Friday, September 3, 2010

Virginia Tech Has High Hopes

Virginia Tech’s talent level this season is as high as it’s ever been in Blacksburg.

The speed and athleticism across the board is very impressive and for once, the abundance of weapons are on the offensive side of the ball.

The backfield alone has a staggering amount of star power, starting with Tyrod Taylor.

The senior quarterback is coming off a season in which he showed significant progress as a passer.

Taylor threw for 2,311 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

The biggest concern for some is are there enough carries to go around in the backfield.

Redshirt sophomore Ryan Williams returns after his record-setting freshman campaign when he rushed for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns on 293 carries.

This season, Williams will be sharing the carries with Darren Evans and David Wilson.

Evans is coming off a torn ACL that derailed his 2009 season. In 2008, he set the freshman rushing record eclipsed a season later by Williams.

Evans rushed 287 times for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns that year, creating a dynamic one-two punch.

Adding Wilson to the mix brings yet another explosive element to the scene.

Wilson averaged 5.7 yards per carry last season and 19.1 yards per kickoff return.

Wilson runs a 4.29 40-yard dash and is also a member of Virginia Tech’s track and field team. Tech head coach Frank Beamer has compared him to Reggie Bush.

“He brings another element back there,” Beamer said.

He can help this football team be successful and he wants to do it. I think you need to try to get your best players on the field, and he’s one of them.”

Expect Wilson and Williams to an extent split out into passing formations while Evans stays in the backfield.

Hopefully we see some formations utilizing all three backs at the same time. Regardless, expect to see plenty of creative formations from the Hokies.

The receiving corps features Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale and Dyrell Roberts along with pushes from young wideouts like sophomore Marcus Davis.

The offense is as stacked as it’s ever been for the Hokies. The only question is can this group live up to the high expectations?

The defense is more of a question mark. Bud Foster’s group has to replace several key starters and appears to lack depth up the middle.

Defensive tackle and captain John Graves looks like he will hold down the line while Rashad Carmichael looks to join Tech’s fine lineage of shutdown corners.

A number of players have a chance to step up and contribute significant time. While it’s a concern, always trust in Bud Foster.

I won’t say that my bias as an alumnus doesn’t have an impact, but honestly, my analyst side tells me that the Hokies will be hard-pressed to lose this season.

I don’t think Tech will go undefeated, but they are one of a handful of teams that stand an excellent shot to do so.

Also, we’re wearing black uniforms Monday. More to follow from the road.

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