VIRGINIA TECH FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW:
The Virginia Tech Hokies were one of the strongest teams in college football during the 2011 season, finishing with an 11-3 record and earning a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship Game as the leaders of their division. Although they lost to Clemson in the big game and fell in a heartbreaker to Michigan in the Sugar Bowl, the Hokies have laid the groundwork for a resurgent 2012 season where they may be able to take care of some unfinished business that could put them on top of their conference.
Looking ahead to the 2012 season, the biggest question mark for the Hokies is undoubtedly their offense, which returns only three starters from a year ago. Thankfully, their starting quarterback Logan Thomas will return to guide the offense and will look to improve on his 19 touchdown and 10 interception season from a year ago. The Hokies will have the unenviable task of replacing leading rusher David Wilson, who was drafted by the New York Giants. The team may choose to go with a running back-by-committee approach and could split carries between Michael Holmes and Martin Scales. Two of Thomas' top targets from the 2011 season, DJ Coles and Marcus Davis, will also return, which should bode well for the Hokies' young receiving corps. Finally, the Hokie offensive line has plenty of starting experience, which should help them to overcome some of the unit's losses.
The Hokies' defense looks to be the team's strongest suit heading into the 2012 season, with 9 starters coming back from a year ago. The defensive line will be lead by ends James Gayle and JR Collins, each of whom put up at least six sacks during the 2011 season. The linebacking corps is one of the most talented groups in all of Division I FBS, including Bruce Taylor and Tariq Edwards. The secondary should also benefit from the return of cornerbacks Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller, but with new safety starters and questionable depth, the group may have to play over their heads to keep up with high-powered ACC offenses.
Thanks to the Hokies' strong 2011 season, the season schedulers didn't exactly make the 2012 campaign an easy one. After opening the season against Georgia Tech, the Hokies will play a series of tough non-conference opponents like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Florida State. If the Hokies want to get another crack at an ACC title, they will surely have to earn it this year.
VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES INFORMATION:
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Stadium: Lane Stadium
Conference: ACC Conference
Rivals: Virginia Cavaliers (Commonwealth Cup), Miami Hurricanes, West Virginia Mountaineers (Black Diamond Trophy)
Mascot: Hokie Bird
Notable Alumni: Corey Moore, Jake Grove, Bruce Smith
Notable Bowl Games:
The first Virginia Tech Hokies football game was played in 1892. The team has won Southern Conference title, Big East titles, and SEC championship title. The Virginia Tech Hokies most famous rivalry is with the Virginia Cavaliers, known as the Commonwealth Cup. Other rivals include the Miami Hurricanes, Boston College, and West Virginia. Some of the most well-known players to have worn the maroon and orange are Michael Vick, Bruce Smith, and Antonio Freeman. Who can forget Michael Vick's 288 yards of total offense in the Hokies' 2000 defeat of West Virginia 48-20 to win the Black Diamond Trophy?
The Virginia Tech Hokies play their home games at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia. It's known as one of the very loudest stadiums in the country, and in 2005, was voted as having the best home-field advantage by Rivals.com. Lane Stadium holds over 66,000 spectators. You'll be overwhelmed by the crowd at a Virginia Tech Hokies home game. Buy Virginia Tech Hokies football tickets and witness college football history in the making!
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