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Defense Review: Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Liberty Flames

How did the Hokies defense hold up in their first game of the Fuente era?

Steve Helber / AP

On the defensive side of the football, there wasn't expected to be much change this season. Coach Fuente has the team playing at a much faster pace (89 offensive plays) which means that the defense doesn't have to be perfect. However, they still managed to get the job done. Bud Foster's Lunch Pail Defense got to work this weekend in the opener against Liberty. Here is how the Hokie Defense is trending after week 1.

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Turnovers: Virginia Tech lived up to it's title of DBU in week 1 with 3 interceptions. Junior Greg Stroman nabbed 2 interceptions and Terrel Edmunds joined the party as well with another interception for the defensive unit. Another Edmunds brother, Tremaine Edmunds, recovered a fumble to help the Hokies finish with 4 turnovers on the day. With the fast pace that Virginia Tech plans to play at, forcing turnovers like this will be game changing moving forward.

Yards Allowed: The Lunch Pail Defense allowed under 100 passing yards and under 100 rushing yards for a total of 160 yards. They suffocated the Liberty offense with only 2.6 yards allowed per pass and per rush. They also got off the field when it matter most allowing a mere 13% 3rd down efficiency (2-15).

2nd Half Shutout: After the Liberty Flames took a 13-10 lead in the first half, the Virginia Tech defense posted a shutout winning 36-13. It was good for them to experience some adversity early on in the season to knock off some preseason jitters. This ability to bounce back will help them if they hope to pull of an upset against the Tennessee Volunteers in the Battle at Bristol.

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Sack Total: If there was one area that could have improved a bit in week 1, it is the Hokies sack total. Veteran Ken Ekanem was the only one to record a sack. They did a great job of getting pressure which allowed them to stifle the Liberty Flames passing attack. But against better teams and quarterbacks, like the Tennessee Volunteers and Joshua Dobbs, they will need to finish and bring him down for sacks.