2010 Virginia Tech Football: What to Watch vs. Boise State

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The Team

  • In the last two season openers, the Hokies came out flat and relied on their defense to stay in the game. I don't think they can afford to do that this year because of the explosive nature of Boise State's offense. The Tech offense needs to be effective from the start.
  • It's the first game of the season, so there's going to be a lot of little mistakes on both sides. You'll see illegal formations, illegal substitutions and false starts. It'll be interesting to see how having 10 returning starters on both sides of the ball will help Boise State avoid these problems. The team that doesn't let penalties like this derail drives will have the upper hand.
  • Field position will be key early on. The Hokies have a new punter, but their return game was solid last year on both punts and kickoffs. They also have Justin Myer back as the kickoff specialist and he is pretty consistent at getting the ball into the end zone.
  • I don't think the heat and humidity will effect Boise State. Hopefully, the crowd noise will. I expect there to be a lot of Hokie fans in Landover and I expect them to be loud.

Virginia Tech Offense vs. Boise State Defense

  • What I want to see is how the touches get distributed. If the Hokies are lucky they'll get 60 plays against Boise State. I think between 20-25 of those will be passes, leaving 35 touches to distribute between Ryan Williams, Darren Evans and David Wilson.
  • I think Williams will get most of the carries early and end up with about 20. You'll see 10 from Darren Evans, most of them coming later in the game with five for David Wilson. I'm interested to see if Wilson gets his spread out through the game or in a cluster as a part of a special package in one or two possessions.
  • The Broncos have a strong front seven, so the Hokies will need to use the advantage they have speed-wise and create mismatches where they can. I'd like to see some sets with 3+ receivers to take advantage of the fact that we are pretty deep at both receiver positions and have Wilson at our disposal.
  • I'm interested to see how the Broncos secondary plays with Kyle Wilson out of the starting lineup. Kyle Wilson was obviously legit, but has moved onto the NFL. We'll see how the secondary performs without its best player from 2009.
  • Finally, I want to see how many designed runs there are for Tyrod Taylor. We have some depth at quarterback now, so we could see the coaches take more chances with Taylor and his ability to run.
Virginia Tech Defense vs. Boise State Offense
  • By now we know the Broncos' M.O. on offense. We're going to see motion, we're going to see the same play out of different looks and we're going to see them throw a lot, even on first down. First down will be key for the Hokies, maybe even more so than on third down, when the Broncos are deadly efficient.
  • If Tech is able to put Boise State in long-yardage situations, that's when Steven Friday, the rest of the defensive line and Jeron Gouveia-Winslow become important. The biggest key for the Hokies will be cutting down Kellen Moore's decision time and making him get rid of the ball.
  • While the Hokies will try to create mismatches with their speed, Boise State will try to do the same. One of the key match-ups will be JGW against the Broncos' slot receivers. They have plenty of guys with speed at wide receiver and running back and at some point they will try to take advantage of those guys against him. How he responds will have a big impact on how well the Hokies can defend Boise's passing game.
  • The best two defenses the Broncos faced last year both held them under 20 points. Those were also the only two games they were held under three yards per carry. While the Broncos do have a high-powered passing attack and will throw a lot in the first half, it's important the Hokies snuff out Boise's rushing attack to force them into obvious passing situations and stop them on third and short. Do that, and it's game on.
Outcome
  • I think that because of when this game is being played Boise State will be crisper and more efficient than the Hokies, who replace key guys on defense and have two new offensive linemen. If this one was played on Oct. 2, then I think Tech wins. But in the first game... I'm taking Boise.
Watch the Box Score For
  • Turnovers
  • Virginia Tech Rushing Yards
  • Boise State 3rd Down Pct.
  • Average Starting Field Position
Virginia Tech Players to Watch
  • 5 - Tyrod Taylor, Sr., QB
  • 34 - Ryan Williams, So., RB
  • 82 - Steven Friday, Sr., DE
  • 43 - Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, So., LB
Boise State Players to Watch
  • 11 - Kellen Moore, Jr., QB
  • 1 - Titus Young, Sr., WR
  • 13 - Brandyn Thompson, Sr., CB
  • 98 - Ryan Winterswyk, Sr., DE
Final Score

Boise State 31, Virginia Tech 28

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