Today we got in touch with Virginia Tech beat writer Mike Barber. Mike is a beat writer for the Richmond TImes-Dispatch. We wanted to get an expert opinion on some of the story lines that have taken place recently. Also, we picked Mike’s brain about Saturday’s game against Duke. Enjoy.
Q: Does Virginia Tech need a run game to be successful?
A: Based on the past few weeks, you’d say Virginia Tech can keep winning just by throwing the ball. It’s been able to gain yards, eat clock and score enough points to win that way. But years and years of watching football remind me that’s not the case. The Hokies spent much of the off week trying to figure out what’s been going wrong in the run game and, more importantly, which running plays they are able to run effectively. This team can get by without running it but if it wants to reach the ACC title game (and it does) it needs to run the ball.
Q: Will Logan Thomas continue to play well for the rest of the season?
A: There’s no reason to think Logan Thomas won’t continue to play this well. He had a great year in 2011 and a disappointing season last year. But this year has been a steady upward trend. He’s completing over 62 percent of his passes and hasn’t thrown an interception in the last three games, two big reasons why Tech is winning now.
Q: At this point in the season, are you surprised that the Hokies are ranked #16?
A: I’m not sure I’d say surprised. I thought, with this year’s schedule, this team could be a 9 or 10 win team. Of course, after last season, I also realized 6 or 7 wins was a possibility. I think the entire ACC has a better perception around the nation this year (although Clemson would have helped it by showing up for the FSU game).
Q: What are the keys to beating Duke, and your prediction?
A: A year ago, Duke took a 20-0 lead in the first quarter and STILL couldn’t beat Tech, so it’d be easy to say all the Hokies need to do in this one is show up. That’s not true. They can’t give up long plays to Duke’s passing game and can’t turn it over offensively. Those are the keys and I think they’ll get it done. Tech wins 24-13.
For Twitter: https://twitter.com/RTD_MikeBarber
For His Blog: http://vtsports.blogs.timesdispatch.com