Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guest Blogger Week 3 - "Gobbler Country"

Time again for an enemy blogger Q&A again, so we turn to Virginia Tech blogger "Gobbler Country" for some insight into this year's edition of the Hokies:

You have a QB controversy. Tell us about which QB you think will make you most successful on offense and why. How much of the offensive issues are at QB?

Like most fans, I believe Tyrod Taylor gives this offense the best chance to be successful. However, unlike most fans, my reasoning has nothing to do with the way Sean Glennon has performed. Taylor is a more mobile quarterback and a better playmaker, which is something this offense lacks. There are no returning starters at wide receiver, running back or fullback. The starting tight end from last year currently sits No. 3 on the depth chart because he is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last year against Georgia Tech.

There is simply no one on offense right now who can make plays better than Taylor, so having him on the bench isn't a good idea to begin with. The clincher is that the offensive line isn't as improved as we hoped and suffered a big loss in tackle Blake DeChristopher on the opening drive of the season. Glennon doesn't have the mobility to compensate for the struggles on offensive line right now and Taylor does.

The issues on offense have nothing to do with the quarterback. Glennon isn't a terrible quarterback, but hasn't improved like someone who was coming into his third year as a starter should have. The problem with the offense lies with the offensive line and the offensive coordinator. The play-calling has been questionable this season and the offensive line has been very inconsistant.

Is Virginia Tech's defense just as strong as in years past?

It's not, because the depth just isn't there. In the past, the Hokies could run four or five defensive ends or linebackers in the same game and the level of play wouldn't go down much. This year there is very little margin for error. You lose a key player, like Macho Harris, and everything goes to hell. The Hokies currently have their only returning starter at linebacker (Cam Martin) and top pass-rushing defensive end (Jason Worilds) on the mend for the game against Georgia Tech. Last year and the year before, this wouldn't have worried me a lot. This year it does because the guys replacing them just don't compare to them.

If you were developing a gameplan to beat Virginia Tech, how would you do it?

It pains me to say this, but I would run it up the gut until the Hokies could prove they could stop it. Tech's defensive tackles haven't done a very good job through two games and got absolutely worked by the ECU offensive line.

I would also test Macho Harris early to see if his ankle is at 100 percent. He hurt it in the last scrimmage of the season and missed the ECU game. He is critical to run defense because he plays boundary corner, meaning he lines up on the short side of the field every play. Because of this, he has more responsibilities for stopping run plays to that side of the field. There's so much open space on the other side that the field corner needs more help, therefore the best run-stopping cornerback VT has will play boundary corner because he can be left more on an island in running situations.

On defense, I would stack the box and make Tyrod Taylor prove he can beat you with his arm. He did it against Clemson and Florida State last year, but he had much better targets to throw to then.

What is the confidence level of VT fans right now, heading into the ACC conference slate?

Morale is not very high right now. Most fans (if not all) want the offensive coordinator fired. The defense made uncharacteristic mistakes against ECU. We were up only 3-0 at halftime against Furman. The current mood is probably a mild panic. A loss to Georgia Tech would send the fanbase in to full fledged torch-and-pitchfork mode.