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College Football Preview: Virginia Tech 74

Virginia Tech HC Frank Beamer returns for his 27th season in Blacksburg (courtesy of blueridgemuse.com)

The 2012 Virginia Tech Hokies had what some might call a less than stellar season. After being contenders for the ACC title for the past few years, Frank Beamer and company slipped to a mediocre 7-6 last season including losses to Pittsburgh, Miami, and Florida State, a game in which they lead late in the game. Quarterback Logan Thomas had a good season last year, but his production was hampered by an inexperienced and inconsistent offensive line which only returned one starter last year (Center Andrew Miller who was injured in week 7 and missed the remainder of the season).

QB Logan Thomas (seen here against Michigan in the 2012 Sugar Bowl) returns for his Senior Season (courtesy of ESPN.com)

But this season, Beamer and his boys look to turn things around and get back to good ole fashioned “Beamer Ball.” Logan Thomas returned for his Senior season, and will look to veteran WR and fellow Senior DJ Coles and Junior Ryan Malleck in the passing game. Redshirt Freshman running back Trey looks to join Thomas in the backfield with hopes to bring yet another 1,000-yard season back to Blacksburg, something that didn’t happen last season. The offensive line starting 5 is all upperclassmen, lead by Senior center Andrew Miller who looks to rebound, as do the rest of the offensive line, from injuries. Their veteran presence will surely help Thomas provided they stay healthy.

 

Senior Defensive Tackle Derrick Hopkins looks to be a force in the VT Front 7 (courtesy of Bleacherreport.com)

Defensively, the Hokies have 9 starters returning including Senior Defensive Ends JR Collins and James Gayle who, along with the rest of the defense, look to build off of their stout play the last seven games of the year. After allowing 196 rushing yards per game in the first six games, the Hokies D tightened up and only allowed 80 rushing yards a game in the final 7 games with five of those games coming against bowl-eligible teams. Senor corner Antwan Exum looks to build off his Junior year which saw him named 2nd team All-ACC and will be joined by fellow Senior Kyle Fuller and Juniors Kyshoen Jarrett and Detrick Bonner in the defensive backfield.

 

Despite the opener against National Champion and perennial powerhouse Alabama, the Hokies schedule looks favorable for a deep run to the ACC Title (they miss both ACC Powers Clemson and Florida State). Games against Western Carolina, East Carolina, and Marshall serve as tuneup games before ACC play begins on September 26th against the “Ramblin Wreck” from Georgia Tech. A revenge game occurs on October 12th against Pitt in Blacksburg. Following a Bye Week, the Hokies take on Duke, Boston College, Miami, and Maryland before another Bye Week to prepare for arch rival Virginia. The game that could decide the ACC Coastal Division however happens on October 5th, when the Hokies take on North Carolina at home for Home Coming where DC Bud Foster and company look to slow down the quarterback play of Bryn Renner.

 

In what looks to be a rebound year for the Hokies, their schedule looks favorable for a return to the ACC Title game. That is as long as the offensive line holds up and VT can get passed both North Carolina (at home) and Miami (in Coral Gables). Look for the team to turn away from a 7-6 2012 season and return their winning ways. Virginia Tech goes 9-3 this season and will surely challenge for the ACC Crown.

 

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