Virginia Tech Hokies To Look for Offense Against Thundering Herd

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies walks off the field after a set of downs against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Georgia Dome on September 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Virginia Tech, once again, is among the worst offenses in the country.  The good news for them is it's only week two.  Will they find their offense against Marshall?  Probably, but they really need to focus on their aerial attack.

Marshall gave up 164 rushing yards per game last season, which bodes well for the Hokies.  The Thundering Herd are coming off a four-win season, and their defense will have problems stopping Ryan Williams and Co.

Tyrod Taylor needs to put a good game together through the air.  Taylor should have ample opportunities to run in this one, but he really needs to focus on the passing game with Nebraska and Miami coming to town the following two weeks.

Taylor struggled last week against Alabama, and the blitz was part of the reason.  However, Taylor is going to be blitzed consistently by every team he plays because of his mobility.  If he can't adjust to this and make plays with his arm the Hokies are in trouble.

Here are three things to watch for against Marshall in Week Two:

1. David Wilson

Wilson is a very competitive athlete, and will likely take last week personally.  What do I mean?  Wilson was only on the field for two kickoff returns.  If the Hokies are going to play him at all, they should play him more.  That's why the decided not to redshirt him, right?

Wilson is extremely athletic, strong and quick.  He can be a game breaker on offense if he's given a chance, but if he's not given opportunities like last week the coaching staff will continue to waste a year of his eligibility.

Personally, I would like to see Wilson out of the "Wild Turkey" formation and spelling Williams in the backfield.

2. Throw it Tyrod!

Taylor has to be aggressive through the air against Marshall.  He should be able to have some success, given Marshall is an inferior opponent and the Hokies are heavily favored.

However, I wouldn't get your hopes up.  Taylor has struggled through the air against weak opponents before, and until he can start proving to Hokie fans that he is a good quarterback the fans will continue to doubt him.

Taylor has the receivers around him to make plays (Danny Coale, Xavier Boyce, Greg Boone, Jarrett Boykin, Dyrell Roberts), so there's no excuse for his continued struggles.

3. How good was Alabama?

It's always tough to judge how good a team is in the first week of the season.  If the Hokies come out and absolutely dominate offensively then everyone should have an idea of how good Virginia Tech and Alabama actually are.

Both teams are good, but the question is are both teams great?  The Hokies didn't play like a great team in Week One, but if they come out and dominate Marshall offensively it should give them confidence to build upon for the rest of the season, and potentially be a great team in 2009.

If the Hokies' offense can string together drives and give their defense more than a couple minutes of rest between series, I think the defense will absolutely dominate.

Marshall is way over-matched going against this defense to begin with, and with the emergence of the defensive MVP from a week ago (Jake Johnson) the Hokies seem to have a good group of guys heading into the rest of the season.


I obviously expect the offense to play better this week, but I'm not expecting huge strides.  The Hokies have given me absolutely no reason to expect big things regarding the past, so until they show everyone that they have a good offense I will continue to expect mediocrity.

The Hokies won't have any trouble winning this one, but they won't win by a huge margin.

Virginia Tech 31, Marshall 9


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