Virginia Tech has now lost two of their last three games; both of those losses came against Big East opponents (Pittsburgh and Cincinnati). The Hokies were favored to win both games, but their deficiencies on both offense and defense kept them from winning either game.
Virginia Tech came into the season as the favorites to win the ACC Coastal Division and continue their streak of 10-win seasons. However, after five games the Hokies are currently 3-2 and struggling mightily on the football field. Virginia Tech may still be one of the favorites to win the division, but will they win 10 games?
As of now, it seems that the streak will end in 2012. The Hokies have seven games left this season, and if they want to win 10 games in the regular season, then they must win out. That is no small task as Tech will play Clemson, Miami and Florida State in a three game span later this year. Virginia Tech will likely be the underdog in all three of those games, and they should be.
Before the season started, I predicted that Virginia Tech would lose one game in the regular season and that was a road game against Clemson. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I expected some growing pains on offense considering how many starters they had to replace, but that excuse is no longer valid in the fifth week of the season.
Logan Thomas has looked bad this season. His completion percentage is in the low 50’s and he has thrown six interceptions. He also hasn’t had much success running the football. In fact, there isn’t a single Virginia Tech player that has had any sustained success in the running game.
The only player that has stood out this year on offense for the right reasons is wide receiver Marcus Davis. He has caught 19 passes for 375 yards in the first five games, and those numbers would probably be higher if Thomas hadn’t struggled so much this season.
The offense isn’t the only group at fault for the Hokies disappointing start. Bud Foster’s defense has also been disappointing this season. The defense was handed a four point lead with less than two minutes to play yesterday against the Bearcats. That used to be an automatic win, the defense might give their opponent some yards but there was no way they were getting in the end zone. That wasn’t the case yesterday, Cincinnati scored in the final minute and that was essentially the end of the game.
What is strange about the defensive struggles this season is that they are inconsistent. In the loss to Pittsburgh the Hokies couldn’t stop the run and yesterday against the Bearcats they couldn’t stop the pass. Cincy quarterback Munchie Legaux threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns against the Hokie secondary. Legaux picked on corner Antone Exum the entire game and for good reason, he couldn’t cover his assignment. Exum was called for multiple pass interference penalties and a face mask down the field, and when he wasn’t flagged he gave up big plays.
Exum moved from safety to corner during the offseason, and yesterday he looked like an out of position safety. He simply couldn’t keep up with the Bearcats receivers. If Exum continues to struggle then a move back to safety may be in store for him.
Right now it seems like that 10-win season streak will end this year, but if the Hokies are able to turn their season around it won’t be a huge surprise. Fans have seen this kind of turn around from Frank Beamer coached teams before. The only thing that is for sure is that it is put up or shut up time for Virginia Tech.