VT Beat: What Needs to Happen for the Hokies to Make a BCS Game in 2012

Here’s what needs to happen for Virginia Tech to return to a BCS Bowl game in 2012.

Logan Thomas needs to mature: Don’t get me wrong, Logan had a phenomenal year in 2011, considering he had very little game experience in 2010. We saw maturation on the field as the year progressed. But we also saw the offense disappear in the three losses on the year. Teams have scouted Thomas and figured out what he is comfortable with as opposed to what he isn’t. How will he handle the pressure that defenses will apply in 2012? He lost four offensive linemen from 2011. The schedule is about as tough as it can be for playing in the ACC Coastal division. There will be big games where he will need to make big plays.  Tyrod Taylor, Bryan Randall, Michael Vick … all knew how to get it done in big games and proved their maturity in stressful situations. If the Hokies plan to win the ACC this year, Thomas will need to prove he is capable of putting the team on his back and pulling out a win, just as he did against Miami last year.

Get back to Beamerball: It’s been well documented how lackluster the special teams have been recently. And from what has been reported, Beamer intends to change that. Virginia Tech isn’t a team that typically blows away its competition. Beamerball is about a tough defense and talented special teams units that create turnovers and game changing plays when the offense isn’t on the field. Blocked field goals and punts are momentum changing plays and Virginia Tech seemed to make these plays all the time. Last year, special teams and play calling were contributing factors in LOSING games. The defense is primed to be another great unit. Kyshoen Jarrett returning punts and Dyrell Roberts returning kickoffs will be fun to watch. If the pieces come together we could see more game changing plays like the one below:

Show up for big games: Tired of being called the Chokies? Win more big games and that will go away. Last year VT choked twice against Clemson. Twice. Most losses are devastating for Hokie fans, but I truly believe both losses to Clemson last year were embarrassing. See above paragraphs for the solution to the problems exposed in those games. Maturity of your offensive leader as well as your defensive playmakers will likely prevent those kinds of losses moving forward. VT already has big games on their schedule:

1: September 3rd vs. Georgia Tech. Just win this game. I don’t care if it’s 7-6, just win.

2: October 30th at Clemson. Between the two games last year the combined score was 63-13. But people forget about the thrashings the Hokies gave the Tigers back in 2006 and 2007.

3. November 8th vs. Florida State. Ah, Thursday Night in Blacksburg. I can hear Enter Sandman now. This game is circled in red on my calendar.

The Outlook

The Coastal Division will be weaker than previous years. Georgia Tech is talented, but beatable, especially since VT plays them as the home opener. UNC is ineligible and in rebuilding mode. Miami has talent, but will likely struggle as they have for the better part of the past decade. UVA is getting better, but VT beat them 38-0 in Charlottesville last year and it could’ve been a lot worse. Duke plays basketball.

The truth of the matter is the Hokies just need to take care of business and be undefeated going into the Clemson game in October. It will be tough to beat Clemson and Florida State in the same year, but it’s not impossible. The best part is they will likely play one of the two twice, because of the ACC Championship Game and how the divisions are aligned. However, don’t count on any backdoor invitations to the Sugar Bowl like last year. This year VT needs to step up and win the tough games in order to capture their fifth ACC Championship and return to the BCS.


Don Deibler is a college football enthusiast and Virginia Tech alumnus who has had a passion for college sports since he was a young child. Outside of the ACC, he follows Notre Dame and South Carolina intently. He currently lives in Frederick Maryland where he works in the mortgage banking industry and is in training for Air Traffic Control. You can reach him at [email protected].

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