Virginia Tech Hokies Football: 2015 Season Preview and Predictions


After a mediocre season on the bottom of the Coastal Division, Frank Beamer and the Virginia Tech Hokies look to regain their former dominance. 

Frank Beamer will enter his 29th season as head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2015 and for the first time in a while his abilities on the sideline are being questioned.

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Virginia Tech’s dominance in the ACC was unquestioned for the past decade, battling for the ACC Championship 6 out of their first 8 seasons starting in 2004. In the past two seasons, though, they’ve gone 12-12, and were barely able to make a bowl game in 2014.

2014 didn’t look bad at the beginning. The Hokies started off with two solid wins, the second a shocking upset over eventual national champion Ohio State. However, the rest of the regular season can only be summarized as a disappointment.

A loss to East Carolina began a slide that would end with a conference record of 3-5, leaving them sitting in a three-way tie on the bottom of the ACC Coastal Division. Lucky for Hokie fans, they were able to pull out a win against rival Virginia and then beat Cincinnati in the Military Bowl, keeping alive a streak of winning seasons that has spanned 22 seasons.

Despite that feat, the Hokies are in a bit of a jam, and if Beamer can’t pull his team out of this slide, he might be looking for new employment in the near future.

Offensive Outlook

With his top players now healthy and ready to play, it’s now time for third-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler to show his worth as the head of the Hokie offense.

He will have many tools at his disposal, especially in the receivers, where the top three receivers were freshmen in 2014, and will be joining the team again. This includes tight end Bucky Hodges, who smashed Virginia Tech’s single-season TE records and got an USA Today Freshman All-American selection, and team leader Isaiah Ford.

Bigger questions exist at running back and quarterback. The rushing split up between 3-4 receivers throughout the year, as more backs kept getting injured. They’re all returning, but Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie, who were first and second in yards per game last season, are both returning from ACL tears, and McKenzie is currently still suspended for offseason charges involving a minor. J.C. Edmunds, who took over rushing duties after the injuries, will be returning, as well as Trey Edmunds, who led the team in rushing yards in 2013.

The rushing attack for Virginia Tech most likely won’t be very formidable so this puts more pressure on redshirt senior Michael Brewer. Brewer did show some flashes last year, throwing for 2692 yards (5th in the ACC) and 18 touchdowns (6th).

However, this was combined with 15 interceptions, which was second worst in the ACC among QBs with a minimum of 15 pass attempts per game played, among other downfalls. But with the chance to work with him another year (he transferred from Texas Tech before last season), Loeffler is eager to work more on his skills, especially precision. If he molds him properly, he could become a bigger asset to the offense, which would blend well with the top receiving core.

Defensive Outlook

A return of Bud Foster’s strong defense will be key to the Hokies’ success in 2015. Foster, who’s going into his 20th year as coordinator, will have a lot of returning power to work with.

The core of the defense lies in the back section, which assisted the team in holding opponents to 199 passing yards per game in 2014. Unfortunately, it will be losing explosive safety Kyshoen Jarrett, who got drafted to the Redskins, and Detrick Bonner.

Luckily, they will be replaced with the host of players returning. There’s also real strength in the line, enough so that they it could have made the All-ACC squad . There’s a ton of depth at tackle, and the ends can be hell for an offensive line. Ends Ken Ekanem and Dadi Nicolas both topped the ACC in tackles for a loss and sacks, only behind Clemson’s Vic Beasley in both categories.

Some uncertainty lies in the linebackers. Deon Clarke went completely under the radar despite having a great junior season, ending the season 2nd in tackles on the team (74) and third in tackles of a loss (11). Other starters feature Andrew Motuapuaka, who progressively got better throughout last season, and Ronny Vandyke, who has a lot of potential but has yet to fulfill it. They are supported by some unexperienced backups and incoming freshman.


Bud Foster will most likely be able to pull out another lucrative defense, with all the talent he has on the roster. Success hinges on the ability of Loeffler’s offense to stay healthy and come to its full potential. If he is able to do so, they could have another great campaign, although maybe not as great as those from a few seasons ago. If not, however, they could once again be stuck in mediocrity, scrapping to just have a winning season, and the doubt surrounding Frank Beamer will grow.

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