Spring lookahead: Virginia Tech
2012 record: 7-6 overall, 4-4 ACC
Spring Practice opens: March 27
Spring game date: April 20
2012 in review: By winning their last three games, the Hokies kept alive some impressive streaks, such as posting a winning record and paying in a bowl game for 20 consecutive seasons, though their streak of eight straight 10-plus win seasons came to an end. QB Logan Thomas was easily the most disappointing player in the ACC. The Hokies’ special teams continued to struggle, thus further distancing the program from the true “Beamer Ball” days, and a defense that was supposed to be the ACC’s best finished 32nd in the nation in points allowed (22.8 ppg). Closing strong and rallying to beat Rutgers in the Russell Athletics Bowl should allow the program to feel more like its usual self in the offseason.
Biggest hole to fill: Linebacker Bruce Taylor was third on the Hokies with 76 tackles, 11 for a loss of yardage, 5.5 of which were sacks. Taylor broke up five passes, deflected five, had 12 quarterback hurries and forced a fumble. Taylor was always in overdrive, led by example and was trusted by the coaching staff. Taylor started 34 games in his college career. Senior Tariq Edwards hasn’t played a whole lot but should get the first crack at replacing Taylor. He played in seven games last season, starting one, and was in on four tackles.
Watch out for: Logan Thomas was such a disappointment last season that he may just have the kind of year so many expected last fall. If he does, that would make him a break out player. Thomas was at one time regarded the top quarterback prospect in the nation by some gurus, and for some times remained among the top prospects. If the 6-foot-6, 257-pound senior approaches last fall’s expectations the Hokies could return to the ACC championship game.