A great read from Tomahawk Nation on rush defenses in the ACC brought up a few interesting stats on Virginia Tech last season. While the Hokies allowed 996 yards on 312 rushing attempts (3.2 ypc) in ACC play, that includes 240 yards on an ACC-leading 27 sacks.
Without the sacks, the Hokies go from being third in the conference in ypc allowed to being seventh. The Hokies' ypc was the most affected in the ACC by taking out sacks according to the graph at Tomahawk Nation.
The bottom line is the Hokies weren't as good at stopping the run as we thought in 2008. However, I think they'll be better. I believe the we are upgrading our personnel at defensive tackle and middle linebacker in 2009.
At defensive tackle, I like Taco Thompson and Demetrius Taylor even if they didn't have the best of springs. The question at DT is depth. Freshman Antoine Hopkins had a monster spring and will be ready for significant playing time once the season starts. However, beyond him are a lot of question marks.
At linebacker, Purnell Sturdivant and Brett Warren were No. 1 and No. 2 on the team in tackles last year. But I still think the group of young players the Hokies have taking over the middle linebacker spots next year are an improvement. Jake Johnson will likely take one of the spots as a sophomore and be joined by Barquell Rivers, who played well in last year's Orange Bowl.
I expect the Hokies' rush defense on true running plays to be better this year than last.
- B'street wonders if the best is yet to come for Hokie football. (Blogsburg)
- The Northerner on the bowl in Mobile. (The North End Zone)
- Softball upset Maryland but fell to the eventual ACC champs. (HokieSports)
- Men's tennis lost in the 2nd Rd. of the NCAA tournament again. (HokieSports)
- Hoops picks up transfer from Florida. (Daryl Slater)
- Weaver says don't go West, young man. (Annette)
ACC and Opponents
- Taking a few shots at Coach Greenberg while advocating an 18-game hoop schedule. (Tar Heel Fan)
- New features in NCAA 10, SEC style. (3rd Saturday in Blogtober)
- Giggity would like to see a half-circle on the court. (ACC Now)
- Swofford on conf. games and conf. tournaments. (ACC Now)
- Barnhart looks at the Atlantic. Coastal tomorrow. (Mr. College Football)
- A look at composite football polls and Husker bowl projections. (Double Extra Point)
Stuff Only I Care About
- I've stopped trying to guess what is and isn't a suspension. (From the Rink)
- Holly loves fat guys. (Dr. Saturday)
- Must. Own. Now. (Goose's Roost)
- "This has train wreck written all over it." (Awful Announcing)
- Amalie Benjamin (who I love and in a heartbeat would give up my hard-drinking, road-tripping bachelor ways for) lets us know that Pedroia's injury wasn't as bad as it looked. (Globe)