HEAD COACH: Frank Beamer 198-105-4 overall in 26 seasons; 156-82-2 in 20 seasons at Virginia Tech.
RETURNING STARTERS: Offense: 8; Defense: 8.
KEY SIGNEES: QB Tyrod Taylor, OL Will Alvarez, LB Hunter Ovens, S Davon Morgan, RB Darren Evans, DB D.J. Thomas, LB Barquell Rivers.
KEY LOSSES: DE Noland Burchette, SS Aaron Rouse, OLB Brenden Hill, K Brandon Pace, P Nic Schmitt, WR David Clowney, C Danny McGrath.
OFFENSE: If redshirt junior quarterback Sean Glennon can improve and become a stabilizing force, there's absolutely no reason why the Hokies can't run the table in the ACC and contend for the national championship. Glennon had his ups-and-downs, but his game against Georgia in the Peach Bowl exposed some of his shortcomings and those need to be fixed. The offensive line was in constant motion during the spring, with Duane Brown going from right to left tackle, guard Ryan Shuman going to center and Ed Wang going from tight end to right tackle. But just as long as they can perform with any consistency, tailback Branden Ore, who rushed for 1,137 yards and 16 touchdowns, will be able to chew up defenses again. He is a star and will be playing someday in the NFL. The receivers are loaded with Josh Morgan, Justin Harper, Eddie Royal and Josh Hyman all returning. Then there's also sophomore Brandon Dillard, who can flat out fly.
DEFENSE: The defense has been very, very good this century and there's no reason to believe it won't be the same this year. On the defensive line, senior Chris Ellis is slated to be one of the best ends in the ACC. The other starting end spot is unclear, but the interior will be paced by Carlton Powell, Barry Booker and Kory Robertson. There's also Cordarrow Thompson, who could be a stud. Two of the top linebackers in the nation return in Vince Hall and Xavier Adibi. The weakside spot is still up for grabs, but with Hall and Adibi alongside whoever it is, this area should be fine. The secondary is led by junior cornerback Brandon Flowers, who is one of the nation's best. Junior Victor "Macho" Harris also has the potential to be an absolute stud. To get the point across on how strong this unit is, Roland Minor, Jr., a starter in 2005, is serving as backup.
BY THE NUMBERS: 14 – The BCS ranking of the Hokies last year, the highest of any ACC team.
LB Vince Hall
RB Branden Ore
QB Sean Glennon