Return of The Lunch Pail Defense: True Key to 2011

If you were to look at most of the articles previewing Virginia Tech's 2011 football season you would think the major factors for how the football team will perform are Logan Thomas' shoe size, arm strength, size, or how he's a lot like Cam Newton. Logan Thomas makes for the most entertaining story, as ESPN has declared this to be the year of the QB, and I think he will perform really well, but I feel that the real narrative of the football season is being over looked.

Learning from Last Year

Before we know where we are going we need to look at where we have been, and last year at this time a lot of us were thinking national championship. The story coming into 2010 was that our offense led by senior QB Tyrod Taylor and a stable of talented backs would be able to match a Bud Foster defense to lead the Hokies to crystal football contention. There were a lot of high hopes that playing in a high profile game against Boise State would catapult us into the national title picture early and our ACC schedule would keep us there throughout the season. We all know what happened next. The team showed true grit to recover from a bad start to win 11 games in row (beating FSU to win the ACC title) before disappointment in the Orange Bowl against a great Stanford team.

One of the only good memories from Orange Bowl. LT has the NFL measurable advantage over Tyrod but one thing you couldn't measure with Tyrod was how much heart he played with.

Logan Thomas Hype-O-Meter [7/5/2011]

As summer rolls on more and more media and non-media types begin to notice LT3...

Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas is imposing like Cam, but can he play like him?

Yeah, he gets it. On the field, he looks like Cam Newton.

"I'm already hearing the comparisons," Logan Thomas says.

Here's the scary part: he may eventually play like Newton. College Football 100: 90-81

89. LOGAN THOMAS, quarterback, Virginia Tech. Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have won four conference championships and four Coastal Division titles. The league's expansion might have expected to highlight Florida State and Miami, but it has been the Hokies who have most often represented the conference on the national stage. But for the last four years of that run, the Hokies were had ACC Player of the Year Tyrod Taylor. Now Taylor is gone, and it's Thomas who's set to take his place.

Bruce Smith Wishes Y'All a Happy 4th of July Weekend

The only fireworks he needed were the ones he created in the backfield.

Our sincerest well wishes to everyone celebrating freedom and the anniversary of our beautiful America. Don't drink and drive. And come Tuesday if you haven't gained 5 pounds, well, you're doing it wrong.

*I posted this last year. I think it's appropriate to post again this year.

CTC: Chase Minnifield

It seems a bunch of you have been enjoying the create the caption to close out the week. If there's no objection, let's make it a regular feature. Vincent Briedis, UVA's football media contact, Tweeted this picture of preseason All-American corner Chase Minnifield.

Leave your best captions (or Photoshops) in the comments below.

65. Fly the Flag.

"An F/A-18F Super Hornet flying a Virginia Tech flag somewhere over Iraq", via.

Whenever, wherever we go Hokie Nation is always flying the flag. Our loyalty and pride isn't unique among college football's most recognizable fan bases. From my travels I've noticed an abundance of LSU, tOSU and Notre Dame hats, vests and shamrocks standing out from the crowd. However, that doesn't make the feeling of seeing a perfect stranger rocking the orange and maroon any less special. It almost always starts with a "Go Hokies!" and ends up with conversation and new friend that you'll lose touch with immediately, but will meet over and over again.

There are only 65 more days until Hokie football.

Hokie Tracks Have Been AFK for a Week

Apparently, there's a lot of news to catch up on and discuss. I didn't think spending the last week in June unplugged from Interwebs would put me behind the eight-ball. I was wrong.

The Hokies' future schedules got a lot sexier. Some foreplay, the University of Maryland has moved its 2014 game with Tech to M&T Bank Stadium, the home of Baltimore Ravens. I traveled to Byrd in 2009 and enjoyed the trip. I Metro'd there and back, appreciated the character of the stadium, as well as its cheeseburgers and tailgating, even though that just involved a pole and a 24-rack. It's a total speculation, but the ACC could use it as its Labor Day Weekend television obligation for ESPN. Either way based solely on location it will be a higher profile game, which bodes well for attracting elite recruits from Maryland. I know Hokie Nation will fill up M&T, but do consider this, from my experience in '09 Byrd's atmosphere wasn't anything threatening, in fact lifeless would be an accurate description. Even though the game will be played at a neutral site, it may turn out to be a tougher venue, because the buzz and hype will do a better job to attract those Terps who normally spend Saturday on the couch. All things considered, I think it's a positive move for Tech.

Hokie Tracks are only Second Best? rates Bruce Taylor number 72 in their 2011 top 100 players countdown.

THE BUZZ: Taylor capitalized on the opportunity presented when a preseason injury sidelined Barquell Rivers. He recorded a team-high 84 tackles -- 15.5 for loss --- to earn second-team All-ACC honors. Taylor already has earned a reputation as a big-play performer. HIs pass deflection resulted in a pick-six in the ACC title game victory over Florida State, and he recorded two sacks each in wins over Boston College and Georgia Tech.

I will note that Bruce is a massive and imposing human that looks capable of butting up a rhinoceros when you see him up close and in person. However, he is compassionate and doesn't take the opportunity to form-tackle an out-of-shape groom who has a couple of drinks in him just because he "wants to see what it feels like."

Pat yourselves on the back, you helped sellout season tickets in Lane for the 12th consecutive season.

Hokies 2012 Recruiting Class Taking Shape

We are deep in the middle of college football's Dead Zone. For players it's offseason workouts and healing their bodies before the 2011 season starts in three months. For the coaches, it's about cherry picking as much top talent for the 2012 recruiting class. That means summer camps, hosting for visits, reviewing tape and making calls. After a disappointing finish to the 2011 class, Frank Beamer went out of character and made some staff changes, all in the name of better recruiting. It's been a little over three months but the changes look like they have worked. The Hokies have 12 verbals already, with defensive backs on the east coast racing to the phones to pledge their verbal to Frank and his staff. Recruiting is hot in Blacksburg and it's not luck either. Beamer noticed UNC and UVA encroaching on "his" territories and he made hard changes to better position his program. For the last few years the yeoman's work of recruiting fell on Bryan Stinespring, Curt Newsome, Torrian Gray and Jim Cavanaugh, so less than half the staff bringing in 90% of the recruits. By moving Coach Cav to a recruiting coordinator spot and bringing in Shane Beamer and Cornell Brown, the staff now has five big time recruiters, three of them under 40 years of age. Not to be overlooked is Cav overseeing the staff's effort. He is an excellent talent evaluator who has very good rapport with high school coaches in the Commonwealth and region. Enough about what you already know, let's take a look at the current verbals and some of the major targets known to be on the Hokies board.

Programming Notes

For the better part of the next two weeks I'll be out of town.

That's a wedding cake topper. Yes, it's mine. Yes, it's awesome.

But fret not, you won't have to go cold turkey because there'll still be new posts around these parts. BeerControlOffense is working on something special for everyone, and I wrote a couple of posts last week that are scheduled to be published while I'm away. Everyone else is invited to contribute their thoughts too. All you need to is register an account to comment, post in the forums and write blog posts. The site has been updated with a WYSIWYG editor, so now you don't have to worry about HTML formatting when writing blog posts. I'll be keeping an eye out for any user contributions to bump to the frontpage.

Thank you to everyone who spends their time here, you make TKP what it is.