How Virginia Tech's Opponents Ranked Last Year on Offense and Defense

CHESTNUT HILL MA - SEPTEMBER 25: Defensive coordinator Bud Foster of the Virginia Tech Hokies directs his players in the final minutes of the first half against the Boston College Eagles on September 25 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It's been a while since we've had a stats post, so let's rectify that. This one's not as in-depth as others as it's just the yards per play rankings from last season for Virginia Tech's opponents.

As you can imagine, the numbers give credence to the idea that the Hokies are facing a ... um ... favorable schedule. The defense is going to face some fantastically mediocre offenses and the defenses Logan Thomas will face are either feast or famine. 

Tables after the jump.

RYPP - rushing yards per play, PYPP - passing yards per play, YPP - total yards per play, CR - conference rank, NR - national rank. Appalachian State's national rankings are for FCS. The Southern Conference has nine teams, the Sun Belt Conference has nine teams and Conference USA has 12 teams. Go to CFBStats.com for all your football statistics needs.

OFFENSIVE STATISTICS

Opponent RYPP CR NR PYPP CR NR YPP CR NR
Appalachian State 5.2 2 5 7.8 2 12 6.2 1 7
East Carolina 4.3 7 55 6.5 10 92 5.7 6 43
Arkansas State 4.3 5 60 7.0 3 61 5.7 2 43
Marshall 3.4 11 105 6.2 12 102 4.9 11 96
Clemson 4.0 8 78 6.2 11 102 5.0 10 89
Miami 4.8 3 24 7.0 6 61 5.9 3 34
Wake Forest 4.1 6 67 5.7 12 110 4.8 11 104
Boston College 3.6 10 93 6.3 10 96 4.8 11 104
Duke 3.5 11 101 6.7 7 79 5.2 8 78
Georgia Tech 5.6 1 5 6.5 9 92 5.7 5 43
North Carolina 3.7 9 89 8.1 2 23 5.9 3 34
Virginia 4.0 7 76 7.2 4 47 5.6 6 55

The average national ranks for the 11 FBS opponents on the Hokies' schedule is 68th rushing, 79th passing and 66th in total offense.

What's changed: First and foremost, Clemson is going to be a lot more up-tempo under new offensive coordinator Chad Morris. Morris comes to the Tigers from Tulsa, where the Golden Hurricane lit up scoreboards under his direction. Boston College's offense should be better. It improved its yards per play down the stretch, but that improvement was against Wake Forest, Duke and Virginia and didn't translate to points on the scoreboard. Against FBS competition, the Eagles averaged 16.8 ppg last year. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has to replace the only full-time QB Paul Johnson's had since he's been there.

Prognosis: The Hokies are going to face some bad offenses this year, but they'll face some tricky ones as well. Tech gets two up-tempo passing games in East Carolina and two difficult option offenses (although completely different versions of it) in Appalachian State and Georgia Tech. Tech's schedule maybe manageable, but they won't be able to hide any weaknesses they might have on defense this year.

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS

Opponent RYPP CR NR PYPP CR NR YPP CR NR
Appalachian State 4.2 5 81 6.3 2 25 5.1 3 46
East Carolina 5.3 12 116 8.1 9 104 6.5 11 112
Arkansas State 4.5 5 84 8.2 9 106 5.9 6 87
Marshall 3.9 4 47 6.5 2 32 5.2 3 38
Clemson 3.5 5 17 6.5 5 32 4.8 3 17
Miami 4.1 7 58 6.0 3 10 4.8 3 17
Wake Forest 4.7 9 93 7.3 10 74 5.8 10 76
Boston College 2.7 1 1 5.8 1 5 4.4 1 5
Duke 4.8 11 100 8.8 12 115 6.4 12 107
Georgia Tech 4.5 8 83 7.2 8 65 5.7 8 69
North Carolina 3.7 6 36 6.4 4 28 5.1 6 33
Virginia 5.1 12 109 7.6 11 89 6.1 11 98

The average national ranks for the 11 FBS opponents on the Hokies' schedule is 68th against the rush, 60th against the pass and 60th in total defense.

What's changed: Cycling onto Virginia Tech's schedule will be the third-best defense in the league from last year, meaning Tech will get three of the four best ACC defenses from 2010. I don't think BC will be as good as it was defensively last year, but don't expect a big drop off. They still have Kuechly in the middle of that defense, so they'll still be tough to move the ball against. But without Alex Albright, Damik Scafe and Mark Herzlich, I don't think we'll see the outright dominance we saw from BC last year. Same with UNC. Don't expect a big drop off from last year's team.

Prognosis: In the end, the good defenses on Tech's schedule are really good and the bad ones are really bad.

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