It’s Groundhog’s Day in Blacksburg -- another year, another season of disgruntled Virginia Tech fans calling out the play calling.
Reminder: Eight new starters on offense.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas is not the problem. He’s still a first-round NFL draft pick only in his second season as a full-time starter, and if you ask the NFL scouts, most would probably tell you that Thomas has the highest ceiling of any quarterback in the country right now.
He’s just having a hard time reaching it because he’s got eight new starters around him.
The lack of experience in the supporting cast has been the biggest reason for the Hokies’ struggles on offense, and their rather, well, vanilla play calling. Coach Frank Beamer conceded as much this week when I asked him if the youth and inexperience on offense has limited what they can do with the playbook.
“It hasn’t helped,” he said. “There’s no question that when you’re playing freshmen tailbacks, and four new starters on the offensive line, a new starter at tight end, that affects your play. But again, what we need to do is become a more consistent, play-after-play offense.”
In the loss to Pitt, Virginia Tech’s receivers had too many drops, freshman tailback Michael Holmes had a fumble that led to a score, and Thomas was throwing under pressure for most of the game. Much like last year, it seems like Virginia Tech and ACC fans have already turned their backs on Thomas, but it’s still too early in the season -- and in his career -- to dismiss his potential.
Beamer certainly hasn’t.
“I think Logan is going to be just fine,” Beamer said. “He has a couple of throws he’d like to have back, but we have to protect a little bit better, we’ve got to run the right routes. It’s a combination of things that have caused us to be inconsistent.”
Expect Virginia Tech fans to consistently question it, though.
The Hokies are going to get better as the players mature, but it’s not fair to heap the blame on Thomas until they do.