Last year was certainly a down year for Frank Beamer's Virginia Tech, as they went 7-6 with a a 4-4 record in the ACC. However the Hokies end strong with three wins including a 13-10 win over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl. One of those wins for the Hokies was the November 17th game against Boston College, if you remember it was the game BC had the ball with 56 seconds left, knelt it and lost in overtime. But that is all in the past, as that coaching staff is gone.
Much of the talk this year will of course be around the Hokies senior QB Logan Thomas. He is again being brought up in the Heisman talk, even after a very pedestrian junior season in Blacksburg. In 2012 Thomas finished 8th in the ACC with 2,976 yards, and his TD/INT ratio was 18/16, which are both worse than Chase Rettig. He did however run for almost 600 yards last season, with nine touchdowns, which does make him more dangerous than the BC quarterback. Just from an eyeball test, from the game he played against BC last year, he seemed slow and hesitant, and did very little against a defense that was a giant hot mess. Now that's not to say he won't turn it around this season, but I am not sold on this quarterback yet.
After Thomas, the running back situations is filled with a variety of unproven backs including leading rusher J.C. Coleman, and RS freshman Trey Edmunds who had a very strong spring for the Hokies. In terms of the wide receivers, Tech has even more question marks, as three of the Hokies top wide outs graduated. Senior D.J. Coles will most likely be the top receiver this year, with speedster Demitri Knowles lined up on the other side.
All ACC Linebacker Bruce Taylor is gone, but the Hokies are bringing back nine returning starters on the defensive side of the ball. Jack Tyler is the lone returning linebacker, but the Hokies will have strong linemen like James Gayle and Tyrel Wilson available to put the heat on opposing offenses. Bud Foster always puts together a strong defense and last year was no exception as the Hokies finished in the Top 32 in total, scoring, and rushing defense. They allowed an average of 22.8 points, 134 yards on the ground, and 199 passing yards per game.
Very early game preview: Most analysts have the Hokies locked as a win here, but honestly this is a game that BC could win if things stack up right for them. It's at home, and the Hokies showed last year that they don't have the weapons to blow the Eagles out of Alumni. Contain Thomas, and move the ball, throw up some points and be aggressive and perhaps BC wins this one. However if Logan Thomas plays up to his potential, it could be a tough game for Boston College. In years past they have struggled mightily against mobile QBs, with the exception of the VT game last year. But with a new defensive scheme in place, it's anyone's guess. This is certainly a game that we will need to see how both teams pan out by the time the Hokies hit the Heights before an accurate prediction can be made.
Things You Need To Know About Virginia Tech:
Head Coach: Frank Beamer (head coach since 1987) 216-102-2
Leading Returning Passer: Logan Thomas, 2976 yards, 18 touchdowns, 16 Interceptions,
Leading Returning Rusher: Logan Thomas 526 yards, 9 touchdowns
Leading Returning Receiver: Demitri Knowles 19 catches, 240 yards, 1 touchdown
Recent Success: Went to back to back Orange Bowls after defeating Boston College in 2007 & 2008 (sigh)
Famous Alumni: Michael Vick, Marcus Vick, David Wilson, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Flowers, DeAngelo Hall, Bruce Smith,