The Virginia Tech Hokies are looking for some kind of spark on offense after a very disappointing 2013 season. VT ranked as the No. 102 total offense in the country a year ago, which completely derailed any shot the Hokies had at winning the ACC Coastal Division. With the division race wide open this fall, any kind of sustainable offense could put Tech over the top and into the ACC title game in 2014. Can Trey Edmunds and the running game provide that offense?
As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Edmunds made an immediate impact on the VT offense, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown in the season opening loss against the Alabama Crimson Tide. He ultimately racked up 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 35 carries during his first two collegiate games before hitting a major lull that lasted for most of the season. Over the next six games, Edmunds scored just one rushing touchdown and rushed for less than 50 yards five times.
He finally seemed to turn a corner during the final three games of the season, including a four-touchdown performance against the Miami Hurricanes, before breaking his tibia in the season finale against the Virginia Cavaliers (where he had rushed 93 yards on 11 carries before getting hurt). It was a devastating end to an up-and-down season that showed flashes of incredible ability from Edmunds with stretches of frustrating inconsistency.
The injury kept him out of spring practice completely, but after rushing for 675 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, Edmunds is still first in line for carries in the Virginia Tech offense. Marshawn Williams and J.C. Coleman both had strong springs in his absence which will serve to boost the depth of the running game this fall. But Edmunds has the ability, when healthy, to carry the offense and he will be called upon regularly to do so in 2014.
His return to full-speed is even more important when you look at the tumultuous state of the quarterback position heading into fall camp. Logan Thomas is gone and Mark Leal was a disaster in relief during an ugly bowl game loss to end last season. Texas Tech Red Raiders transfer Michael Brewer is a popular option to surpass Leal in fall camp, but he only left Lubbock after losing the starting job there, which makes him a risky option to lead the team.
Virginia Tech will once again have one of the best defenses in the ACC this fall. If the offense can make any kind of improvement, the Hokies will be a very dangerous team in the Coastal Division race. Trey Edmunds has the ability to elevate the VT offense but must put his gruesome injury behind him and bounce back quickly to lead the Hokies in 2014.