Fighting Gobbler Hokies’ Mailbag: September 17th Edition


Sep 13, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies running back Marshawn Williams (42) runs the ball during the third quarter against the East Carolina Pirates at Lane Stadium. East Carolina defeated Virginia Tech 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Fighting Gobbler mailbag is back this week and we have some good questions on all things Virginia Tech sports. The Hokies had a disappointing loss this past weekend though as they were defeated by the East Carolina Pirates 28-21 in a surprising upset.

The Hokies have fallen out of the top 25 but should be able to get back in it rather quickly if they win the next few games. Once again, we would like to thank you for asking us your questions on Facebook and now let’s get to those questions.

Bobby Shelton asks, “Why always run up the middle and not get these running backs outside with a pitchout or 2?”

For the Hokies’ rushing game to improve, there needs to be more balance between inside and outside runs. Shai McKenzie has the speed to make plays in space and it would make sense to use some pitch plays to give him that chance. However, I’m not sure if these plays would go well given the Hokies’ run blocking struggles.

Steve Smith asks, “What is the best option of VT to get back on track when the O-line isn’t playing well?”

I honestly am not sure but one thing the Hokies need to make sure of is that every spot on the offensive line is open if someone can seize it from a current starter. The Hokies’ offensive line might be better off having an extra blocker on some pass plays and it’s frustrating that they have to do that.

Steve Smith asks, “How did the TE targeting in the ECU game compare to the OSU game? Is there any correlation with the results?

The tight end production was down and that was largely due to Ryan Malleck picking up an injury early in the game. That left the Hokies with only Bucky Hodges who was given more attention than previously by the ECU defense. With a healthy Malleck, the Hokies’ tight end production will go up but that’s as long as Malleck is healthy.

Roby Williams asks, “Why does our defensive secondary make a wholesale practice of not turning around to see where the ball is?

I expect that Bud Foster will emphasize this in practice this week and I think we will see improvement on that. Also, the Hokies need to recognize that Detrick Bonner and Kyshoen Jarrett should be used more as safety help over the top.

This safety help should give the Hokies’ cornerbacks more confidence that they’ll have extra help on the deep ball to where they can play the ball better. Of course, this is definitely not an issue for Kendall Fuller who has been a star for the Hokies.

Once again, we would like to thank you for submitting your questions for this week’s mailbag.