Virginia Tech Watch List

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This weekend’s showdown between Virginia and Virginia Tech has a lot on the line for the in-state rivals. The winner claims the ACC’s Coastal Division title and earns a spot in the ACC Championship Game against Clemson. What can the Cavaliers do to upend the Hokies for the first time in seven seasons and earn their first spot in the title game? The Virginia Tech Watch List looks at a couple of items for the big game.

David and Logan. Last week, the Cavaliers treated the Florida State showdown like a David and Goliath story as they tried to win in Tallahassee. This week, the Hoos are facing a David and a Logan as one of the key storylines. That’s because VT running back David Wilson and quarterback Logan Thomas present quite the challenge to defenses with their collective running ability. Wilson has 1,442 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns, while Thomas has 387 rushing yards and 9 rushing TDs, the most for any quarterback in coach Frank Beamer’s tenure.

For the Hoos, that means dealing with both as options to carry the football at any time. Of course, that brings the read option into play where Thomas can decide based on what the edge defender does whether to run with the football himself or left Wilson keep it. Any time defenses see the read option, it requires discipline from the edge defenders not to chase the play down the line too quickly and to make the proper run fits in all of the gaps.

Thomas scored a touchdown last week against North Carolina on a read option keeper. He also scored the game-winner against Miami on a similar play.

That’s not the only running play to monitor on Saturday. Here are some other things to watch in the Hokies’ running game this week.

  • Quarterback sneak. Anyone who watched the Georgia Tech game a couple of weeks ago knows that Logan Thomas is very dangerous on the quarterback sneak. At 6’6″ and 254 pounds, Thomas brings a load to tackle on any play where he carries the football, of course, but on short yardage plays he’s especially tough to handle because simply falling forward can gain close to two yards. In the win at Florida State, UVa’s defense had a great night
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