2012 Record: 4-5 (2-3 ACC)
Starters returning: 13 total, three offensive, nine defensive and one specialist
Virginia Tech is easily the biggest surprise in the ACC this season. The Hokies were thought to once again be contenders in the ACC, but have stumbled their way to a 4-5 start, failing to win a game outside of Lane Stadium this season. Last Thursday, VT fell to 2-3 in the ACC after a 30-12 loss to Miami.
With the Hokies' consecutive bowl streak (19) in danger, head coach Frank Beamer took responsibility following the loss to the Hurricanes. And while VT has struggled on the road, the Hokies are still 4-0 at home and will be looking to extend its bowl streak.
"I think the greatest thing you can play for, when it's all said and done, is pride," Beamer said. "When it looks tough, you really see what people are made out of and things are really tough right now. We've probably got the best team in the ACC coming next Thursday and a tough loss, so things are tough. But Pride and trying to get to a bowl game, we've still got that to play for."
Through the air
Player to watch:
QB Logan Thomas (R-Jr.)
2012 Passing: 152-285 for 2,109 yards, 13 TDs and 12 interceptions
2012 Rushing: 114 attempts for 422 yards and six TDs
Before the season, Logan Thomas was one of the most talked about quarterbacks in the country as far as NFL potential. At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, Thomas has all the physical tools, but has yet to put it all together this year.
Thomas has thrown for more than 2,000 yards this season, but has thrown an ACC-leading 12 interceptions, including two against Miami. Thomas is completing just 53.3 percent of his passes this season.
The Hokies' top receiving target is redshirt senior Marcus Davis. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound split end has hauled in 36 catches for 686 yards and four touchdowns. He's averaging 19.1 yards per receptions.
Thomas' other top targets are Corey Fuller and Dyrell Roberts. Fuller has 29 grabs for 547 yards and four touchdowns, while Roberts has 26 catches for 327 yards and a touchdown.
Pounding the ground
Player to watch:
RB J.C. Coleman (Fr.)
2012 Rushing: 61 rushes for 361 yards and two TDs
While Thomas has struggled to get things going through the air, he has had success on the ground. The signal caller leads the Hokies in rushing yards with 422, and also has a team-high 114 carries.
Against Miami Thomas rushed for 124 yards, 73 of which came on touchdown run right up the middle of the Hurricanes' defense.
As team the Hokies are fifth-best in the ACC with an average of 164.2 yards per game on the ground, and 4.4 yards per rush.
True freshman tailback J.C. Coleman has had the most success running the ball outside of Thomas. The 5-foot-8, 192-pound Virginia native has 361 yards on the ground, and is averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
Redshirt freshman Michael Homes has also been a big part of the rushing attack, with 282 yards on 69 carries, and four touchdowns. Holmes is averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
Player to watch:
LB Jack Tyler (R-Jr.)
2012 Stats: 85 tackles, 9.5 for loss, two sacks and two passes defended.
In all five of the Hokies' losses, it has been the defense that has let down the team the most. Opponents have scored at least 27 points in all five losses, including 48 points by North Carolina in a 48-34 loss.
For the season opponents are averaging 24.7 points per game against VT, with an average of 367.9 yards of total offense per game.
On the ground is where the Hokies' defense has been most susceptible, giving up an average of 166 yards per game, and 4.2 yards per carry. The Hokies have forced 14 turnovers this season, nine interceptions, and five fumble recoveries.
Linebacker Jack Tyler is having a terrific season with 85 tackles, including 38 solo, and 9.5 for loss. Rover Kyshoen Jarret is also playing very well with 64 tackles, 43 solo, and 4.5 for loss.
Teams are throwing for just 201.9 yards per game on the Hokies. A big reason for VT's success at stopping aerial attacks is the pass rush. The Hokies have 18 sacks this season, including four each by both Luther Maddy and James Gayle.
Cornerback Antone Exum has had a great season opposite of Kyle Fuller. Both corners have two interceptions, but Exum has defended 12 passes, with 10 breakups.
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