DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 29: Defensive end J. R. Collins #42 of the Virginia Tech Hokies pressures quarterback Sean Renfree #19 of the Duke Blue Devils October 29, 2011 at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. The Hokies won 14-10. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Norm Wood of the Newport News Daily Press has an extensive post on the details, but here are the Hokies' defensive changes for the week in bullet form:
- Sophomore DE J.R. Collins will start at defensive tackle in place of Luther Maddy and sophomore DE Tyrel Wilson will start at Collins' spot.
- Sophomore LB Jack Tyler will start at Mike in place of Barquell Rivers.
- Sophomore CB Kyle Fuller will start at OLB with Alonzo Tweedy out with an ankle sprain, meaning senior Cris Hill will be at his CB spot, as is the case when the Hokies use their nickel package.
All three moves make the Hokies lighter, but more agile to deal with the Yellow Jackets' offensive line. I think moves are meant to get guys in there who can adjust quickly to what Georgia Tech is doing on offense and to avoid the cut blocks from its offensive line.
The Tyler move's a solid one all around because Rivers has had trouble moving laterally and you don't want his still recovering quad to face cut block after cut block. Tyler may be a liability in pass coverage, but that obviously isn't as big of a deal against the Jackets.
The moves make sense following that logic, but we won't know if being quicker will pay off for the Hokies against this offense until Thursday night. And Joe asks the best question about the moves: Why announce them now?:
On paper I like Bud's rational, but I'll have to see it work to believe it. Also, I'm a little perplexed as to why we would tip our hand five days before the game, if at all. However, as with all things defense, in Bud we trust.
It will also be interesting to see how long we stay with Collins at DT and Wilson at DE if Georgia Tech is able to move at will early. If that happens, will the Hokies counteract it by going heavier?