The Virginia Tech Hokies are set to begin their 2012 season. I repeat, College Football is set and ready to being this week…
After an off season mired by an unprecedented scandal, odd coaching changes, player turnover and further rule violations across the country, it’ll be nice to just get back to playing some football. And what a season it should be.
The ACC is wide open once again. Florida State and Clemson will open the season as the favorites to win the conference. But the Labor Day showdown between VT and Coastal Division rival Georgia Tech will set the tone for the upcoming season.
Virginia Tech lost a lot of their offensive talent from a season ago. Gone are mainstays Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin, both record holding receivers in their careers at Virginia Tech. Gone is RB David Wilson who, when he held onto the ball, was one of the most explosive players in all of college football a season ago. What remains, at least offensively are young players at the skill positions, a work-in-progress offensive line, and potential All-American QB Logan Thomas.
Heading into last season the Hokies were considered a favorite in the ACC, but the questions surrounding the team always circled back to their new quarterback, Thomas. After passing for over 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns, while rushing for nearly 500 yards and an additional 11 touchdowns, Thomas has quieted any and all doubters. Now the question is: what else ya got?
Thomas will be the key that makes the Hokie offense go but it will be the play of Bud Foster’s defense that will decide VT’s ACC fate. After looking shaky against lesser competition early on last season the Hokie D showed up and rounded into form by season’s end, ending the season a top 15 defense in the nation, albeit 14th. With a tougher schedule ahead of them this season the defense will need to be playing its best ball much earlier if the Hokies expect to contend for a ACC crown.
If not for two losses at the hands of Clemson, one in Blacksburg (23-3) and the other in the ACC Title Game (38-10), the Hokies may very well have crashed the BCS Championship game (and likely gotten manhandled by the professional teams from the SEC, but I digress…). Now, with the memories of the Clemson losses and the heartbreaking overtime loss to Michigan in the AllState Sugar Bowl still fresh in their minds, the Hokies are out to prove something this season.
The ACC has been Virginia Tech’s conference for over a decade. The type of consistency they’ve showed, not only winning games, but making it to BCS bowls has put VT at the top of many pre-season predictions. Still, with the ACC improving each year (FSU, Clemson, GT) can the Hokies maintain the type of dominance they’ve grown accustomed to? Or will we start to see a fall-off in production from years past?
Only time will tell, but a week from now we’ll have a better idea.
God I love football.
About the Author
Written by Frank Sullivan
Frank is a graduate of Old Dominion University, sports fan, author, and founder of TheBloosh.com. He's been working with prosportsblogging.com since April 2011, and has covered the Chicago Bulls, Baltimore Ravens, Virginia Tech Hokies Football, and the Washington Wizards. Frank can be reached @franksullivan on twitter.