Virginia Tech Uglies Its Way to an Early Edge in the ACC Coastal

Sep 26, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies cornerback Brandon Facyson (31) celebrates an interception in the first half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The defining characteristic of most Frank Beamer-coached teams is their ability to exceed expectations. Despite quarterback Logan Thomas’ inadequacies, the lack of big-play wide receiver targets, a rebuilt offensive line and no discernible running game, the Hokies are 4-1 with an early advantage in the ACC Coastal.

Though lacking league favorites Florida State and Clemson, the ACC’s other divisional race is fascinating. Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami entered 2013 as the intriguing upstart contenders. The three finished in a tie for last year’s crown, albeit with North Carolina and Miami disqualified from the ACC championship game by virtue of NCAA sanctions.

Perhaps forgotten after a rare down year were Beamer’s Virginia Tech Hokies. Virginia Tech knocked off Georgia Tech Thursday night, which beat North Carolina in Week 4, operating in typical Virginia Tech fashion.

That is to say, not the most aesthetically pleasing offensive fashion. But wow, was that defense something.

Defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s typically aggressive pursuit at the line ground the Georgia Tech option offense to just three yards per rush, totaling just 129. Quarterback Vad Lee was under duress all night, completing just 7-of-24 pass attempts.

It was precisely the kind of effort we take for granted from a Foster-led defense. And lo and behold, the ACC stalwart Hokies are now ahead of the Tar Heels and Yellow Jackets, both of which sport a divisional loss. Miami has yet to begin ACC play.

The Hurricanes look like the best of the Coastal bunch early. Despite the 4-1 start and Thursday’s road win, Virginia Tech has glaring issues.

Thomas had an outstanding start, completing 11-of-14 passes including a touchdown. He finished the night 19-of-25 with no interceptions, a solid line given the complete lack of a run game supporting him.

Virginia Tech gained just 55 yards on the ground; Thomas rushed for 58. The Hokie rush attack is inconsistent at best. Trey Edmunds rushed for 132 yards against Alabama and 110 in the triple overtime win over Marshall, but had just 42 against East Carolina and one tonight.

Of course, if the Hokie defense continues to hold opponents to 10 points, the problems of the offense won’t matter too much.

Classic Beamer Ball.

Topics: Football, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Virginia Tech Hokies

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