After having a short week to prepare, Virginia Tech is almost ready to take the field Saturday for their home opener against Delaware looking to take care of business and start 2-0. With that said, Henry Skutt gives us his three Hokies to watch against Delaware.
Yeah, yeah, he was here last week. Let me explain.
Jackson had a pretty good first game, but there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. He was playing against the WVU 3-3-5 defense, which is not what Jackson will normally see for the rest of the season. He needs to show that he can adapt on a quick week to a more normal defense and also execute.
Luckily for Jackson and the rest of the offense, they're playing Delaware. As much as I want to respect the opponent and say that the Hokies shouldn't treat them lightly -- that's exactly the case here. Delaware is a FCS opponent that the Hokies will take care of. Because that's the case, it should allow for Jackson to get plenty of reps against a different opponent than during practice, at game speed, but not have to worry too much about mistakes.
Look for him to play until probably the end of the 3rd quarter. Fuente did the same type of rotation last year with Evans and Motley, so I don't think it'll be any different this year. Hopefully during those three quarters, he can get plenty of chances to work on the read option type plays, and establishing a few more reliable targets for upcoming games.
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Surprisingly, Edmunds seemed slightly absent against the Mountaineers. Whether that was a factor of playing against a fast offense like West Virginia, or whether he just had a bad game, that's what we're going to find out on Saturday.
He's such a dynamic player for the Hokies -- some may argue that he's the overall best player on the team -- that Coach Foster and the rest of the defensive staff must be counting on him to be productive. He'll need to step up to the plate and have a good game against Delaware to put some of those worries to rest.
I have all the faith that he'll do just that and step up against the Blue Hens and have a "normal" day to his standards. That should be several tackles, getting pass breakups, and maybe even an interception if this Hokies defense can overwhelm the lesser offense.
Another benefit of Edmunds having a good game is that it will allow for some of the backups a chance at having game time. Similar to what is going on for Jackson, I expect him to play for around a half or so, but after that, it should be a great opportunity for the lesser experienced Hokies to get some playing time. With how much of a drop-off the two-deep has this year for the defense, getting some reps at full speed is key.
This seems like a little bit of a strange choice, doesn't it? I think it's warranted though.
Slye had a very uncharacteristic game against the Mountaineers, missing two field goals from within 40 yards -- something he is not known for. Some might say that kicking is mostly a mental job which is why this upcoming game is huge for Slye.
He needs to get back to the mental space of the dominant kicker that he was last year. If he goes out and misses a couple more kicks against Delaware, it can be extremely detrimental for Slye going forward for the rest of the season.
All that being said, hopefully Slye will only have kicking duties for after the Hokies score touchdowns. If he does need to kick a couple of field goals, I am hoping that being back on familiar turf will allow for him to convert on whatever kicks he trots out for. I just am adding him to the Hokies to Watch list because of how shaky he was in the first game -- especially after how consistent he was last season.
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