The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Virginia Tech Hokies.
No. 19: Virginia Tech Hokies
Spring Practice Starts: March 17
Spring Game: April 14
Virginia Tech Hokies Spring Status
The Hokies didn’t get back to the ACC Championship, and they lost their bowl game to not get back to ten wins, but it wasn’t bad.
They managed to beat the teams on the schedule they were supposed to, lost to the great teams, and clunked against Georgia Tech to create their niche as an above-average ACC team. No more, no less.
This year’s version has the potential to be far stronger and get back to the title game.
It starts with good-looking offense with QB Josh Jackson leading an attack with seven starters back. The running backs will be fine, three starters are back up front, and good-enough receivers are there for Jackson to work with.
The Hokie D is always solid, but it has to replace five starters. The linebacking corps takes a massive hit losing Tremaine Edmunds and Andrew Motuapuaka, and the secondary is crushed after losing safety Terrell Edmunds and corners Brandon Facyson and Greg Stroman, but again, Virginia Tech is usually able to restock the shelves.
Virginia Tech Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Linebacker. Tremaine Edmunds is a freak of nature who flew up the charts in the NFL scouting world. He led the team with 109 stops, Motuapuaka was second on the team with 92 tackles, and Anthony Shegog is done after coming up with 24. The prayer is for Dylan Rivers to be a star right away, and for Rayshard Ashby to handle the middle.
Virginia Tech Biggest Issue
The offense always has to put the biscuit in the basket. There were way too many issues in the red zone, only scoring 77% of the time after getting inside the 20. It’s not why the Hokies lost to Clemson, Miami, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State, but they scored just 8-of-14 times when getting within range. Worse yet, on the season they scored touchdowns just 51% of the time after getting inside the 20 – only 11 teams were worse.
Virginia Tech Biggest Positive
The running game is there. Jackson helped the cause by finishing third on the team with 324 yards and six scores, but in all, five of the top six rushers are back. Travon McMillian is transferring, but leading rusher Deshawn McClease and Steven Peoples will be more than fine for a ground game that should roll past the 2,500-yard mark.
Really, Why Are The Virginia Tech Hokies Ranked Here?
Just how quickly can Fuente reload? Everything was there to succeed last season except – going into the season – the quarterback, and Jackson turned out to be fantastic. Now, with so many key parts gone defensively, it’s asking a lot to be better, but the offense should be able to pick up the slack – at least that’s the hope.
This isn’t going to be one of the top teams in the ACC coming into the season, but it’s in the Coastal – it can get by Miami and get into the title game. That’s where the bar is set.