ACC Football Kickoff countdown: No. 3

On Saturday, our planes take off for Greensboro, N.C., the site of this year’s ACC Football Kickoff, where members of the media meet with players and coaches for two days of interviews. In order to help us get to the unofficial start of the season, we’re counting down 10 of the most interesting storylines in the ACC this fall. Today we head to Blacksburg …

No. 3: Will Virginia Tech rebound?

This is a question Frank Beamer probably can’t even answer right now, but after the worst season in the past 20 years, he didn’t hesitate to make the changes he thought would make the program better. The offense remains the program’s Achilles Heel, as the Hokies will again be working with young receivers, inexperienced offensive linemen, inconsistent running backs, and an embattled quarterback in veteran Logan Thomas. Here’s one reason Virginia Tech fans should be encouraged: Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said the struggles in the spring game were not an accurate depiction of the improvement the staff saw throughout the rest of the spring. Loeffler, who was hired this past offseason, said Thomas made great strides this spring towards becoming a more accurate passer. Thomas, though, can’t do it alone. Will the supporting cast develop around him in time to make him look like the first-round draft pick many had projected him to be? Historically, Virginia Tech’s defense has carried the load before -- even when the offense struggled, and odds are Bud Foster’s group is going to have to do it again.

The countdown:

  • No. 10: Can Duke get back to a bowl game?

  • No. 9: Can UNC earn a real ring?

  • No. 8: How will the new quarterbacks fare?

  • No. 7: Can the ACC match its off-field success on the field this fall?

  • No. 6: How will Pitt and Cuse factor into the race?

  • No. 5: How will three new head coaches fare?

  • No. 4: What is happening at Miami?