The Virginia Tech Hokies welcome the Tar Heels into town Saturday in an extremely important game for the Heels. UNC fans will closely be watching the Heel’s defense, which struggled mightily against ECU last weekend. I think after being talked down all week, the Tar Heels will come out with a chip on their shoulder and (fingers crossed) play better. They will be facing a very solid Virginia Tech offense under 26th year head coach Frank Beamer.
Logan Thomas leads Tech’s pro style attack, with lots of pre snap motion and reads to try and make the game as easy as possible for the QB. The results so far have been a mixed bag. Thomas has thrown for almost 1000 yards and five TDs already, but has thrown six picks and has a 52.8% completion percentage. Thomas is the key here; he still hasn’t shown any improvement from season to season or game to game. The rushing attack isn’t anything special, and no wide receiver has more than 250 yards receiving. It isn’t a super strong offense, but it is better than ECU’s offense. And looking at how last week went, that is a cause for concern. But if UNC’s pass rush can manufacture some pressure on the quarterback and force Thomas to beat the Heels with his inconsistent arm, UNC could see some more success on defense on Saturday.
Name to know- Logan Thomas
Stat to know- In his three years as starter at Va Tech, Logan Thomas has never had a completion percentage over 60% on the season.
Tech fans have to be frustrated at this point with 6’6″, 257 pound redshirt senior Logan Thomas. He was once regarded as a can’t miss NFL QB prospect, but an inaccurate and interception-prone arm led to Thomas falling off the top of many draft boards. Last week, against Georgia Tech on a Thursday Night game, Thomas only threw for 221 yards. He isn’t the best QB UNC will face, but he is still good enough to pick apart the Heel’s secondary if they don’t improve from last week. Another thing to note is that Thomas can move a little bit and scramble for a first down if you let him.
Names to know- Trey Edmunds, Chris Mangus
Stat to know- VT is averaging 3.9 yards per rush this season.
Trey Edmunds is Tech’s best tailback, and he is only a redshirt freshman. The 6’1″ 215 pound back is averaging over 4 yards a carry, with a long of 77. In the pro style offense brought to Tech by new OC Scot Loeffler, Tech uses lots of power run formations and has some success running the ball. Look for the Hokies to try and attack the vulnerable defensive front of the Tar Heels at the beginning of the game to test and see if the Heels can handle the power attack. UNC needs to shut down the run early, otherwise Virginia Tech could have a field day on offense setting up play action late in the game for big gains.
Names to know- Demitri Knowles, D.J. Coles, Willie Bryn
Stat to know- Tech’s longest passing play has been 34 yards so far.
Knowles is a quick sophomore wideout who leads the team in receptions with 20 and in yards with 210. He will be a tough match-up for Jabari Price or Tim Scott on Saturday, because of his quickness and strong hands. D.J. Coles is more like Carolina’s Ebron; he is 6’4″ and 238 pounds and will also be a tough match-up for UNC. Linebackers Travis Hughes and company will have their hands full with Coles over the middle. Willie Bryn leads the team with touchdowns with three. In the red zone, UNC has to keep their eyes on him, because he is a proven red zone target for Thomas.