Virginia Tech Football: Analyzing Hokies' Strengths on Offense
Heading into the 2012 season, the biggest question facing the Virginia Tech Hokies is how they are going to replace eight offensive starters.
Four of those starters are along the offensive line, including two-time All-ACC tackle Blake DeChristopher.
Fortunately for Hokie fans, junior quarterback Logan Thomas returns this season. With Thomas behind center, the Hokies have the pieces on offense to be very good in 2012.
The biggest question facing the Hokies offense: How long is it going to take the new offensive line to gel?
Here are four strengths for the Hokies on offense as the beginning of the season is just under two weeks away.
Quarterback Logan Thomas
Thomas is just scratching the surface of how good he can be.
Standing 6'6" and weighing 260 pounds, Thomas can make any throw on the field. He is also a capable runner having finished 2011 with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Thomas struggled in the Clemson game last October, but bounced back the following week against Miami to perhaps have his best game of the season.
While there are several new starters around Thomas, he has the type of ability to lift the entire team. The pressure will surely be on his shoulders this year, especially early in the season as the Hokies look to develop a running game.
Look for Thomas to be up to the challenge.
Running Backs Michael Holmes and J.C. Coleman
Generally, it is difficult to say someone who has never carried the ball on the collegiate level could be a team strength.
Redshirt freshman Michael Holmes and true freshman J.C. Coleman are in a unique position.
David Wilson left Virginia Tech after breaking many of the school's single-season individual records. Wilson's departure frees up 266 carries, the number of times he carried the ball in 2011.
Holmes and Coleman bring different skills to the running back position. Holmes is more of the traditional running back; he's strong with good size and above-average speed. He also possesses outstanding vision.
Coleman, at 5'7" and 192 pounds, is more of a big-play type of back. He has blazing speed but is a better between-the-tackles runner than he is given credit for.
Combining the two young backs, the Hokies should be able to replace Wilson without a hitch.
And when was the last time the Hokies didn't have a good running game?
Wide Receiver Marcus Davis
Senior Marcus Davis has improved in each of his four seasons on campus (he redshirted in 2008).
In 2011, Davis produced a career-high 30 catches for 510 yards and five touchdowns. He also led the team with an average of 17 yards per catch.
At 6'4" and 232-pounds, Davis is a rare athlete who has the ability to be one of the top receivers in the country. He once set a school record with a vertical of 44 inches and ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds.
Despite losing Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale, the wide receiver position will be in good hands with Davis and fellow seniors Dyrell Roberts and D.J. Coles.
Center Andrew Miller
Miller started every game for the Hokies in 2011. He enters the 2012 campaign on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to college football's top center.
While Blake DeChristopher received the highest honors of any Hokie linemen last year, no player was more important to the unit's success than Miller.
A former all-state high school football player and wrestler, Miller is a tremendous athlete. He also brings experience and leadership to an offensive line looking for both.
The Hokies also have an excellent tradition of producing centers. Jim Pyne and Jake Grove were former All-Americans during their time in Blacksburg.
While it may be a bit premature to name Miller to an All-American team, Thomas and head coach Frank Beamer are certainly glad he'll be around to anchor an inexperienced group in 2012.