Virginia Tech: Countdown to Kickoff 2013



With 258 wins in 32 seasons, Frank Beamer enters the 2013 campaign as the career leader among active FBS head coaches … The Hokies, who open against two-time defending national champion Alabama in the Chick-Fil-A College Kickoff at Atlanta's Georgia Dome on Aug. 31 (5:30 p.m., ESPN) have compiled a 142-52 record in televised games since the start of the 1995 season … Redshirt senior QB Logan Thomas, who accounted for more than 3,500 yards total offense in 2012, looks to build on those numbers under first-year offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler … LB Jack Tyler earned Preseason All-ACC recognition following a 2012 season in which he led the Hokies in tackles with 119 while earning first-team all-conference honors from the league coaches and second-team from the media … The Hokies return nine defensive starters from 2012, though CB Antone Exum continues to recover from a knee injury suffered last January and will not be ready for the start of the season.

Numbers & Notes

3rd - Virginia Tech has been to 20 consecutive bowl games. That is the 3rd-longest current streak in the NCAA, trailing only Florida State (30) and Florida (21) among the nation’s FBS teams.

4 - When true freshman DB Kendall Fuller takes the field for the Hokies this fall, he will become the fourth sibling of the Fuller family  to play for Virginia Tech. Older brother Vince played on Tech’s 2001-04 teams and seven seasons in the NFL; Corey transferred to Tech and was the team’s 2nd-leading receiver last year before being drafted into the NFL; and Kyle, is a senior starting at CB for the Hokies this fall.

258 - The number of career coaching victories for Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer. Beamer, who has an overall 258-127-4 record  for 32 seasons as a head coach, leads all active NCAA FBS coaches. Beamer ranks 6th in career wins among all former FBS head coaches. The only coaches ahead of Beamer on the list are icons of college football: Bobby Bowden, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Glenn “Pop” Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Joe Paterno.

290.27 - Over the last nine years, Virginia Tech ranks 3rd in the nation in total defense. During that 121-game span, the Hokies have allowed their opponents an average of just 229.27 yards per game. Only Alabama (263.43) and LSU (287.25) have allowed fewer yards in that time, and both have played fewer games during that span than have the Hokies.

7,111- The number of yards of total offense for Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas in his career. After just two seasons as a starter, Thomas ranks 3rd on the Hokie career list for passing yards (6,096) and total offense and is 2nd in touchdown responsibility (57).

2012 In Review
Frank Beamer’s 26th season in Blacksburg was not a typical one, as Tech saw its eight-year streak of winning at least 10 games a year--the longest current streak in the NCAA’s FBS and third-longest in history--snapped...  Only a late-season surge of three straight wins, two of them in overtime, allowed the Hokies to continue their string of consecutive bowl appearances (20)... Beamer, the NCAA’s FBS active career leader in wins (258), moved into 6th place on the all-time wins list this past year and those ahead of him are all icons of the college game (Bobby Bowden, Bear Bryant, “Pop” Warner, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Joe Paterno)... The success that Tech did enjoy in 2012 was due, in large part,  to a defensive unit which got better as the season wore on...Led by first-team All-ACC LB Jack Tyler,  a pair of second-team All-ACC picks in CB Antone Exum and DE James Gayle and Honorable Mention All-ACC choices LB Bruce Taylor and CB Kyle Fuller, the Hokies allowed an average of just 284 yards per game over the final seven games of 2012.

Who’s Gone
Virginia Tech faces a similar challenge in 2013 than it did in 2012...Of its 7 starters lost, 5 are from offense, including the top three pass receivers from a year ago in WRs Marcus Davis, Corey Fuller and Dyrell Roberts who combined for  127 catches for 2,166 yards and 12 TDs... Also gone are both starting tackles in Nick Becton and Vinston Painter, as well as Michael Via who saw action at guard and tackle...Defensively, the Hokies lose LB Bruce Taylor, the team’s 3rd-leading tackler and OLB Alonzo Tweedy.

2013 Preview
In order for Virginia Tech to regain its previous stranglehold as perennial Coastal Division champions, it will need to develop an effective offensive line, cultivate new weapons in the passing game and find a big-play tailback. Defense should not be a problem and, in fact, may have more depth than a year ago as nine starters return led by Tyler, Gayle, DTs Luther Maddy and Derrick Hopkins and a talented and veteran secondary led by CB’s Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller.  Though Exum’s early-season status is in question due to a January knee injury, spring drills saw the re-emergence of LB Tyriq Edwards and the development of DE Dadi Nicolas brings quality depth to the defense.  Both starting kickers return in PK Cody Journell, who made 20 of 25 field goal attempts (.800) and P A.J.  Hughes (40.6 Avg.). It is on offense, though where the Hokies will be looking for improvement. New coordinator Scot Loeffler and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, who come to Blacksburg from Auburn, are looking to jump start a Tech attack built around multi-talented senior QB Logan Thomas.  Thomas ran and passed for 3,500 yards and 27 TDs in 2012 but saw his efficiency decline from a spectacular sophomore season. The offensive line made strides in the spring with T’s Jonathan McLaughlin and Laurence Gibson emerging as probable starters with all-star candidate Andrew Miller competing with David Wang, Caleb Farris and Bruce Benedict for the guard and center spots...Tech’s tight ends figure to be more of a factor this fall with junior Ryan Malleck and DE convert Zack McCray impressing in the spring...Redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds and speedy sophomore J.C. Coleman are the leaders at tailback with redshirt freshmen Chris Mangus and Joel Caleb competing for playing time. Replacements for the  receiving corps include senior WR D.J. Coles, who missed all of last year with an injury, sophomore WR Demitri Knowles, as well as redshirt freshmen Joshua Stanford, Charley Meyer  and Carlis Parker.