Virginia Tech DC Bud Foster weighs in on how to slow down Kentucky QB Lynn Bowden Jr.
The Virginia Tech Hokies will say goodbye to longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster after this year’s bowl game, in which they’ll take on Kentucky in the Belk Bowl.
Foster’s final task as the Virginia Tech DC? Figure out how to stop Kentucky WR-turned-QB Lynn Bowden Jr.
Ahead of the game, which will take place on Tuesday, Foster weighed in on how much of a problem Bowden would be for the Hokies’ defense (via 247Sports):
“You know, No. 1 [Bowden] is just a great athlete. Great speed, with the ball in his hand just extremely dynamic. If you look at the stats, he’s their leading receiver, kick returner, punt returner and at quarterback their leading rusher. Just a dynamic athlete. He’s first-team All-American at utility, he won a national award recognized for that, just really special. Has breakaway speed, great vision and great strength. Has the ability to put his foot in the ground and get north-south and the ability to break tackles.
“They have three outstanding tailbacks and they’re roughly averaging 160 yards per game just from that spot alone with three guys and then you throw the quarterback in the mix. Since [Bowden] has been in there, they’re averaging 300 yards a game running the football, but they’re always getting extra hats. We’re always trying to get that extra free hitter, that alley player. They’re always trying to find a way they manipulate that guy through blocking him, gaining an extra hat or stressing those areas and that’s really been the challenge for us, trying to figure those things out. I’ve been impressed by their physicality up front. They may be one of the bigger offensive lines that we’ve seen all year. they kind of remind me of a Boston College or somebody like that who we’ve played and are big, physical, strong, move their feet well athletically and handle movement well. They’re doing what their strengths are, which is their running game with the running backs, and the quarterback now, and their physicality up front. It’s going to be a challenge.
“It reminds me a bit of Virginia and Georgia Tech’s QB combined. [Bowden] has [Bryce] Perkins’ ability, but he also has [James] Graham’s speed and explosiveness. He’s going to be a problem for us. I’ve told our kids that we need to get ready for a 60-minute middle drill. At the same time, we can’t be undisciplined on the back end. They only average a little over seven throws a game maybe since he’s been in there, but a lot of them are deep shots and that type of thing. Obviously, if we can stop the run and put the ball in his hands that way, that’s got to be one of our goals as far as a defense is control the run game if we can do that.”
The Belk Bowl will kick off on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at noon Eastern time and can be seen on ESPN.