#31 Virginia Tech Football 2015 Preview

Virginia Tech Hokies

Overall Rank: #31
#5 ACC

Virginia Tech Team Page#31 Virginia Tech Football 2015 PreviewBuy Virginia Tech Football Tickets

It was the ultimate roller coaster ride of a 2014 season for Virginia Tech under the direction of long-time head coach Frank Beamer. There was the epic high of beating Ohio State in Columbus in week two of the season 35-21. Then there was the epic low of losing to a dreadful Wake Forest team in Winston Salem 6-3 in double overtime. The good news is Virginia Tech should be much healthier to start the 2015 season and that should give coach Beamer a chance to start to turn things back around in Blacksburg.

2014 Record: 7-6, 3-5
2014 Bowl: Military Bowl vs. Cincinnati (W 33-17)
Coach: Frank Beamer 231-115-2 at Virginia Tech, 273-138-4 overall
Offensive Coordinator: Scot Loeffler
Defensive Coordinator: Bud Foster

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: J.C. Coleman, RB, 533 yards
Passing: Michael Brewer, QB, 2,692 yards
Receiving: Isaiah Ford, WR, 709 yards
Tackles: Deon Clarke, LB, 74
Sacks: Ken Ekanem, DE, 9.5
Interceptions: Two with 2 each

Other Key Returnees: WR Cam Phillips, TE Bucky Hodges, DT Luther Maddy, CB Kendall Fuller,  CB Chuck Clark, LT Jonathan McLaughlin, P Joey Slye, K A.J. Hughes

Key Losses: S Kyshoen Jarrett, S Detrick Bonner, LB Chase Williams, WR Willie Byrn, RB Shai McKenzie

One thing that is just about a stone cold lock every year is that a Bud Foster led defense is going to be very tough to deal with. The Hokies will be physical and they will bring pressure from the moment they get off the bus on game day against opposing offensive lines. Defensive end Ken Ekanem led Virginia Tech with 9.5 sacks as part of a 48 sack effort from the 2014 Hokie defense. Dadi Nicolas is back again along the defensive line and will be looking to build upon his 18.5 tackles for loss from a year ago. Also, once Luther Maddy and Corey Marshall return to full strength in the fall, the pass rush will be more devastating. The secondary should still be very strong despite the loss of Kyshoen Jarrett and Detrick Bonner. They should continue to roll along thanks to cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson and safety Donovan Riley. On offense, tight end Bucky Hodges is going to be a fun matchup problem for opposing defenses all year long as he can be flexed out at wide receiver and not miss a beat.
The 2014 season proved once again for Virginia Tech that stability in the offensive line is critical to their success. The offensive line last season was very unstable due to injuries and quarterback Michael Brewer was constantly under duress. The amount of turnovers from Brewer and the team as a whole has to improve as the Hokies had a turnover margin of -0.31, which is very uncharacteristic for a Frank Beamer coached team. With a more stabilized offensive line it will be intriguing to see just how much it helps Brewer stay patient in the pocket. If Brewer can have more time in the pocket to get the ball to a talented group of skill guys like Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips, then Virginia Tech will contend for an ACC Coastal Division Title.

The Bottom Line:
After the opener with the Buckeyes the schedule lays out in a reasonable fashion as a road game at Georgia Tech on November 12th is going to be the most treacherous road trip to overcome during the season. There are a couple of tricky home matchups in conference play as NC State, Duke and North Carolina are all capable of winning at Lane Stadium if Virginia Tech is reckless with turnovers like they were a year ago. Overall, if the Hokies can avoid any major upsets in conference play and can steal one in Atlanta against the Yellow Jackets, they should be in the mix to play in the ACC Conference Championship game for the first time since the 2011 season.

Projected Bowl: Belk Bowl

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 147.9 (86th in nation, 8th in conference)
Passing Offense: 217.4 (75, 7)
Total Offense: 365.3 (96, 12)
Scoring Offense: 24.1 (93, 12)
Rushing Defense: 144.8 (39, 7)
Pass Defense: 199.0 (25, 5)
Total Defense: 343.8 (21, 5)
Scoring Defense: 20.2 (14, 2)
Turnover Margin: -0.31 (89, 12)
Sacks: 3.69 (3, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 2.62 (98, 12)

Madness 2016 NFL Draft Rankings:
#7 Kendall Fuller
#65 Dadi Nicolas

Madness 2015 Recruit Rankings:
#102 Tim Settle
#173 Austin Clark


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