Sep 7, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies defensive end J.R. Collins (42) pursues the ball during the second quarter against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
After shutting down Shane Carden and the pass-oriented East Carolina offense, the Virginia Tech face Rakeem Cato and the Marshall Thundering Herd who, led by Cato, had the most passing yards per game in 2012. Virginia Tech has a great secondary that gives their very good pass rushers time to get to the quarterback and make plays whether it is a sack or forcing the QB to rush a throw that ends up being intercepted. Virginia Tech’s defense has an alertness that any opponent could beat them which is allowed this Virginia Tech defense to be one of the best during Bud Foster’s tenure as defensive coordinator.
Last week, the Virginia Tech defense went against a pass heavy East Carolina offense and this saw Virginia Tech’s star pass rushers have their best games of the 2013 season. J.R. Collins led the way for the Virginia Tech defensive as the senior from Stafford, Virginia had 2 sacks and 5 tackles against the Pirates. Meanwhile, James Gayle also added in another two sacks to open up his sack account for the 2013 College Football Season. Derrick Hopkins also had a very good game with 0.5 sacks while also once again being a force on the interior defensive line.
So why does it seems so certain that Virginia Tech will have tons of sacks against Marshall? One reason for that is due to the talent of this Virginia Tech defensive line and how good this starting four is. Defensive tackles Luther Maddy and Derrick Hopkins both cause plenty of issues on the inside which force both guards and the center to be primarily focused on stopping this duo. This creates a lot of one-on-one matchups throughout the game for Collins and Gayle which is when they improve their status for the 2014 NFL Draft.
The other big reason why Virginia Tech will have tons of sacks is due to the fact that Marshall’s offense puts an even heavier emphasis on the passing game than East Carolina and we all saw how the Hokies’ defensive line dominated last week. Of course, Marshall has had an improve running game so far this season but Marshall is still a pass heavy team that relies on QB Rakeem Cato who has decent mobility but is not like a Robert Griffin III. The Virginia Tech defensive line dominated last week against East Carolina and will dominate against Marshall at a raucous Lane Stadium.