Since joining the ACC in 2004, Virginia Tech is a perfect 13-0 in league regular-season games played in the state of North Carolina (3-0 at Wake Forest; 2-0 at NC State; 4-0 at Duke; 4-0 at UNC).
Bud Foster has sported the bitter beer face for much of this week, too, per media reports.
The Hokies’ streak will be put to the test in Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. game against the Tar Heels at Kenan Stadium.
In a bit of a break from the conventional, we consulted with one of VTScoop’s preeminent posters, CZYHOKIE, for his take on Virginia Tech:
Q: Bud Foster’s defense seems to have come under significant scrutiny after last week’s Cincinnati loss. Do you think the issues can be resolved by simply rallying behind the respect card, or are there fundamental flaws that have to be shored up?
It's a combination. Virginia Tech is very proud of its tradition on defense and its "lunch pail" mentality. Right now Virginia Tech is not playing to those standards. Youth in the secondary and injuries at linebacker have been factors, and Virginia Tech needs to get back to playing fundamental football. Bud Foster will see to that.
Q: How would you characterize Logan Thomas’ performance this season? The preseason hype was largely unfair, in this observer’s estimation, because Thomas was hardly an accurate thrower or quick decision-maker last year. But is he being put in position to maximize his abilities?
Logan is a unique quarterback by most standards. He’s 6-6, around 260 pounds, cannon for an arm, and he is very mobile for his size. Most do not realize he is a converted QB. While in high school he only played a year and half at quarterback, so he is still learning the position. This year he's struggled a bit with accuracy as well.
I do think the hype was deserved due to his intangibles and his ceiling is very high, but it may have been a year too early. Similar to last year, I believe you will see him settle down game by game and he will get better.
Q: One could argue the greatest slippage this year is the lack of an honorable running game outside of what Thomas can create. Agree or disagree? From the outside looking in, one wonders whether the staff hasn’t gotten the mileage it used to in regards to offensive line development. On the other hand, maybe it’s just too predictable.
6-4 senior Marcus Davis had 5 catches for 101 yards, including a 50-yarder, vs. Cincinnati
Virginia Tech has had a great group of running backs in the last decade, and the loss of David Wilson to the first round of the NFL Draft last year was a big one.
That leaves the running duties to redshirt freshman Micheal Holmes and first-year freshman JC Coleman. Both are very talented in their own right. JC is the playmaker, Micheal is the all-purpose back.
Neither has made a huge impact yet mostly due to inconsistent offensive line play. Four new starters and injuries have been major factors in the below-average play early in the season.
For Virginia Tech to be successful on offense they have to run the ball. It has always been the cornerstone of offensive production.
Q: OK, it seems even the questioning here has gotten caught up in the sky-is-falling environment that appears to loom over the program this week. What are the Hokies doing well that is being masked by the uncharacteristic losses?
For the most part, execution on both sides of the ball has been average so far. Statistically the defense doesn't look bad on paper. But they have given up the big play too often. On offense it's the opposite -- it's not quite as bad as it looks on paper, but again, lack of execution has killed big plays and key third-down conversations.
Virginia Tech is running the ball well on the edges, and yards-after-catch for the wide receivers have been very good, especially with Marcus Davis. On defense, Kysheon Jarrett has been very good, and linebacker play between Bruce Taylor and Jack Tyler has been solid. The front four has also gotten pressure on opposing quarterbacks, although sack numbers aren't where the Hokies expected.
Q: Finally, how do you see the game playing out? And what’s your prediction?
First off, I think Larry Fedora was a great hire for UNC. I'm a fan of his brand of football. Saturday is UNC's bowl game in many respects. The Tar Heels will come out fired up, new uniforms, fans participating in a "White Out” and a chance for an early signature win for their new coach.
Virginia Tech is coming in with a very unfamiliar sight in the loss column with two early losses. It also had something to prove to its fans, and quite frankly, to each other. This one is too close to call.
But I do expect Virginia Tech to come out and play with urgency and play well on the road in a very important ACC game. VT 21-UNC 20
We would like to thank CZYHOKIE for his insight and opinion.