 29


Johnson beats Hall deep on the first play of the 2nd half.


3-7 from VT 27


Johnson beats Hall one-on-one for critical third down

5 plays


43 yards per reception

Ouch. Miami had 300 yards passing on the day, and DeAngelo Hall surrendered 215 of it. Of Andre Johnson's 193 yards receiving, Hall gave up 157 of it (and I'll admit that I may have even missed a play).

Never thought I'd see the day that DeAngelo Hall was the weak link in coverage.

Hall did break up one pass and provide tight coverage on another, and he did have a nice punt return. But as detailed, he had an awful day in coverage, and he also drew a personal foul for jumping up off the ground after a punt return and pushing a Canes player.

TechSideline.com Game Chart

Just for fun, I thought I would throw in a copy of my Microsoft Excel play-by-play game chart. I don't do these for home games, but for road games, I type them up while the game is in progress. It serves as a valuable reference tool for game recaps and analysis.

The chart is pretty self-explanatory. If you have Microsoft Excel 97 (or later) on your computer, you can download it by clicking here.

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