December 28, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Jack Tyler (58) runs onto the field carrying a flag with a ribbon honoring the victims of both the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook school shooting before the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights held at the Citrus Bowl. The Hokies defeated the Scarlet Knights 13-10 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Hokies Win Russell Athletic Bowl, Prepare For Turnover This Off-Season


On the second snap of the game, Logan Thomas had to jump on an early and low snap from center Caleb Ferris. The ball squirmed far into the endzone and Logan fell on the fall while attempting to reach it outside of the endzone. The play resulted in a safety, which was incorrectly ruled as a touchdown. But hey – semantics, right?  After a quick Hokies drive and punt, Rutgers added a fieldgoal to make the game 10-0.

Fast forward…a lot.

After going almost 48 minutes in game time, the Hokies finally put points on the board with a Cody Journell field goal. Following an Antoine Exum interception, Logan Thomas threw a perfect ball to Corey Fuller in the endzone for a touchdown. During this stretch in the fourth quarter, spanning a whopping 1:50 in game time, the Hokies put up 10 points and tied Rutgers. The Hokies would eventually win the game in overtime off another Journell field goal.  Your final score was 13-10.

That was about as succinct as I could possibly write it.  Scratch that, I can shorten it.  Take two:

It was a bad offensive football game, but the Hokies somehow won 13-10. Also, the Hokies wore amazing football helmets. Seriously, how awesome were those things? Who wants to buy me one?

Yes, that’ll do quite nicely. As I have written many times before, the Hokies played some extremely ugly football. So has been the trend this season, which has resulted in a 7-6 record. Thinking to myself, I can’t remember an off-season that I have looked forward to more than this one.

Why am I so excited for this off-season? Simply put, coaching changes – expect them.

During the first quarter of the Russell Athletic Bowl, Pete Roussel of coachingsearch.com posted on Twitter that Virginia Tech wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman would be taking a job at Purdue next season. Don’t expect Sherman to be the last person to move either.

Who else is on the chopping block? You can look for the following names to potentially move elsewhere this off-season:

Kevin Sherman, Wide Receivers coach – Slated to move to Purdue.

Mike O’Cain, Quarterbacks coach/Play caller – Interviewed for App State head coaching job in December and didn’t get hired. Whether he has another job lined up or not, he is likely on his way out.

Curt Newsome, Offensive guards and centers coach – Has been highly rumored to re-join James Madison’s coaching staff after the Dukes fired their offensive line coach Chris Malone earlier this month.

Brian Stinespring, Offensive Coordinator, tight ends, and offensive tackles coach – Auburn has been rumored to have interest in Stinespring’s services. Stinespring is the least likely of the bunch to move, but rather be re-assigned on the staff.

This is going to be a very interesting off-season in terms of who joins Virginia Tech’s program, and who replaces these long-standing assistants. There are a couple of names you should know before the search begins, but the most important name to know is probably Pep Hamilton.

Hamilton is Stanford’s current quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Yes, you read that correctly. Word among those close to the program say that Hamilton is the leading candidate for the offensive coordinator position at Virginia Tech, and there seems to be mutual interest.

If this move happens, which is won’t for sure until Stanford finishes playing the Rose Bowl, this could be considered a homerun hire for Virginia Tech. I have heard countless times from loyal, older Hokies that they wished Virginia Tech could run an offensive style similar to Stanford’s – mainly power running, strong offensive lines, and a general toughness. Well, I can think of no better way to emulate that style than to take the offensive coordinator from that system.

Also important in that potential move is the fact that Hamilton has coached and developed some very talented quarterbacks at Stanford. Logan Thomas would finally have an effective, and competent, quarterback coach. This would be a slam dunk for so many reasons.

We won’t know about the fate of that move though for a couple of weeks at minimum so make sure to stay tuned, Hokies. It’s going to be an exciting off-season for sure, one that will follow a disappointing season.

Look at it this way though, Virginia Tech had its worst season in 20 years and still finished with a winning record, still beat UVA, and still won a bowl game. At the end of the day, all of those things are fine with me.

It’s a great day to be a Hokie! Have a happy new year, everybody!

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