After writing my "What the Hell is Wrong With The Hokies" article last week, I've decided to spend my Monday talking about some of the positives from this season. Obviously, when you're 6-3, you've still had a pretty good year. Win out and you're probably a top 10 team by the end of the 2nd week in January. So Tech still has a lot going for them and since Tech will return 12 starters next year, the Hokies are still in contention for a top 10 starting spot again in 2010.
But for now we'll keep it focused on this season.
Positive #1 : Ryan Williams
Obviously, the Hokies focus on a tough, smash mouth running game and have since the Don Strock days back in the 70's. After losing Darren Evans to a torn ACL in the 2nd week of practice, it left a void at the running back position. Would Josh Oglesby step up and be the tough inside runner, would Ryan Williams make an impact as a redshirt freshman, or would David Wilson steal the show? All of those questions were answered in the first few weeks of the season. The answer was actually pretty simple, Ryan Williams is quite possibly one of the most talented running backs to ever play for Virginia Tech.
Through nine games, Williams has rushed for 1109 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those 10 touchdowns are a freshman record and with another 100 yard game he'll be close to breaking Darren Evan's school record for most rushing yards in a single season by a freshman running back (Record is 1265 yards). And if your looking for some hope heading into the 2010 season, Evans is well on his way to recovering from his knee injury and Tech will have about 2700 rushing yards returning next season.
Positive #2: Tyrod Taylor
Although most Tech fans won't admit it, they had the same "Ohh God" feeling after Sean Glennon graduated last season. That feeling was attributed partially to Tyrod Taylor ability to get hurt and then to the fact that the Hokies had almost nobody to back him up. Whether you liked Glennon or not, having two quarterbacks that could run the offense was a lot better than having just one.
However, Tyrod has quieted his critics and has played very well throughout the course of the season. In fact, he is on pace to have one of the better seasons for a VT quarterback since Bryan Randall graduated. If Taylor stays true to his pace of 161.3 yards per game, he'll throw for 2100 yards, 12 TD's, and just 4 interceptions. Combine that with anywhere from 300 to 500 yards on the ground, that's a pretty good year for a Virginia Tech quarterback.
Positive #3: Rebuilding A Defense
Coming into this season, I liked our personnel on defense but as the season has gone along, I'm starting to hope that Foster sticks some of our younger players in there in some key situations to help them gain some more experience. I'm not saying that our defense is awful, it's not, we're still ranked in the top 30 in the nation and for most teams that would be a welcome site. However, I'm saying that our defense just doesn't fit together.
Sometimes when you post back to back number one defenses in total defense and scoring defense, you get a little spoiled as a fanbase. It's a natural human response of course, when you get something and you become accustomed to receiving it, then when that certain item goes away you become angry or confused at why that certain item has disappeared. If you look at some of the Virginia Tech message boards here on the Interwebs, then you'll see that very aspect.
Even though our defense has played fairly well as of late, getting some new blood on defense will be a welcome sight.