College Football Preview: The 2015 Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech Hokies Preview
2014 Record: 7-6 (58th of 128) Won Military Bowl 33-17 vs. Cincinnati
Odds to Win National Championship: +15500 See the Latest Odds
Overview: The Virginia Tech Hokies have been barely treading water the last three seasons and rumblings continue to be heard about Frank Beamer’s job status. Sure, Virginia Tech hasn’t missed a bowl game since 1992, but the Hokies have barely scraped by in the ACC the last three years and have become somewhat of an afterthought. Will things be different this season?
Offense: Michael Brewer returns at quarterback after completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Brewer showed bright spots in his first year in the offense but has to take better care of the football. A steady ground game should help out, as leading rusher J.C. Coleman returns, along with Marshawn Williams and Trey Edmunds who return from injuries. VT may have the deepest backfield in the ACC with everybody healthy. Virginia Tech was extremely young last year at the skill positions, which should lead to more production this year with the return of Isaiah Ford, Bucky Hodges and Cam Phillips. Virginia Tech has a decent offensive line and experienced playmakers at all the skill positions, it really comes down to whether or not Brewer can take care of the ball.
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Defense: As usual, Virginia Tech will have one of the best defensive fronts in college football with Dadi Nicolas, Ken Ekanem and Deon Clarke leading the way. The Hokies had 109 tackles for loss last season and return a could chunk of that production. On the back end of the defense, it really doesn’t get much better than Kendall Fuller, and Chuck Clark does a great job of closing and making plays on the ball. Andrew Motuapuaka showed promise as a freshman linebacker and Nigel Williams just adds to that defensive line depth. Even with a talented offense, Virginia Tech is going to go as far as defensive coordinator Bud Foster and this defense goes. It’s the same song and dance with Virginia Tech on the defensive side.
Special Teams: A.J. Hughes returns at punter after averaging 39.9 yards on 83 punts. Joey Slye returns at kicker after making 71.4 percent of his 28 field goal attempts.
Overall: Virginia Tech returns majority of last year’s squad and gets a lot of key guys back from injury. If there was ever a year for Beamer and his staff to quiet the critics, this would be it. I could see the Hokies playing for an ACC title. However, I could also see another underachieving club that somehow sneaks into a lousy bowl game. Only time will tell.