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Matchup of the Week: Miami O-Line vs. Va. Tech Defensive Front

Matchup of the Week: Miami O-Line vs. Va. Tech Defensive Front

Cory Grimes
Virginia Tech. Miami. This 2019 version may not carry the same weight as some of the early 2000 Big East matchups did, but there is still a lot at stake for these two programs who are trying to find themselves right now. Both teams are sitting at 2-2 and in search for their first conference win in 2019. While both units have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride in recent years, there has been one constant: long-time defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Foster is usually very multiple on defense and will bring a lot of different looks with the fronts and coverages. It will force the young Miami line to think on its toes. Usually when you talk about key matchups to a game, you think strength on strength. This time around I am zeroing in on what appears to be glaring weaknesses for these two. Virginia Tech defensive front has been porous in 2019. There's no way around it. But the Miami offensive line really hasn't been much better. The matchup of the week: Miami offensive line vs. Virginia Tech Defensive Front.

Virginia Tech defense comes in at tied for 104th in rushing defense allowing 189 yards per game and about 4.3 yards per rush. That includes a 234 yard performance on the ground from Duke last week. They particularly had issues stopping the run on the perimeter and the QB run, as Duke QB Quentin Harris ran for 100 yards and a TD last week. Through 4 games, opposing QB's have ran for 189 yards and 5 TD's. This is a part of Jarren's game I'd personally like to see more of. Whether its by design or improvisation, Jarren is more than athletic enough to move the chains with his legs from time to time, and Virginia Tech has shown that they struggle against mobile QB's. If Enos' and the Miami offense can diversify the run game a bit with perimeter runs, and designed QB runs from time to time, they could find enormous success on the Hokie defense. Jet sweep type plays from the WR's have also proven successful for the Canes early on in the year and could pay dividends this week. The Hurricane offense needs to force this struggling defense to tackle in space.

As I mentioned to start, this matchup of the week is weakness on weakness. Virginia Tech has struggled to get pressure on the QB with only 10 sacks on the year, and Miami has struggled to stop pressure allowing 18 sacks on the year putting them at 128th in the country. The only two teams worse at protecting the QB at this point are Akron and South Florida. It seemed as if the line was ever so slowly starting to come together after the 10 sack performance from the Gators in the opener, but last week against Central Michigan the unit appeared to take major steps in the wrong direction.

I anticipate Enos providing more help to the offensive line with more max protection looks. There seems to really be no choice at this point in time. Virginia Tech lost their best pass rusher last year in Trevon Hill who is obviously in orange and green now. They really don't have any individuals who scare anyone coming off the edge so they will have to get pressure with numbers. So in short, I see both sides trying to hide some of their issues with numbers. Let's see which group can shift the negative trend on Saturday.

The Miami O-Line struggles are extra frustrating because you can't just point to any one guy. Everyone sees Freshman LT Zion Nelson struggling, but it's not just him. It's the whole unit, and it seems like every guy on the line takes turns on messing up from play to play. If four guys are on point and one isn't, the play can still be a disaster. This group is young. Everyone knows that, but they have to band together and get this offense going. Though, the Hokies have not been a juggernaut on defense this year. The Miami offensive line still has their work cut out going against a Bud Foster defense. He will bring endless different pressure looks, and he will also rush 3 and drop 8 from time to time. His tendencies are always hard to pick up on, and for the O-line it's hard to decipher what they're looking at. This game will force them to think and play together. Saturday is a great opportunity to show if they have grown at all from their early downfalls.

The Hurricane run game was solid through the first 3 games, and it seemed to come to a screeching halt against the Chippewas last week with only 53 yards on the ground. Without the threat of the run game, Central Michigan was able to pin their ears back and create pressure, and the play action passing game was highly ineffective. A successful ground game also helps the young O-Line gain confidence and get them going downhill. It will slow down the game for Jarren Williams, and hopefully, open up the play action passing game and allow for some more shots down the field. Deejay Dallas and Cam'ron Harris are a real deal 1-2 punch. They have the ability to take over any given football game with a good push up front. That's without mentioning the potential addition of the homerun threat, Lorenzo Lingard, into the rotation. If the Hurricanes can feed these guys early and often with consistent success, it will slow down the Foster pressure and allow the Enos offense to fully take flight.

This being his 33rd and final year as a Virginia Tech assistant, Foster really has nothing to prove. He's one of the most consistent, productive and well-respected defensive coordinators of this generation. With that being said, this Virginia Tech defense is as bad as I've ever seen them in my lifetime, and Foster doesn't strike me as a guy who will just pack it in and coast till the end of the season, ending his career on a sour note. He's going to do whatever he can within his power to salvage this unit. He will empty the clip in this Miami game. This Miami offensive line has to come to play because they will be tested yet again. Enos needs to give different run looks by getting the QB and WR's involved in the run game, get on the perimeter and prepare this youthful group for numerous different defensive looks. Whichever struggling unit struggles less on Saturday will play a huge role in deciding the victor.

Canes 31 Hokies 17
 

Comments (11)

VT defense is bad Enos has to establish the run. Any success in the run game should be a good showing for the offense. It should only take 20 points to win this game. Win the turn over battle and it will be an easy win.
 
The movable force meets the resistible object
 
Virginia Tech. Miami. This 2019 version may not carry the same weight as some of the early 2000 Big East matchups did, but there is still a lot at stake for these two programs who are trying to find themselves right now. Both teams are sitting at 2-2 and in search for their first conference win in 2019. While both units have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride in recent years, there has been one constant: long-time defensive coordinator Bud Foster. Foster is usually very multiple on defense and will bring a lot of different looks with the fronts and coverages. It will force the young Miami line to think on its toes. Usually when you talk about key matchups to a game, you think strength on strength. This time around I am zeroing in on what appears to be glaring weaknesses for these two. Virginia Tech defensive front has been porous in 2019. There's no way around it. But the Miami offensive line really hasn't been much better. The matchup of the week: Miami offensive line vs. Virginia Tech Defensive Front.

Virginia Tech defense comes in at tied for 104th in rushing defense allowing 189 yards per game and about 4.3 yards per rush. That includes a 234 yard performance on the ground from Duke last week. They particularly had issues stopping the run on the perimeter and the QB run, as Duke QB Quentin Harris ran for 100 yards and a TD last week. Through 4 games, opposing QB's have ran for 189 yards and 5 TD's. This is a part of Jarren's game I'd personally like to see more of. Whether its by design or improvisation, Jarren is more than athletic enough to move the chains with his legs from time to time, and Virginia Tech has shown that they struggle against mobile QB's. If Enos' and the Miami offense can diversify the run game a bit with perimeter runs, and designed QB runs from time to time, they could find enormous success on the Hokie defense. Jet sweep type plays from the WR's have also proven successful for the Canes early on in the year and could pay dividends this week. The Hurricane offense needs to force this struggling defense to tackle in space.

As I mentioned to start, this matchup of the week is weakness on weakness. Virginia Tech has struggled to get pressure on the QB with only 10 sacks on the year, and Miami has struggled to stop pressure allowing 18 sacks on the year putting them at 128th in the country. The only two teams worse at protecting the QB at this point are Akron and South Florida. It seemed as if the line was ever so slowly starting to come together after the 10 sack performance from the Gators in the opener, but last week against Central Michigan the unit appeared to take major steps in the wrong direction.

I anticipate Enos providing more help to the offensive line with more max protection looks. There seems to really be no choice at this point in time. Virginia Tech lost their best pass rusher last year in Trevon Hill who is obviously in orange and green now. They really don't have any individuals who scare anyone coming off the edge so they will have to get pressure with numbers. So in short, I see both sides trying to hide some of their issues with numbers. Let's see which group can shift the negative trend on Saturday.

The Miami O-Line struggles are extra frustrating because you can't just point to any one guy. Everyone sees Freshman LT Zion Nelson struggling, but it's not just him. It's the whole unit, and it seems like every guy on the line takes turns on messing up from play to play. If four guys are on point and one isn't, the play can still be a disaster. This group is young. Everyone knows that, but they have to band together and get this offense going. Though, the Hokies have not been a juggernaut on defense this year. The Miami offensive line still has their work cut out going against a Bud Foster defense. He will bring endless different pressure looks, and he will also rush 3 and drop 8 from time to time. His tendencies are always hard to pick up on, and for the O-line it's hard to decipher what they're looking at. This game will force them to think and play together. Saturday is a great opportunity to show if they have grown at all from their early downfalls.

The Hurricane run game was solid through the first 3 games, and it seemed to come to a screeching halt against the Chippewas last week with only 53 yards on the ground. Without the threat of the run game, Central Michigan was able to pin their ears back and create pressure, and the play action passing game was highly ineffective. A successful ground game also helps the young O-Line gain confidence and get them going downhill. It will slow down the game for Jarren Williams, and hopefully, open up the play action passing game and allow for some more shots down the field. Deejay Dallas and Cam'ron Harris are a real deal 1-2 punch. They have the ability to take over any given football game with a good push up front. That's without mentioning the potential addition of the homerun threat, Lorenzo Lingard, into the rotation. If the Hurricanes can feed these guys early and often with consistent success, it will slow down the Foster pressure and allow the Enos offense to fully take flight.

This being his 33rd and final year as a Virginia Tech assistant, Foster really has nothing to prove. He's one of the most consistent, productive and well-respected defensive coordinators of this generation. With that being said, this Virginia Tech defense is as bad as I've ever seen them in my lifetime, and Foster doesn't strike me as a guy who will just pack it in and coast till the end of the season, ending his career on a sour note. He's going to do whatever he can within his power to salvage this unit. He will empty the clip in this Miami game. This Miami offensive line has to come to play because they will be tested yet again. Enos needs to give different run looks by getting the QB and WR's involved in the run game, get on the perimeter and prepare this youthful group for numerous different defensive looks. Whichever struggling unit struggles less on Saturday will play a huge role in deciding the victor.

Canes 31 Hokies 17
Perhaps, but I think your score is a little generous. We simply are a bad team. Until proven otherwise this is my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

2022 Commits

WR
6'2"
185
Nashville, TN
OLB
6'1"
195
Miami, FL
CB
6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
QB
6'4"
205
Valdosta, GA
CB
6'1"
175
Fort Myers, FL
S
6'1"
170
Orlando, FL
WR
6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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