2013 Virginia Tech Hokies Football Preview
Virginia Tech Hokies
Head Coach: Frank Beamer
2012 Record: 7-6 overall, 4-4 ACC Coastal
2012 Bowl Result: Beat Rutgers 13-10 (OT) in Russell Athletic Bowl
2013 Returning Starters: 6 offense, 9 defense
Odds to win 2014 BCS National Championship: 250/1
Odds to win 2013 ACC Championship Game: +775
Odds to win 2013 ACC Coastal Division: +295
Regular Season Wins: under 9 -150 / over 9 +110
Bet on These Props At 5 Dimes Sportsbook and Collect a 20% Signup Bonus!
Going into last season, Virginia Tech was predicted to compete for the ACC title. It didn’t happen that way, as the Hokies had to win their last two games of the season just to squeeze into a bowl game. Virginia Tech has gone to a bowl every season since 1992 under legendary coach Frank Beamer, now in his 27th year as Hokies’ coach.
Virginia Tech started off the season 3-1, but then went 1-5 in their next 6 games to put their postseason streak in jeopardy. Narrow wins over Boston College and arch-rival Virginia brought the Hokies to 6-6. Virginia Tech would upset Rutgers 13-10 in overtime in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. For many programs, a bowl win would mean a successful season, but Hokie fans have grown accustomed to 10 win seasons and ACC titles under Beamer and considered 2012 to be a failure.
Let’s take a look at Virginia Tech’s offense, defense, special teams, and schedule.
The offense was not very good last year, ranking 81st in total and scoring offense. Beamer replaced offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring with Scot Loeffler during the offseason.
Quarterback Logan Thomas entered last season as one of the top NFL prospects in college football. A shaky 2012 season led him to return for his senior year to erase memories of last year and repair his damaged NFL draft stock. Thomas was the leading rusher and passer for the Hokies, but he made way too many mistakes. Thomas completed 51.3% of his passes for 2,976 yards with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He also had 174 carries for 524 yards and 9 touchdowns. Loeffler’s first task will be to rebuild Thomas’s shaken confidence and get him back to the level he played at as a sophomore. Junior Mark Leal is a capable back-up and could see some action if Thomas struggles early.
Last year, a committee of running backs failed to replace the production of star running back David Wilson, now with the New York Giants. There is still no feature workhorse back, and another group of running backs will attempt to improve the running game which averaged a paltry 3.7 yards per play. J.C. Coleman started six games last year as a freshman. He had 109 carries, 492 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 21 catches, 132 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds was very impressive in spring practice and moved to the topMas of the depth chart with Coleman. Both will get plenty of carries. Senior Tony Gregory has battled several knee injuries in his career. Last year he had 64 carries, 299 yards and a touchdown, and also caught a few passes as well. Gregory started two games last year. Fullback Riley Beiro started the first four games of last year before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. He won’t get many carries, if at all, but could catch some passes from the backfield. Michael Holmes would have been #2 on the depth chart but was dismissed from school after an arrest for assault.
The Hokies lose their top 3 receivers from last year, in Marcus Davis, Corey Fuller and Dyrell Roberts. The trio accounted for 127 catches, almost 2,200 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Senior D.J. Coles missed all of last year with a knee injury, but returns this year. He had 36 catches, 480 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2011. Sophomore Demitri Knowles had 19 catches, 240 yards and a touchdowns. Junior tight end Ryan Malleck had 17 catches for 174 yards last year. Redshirt freshman Joshua Stanford and sophomore Kevin Asante will also get some targets.
The line struggled last year and was a big reason the offense was so anemic. The Hokies must replace both tackles but the other 3 starters return. Senior Andrew Miller moves from center to right guard after breaking his ankle midway through last season. Junior Caleb Farris took over at center after the Miller injury. Brent Benedict will start at left guard. Freshman Jonathan McLaughlin and junior Mark Shuman will platoon at left tackle. Junior Laurence Gibson will start at right tackle.
Don’t miss out of the college football lines page of our site which offers live lines from major offshore sportsbooks updated to the minute 365 days of the year. Best of all it is 100% free!
As bad as the offense was last season, the defense was very good, ranking #18 in the country. Longtime coordinator Bud Foster returns 9 starters from last year.
Senior defensive end James Gayle had 43 tackles, 11 for loss, 27 QB pressures, and 5 sacks. J.R. Collins and and Dadi Nicolas will platoon at the other end. Derrick Hopkins and Luther Maddy will start at the tackle positions. Hopkins has started 27 straight games and had 51 tackles, 10 stops for loss and 3.5 sacks. Maddy had 13 quarterback pressures and 4 sacks. Kris Harley, Tyrel Wilson, Corey Marshall, and Wyatt Teller add depth to the line.
Linebacker Jack Tyler was first team All-ACC with 119 tackles, 13 for loss, 13 hurries, and 2.5 sacks. Senior Tariq Edwards is recovering from a stress fracture in his left leg. He made 71 tackles, 11.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. Sophomore Ronny Vandyke will start at outside linebacker. Chase Willimas will come off the bench.
All four starters return from a secondary that many considered to be among the nation’s best. Senior cornerback Antone Exum tore his ACL in February in a pick-up basketball game. He should return sometime this season, but will probably miss the beginning of the season. Exum had 5 interceptions and broke up anther 21 passes. Exum was supposed to join with fellow senior and NFL prospect Kyle Fuller to form one of the top cornerback duos in the nation. Fuller had 2 picks and broke up 7 passes. However, with the injury to Exum and sophomore Donaldven Manning leaving the team last week, there is a question over who will start at the other corner. It will likely be sophomore Donovan Riley or freshmen Kendall Fuller (Kyle’s brother) and Brandon Facyson who starts until Exum returns. Kyshoen Jarrett and Detrick Bonner return at the safety positions.
Senior kicker Cody Journell made 34 0f 36 extra points, and 20 of 25 field goals including 3 game winners. He is accurate having made 81% of his kicks over the last 2 years, but his career long is only 42 yards. The Hokies do need to improve their kick coverage as they were #94 in the country allowing just over 23 yards per return and a touchdown.
Sophomore punter A.J. Hughes averaged 40.6 yards per punt, and placed just over 25% of his punts inside the 20. Redshirt freshman Hunter Windmiller could also challenge for the job.
Demitri Knowles will return kicks after averaging 28.3 yards per return with a touchdown last year. Kyshoen Jarrett will return punts after averaging 13.9 yards per return with a touchdown last year.
The Hokies open the season in Atlanta against the two time defending National Champs Alabama. Home games against Western Carolina and Marshall are sandwiched around a trip to East Carolina. The conference schedule begins with a Thursday night game at Georgia Tech. Home games against North Carolina, ACC newcomer Pitt, and Duke are next. The Hokies end the season with 3 of 4 games on the road, including trips to Boston College, Miami, and Virginia in the regular season finale. The only home game in that stretch is against Maryland.
The defense should be a top 20 unit again. The big question is on offense. If the Hokies don’t improve on offense, another mediocre season could be in store. The Hokies should be at least 3-1 by the time conference play starts, but they shouldn’t sleep on East Carolina or Marshall. The Hokies do avoid Clemson and Florida St, and the ACC Coastal Division is wide open. I think any more than 8 wins would be asking a lot for the Hokies.
Our best college football picks are available now to help you crush the books. Get full season picks right now.