2015 Virginia Tech Hokies Football Preview

QB Michael Brewer will be a senior this season.
QB Michael Brewer will be a senior this season.

Virginia Tech Hokies
Head coach: Frank Beamer
2014 Record: 7-6; 3-5 ACC
2014 Bowl: 33-17 W vs. Cincinnati at Military Bowl
2015 Returning Starters: 8 offense, 8 defense

Odds to win 2016 CFB Championship: +15500
Odds to win 2015 ACC Title: +600
Regular Season Wins: Over 8 (-115); Under 8 (-115)
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The Virginia Tech Hokies return most of its offensive core from a decent 2014 season and are hoping QB Michael Brewer is more like the player he was during the second half of last season.

Michael Brewer was very good in 2014, and he was also very bad. But the bad mostly occurred in the beginning of the season, and by year’s end he had amassed 2,692 yards and 18 TDs. He threw 15 interceptions, but 11 of those were in the first six games (of which the Hokies still won four).

Brewer’s gained some experience now and is a senior, and he has the WRs available to guide a very successful Hokies offense. Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips combined for 96 catches, 1,207 yards and nine TDs last year as freshmen and Bucky Hodges broke the school TE record with 45 catches and 526 yards (also seven TDs) as a redshirt freshman.

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RB is a bit more in the air with Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams both coming off ACL injuries (McKenzie is also battling legal issues), but 2013 leading rusher Trey Edmunds is healthy again this year and JC Coleman also should be good for some carries after rushing for 468 yards last year.

The OL is questionable, but the starting five did well in spring and Wyatt Teller looked particularly impressive, winning OL-MVP award. Brewer has to play composed football and the line has to come together, but if both those things happen there is enough talent in this offensive unit to be better than last years unit which ranked 93rd in the nation with just 24.1 points per game.

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Defensively the Hokies are really strong on the back end and in the trenches. The Hokies have four DL who earned all-ACC honors in their careers and T Luther Maddy will be good alongside Corey Marshall on the interior. The ends are outstanding, with Dadi Nicolas and Ken Ekanem having combined for 18.5 sacks and 33 tackles for loss last season. It was the best DL tandem in the entire ACC.

The secondary will be making a transition but Kendall Fuller is an All-American and will be the leader of the secondary. CB Brandon Facyson missed last year with a stress fracture in his leg, and he reinsured it at practice in Dec. The Hokies want him healthy because it would allow them to slide Chuck Clark back to S. The talent level is really high, but there were so many big plays given up last season. It’s the potential that is exciting.

At LB Deon Clarke returns but Andrew Motuapuaka is a first year starter and could be a big time performer this year. The Hokies are good both rushing the passer and covering, though—and Bud Foster’s groups are usually pretty versatile if not very good. Last year Virginia Tech allowed just 20.2 points per game, ranking No. 2 in the ACC and No. 14 in the nation. It ranked No. 21 in total yardage allowed (343.8).

K Joey Slye was 20 of 28 FG last year and has the leg strength for 50 foot kicks but he needs to hone his accuracy. P A.J. Hughes had offseason back surgery, and he struggled badly last year with just 39.9 yards per punt after being good for 4.2 yards more per attempt in 2013. Greg Stroman is a major stud in punt returns.

Virginia Tech is continually good, but that is getting to be the theme too much for a program that isn’t really getting over the hump. It won eight games last year and the O/U at oddsmaker 5dimes is 8 wins again. The team is 22-17 overall and .500 since 2012, and Frank Beamer has now been at Virginia Tech for 28 years while having gone 231-115.

There’s 16 returning starters and a lot of playmakers on both sides of the ball, though, so might Beamer might not be able to wind up for a double-digit win season? Virginia Tech should be able to challenge in the Coastal Division this season, but if Beamer can’t get this club to greatly exceed expectations and win 10 games, maybe he should just go ahead and move on.

Prediction: 9 wins

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