It's no secret Virginia Tech has a solid defense, or that year after year, Bud Foster fits together defensive pieces that can completely shut down an opposing team.
But what does Virginia Tech have to offer this year, after losing star defensive cornerback Victor "Macho" Harris to the NFL and starting defensive end Orion Martin to the NFL as well?
Virginia Tech enters the 2009 season with nine of its 11 starters back from its top ranked defense from 2008. This year's defensive line for Virginia Tech will be as intimidating as ever.
With second-team All-ACC defensive end Jason Worilds and tackle John Graves in the lineup, opposing offensive lines will have a fit trying to protect their quarterback and run block.
Jason Worilds finished last season with 18.5 tackles for loss, having at least one TFL in 11 straight games. The defensive line also returns starting tackle Cordarrow Thompson and starting linebacker Cody Grimm. Grimm had a remarkable 2008 season for the Hokies, finishing with 71 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
Also, Virginia Tech may have the most threatening secondary in the entire ACC. Kam Chancellor struggled at times last year in his transition to the free safety position, but came on strong towards the end of the season. He caused fumbles with his hitting ability, and he's a vulture in the secondary, waiting to get his hands on the ball any way he can.
He decided not to test the NFL waters, but instead will stay with the Hokies and better his chances in next year's draft. The 6'4", 226-pound Chancellor is looking to light into anyone coming into his direction.
Back to who would replace Victor "Macho" Harris; that spot has been taken by Stephen Virgil. Virgil has established his presence in Virginia Tech's secondary by becoming an aggressive hitter, and amazed everyone by picking off half a dozen passes in their 10-4 season. His six interceptions tied Harris for the most on the team.
A lot has been said of Virginia Tech's inability to produce points in football games at times, but they keep winning ACC titles. It boils down to this: It doesn't take many points to win, when the other team has a hard time scoring.
We have all been told since we were kids playing sports that "defense wins championships." This concept is applied thoroughly at Virginia Tech, and it has become known that along with the Virginia Tech Hokies comes a strong, disciplined defense.