The Virginia Tech Hokies were barely able to keep their 22-year bowl streak alive last year. They had to beat Virginia in the season finale after losing to Wake Forest 6-3 in double overtime the week before. They held on to beat the Cavaliers 24-20, but then saved one of their best performances for last in a 33-17 blowout of Cincinnati in the Military Bowl.

That makes three straight seasons where the Hokies failed to win more than eight games. That’s shocking when you consider they had won at least 10 games in eight straight seasons prior to the last three years. Virginia Tech did hand Ohio State its only lost last season, in Columbus no less, so the potential is there. It’s just that the Hokies haven’t been able to find any consistency here of late.

Frank Beamer is the FBS’s active leader in wins. He enters his 29th season in Blacksburg, and expectations should be very high this year. The Hokies return a whopping 16 starters and 58 lettermen while losing only 19 letter winners. This could be one of Beamer’s best teams yet in 2015, but can he finally get the most out of the talent on hand? Let’s find out.

Last Season
ACC Coastal
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
2015 Virginia Tech Hokies Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/7 Ohio State
9/12 Furman
9/19 @ Purdue
9/26 @ East Carolina
10/3 Pittsburgh
10/9 NC State
10/17 @ Miami
10/24 Duke
10/31 @ Boston College
11/12 @ Georgia Tech
11/21 North Carolina
11/28 @ Virginia
Estimated Wins: 7.60

The offense has held Virginia Tech back the past three seasons. It hasn’t produced more than 25.1 points and 377 yards per game in any of the past three years. It is coming off a season in which is scored 24.1 points and averaged 365 yards per game. The offense was expected to be better last year with eight returning starters, but it did not pan out that way. With eight starters back on offense again in 2015, the time is now for this offense to finally click.

Michael Brewer had a decent season last year at quarterback, completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,692 yards with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The former Texas Tech transfer will need to play a little better if he wants to retain his job. Pushing him for playing time will be junior Brenden Motley and talented redshirt freshmen Chris Durkin and Andrew Ford.

The receiving corps pretty much returns intact with each of the top three pass catchers back from last season. Leading the way will be sophomore WR Isaiah Ford (56 receptions, 709 yards, 6 TD), sophomore TE Bucky Hodges (45, 526, 7 TD) and sophomore WR Cam Phillips (40, 498, 3 TD). It’s amazing how well Ford, Hodges and Phillips played as freshmen last year. They should all take their games to the next level in 2015.

All of the top rushers are back from last season, led by sophomore Marshawn Williams (475 yards, 3.8/carry, 4 TD) and JC Coleman (533 yards, 5.0/carry, 3 TD). The Hokies could be primed for a 1,000-yard rusher this season, but the offensive line does lose 84 career starts with just 42 returning. The two returning starters up front are junior RG Augie Conte and junior LT Jonathan McLaughlin. They desperately need to get their ground game going again like they have in the past, otherwise the quarterback’s job becomes much more difficult.


The Hokies have been notorious for having one of the best defenses in the country year after year. Bud Foster has been a finalist for the Broyles Award four times, which goes to the best defensive coordinator in college football. His defense allowed 20.2 points and 344 yards per game last season. While that would be great for most programs, Foster would like his stop unit to do better. With eight starters back on defense in 2015, this should be one of the best units in the country.

Virginia Tech will certainly have the best defensive line in the ACC as everyone returns from last year. Both DE Dadi Nicolas (72 tackles, 18.5 for loss, 9 sacks) and NT Corey Marshall (41 tackles, 9.5 for loss) earned second-team All-ACC honors last season. DE Ken Akanem (53 tackles, 9.5 sacks) was a third-team selection last year, while DT Luther Maddy (55 tackles, 13.5 for loss in ’13) was a third-teamer in ’13 before taking a medical redshirt last year due to injury. Maddy is back healthy, and adding depth behind him is Nigel Williams (34 tackles, 9.5 for loss), who played well in his place last season.

The linebacking corps parts ways with ILB Chase Williams (72 tackles, 9 for loss), but brings back a pair of starters in ILB Deon Clarke (74 tackles, 11 for loss, 5 sacks) and ILB Andrew Motuapuaka (54 tackles, 4 for loss). Beamer adds in two very highly touted redshirt freshmen in Raymon Minor and Holland Fisher, who will both vie for playing time right away.

The secondary at Virginia Tech has been nothing short of dominant in recent years. It is coming off a season in which it allowed 199 yards per game, 47.7 percent completions and a 13-to-12 TD/INT ratio to opposing quarterbacks. This will once again be one of the best secondaries in the country with three starters back, including second-team All-American CB Kendall Fuller (54 tackles, 15 pass break-ups, 2 INT). Also back is senior SS Donovan Riley (53 tackles, 2 INT) and junior FS Chuck Clark (73 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 12 passes defensed).

Odds (Courtesy of 5Dimes)
Regular Season Win Total
ACC Coastal Odds
ACC Championship Odds
4-Team Playoff Odds
National Championship Odds
Season Predictions

The Hokies are desperate to get back into ACC title contention. After three straight disappointing years, they certainly have the look of a team that could win the Coastal in 2015. They return a whopping 16 starters and 58 lettermen, and I wouldn’t be surprise if this is one of Beamer’s best teams yet.

I love the prospects of the defense, which welcomes back eight starters and will boast arguably the best defensive line and secondary in the entire ACC. But the key will be improvement on offense, which has hurt the Hokies in recent years. They now have a veteran QB in Brewer, and some studs at receiver who played huge minutes as freshmen last season. The offensive line play can only get better this year as well.

Virginia Tech has drawn a dream ACC schedule. It avoids the three best teams from the Atlantic in Florida State, Clemson and Louisville, while drawing two of the worst teams from that division in Boston College and NC State. It does have to play both Miami and Georgia Tech on the road, but I have it splitting those two games to finish 7-1 in the Coastal. The Hokies will likely lose to Ohio State in the opener at home and win the rest of their non-conference games to finish 10-2 overall in 2015.

2015 Projections
ACC Coastal
ACC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
Over 8
More College Football Predictions
Atlantic Division
Coastal Division
Virginia Tech
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