2010 Virginia Tech Football: What to Watch vs. Wake Forest

Virginia Tech Hokies (4-2, 2-0) vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-4, 1-2)

The Team

  • The Hokies are playing with confidence again and I'd like to see that confidence continue against a Wake Forest team that is coming off two disheartening losses against Georgia Tech and Navy. The Hokies SHOULD win their next two games going into their bye week, but not coming out overconfident will be a big key against Wake Forest.
  • Tech is starting to look like the team we thought it would be. Now the key is to continue to improve in the areas it needs to improve in, like tackling, third-down conversions and consistency across the board.

Virginia Tech Offense vs. Wake Forest Defense

  • My hope is that Tyrod Taylor will have a big game, the Hokies will take a big, early lead and the reserves will get plenty of playing time.
  • That will mean getting a good game from the offensive line. There are two schools of thought going into this game with regards to how the offensive line should perform.
  • The first is that the Deacs have faced two flexbone offenses in as many weeks and should be worn down, allowing the line to push them around the Hokies to put up huge numbers on the ground. The other is that the Deacs have had to adjust their defense and run more of a 3-4 D the last two weeks, meaning their DTs will be rested.
  • I think the Hokies should try to get their passing game going early and often. Throwing deep and down the seams against Wake will be the exact opposite of what it's had to do the last two weeks. If that doesn't work, then line up in the I-formation and see how tired the Wake D is.
  • Look for Jarrett Boykin and Dyrell Roberts to have big games. After facing teams that were weak over the middle, Andre Smith and Danny Coale have had their chance to get the ball regularly. Now, against a Wake team that has given up 17 passing touchdowns, the Hokies should try going deep on the edges to Boykin and Roberts.
  • Duke, Stanford and Florida State, teams with good passing offenses and good quarterbacks, destroyed this Wake Forest secondary. Tyrod Taylor isn't on the level of Andrew Luck or Christian Ponder as passers, but this will be his chance to prove he can be relied on to win a game with his arm.
Virginia Tech Defense vs. Wake Forest Offense
  • Wake Forest tried to re-install an option based offense this year following the graduation of Riley Skinner, but those plans have been cast aside thanks to the emergence of freshman quarterback Tanner Price and struggles on the offensive line.
  • Wake has faced the same problem the Hokies have this year. It has an abundance of talent at running back, but an inconsistent offensive line. The result, after three consecutive losses and games where they had less than four yards per carry, the Deacs took to the air against Navy.
  • Against the Mids, Wake threw primarily short routes to help protect their freshman quarterback. They also moved the pocket frequently and I was surprised at how accurate Price was able to be while throwing on the run.
  • Look for Wake Forest to throw a lot of screens, short sit-down routes in the middle third of the field that tries to take advantage of holes in Virginia Tech's zone and short crossing routes. Against Navy, Price's favorite target was junior wide receiver Devon Brown. Brown nearly doubled his catches for the season with 10 last week,
  • I won't be surprised if the Deacs try to get the ball to Josh Adams out of the backfield more in this game. He had over 100 yards rushing the previous week against Georgia Tech with Price out and last week was nearly completely absent from the offense. Adams is Wake's best playmaker and if it's going to have a chance this weekend, it needs to get the ball to him.
  • The key for the Hokies will be making Price uncomfortable. Navy wasn't able to get a good pass rush on Wake early, allowing Price to pick them apart.
  • Another big key will be tackling. The ball will come out of Price's hand quickly on most plays, meaning Tech will need to react quickly and get the pass catcher down before he's able to make a move. Expect to see a lot more of Tech's "30" defense to match-up with Wake's new passing attack.
  • What makes Wake dangerous is we really haven't seen a lot of this new offense they're going to try to run with Price. The Deacs playbook is expanding almost exponentially and there's no end to what they can throw at Tech to adjust to what they're seeing form the Hokies' D. 
Watch the Box Score
  • Virginia Tech YPA
  • Wake Forest 3rd Down %
  • Virginia Tech 3rd Down %
  • Turnovers
Virginia Tech Players to Watch
  • 5 - Tyrod Taylor, Sr., QB
  • 81 - Jarrett Boykin, Jr., WR
  • 44 - Lyndell Gibson, So., LB
  • 21 - Rashad Carmichael
Wake Forest Players to Watch
  • 11 - Tanner Price, Fr., QB
  • 27 - Josh Adams, Sr., RB
  • 97 - Kyle Wilber, Jr., DE
  • 6 - Kenny Okoro, So., CB
Final Score

Virginia Tech 38, Wake Forest 14

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