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Reid: Five Virginia missed tackles allowed Florida State to tally 172 rushing yards

As most of you are well aware by now, Virginia gave up 256 rushing yards against Florida State last weekend. But according to defensive coordinator Jim Reid, that number would have been much lower -- and thus easier to swallow -- had the Cavaliers been sounder in their approach to attempting tackles.

Reid said that while watching film of the Florida State game, Virginia's coaches counted five missed tackles that accounted for 172 rushing yards.

"I think you've got to give Florida State great credit for some wonderful cuts," Reid said Tuesday. "But ... when we did miss a tackle, it wasn't like, 'Oh shoot, we just missed a tackle and another guy is there.' They made us pay. So we've got to just bend a little better, stay on our feet, don't dive. We haven't all year, but we did in the first half of that game."

The most glaring example of a missed tackle was charged to sophomore cornerback Devin Wallace, who failed to stop Seminoles tailback Jermaine Thomas from turning the corner on a first-half run. Thomas ended up running for a 70-yard touchdown on that play.

"We looked at it together," Reid said of he and Wallace. "He did something that he hasn't done. He ducked his head. We always talk about making sure you see what you tackle. But the number one reason, honestly, is because it's more safe that way. You never, ever duck your head. That's how you get hurt, and that's also how you miss tackles."

Missing tackles will be just as costly -- if not more so -- on Saturday against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets rank No. 6 in the nation in rushing offense (298.2 ypg) and wracked up 362 rushing yards in a 34-9 win at Virginia last season.

By Steve Yanda  | October 6, 2010; 7:44 AM ET
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