Point here being, Tech failed to establish a running game in 2012 because it had no single back it could rely on — coupled with the fact that it had an unreliable interior offensive line to run behind.
Bring in a guy like Grimes, as well as a slightly more experienced group of ball carriers, and you’re probably looking at (at least) a little bit more success on the ground in 2013.
Out wide, Tech loses its three leading pass-catchers from 2012 in Marcus Davis, Corey Fuller and Dyrell Roberts. Replacing them will be no easy task.
Outside of D.J. Coles — who’s now in his sixth year of eligibility — no current Tech receiver has more than 20 career receptions.
Actually, if you eliminate Coles and redshirt-freshman Demitri Knowles, no current Tech receiver has more than two career receptions.
Coles and Knowles will most likely start at split end and flanker, respectively. Behind them, there’s minimal experience.
Kevin Asante had two catches last season in his first year on the field. Willie Byrn, Christian Reeves and Joshua Stanford each have one career reception. After that, no receiver on the roster has ever stepped on the field.
Expect Asante, Stanford and the crown jewel of the 2012 recruiting class — redshirt-freshman Joel Caleb — to compete for meaningful reps.
Again, it’s hard to figure exactly what to make of this bunch at this point — it’s still a little too early for that. But, you’d think such a young group of guys would respond well to a new, 32-year old coach in Moorehead. Time will tell.
And that leaves us with Thomas. His yardage and touchdown numbers from 2011 and 2012 are strangely similar — 3,482 total yards and 30 total touchdowns in 2011, 3,500 total yards and 27 total touchdowns in 2012 — but where Thomas really struggled was his accuracy.
Add in a shaky receiving corps and a not-so-reliable offensive line and you’ve got the disasterous recipe that made a Russell Athletic Bowl victory reason for serious celebration.
Now, Thomas returns for his senior season to an offense that’s in a very similar situation that it was a year ago, save for a new coaching staff.
That being said, the impact that Loeffler, Grimes and Moorehead have on this offense could very well make — or break — the 2013 Hokies.