Virginia Tech has pretty much dominated this division every year since entering the ACC, but the Coastal division showed that it is getting closer in talent top to bottom during last season. The ACC Championship game had four true contenders at the end and switched teams five different times at the end of the season. This year might have one lead runner, but with this division you could have the same four teams battling it out again for bragging rights.
Returning starters: 9 on Offense, 7 on Defense
The Hokies were a young team that some say overachieved in 2008. This team last season was a very young team in key positions. This season however you do gain experience and the expectations in the Blacksburg area are as high as ever. Last season the Hokies saw an underperforming offense and a slight lapse on Special teams. Frank Beamer prides himself in Beamerball, and he saw more from the opposing teams than his own squad in the 2008 season. I expect this to change this season with experience at key positions.
The offense will be led by returning starter Tyrod Taylor, last season he had only 923 passing yards with a 52% competition percentage. I think you will see a change in those stats, because the receivers were very young and a lot of dropped balls limited Taylor’s abilities. Running back Daniel Evans will be returning as starter for the Hokies, Evans showed some promise in a few games, and could be on the edge of a breakout season especially with more experience on the offensive line. Virginia Tech does have Senior leadership in the reliable tight end Greg Boone, who has had over 500 receptions in his career at VT, and you will see even more of a threat with Jarret Boykin who averaged alost 15 ypc during his Freshman tour.
The defense has lost one of their best in Victor “Macho” Harris, but to say the Hokies do not have one of the best defenses in the nation is an asinine comment to make. Virginia Tech is returning 7 players and almost everyone was a role player in the 2008 season. The Hokies are led up front by Jason Worilds, who has gotten better every year and could easily be first team All-ACC Team. The linebackers are led by two of the best in the league with Cam Martin and Cody Grimm. This front seven looks very solid and should help get pressure on opposing Quarterbacks and help out the younger defensive backs.
Bottom Line: If Virginia Tech can go into Atlanta and beat Alabama, then Blacksburg could be seeing a BCS National Championship Game this season, and would be the first in the ACC since 1999. They are definitely the front runners to win the ACC Championship again, and will be seeing another BCS bowl game at the end of the season.
Edited by Tweeder, 05 August 2009 - 10:54 AM.