26th year (209-98-2 at Tech; 251-121-4 overall in coaching career)
Since the start of last season, a lot of things have changed in connection to Beamer's coaching career. After late
Jr. | 6-6 | 260 | QB
Thomas only needs 3,898 more yards to become Tech's career passing yardage leader. His hulking frame could also made him the most effective runner on Tech's roster. That's pretty good for a guy who didn't even want to play quarterback in the summer before his freshman year.
Jr. | 6-4 | 269 | DE
Setting his sights on posting more than the team-high seven sacks he had last season was Gayle's first offseason ambition. If he breaks double digits in the category, Tech might be fortunate to get the Bethel High graduate back for his senior season, because the
Jr. | 6-0 | 193 | CB
After displaying a knack for open-field tackles last season in leading Tech with 14 1/2 tackles for loss while splitting time at cornerback and outside linebacker (in the nickel package), defensive coordinator Bud Foster has vowed to let Fuller concentrate on his natural cornerback spot this season.
LIFE AFTER WILSON
Running backs coach Shane Beamer admits life in the film room is a boring without
ARE THE KIDS REALLY ALL RIGHT?
Bruce Taylor insists he's just fine — after he warms up a little bit. Jeron Gouveia-Winslow feels great — when he gets everything loosened up. Tariq Edwards struggled through preseason practices. Those are Tech's returning starting linebackers — not exactly the healthiest sounding unit, huh? Taylor and Gouveia-Winslow are recovering from Lisfranc foot injuries (Taylor told one reporter this preseason he's "breaking up with Lisfranc"), while Edwards had surgery in March to have a rod placed in his left tibia to relieve pain from a stress fracture. Edwards' Frankenstein leg apparently wasn't doing well after the first week of preseason practice, so he had more surgery to have a screw removed from his left knee to eliminate pain associated with his earlier tibia surgery. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster anticipated Edwards' slow recovery and moved Taylor from middle linebacker to Edwards' inside linebacker spot prior to the start of practice. Jack Tyler took over at middle linebacker. Gouveia-Winslow was pushed in practice by Alonzo Tweedy and Ronny Vandyke. Bottom line: Tech's linebackers aren't nearly the wrecking crew they once were, and further injury issues will really test the Hokies' depth.
LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS
Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring said he was settling into vacation this summer when he fixed the cable box at the beach house and flipped on the tube. After seeing a report on how junior quarterback Logan Thomas is projected to be a top draft pick if he comes out of school early next year, Stinespring joked his vacation mood was ruined. In some ways, it was inevitable. After completing 60 percent of his passes last season for 3,013 yards (second-best single season passing yardage mark in school history), 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, in addition to 469 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing, it was only a matter of time before draft gurus proclaimed the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Thomas to be NFL-ready. Thomas will have to do it this season without Tech's two most prolific pass-catchers in school history (Jarrett Boykin and
Sept. 3 |
An entire offseason to prepare for coach Paul Johnson's often confounding option offense should provide an edge for Virginia Tech, but Georgia Tech could represent the strongest challenge to the Hokies in the
Sept. 8| Austin Peay | 1:30 p.m.
Virginia Tech will be far more prepared for abysmal Football Championship Subdivision foe Austin Peay (3-8 last season) than it was against James Madison in 2010, when Tech got off to an 0-2 start with losses to
Sept. 15 | at
For Tech, it'll be a sneak preview of Pittsburgh, which has nine returning offensive starters, before the Panthers join the ACC next year. Tech has won 18 of its last 19 initial road games of the season (not including neutral sites). A good test for Tech's defensive front, as Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham is one of the nation's best.
Sept. 22 | Bowling Green
Dave Clawson, who coached Richmond from 2004-07, leads a Bowling Green program that has 10 returning defensive starters. Despite its experience on defense, Bowling Green has to value the ball more than it did last season (28 turnovers; tied for 12th most in nation) if it hopes to keep this one even remotely close.
Sept. 29 | vs.
While Cincinnati technically will be the "home" team,
Oct. 6 | at
Tech's stamina will be tested against new UNC coach Larry Fedora's breakneck, no huddle pace. With quarterback Bryn Renner, running back Giovani Bernard and four returning starters on the offensive line, the Tar Heels could be as good on the offensive side as any team the Hokies will face.
Oct. 13 |
There's plenty to build on at Duke, which has 17 returning starters and a strong-armed quarterback in Sean Renfree. Duke held Tech scoreless last season in the second half of the Hokies' 14-10 win. Don't expect an encore from the Blue Devils during their visit to Lane Stadium for homecoming weekend.
Oct. 20 | at
This is Tech's biggest measuring-stick game. Clemson has arguably the nation's most explosive offense with Phoebus High grad Tajh Boyd at quarterback and All-American Sammy Watkins at wide receiver. Last season, Clemson beat Tech twice (by an average of 24 points per game) — at Lane Stadium and in the ACC title game in Charlotte, N.C. That has to sting.
Nov. 1 | at
In the past, a Thursday night trip to
Nov. 8 |
For the second straight season, Tech plays back-to-back nationally televised Thursday night games in November. This might be an ACC title game preview. FSU's defensive front could make life difficult for Tech running backs Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman. Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel (288 yards passing in 2010 ACC title game loss to the Hokies) will challenge Tech's secondary.
Nov. 17 | at Boston College
Tech hasn't taken a November road trip to BC since 1993 in the early
Nov. 24 |
Another Tech victory in this series would extend the Hokies' winning ways against the Cavaliers to nine games, which would be the longest winning streak by either team in the history of the "rivalry." At least U.Va. won't have to suffer the indignity of watching Tech fans fill up Scott Stadium this year like they did last fall.