2005 RECORD: 11-2 overall, 7-1 ACC (1st in Coastal).
HEAD COACH: Frank Beamer, 188-102-4 overall in 25 seasons; 146-79-2 in 19 seasons at Virginia Tech.
KEY ADDITIONS: DE Jason Adjepong, WR Todd Nolen, OL Aaron Brown, DE Mike Gee, DT John Graves, WR Zach Luckett.
KEY LOSSES: QB Marcus Vick, RB Cedric Humes, OG Will Montgomery, OG Jason Murphy, OT Jimmy Martin, TE Jeff King, DE Darryl Tapp, DT Jonathan Lewis, LB James Anderson, CB Jimmy Williams.
OFFENSE: Things have turned for the worse rather quickly. Instead of having quarterback Marcus Vick back guiding what could be a the stellar offense toward a possible ACC title and BCS game, there are questions as to who the new quarterback will be and how will he and the rest of the newcomers handle the pressure.
The likely starter will be one of two redshirt sophomores in Sean Glennon or Cory Holt. Both stand 6-foot-4 and weigh in excess of 215 pounds. But Glennon, a pure drop-back passer, is the likely starter.
Another setback could possibly be the offensive line, which lost three starters and another part-time starter. Running back could potentially be another problem. If George Bell and Branden Ore don’t step up to fill Humes’ void, it will make that much more difficult on whomever is the quarterback. The good news is both starting receivers return. It may take a while for the offense to hit its stride, but by season’s end, it should be pretty potent.
DEFENSE: The Hokies lost three stud defensive linemen and an excellent cornerback. Replacing all of them, let alone one or two, will be nearly impossible.
Only five starters return from 2005, which means there are plenty of holes to fill. The group up front is the biggest concern for Beamer. The Hokies are used to having a deadly defensive line and unless one or two of the newcomers step up, that won’t be the case this year.
The linebackers are the strength of the defense, while the secondary should be decent. The good news is the schedule is so bad, that there aren’t a lot of teams that will challenge these players defensively. As a result, all the youngsters will get plenty of playing time and experience, which will mean trouble for the rest of the league in the upcoming seasons.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5 – Number of interceptions returned for a touchdown last season, which is a single-season school record.
WHAT TO WATCH: A lot will be learned about this team in the second week of the season when it travels to North Carolina. If the Hokies struggle there, they likely will the rest of the season. But the ridiculously easy schedule should calm a lot of tensions.
PREDICTION: 10-2 overall, 6-2 ACC (2nd in Coastal).
Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer
RB Branden Ore