Hokie D Had Best Sack Rate in ACC in 2008...

...and the offense had the second-worst. Sacks were a common site in Tech games in 2008. The Hokies led the ACC in sacks in league play with 27 but also gave up a league-high 26 against ACC teams.

While the offensive line had a tough time keeping Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon upright, especially in the FSU game, the Hokie defense had no problem putting pressure on the quarterback.

The defense had its flaws in 2008, particularly in the secondary. But the play of the defensive ends was one of the biggest boons for the Hokies. Putting pressure on the quarterback is one of biggest determiners of success in my opinion and the Hokies were the best at it in the ACC last year.

Defense Sack Rate in ACC Play
Team Sacks Pass Total Rate
Virginia Tech 27 202 229 8.5
Florida State 24 225 249 10.4
Miami 19 189 208 10.9
Boston College 25 272 297 11.9
Maryland 17 214 231 13.6
Duke 18 230 248 13.8
Virginia 16 218 234 14.6
Georgia Tech 17 237 254 14.9
Wake Forest 15 273 288 19.2
NC State 14 280 294 21.0
North Carolina 12 267 279 23.3
Clemson 9 239 248 27.6
League 213 2846 3059 14.4

The Hokies were also better than average in tackles for loss rate in ACC play once you get rid of those pesky sacks. College football treats sacks as running plays (which they aren't). These stats are with sacks taken out:

Defense TFL Rate in ACC Play
Team TFL Rush Rate
Florida State 44 241 5.5
Clemson 47 276 5.9
Georgia Tech 42 253 6.0
NC State 35 242 6.9
Virginia Tech 39 285 7.3
Boston College 36 273 7.6
Duke 36 315 8.8
Wake Forest 27 239 8.9
Miami 33 325 9.8
North Carolina 26 285 11.0
Virginia 28 311 11.1
Maryland 22 300 13.6
League 415 3345 8.1

So while Tech's secondary struggled last season, the front seven did an excellent job of disrupting the opponent's offense. I expect we'll see more of the same in 2008 with the return of pass rushing extraordinaire Jason Worilds at defensive end.

Offensive charts after the jump.

Here's a look at the same stats on the offensive side:

Offense Sack Rate in ACC Play
Team Sack Pass Total Rate
Virginia 11 293 304 27.6
Duke 13 260 273 21.0
Boston College 19 322 341 17.9
Miami 16 267 283 17.7
Maryland 17 277 294 17.3
Florida State 16 235 251 15.7
Clemson 18 252 270 15.0
Wake Forest 21 219 240 11.4
NC State 22 226 248 11.3
North Carolina 21 197 218 10.4
Virginia Tech 26 199 225 8.7
Georgia Tech 13 99 112 8.6
League 213 2846 3059 14.4

And now TFLs without sacks:

Offense TFL Rate in ACC Play
Team TFL Rush Rate
Georgia Tech 29 383 13.2
NC State 21 265 12.6
North Carolina 24 269 11.2
Virginia Tech 37 375 10.1
Boston College 32 296 9.3
Miami 31 232 7.5
Virginia 33 222 6.7
Florida State 43 287 6.7
Maryland 36 228 6.3
Duke 39 244 6.3
Wake Forest 49 298 6.1
Clemson 41 246 6.0
League 415 3345 8.1

Just as we thought, Tech's offensive line was pretty good at run blocking but was atrocious at pass blocking. Our sack rate was only ahead of the option team in the league. Fantastic.

Sacks and pressure on the QB in general have a huge effect on the passing game, something I'll tackle later in the week. Before Tech's and Taylor's passing games can improve, there has to be improvement up front.

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