Running Game Relying on Freshmen

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The basis of Virginia Tech’s offensive philosophy is having a strong running game.  That will be a big unknown heading into the 2012 season, with an entirely new group of running backs.

On paper, Virginia Tech’s offensive line is inexperienced when it comes to starting games.  However, when you look deeper, it’s not as bad as you might think.

LT Nick Becton: A rising r-senior, Becton has split reps at left tackle with Andrew Lanier the past two years.  He played over 450 snaps in 2011.

LG David Wang: A rising r-junior, Wang was in the playing rotation before being injured against ECU last season.

C Andrew Miller: A rising r-junior, Miller started at center for the Hokies last year and played very well.

RG Brent Benedict: A rising r-sophomore, Benedict is Tech’s physically strongest offensive lineman.

RT Vinston Painter: A rising r-senior, Painter was Tech’s best pass blocker this spring.

Throw in Michael Via, who has plenty of experience at guard, center and tackle, and that’s a solid group.  The most inexperienced player is Benedict.  Everyone else is entering their fourth or fifth years in the program.  If for some reason Benedict can’t cut it, then Curt Newsome will have the option of putting Via into the starting lineup.

Martin Scales
Martin Scales stiffarms Kris Harley

Fortunately that line (with the exception of Via) was healthy this past spring, and they had a chance to play together in Tech’s zone blocking schemes.  How they’ll play when the season begins is anyone’s guess, but I think they’ll be okay.

The big question is running back, where right now the Hokies are projected to play a r-freshman ( Michael Holmes ), a true freshman ( J.C. Coleman ) and a former walk-on (Martin Scales).  In general, it’s unfair to expect a lot out of a freshman in big-time college football.  Let’s take a