Thursday night, distinguished players gathered in Atlanta at the College Football Hall of Fame for the sport’s annual awards presentation. At the ceremony, Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington was presented the Biletnikoff Award, for the nation’s best receiver. Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, honoring the top quarterback.
According to a story by ESPN’s Ryan McGee, the awards were not the only precious cargo the two Cowboys picked up in Atlanta. They, like nearly all the players in attendance, also scored a scouting report about their opponent in the Camping World Bowl: Virginia Tech.
According to McGee’s story, Washington and Rudolph spoke with West Virginia receiver David Sills V, also a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, and asked him about the Hokies’ vaunted defense, which ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense and 12th in yards allowed. Sills’ Mountaineers played against Virginia Tech in this year’s season-opener. Sills apparently gave the two Oklahoma State players his scouting report, which he told McGee was essentially “go deep.”
“They (Virginia Tech) keep plays in the front of them, so you’ve got to figure out how to get behind them deep at least a couple of times,” Sills said. “But guess what? That’s what James and Mason do best. I think they got excited when I told them that.”
While connecting on deep passes is certainly not a novel game plan against the Hokies — Virginia Tech is tied for 74th nationally in passes of 20 yards or more allowed, 71st in passes of 30 yards or more and 112th in passes of 40 yards or more — the fact that Sills reported Rudolph and Washington were excited could mean they hadn’t picked up on that weakness from their film study.
As for the Hokies, they didn’t have a representative at the awards show, so Bud Foster and Justin Fuente will have to devise a game plan to slow down the Cowboy offense the old fashioned way, relying on film and guile.
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