Players like Dyrell Roberts, Andrew Miller and David Wang all may have been with the program for a while now, but that should not mean they get to retain their starting jobs while grossly underperforming. Whether it is wide receiver Demetri Knowles or guard Laurence Gibson, there are talented players on the roster who've barely seen the field due to this odd contentment among the coaches.
While it may seem like all these negative factors mean there is no hope for the offense down the stretch, nothing could be further from the truth. The unit has potential, as the first drive of the Clemson game and the Duke comeback demonstrate.
Thomas has come under fire for his drop off in performance, but he has been consistently better since the North Carolina game. He may be turnover-prone due to a tendency for high throws, but this is an issue that is absolutely correctable.
Similarly, if the coaches will commit to a running back, such as Coleman, and allow him to work through any initial mistakes, this running game can be devastating. Coleman has big play ability, which he flashed in the Duke game with his pair of long touchdown runs, and Gregory and Scales have proved they can be effective situational runners so long as they are not relegated to the bench.
The offensive line is definitely a work in progress, and it has not helped that it has been ravaged by injuries, but its blocking against the Yellow Jackets and the Blue Devils proves there is a solid group to be developed here.
The sad fact is it seems unlikely for any of these changes to go into effect without a change in the coaching staff. It would seem that the one positive thing fans can take from this mediocre season is that it might inspire Beamer to change things up in order to get the offense back on track.
Without these changes, however, Tech will have to be content with mediocrity and antiquity on offense.
This team will have to decide whether 2012 is an aberration or the start of a new trend as it evaluates the results of this season. Although a berth in the ACC title game is still a possibility, how the offense performs down the stretch will play a big role in the look of the unit in 2013.
Fans can only hope that next year, the phrase “what a difference a year makes” contains a very different meaning.