Thomas might have to be a one-man show for the Hokies this season.
Florida State travels to Virginia Tech on a Thursday night in what looks to be the most difficult game on the 2012 schedule. This is a classic Hokie team, with a defense that should be excellent, and a questionable offense featuring a freakish mobile QB.
Here's what Paul Myerberg of the New York Times and Pre-Snap Read has to say about the Hokies. Please do head on over and check out the rest of this monster preview.
In a nutshell Virginia Tech is going to win another 10 games, another Coastal division title, make another run to the B.C.S., make things happen on offense and make things miserable for opponents on defense. Hey, this is life in Blacksburg: V.T. just goes to work every fall, suffers one or two losses during the regular season and ends the year firmly inside the top 20 nationally. Betting on anything other than another successful season isn't just foolish; it's stupid. Virginia Tech is going to feature one of the very best defenses in the country, one that will be too much to handle along the front seven for the overwhelming number of teams on this schedule. It's a night-and-day story in terms of depth, especially at defensive tackle. The Hokies will stop the run, get pressure on the quarterback, force turnovers - as they have for years.
The offense has some issues, but they're survivable. Now, these issues will test V.T. at times, perhaps meaning the difference between a close win and a close loss. Still, the lack of experience is not going to cause the Hokies to drop from the top of the Coastal division into the middle of the pack. In a perfect world, the offensive line gels in time for this running game to hit its stride in September; if so, the Hokies have the quarterback - and a great quarterback and that - and the receiver corps to give this offense tremendous balance. But it's a question mark: Virginia Tech's line is raw, especially at tackle, and two of the top three running backs are freshmen.
The lack of experience on offense is going to keep V.T. from being the best team in the A.C.C., but it's not going to prevent the Hokies from winning another 10 games and the Coastal division. This is the division's best team, from top to bottom and everywhere in between, and one of the A.C.C.'s best two teams, joining Florida State. The defense is loaded; the offense has some issues but an all-American at quarterback and a handful of talented receivers. The Hokies aren't perfect - they're just really good, potentially great, as they've been for a generation. Wake me up when this isn't the case.
Dream season The first part is familiar: Virginia Tech goes undefeated during the regular season. This is new: Virginia Tech beats Florida State in the postseason. A 13-0 mark gives V.T. a berth in the national title game.
Nightmare season Virginia Tech goes 8-4, losing to Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State and Virginia, the latter for the first time since 2003.
Non-conference 2011-12: App State, at ECU, Arkansas State, at Marshall, Austin Peay, at Pitt, Bowling Green, Cincinnati. Virginia Tech understands the scheduling game.