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7/7/2010 12:00:00 AM
The Hokies aren't being mentioned in the same breath with Alabama and Ohio State, but Frank Beamer's 2010 Va Tech bunch still ranks among the BCS betting elite.
With one of the nation’s most explosive and experienced offensive units in place the Virginia Tech Hokies are ready to take their place among the elite teams in college football.
Frank Beamer begins his 25th year as the Hokies head coach. The trademark of his teams in the past has been good defense, even better special teams and a better than average offense. This year, however, the Hokies appear to be scary-good thanks an experienced and electrifying offense that has Va Tech fans already thinking BCS.
At the very least Virginia Tech figures to dominate the ACC this year on their way to what the fans hope is a BCS title game. College football betting lines at Bodog place the Hokies in the Top 10 at having such a shot with 18/1 odds to win the BCS.
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Virginia Tech (10-3, 8-5 ATS) has experienced skill players back at nearly every spot including quarterback where Tyrod Taylor looks to improve on a stellar 2009 campaign. Last season the 6-foot-1, 216-pound junior threw for 2,311 yards and 13 touchdowns, and rushed for 370 yards and five TD’s. Taylor will also have at his disposal the best 1-2 running back tandem in the conference, if not the country, in Ryan Williams and Darren Evans.
Williams was arguably the best freshman back in the country last season rushing for 1,655 yards and a combined 22 touchdowns. In 2008, Evans who missed last season with a serious knee injury, set an ACC freshman rushing record in 2008 (1,265 yards), which was broken in 2009 by Williams.
The duo started preseason practices tied atop the depth chart, and how Hokies coaches manage the two stars will be one of the most intriguing storylines of the 2010 college football season.
The Hokies also boast a stable of talented wide receivers. Jarrett Boykin had 40 catches for 835 yards and five touchdowns while Danny Coale made 30 grabs for 614 yards, with both players averaging better than 20 yards per catch.
On defense, cornerback Rashad Carmichael returns after six interceptions last year. He leads a unit that ranked ninth in the nation in points allowed (15.6) and 12th in total yards (295.5). Va Tech ranked 11th nationally against the pass (167.) and was 40th against the run (128.4).
Virginia Tech’s defense was even tougher against the ACC last season holding conference opponents to less than 15 points and 300 yards per game. John Graves, a two-year starter at tackle, will be the veteran anchor of the front four.
Players come and players go, but Beamer remains the one constant. Over the last 17 years, Virginia Tech hasn’t missed the postseason and they’ve finished in the Top 20 on 14 different occasions. His teams are usually good for 10 wins a season and likely more this year.
The Hokies will get tested right out of the gate when they take on Boise State in their season opener at FedEx Field. If they can get past the Broncos, then Virginia Tech could realistically be looking at a 9-0 start.
The Hokies were 10-3 overall last season including a 6-2 conference mark. They finished the season beating Tennessee 37-14 in the chick-fil-A Bowl as Ryan Williams rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns. They’ll definitely be bowling again this season but if Beamer has his way, the Hokies will be doing it in one of the big games in the BCS.