The Sunday Sampler – VT

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Steve Greer finished second on the team in tackles with 59 on the season.

In searching for a topper to the season’s final Sunday Sampler, I came across Saturday’s leading tackler at Virginia Tech. Sophomore linebacker Steve Greer posted nine tackles in the 37-7 loss to the Hokies. No other Cavalier had more than 6 tackles in the game. Greer added 1 forced fumble, 1 quarterback hurry, and half a sack in the finale.

Greer’s team-leading effort marked the second time in the final three weeks of the season that Greer paced the team on the tackles chart. In fact, the strong showing in Blacksburg is part of a late-season surge for Greer. Over the course of the final four games, Greer had at least 5 tackles each outing and had 8 tackles or more three times. Considering that Greer did not have any games of 8 tackles or more in the schedule’s first eight games, it proved to be a noticeable change down the season’s final stretch, outside of the one unfortunate pump fake play at Duke.

The strong finish propelled Greer up the list for the final cumulative stats of 2010. On the season, despite starting just once, he finished second on the team in tackles with 59; LaRoy Reynolds led the Cavaliers with 66 stops on the year. Greer added 5.5 tackles for loss with the half sack at VT rounding out that category and had 2 QB hurries and 2 forced fumbles to boot. He did not have a pass broken up, a distressing similarity with his fellow linebackers – the Cavalier LB corps had no pass break-ups for the entire season.

While the tackle numbers aren’t as high, the rest of the categories are not much different than Greer’s freshman season for the Cavs. In 2009 en route to an All-ACC Honorable Mention pick, Greer posted 92 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss (with 1 sack vs. half a sack), 0 QB hurries, 0 fumbles caused, and 3 pass break-ups.

Greer’s numbers were hurt in part due to a spring injury. He started behind the curve in the 4-3 defense change-over thanks to an ankle injury during spring practice; Aaron Taliaferro emerged as the starter at