Through four games this season, few teams have been more impressive, and equally mysterious as Virginia Tech has been. The Hokies are 4-0, but have yet to really play anyone.
Well that changes this weekend, when they welcome the surprising Clemson Tigers to Lane Stadium. Clemson is also 4-0, but with a pair of wins over ranked teams, we know exactly how good they are.
1. In what has become a right of September, it seems as though Virginia Tech is always playing marquee, national games to open the season. There was LSU a few falls ago. USC a few falls before that. A couple tilts with Nebraska. Alabama. And of course Boise State last year. Well this year there were no such contests, and it's hard to argue that few teams have had an easier September than the Hokies have. So with that, I've got to ask, what do you prefer: An easy September that doesn't tell us much about the team? Or a tougher one that might result in a loss or two that betters prepares the team for conference play?
Usually, I'd side with a tougher schedule but it's hard to argue with the schedule this year. With Tyrod Taylor gone and Logan Thomas getting his footing it's clear that the Hokies wanted to ease him into a comfort zone. Job well done there, an undefeated record helps that. Also, it will be nice to have an undefeated record and national relevancy for a bit this season and maybe even have the schedule set up well for Tech down the road. For a short answer, go with: Most years, a difficult schedule, this year an easy one. That's the right answer.
2. So much of the hype of the Hokies coming into the season was with new quarterback Logan Thomas. With most of the nation yet to see him really closely, what should we look out for this weekend against Clemson? Where has his game exceeded expectations? Where does he need work?
Personally, I'd look for his willingness to run and his ability to do it. Hes' shown glimpses of being the physical freak that he's touted as but until he hits the open field he's just another rookie QB. His game has probably exceeded expectations in his ability to hit open targets but when it comes to making all of his reads and making the right decision he's had some problems. That's to be expected. Tech wants him to minimize mistakes and keep them in the game for the defense and David Wilson to carry the load. Right now, that's his job.
3. On the other side of the ball, it doesn't seem to matter who Virginia Tech loses or at what position, the "next guy," always seems to be ready. What does Bud Foster do exactly that makes this team so successful?
Foster definitely knows how to coach 'em up, there's no doubt about that. He seemingly always has a player on the line that creates constant pressure and linebackers that can stop the run. Robert Gayle is that d-lineman, and their LBs have been pretty good. On the corners, they always have a solid tandem as well as steady speed at the safety spots. With last year being one of Foster's worst (in large part because of the team's youth), the Hokies look determined to get back to the hard nosed defense of the past. Watch Foster yell during the games, it will make you want to play successfully too.
4. Going back to the first question, there are still a lot of things about this team that we really don't know that much about. What concerns you the most heading into the Clemson game?
If Tech has problems stopping Boyd and this juggernaut of an offense that Clemson has had to this point, I don't think the Hokies can score with the Tigers. Sure, Tech has the talent at wide receiver, but their money maker is to feed Wilson and control the clock. No one knows if Thomas can bring this team back from a deficit, nonetheless a big one. I'd hate to have to find that out in Saturday's match-up.
5. Take your pick: Virginia Tech or Clemson, and why?
I'm no homer, but I'm no fool either. Clemson is riding two HUGE home wins and Tech has had this one marked on the calendar I'm sure. A night game in Lane Stadium is tough for any opposing team to handle. I think for a rookie quarterback who has won big at home, he could unravel fairly quickly.
Tech 27 Clemson 19
Follow Crystal Ball Run on Twitter @CrystalBallRun.