Sophomore QB Josh Jackson (59.6 COMP%, 20 TDs, 9 INTs) had a fine frosh season. He threw for an impressive 2,991 yards. He running chops were okay on short yardage situations, as he scored a half-dozen touchdowns on the ground. This season, with more experience, we expect him to show improvement. He will have to deal with losing his top pass catcher, Cam Phillips (71 REC, 13.6 YPC, 7 TDs). His single output was greater than that of the two top returning receivers. Ball State transfer Damon Hazelton has been added to this unit. Sophomore Phil Patterson, who missed much of last season, sophomore Sean Savoy (39 REC, 11.6 YPC, 4 TDs), and junior Eric Kumah (28 REC, 11 .6 YPC, 2 TDs) will all contribute. This is a young group of receivers.
However, the LB unit loses its top two tacklers, quarterback hasslers, and run-stoppers. That’s 201 tackles, nine sacks, 16.5 TFL, nine PBU, and 10 QBHs. The good news is WHIP Mook Reynolds (70 TKLs, 1.5 SCKs, 7.5 TFL), a senior, is back, as is D-back ROV Reggie Floyd (72 TKLs, 3 TFL, 3 INTs), a junior. They were third and fourth respectively in tackles last season. The secondary loses First-Team All-ACC corner Greg Stroman and his four picks and 11 PBU. That makes Floyd especially important when it comes to breaking up passes.
The Hokies lose record-setting specialists Greg Stroman (punt returns) and Joey Slye (placekicker). They also lose both kick return men. Sophomore punter Oscar Bradburn (66 Punts, 42.4 YPP, 24 w/in20) did a fine job his first season. Sophomore Brian Johnson, who in limited action last season was 5-5 on extra points and 3-4 on field goals, will kick. Senior receiver C.J. Carroll will take kicks and senior receiver Henri Murphy punts.
2018 Virginia Tech Hokies College Football Preview: Final Word
The Hokies start their season at Florida State (Sep 3). Our 2018 Virginia Tech Hokies college football preview notes that this game will be a massive test for this team. About a month later, they host Notre Dame (Oct 6), and the following week, VT plays North Carolina (Oct 13), as the Tar Heels are at home. These are two games that the Hokies need to win. Near the end of the season, they host what should be the top team in the division, Miami (Nov 17). The Hurricanes have won the last three-of-five in the series. Finally, they play rival Virginia (Nov 23) for the Commonwealth Cup. VT has won 14 straight.
Top Three Takeaways
- Jackson should be even better at QB
- Offense looks to be fairly sound
- Major question for LB and DB units