Virginia Tech’s season has been a disappointment to say the least. The Hokies are now 6-6 and will be heading to some third-tier bowl game in December. The 10+ win season streak has ended at eight consecutive years and for the first year since joining the ACC, the Hokies didn’t contend for the ACC Coastal Division crown. So what exactly happened to the 2012 Hokies?
If you want to know exactly what happened you need to look no further than the offense. Every single unit on the offense had some major troubles throughout the season. There were some clues during spring practice that this could be the case. During the spring practice sessions the offense had a lot of trouble getting anything going and the defense simply dominated the practices.
When the season started it quickly became apparent that the poor showings in the spring were a sign of things to come. The offense had to deal with a lot of turnover during the off-season and that was a viable excuse early in the season but it became a crutch later on. Logan Thomas has been the headline of Virginia Tech’s offensive woes this season, but he is not the only offender. Thomas has regressed from his first season as a starter. He has had issues with overthrowing and under throwing receivers on a regular basis and he has struggled with turnovers.
However, some of Thomas’s problems can be blamed on the players around him. Four of the five offensive linemen were new this year and the lone returning starter, center Andrew Miller, suffered a season ending injury during the season. The line had a tough time with pass blocking and run blocking during the year, which leads us to the next problem, the running game.
Replacing David Wilson has proved itself to be a lot easier said than done. Fans didn’t expect one of the replacement backs to play as well as Wilson did in 2011, but they did expect at least one to be a competent and consistent player. However, that wasn’t the case this year. Thomas led the team in rushing this year, running for 528 yards on 167 carries. None of the running backs on the roster proved to be a viable first or even second option in the running game. Freshman J.C. Coleman led the backs in both attempts (106) and yards (486) but he was never a consistent 80 or 90 yard a game running back.
The other three running backs had their moments, but Michael Holmes, Tony Gregory and Martin Scales weren’t the best options. It has to make fans wonder about Drew Harris. Harris was an incoming 4-star recruit that had to put off coming to Tech in order to get his grades up. Harris could have been the answer, but there is no way of knowing if that would have been the case or not. The team should find out about Harris next year.
The wide receivers were the only real positive for the offense this year, but they still had plenty of problems. Leading receiver Marcus Davis didn’t always give 100% effort and Dyrell Roberts had issues with dropping passes. Corey Fuller may have been the biggest bright spot for the receiving corps, if the Hokies needed a big play than Fuller was likely the culprit that would pull it off.
It was a rough year for Virginia Tech, but they made a bowl game for the 20th straight year and there is nowhere for this offense to go but up. It still remains to be seen if the Hokies can return to form next season, but if they do improve on offense then they will once again become contenders in the ACC.