Virginia Tech 2011

Virginia Tech 2010 Statistics

(ACC) The Hokies play on a grass field at Lane Stadium (seats 66,233).

  • Frank Beamer is in his 25th year as head coach at Virginia Tech. Under Beamer, this team hasn’t had a losing season in 18 years and has had at least 10 wins for the last seven years straight.  Last year this team won the ACC Championship against Florida State, but then was demolished by Stanford in the Orange Bowl.  That was not the expectation when they started the year 0-2, including a loss to FCS school James Madison.  For a team that relies on defense and special teams, when they started last year with a considerable loss of talent on defense (they returned just 4 starters) the expectations on them were definitely inflated and may have contributed to their emotional breakdown at the beginning.  But quarterback Tyrod Taylor truly became a leader and helped inspire this team to win the next 11 games.
  • Beamer Ball is the term given for Frank Beamer’s coaching philosophy, which is to use defense and special teams to gain an advantage and score points when not on offense. Having an experienced defense and special teams unit is an essential component of this, which is why they have struggled somewhat.  And while they ranked #1 in the nation in turnover margin last year, which definitely helped gain an advantage, they only had two interceptions returned for touchdowns.  On special teams, they only had a total of three kickoff returns and punt returns that resulted in a touchdown.  Just five non-offensive touchdowns all season doesn’t sound like Beamer Ball to me.
  • Beamer made several changes to his coaching staff, including bringing in his son, Shane Beamer. And offensive cocordinator, Bryan Stinespring, will no longer be calling the plays.  Instead, quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain (former head coach at N.C. State) has the job.
  • The fact that the quarterbacks coach will be calling the plays may have something to do with the fact that he has been working closely with new quarterback Logan Thomas.  Thomas
    Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times

    QB Logan Thomas (photo by Matt Gentry, The Roanoke Times)

    has the burden of replacing Tyrod Taylor who was the ACC Player of the Year in 2010.  Taylor was more of a running quarterback while Thomas is more of a dropback passer.  It looks like Virginia Tech’s offense will shift from an option game to more of a traditional game.  The big challenge for Thomas will be how he is able to work on consistency and reading progressions, two things that come with experience and practice.

  • The offensive-line really struggled in the bowl game against Stanford as they allowed eight sacks.  Then again, the Offensive line struggled all year, giving up 34 sacks.  If they don’t improve, this year will be much worse because they no longer have the benefit of an extremely experienced senior quarterback with excellent mobility.  However, with 9 of their top 10 players returning, they are more experienced and should be able to improve.
  • At running back, David Wilson is fast and will be taking on a heavier workload in light of the fact that the top two rushers from last year’s team are gone (one of which was the quarterback).  And luckily for the Hokies, all of the top receivers return
  • Once again, defense gets hit.  Just one starter returns on the defensive line.  This is disappointing because the rushing defense has consistently been on the decline for the past three years and the lack of experience makes it more difficult to improve upon those numbers.  But as this is now a glaring area of weakness for the Hokies, look for them to really work on this during the off-season and improve.  I can’t see a Beamer coached defense remaining in the bottom half of the nation in rushing defense for very long.
  • The linebackers and defensive backs each have two starters returning and are much more experienced than last year.
  • Last year the Hokies finished 11-3, but I believe a down year in the ACC led to them having a much more successful year than they should have and which is why the Orange bowl was a reality check.  Watch out for early hype for this team as the season starts out extremely easy and doesn’t include any formidable non-conference foes.