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September 10, 2012
Looking At The Film: Austin Peay
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Yes, it was Austin Peay, but surely there were some Virginia Tech fans out there concerned with just a 7-0 lead after the first quarter on Saturday. With little rest since Monday night's win over Georgia Tech, the Hokies were able improve as the game went on, winning 42-7. Breaking down the film the day after, here are a couple positives and a couple negatives.
Corey Fuller looks like a natural - The word 'wow' is suitable to describe the ex-Kansas track athlete. Fuller has been fantastic thus far, and on Saturday, he recorded two catches for 44 yards with a 30-yard touchdown, the first of his career. On the second grab, he did a fantastic job to take in the ball in, halfway spin, show awareness as to where the defenders were, and jet to the end zone.
He is the leading receiver this season with seven catches for 126 yards, and each week he seems to improve, giving Tech a viable option after the season-ending injury to D.J. Coles. Not bad for someone who came in as a walk-on.
Kyle Fuller more patient by the day - Boy, this kid is special. The more I dissect his play, the more I respect him. He is just sensational. We all know about his ability to tackle, coming down into the box to stop the run. As a corner, he does a solid job shadowing.his receiver but his patience on pass plays have been huge. Last year he had two interceptions and he has matched that through just two games this year.
Just like Monday's overtime interception on Tevin Washington, knowing it was a pass, Fuller kept his eyes on the quarterback on Saturday, this time on Jake Ryan for his interception. He instincts are off the chart and is one of the most complete corners in Blacksburg in years. Over the first two games, Fuller just looks so much more patient in pass defending and it has paid off with two picks. More to come, surely.
Physicality along the offensive line missing - Expectations weren't high for the new-look offensive line entering the season. Despite the potential, it's an inexperienced group, and it has shown. Playing against a team like Austin Peay, one with undersized offensive lineman for the most part, it should have been simple to overpower and just dominate.
Think about this -- In last week's 49-10 loss to Western Kentucky, the Governors 596 yards and 244 on the ground. Against coach Frank Beamer's team? 419 total and 187 rushing. Throw this one on the short rest though, surely. Look for improvements next week in Pittsburgh, with the main focus being to open up big holes. The big-play runs have been absent. Are they on the way? With each week, the comfort level will rise.
Quickness off the defensive line - Again, this can simply be credited to the lack of rest from Monday's game, but the defensive line did not seem as vicious as it did for the ACC opener. Regardless if it's first team or second team defense, I did not think the first guy to run for over 100 yards this season against the Hokieswould be Wesley Kitts.
Virginia Tech was slow off the line, and with Luther Maddy and Antoine Hopkins being questionable with ankle injuries answering, it was easy to see why the team struggled at times with the FCS foe.