Next up on the Triple Option Attack is #5 Virginia Tech
Music to listen to: Horse with No Name by America
Gerry Beckley, a founding member of the band America, went to school at Virginia Tech.
The Story: When you think of Virginia Tech under Frank Beamer, only three things come to mind. Elite defense, excellent running attack and top-notch special teams.
The last two still exist for the Hokies but the first one came under question last season and still needs to be answered this year if Virginia Tech has any aspirations to play for the national title.
Last Season: The Hokies were 10-3 last season, including a victory over Tennessee in the Peach Bowl (I know it’s the Chick-fil-A Bowl but corporate sponsorships have gotten to be too much for me). The losses were to Alabama in Atlanta, on the road to Georgia Tech and at home to North Carolina.
Offense: The Hokies may have its best offense on campus since the Michael Vick era.
Virginia Tech brings back two running backs who can rush for 1,500 yards individually on their own. When star running back Darren Evans missed last year with a knee injury, than-freshman Ryan Williams filled in and rushed for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns on his own. Evans is back and will join the crowded backfield.
Tyrod Taylor returns as starting quarterback and has a 23-5 record as a starter over his career. He is also a dual-threat who improved his throwing ability greatly last season.
The Hokies still have to replace several offensive linemen but they should still be able to run the ball as usual.
Defense: The secondary should be fine with top players like cornerback Rashad Carmichael and strong safety Davon Morgan returning.
The question is whether the unit can replace departed linemen and linebackers from last season.
Sept. 6 vs. Boise St. (Landover, Md.)
Sept. 11 James Madison
Sept. 18 East Carolina
Sept. 25 @ Boston College
Oct. 2 @ N.C. State
Oct. 9 Central Michigan
Oct. 16 Wake Forest
Oct. 23 Duke
Nov. 4 Georgia Tech
Nov. 13 @ North Carolina
Nov. 20 @ Miami
Nov. 27 Virginia
The first matchup is the big one that the entire nation will be watching. If the Hokies defense can stop Boise State than that will be a good predictor of how the rest of the season will go. Two of the three toughest games after that are on the road. Boston College and Miami will contend for their individual ACC divisions and Georgia Tech is at home.
Most Famous Sports Alum: For better or worse, its Mike Vick.
Celebrity Alum “Crush:” Actress Collette Wolfe
I think that the Hokies get the win over Boise State but slips up twice in the ACC. The road games are tough and as North Carolina proved, Tech isn’t as intimidating of a home team as it used to be. Virginia Tech will have a solid year and may even play for the national title but I don’t trust the defense enough to make that proclamation.
Sports Inquirer Top-25 Preseason College Football Poll: