The Virginia Tech Hokies have struggled at times this season to consistently produce on the offensive side of the ball. That inconsistency cost them late in the season as they let the ACC Coastal division slip their fingers down the stretch but still made the postseason in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against the UCLA Bruins. Those offensive struggles, however, only look to get worse in the Sun Bowl after a gruesome injury to running back Trey Edmunds.
In the regular-season finale against the Virginia Cavaliers, Edmunds suffered a broken right tibia late in the game and will be unavailable for the Sun Bowl. It’s a disappointing end to a breakout season for the freshman running back who stepped into the starting lineup thanks to injuries in fall camp and ended up leading the Hokies in rushing, accumulating 675 yards on 166 carries with 10 touchdowns. He also added 155 yards receiving on 17 catches this season with another two touchdowns out of the backfield.
The Virginia Tech running game already wasn’t much to talk about in 2013, ranking No. 111 in rushing offense, averaging just 117.8 yards per game. Losing their best rusher, Edmunds, only figures to hurt that anemic rushing attack even further for the Sun Bowl. Quarterback Logan Thomas ranks second on the team running the ball, carrying the ball 159 times for just 295 yards (averaging just 1.9 yards per carry) and four rushing touchdowns. J.C. Coleman, whose injury this fall opened the door for Edmunds, is likely next up in the backfield after carrying the ball 75 times this season for 262 yards and zero touchdowns.
With Edmunds out, Virginia Tech likely loses any kind of balance that they might have hoped to have against UCLA in the Sun Bowl. That puts a lot of pressure on Thomas to pick up the slack in a way that he hasn’t proven capable of in 2013. Can the Hokies find a way to get their inconsistent offense on track without the benefit of their best running back?