Virginia Tech’s defense underachieved last season. No Hokie will argue that.
So when the unit stood out in last Saturday’s spring football game, it only made sense to think they will be much stingier this coming fall. Spring games can fool you that way. And maybe the Hokies’ defense will be much better this season – it’s certainly talented enough and is exceptionally coached.
But maybe the scrimmage was fool’s gold because Virginia Tech’s offense is just as much a mess right now as it was last season when Frank Beamer’s team slumped to a 7-6 mark, and that was after winning its final three games. At least the numbers from scrimmages and the spring game suggest that’s the case.
All stats aside in the game won by the White (second) team, 27-9, the most perplexing and discouraging development of the game was senior quarterback Logan Thomas’ struggles. After having a difficult season a year ago in which he didn’t come close to living up to expectations, Thomas had a poor spring, and in the game Saturday was intercepted three times. Two were returned for touchdowns.
“I think it was some good defensive plays, but plays that probably shouldn’t have occurred offensively,” Beamer said, doing his best to remain positive about his veteran signal caller and the unit as a whole.
Thomas completed 17 of his 29 pass attempts for 217 yards, though reports say his receivers didn’t help by dropping several passes. But at this point, that can’t be an excuse anymore. Thomas can’t throw picks. He must get the ball down field accurately, especially in new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s offense.
Hokie Nation wanted to blame former coordinator Bryan Stinespring for the unit’s issues in recent years, which came to a head last fall. It was time Beamer made a change, so he did. But blaming Stinespring won’t fly anymore.
“Offensively, we’ve got to get more consistent,” Beamer said. “We’ve heard that before, but in catching the balls… you drop a ball and it kills a drive, and then blocking up front. I can tell you there’s more to our offense than we showed (Saturday), but we also started out trying to get a good fortune, and I think we’ve done that.”
As for the ground game, Virginia Tech’s offenses amassed just 23 yards on 41 rushing attempts.
Syracuse waiting on its QB?
Terrell Hunt took every snap for the first team in Syracuse’s spring game, but he may not be the team’s starting quarterback when it opens the season against Penn State. That distinction may go to someone who won’t be in school until August, which is when Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen will enroll.
Allen will graduate in May but still has a year of eligibility remaining, and instead of battling some other talented signal callers and running the possibility of never starting in college, Allen chose Syracuse to play his final year.
A high school All-American, Allen saw limited action with the Sooners, completing 18 of 30 pass attempts for 160 yards, no scores and no interceptions. Hunt only saw minimal action in a loss to Southern Cal last season.
New Syracuse coach Scott Shafer will make a decision in August once he gets to work with Allen, of course. But no matter who wins the job, replacing Ryan Nassib, who will get selected in the NFL Draft this weekend, won’t be easy. Nassib passed for 3,749 yards and 26 touchdowns last season.
Police blotter already rolling
Most college football coaches fear mid-May through mid-July because it’s during those two months when they get late-night calls about unsupervised players getting into mischief. That blotter alert has started early in the ACC this spring.
Miami linebacker Gabe Terry was arrested for possession of marijuana late last week and has been suspended indefinitely. Terry played seven games last season, registering five tackles.
Sophomore Virginia Tech tailback Michael Holmes was arrested about nine hours after the Hokies’ spring game and charged with assault and malicious wounding. Holmes was arrested after an incident at an apartment complex off of campus that resulted in one person going to the hospital, according to reports.
Holmes ran for 240 yards last season and was expected to be a part of the Hokies’ rotation this season. He has been suspended, and if guilty of a felony he will be kicked off the team for good. The malicious wounding charge is a Class 3 felony.