Sep 21, 2013; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas (3) and wide receiver Carlis Parker (16) celebrate after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
We are proud to announce that we were able to get a hold of Virginia Tech beat writer Andy Bitter. He is a beat writer for the Roanoke Times and Virginian-Pilot. Andy gave us some insight on the game against Marshall, and about the upcoming game this Thursday against Georgia Tech. He gave us some amazing input, and we are honored to have his work featured on the site! Enjoy!
Q: What are your thoughts on Logan Thomas following today’s game?
A: I think Thomas is just going to be a hit-or-miss performer. He was 18-for-34, which isn’t too far off from his career average. He threw two picks, one of which on a very poor decision. But he also made some big throws in tough spots, and he put a large bulk of the rushing load on his shoulders, especially late in the game. He’s not a work of art on the field, but he does get things done. And in weather like that, you do what you can to get by and don’t worry about style points. Is he ever going to be a 70% passer? No. But he can still be an effective dual threat quarterback for this offense, which only needs to show the slightest bit of improvement for Tech to be successful, given the defense’s prowess.
Q: How do you feel the defense performed?
A: Pretty well. Marshall’s offense is no joke. And Rakeem Cato made some throws throughout that game that were mighty impressive. The Hokies gave up some yardage and points early but clamped down in the second half with their backs against the wall. I think you still saw the relentless pass rush and pretty good coverage you saw in the first couple weeks, just against a much better offense. I’d be surprised if any teams hold the Thundering Herd to less than 21 points this year. Considering the weather conditions and possibilities for defensive breakdowns that come with that, it was a good showing.
Q: Can the wide-outs step up?
A: It’s tough to judge them on that game alone. I mentioned the conditions earlier, which meant for some poorly thrown passes (how many did Thomas sail high or wide?). Josh Stanford made a big catch in a big spot on fourth-and-9 late in the game. There were a few others. But there were also drops. Demitri Knowles had a pretty big one in the overtime that could have proved costly. This is by no means a finished product, and it’s still an inexperienced group. But from where it was in the opener to where it is now, I think there have been strides.
Q: What are your thoughts on the kicking situation?
A: It’s a mess, plain and simple. I think the Cody Journell news caught Tech off guard. Ethan Keyserling isn’t even listed as the backup kicker, so he was an odd choice as the replacement. And even if Journell returns this week, which he’s expected to do, he had issues at East Carolina that might not be corrected. It was sort of a blip on the radar this summer when Brooks Abbott decided to transfer, but it’s a big deal now. I’d imagine if he were still with the program, it’d be him kicking field goals in Atlanta this week. Now, the Hokies seem like they’ll have to live or die with Journell, which will be risky from here on out.
Q: Does Virginia Tech have a shot at beating the Georgia Tech who is undefeated?
A: Nobody in the Coastal is really all that better than anyone else. And I include Miami in that conversation. Georgia Tech beat North Carolina last week, but it trailed early and needed to really late. I think Virginia Tech can keep the game close. Bud Foster’s defense has defended the Yellow Jackets’ option offense well over the years. It’s a matter of if the Hokies’ offense can put things together to get a win on the road. I don’t know if they’re at that stage yet. I’m probably going to pick Georgia Tech in a low-scoring game, but I think it will be close. And when that’s the case, it can go either way.