Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hokies Barrel On

One of the better metaphors for Virginia Tech football comes from Dr. Saturday (as if it would come from anyone else):

The Orange Bowl was not lame or depressing, but watching Virginia Tech win is always like watching some grizzled old world craftsman, like a cooper or something, tying together a barrel by hand. You stare at him for a few hours without a thought in your head, nobody says anything while he works, and at the end of the day, there's your barrel. It's never occurred to him there might be better or more efficient ways to make a barrel. Why would anyone want to futz with the operation or make it more complicated? It's a perfectly good barrel, and you'll take it home to use and never think of where it came from again.

A lot of fans forget that Hokie football was never intended to be for their amusement. The offense doesn't put up big numbers and never will as long as Beamer and Foster are the sheriffs in town. Like Hinton said, "the Hokies are what they are, and it doesn't have to impress anyone. It just has to work."

Beamer constantly mentions that the offense is designed to work best with the defense to win games. The big numbers put up by spread formation offenses like Cincinnati and Texas Tech often put the defense at a disadvantage by putting them on the field too long and wearing them down.

Oklahoma and Florida put up huge offensive numbers and are in the BCSCG. But the difference between them and UC and TT is the superior talent that fills both teams' rosters. Virginia Tech doesn't have the talent to win by running a spread formation offense.

What we do as a team, with the offense, defense and special teams working together has worked. And honestly, I'd rather be boring and have 10-win seasons than have a Top 10 offense and seven-win seasons.

The Hokies are slowly closing the talent gap with the top teams in the country, but we're not there yet, especially on the offensive line. The day will come soon that the players we have on offense will allow us to change our offensive philosophy. Until then, we're going to have to keep making barrels.


ebj said...

problem is ... the barrell was only half finished for 9-10 games.

i don't expect a run it up n down spread, but i expect a working, functional shoulder your part of the burden offense, for almost every game.

MadJay said...

Amen ebj. I also don't want this spread, crazy-ass, big play offense that keeps the defense tired. I want creative playcalling out of our current formations and more than that I want good execution of the plays we call!!!

The Orange Bowl demonstrated better playcalling, though still not where I'd like to see it, and much improved execution on the plays. If the offense can make a similar jump in '09, then we ought to be able to produce 12 or 13 barrels by season's end.