Part Three of a Five Part series... Parts Four and Five to come later on tonight...
Ever since Frank Beamer took over as Virginia Tech's head coach, way back in 1987, Virginia Tech has built the program around three things. Running, defense and special teams. However, they struggled with the running game this season more than most, averaging only 3.4 yards a carry, even less taking out Tyrod Taylor's 4.4 yards a carry. Brandon Ore struggled for most of the season, averaging more than 4 yards a carry in only six of the games. And those six games took place against the powerhouses of Ohio (90th ranked running defense), North Carolina (51st), Boston College (2nd), Georgia Tech (12th), Miami (FL) (51st) and Virginia (20th). Some really good running defenses, some not-so-good.
However, his replacement for the first quarter will be Kenny Lewis, after Brandon Ore was suspended for the first quarter of the Orange Bowl. Lewis, despite being only a sophomore to Ore's junior year of eligibility, is actually two years older than Ore. He only received 53 carries all season long, and only twice did he receive double digits. Against William and Mary he received 10 carries, taking those for a combined 42 yards. The other time was against Florida State, also at home. There, against a much better Seminoles defense, he had 11 carries, but for only 37 yards. He is more of a smaller, change-of-pace back, standing only 5'9" to the big, bruising Brandon Ore. We should be able to handle him alone, but once the second quarter comes along, and Brandon Ore's reinstatement along with it, we should have some more trouble. Still, Ore has struggled, for the most part, all season, and the running game should be secondary to any passing game (or QB running game) for Virginia Tech.
They have a relatively new offensive line, only one senior (LT Duane Brown), two juniors (LG Nick Marshman and C Ryan Shuman) and two sophomores (RG Sergio Render and RT Ed Wang).
The special teams will be covered a little later on tonight. Plus, another post summing up everything about the Orange Bowl will be up near the end of the night tonight. I will be on a plane flying back home while our basketball team takes on the Boston College Eagles in Boston, so that game won't be previewed or anything. I am Tivoing the game, along with the football game, and will watch both when I get back home Saturday night. I will recap both Sunday, getting much more in-depth the following week.