Biggest questions, #4 – The quarterback position


Two questions surround the quarterback position at Virginia Tech: who will start, and will the Hokies get better play than they did the last two seasons?

Logan Thomas was a much better quarterback in 2011, when he had good, experienced players around him. Here are his numbers from 2011: 234-of-391 for 3,013 yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 INTs. He had a QB rating of 135.5 that season, which was better than any other Tech quarterback of the ACC era except Tyrod Taylor in 2009 and 2010, and Marcus Vick in 2005.

Unfortunately, as David Wilson, Jarrett Boykin, Danny Coale and almost the entire offensive line departed, Thomas wasn’t able to put the team on his back. That’s hardly his fault. He didn’t have much help. Still, turnovers were an issue for him at times. Here are his stats from 2012 and 2013 combined: 447-of-831 for 5,883 yards, 34 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. That’s a QB rating of 119.8, which is worse than any season for a Tech quarterback of the ACC era, with the exception of 2008 (when Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor combined for a rating of 108.9).

In short, Thomas went from being the third most efficient quarterback of the ACC era to the second least efficient quarterback of the ACC era, despite getting older and gaining more experience. What changed? The personnel around him, and it changed in a big way.

The quarterback gets too much credit when things go right, and too much heat when things go wrong. I think Logan’s career numbers prove that. Therefore, it’s tough to predict whether or not Tech will get better quarterback play this year, because so much of it depends on other factors.

Some people throw Mark Leal‘s name into the hat for consideration, but I think that ship has sailed. Barring injury, I don’t think Leal has any chance to start this year for several reasons:

1: Scot Loeffler wants to get better play this year than he got from Logan Thomas last year. From what we’ve seen from Mark Leal, he doesn’t have the ability to be as good as Thomas.

2: No running threat. Leal doesn’t possess the running ability of Brenden Motley or Michael Brewer.

3: Loeffler doesn’t want to break in another brand new quarterback at this time next season.

4: Gut feeling here, and it’s not a proven fact, but I think Motley and Brewer are better than Leal, anyway.

It’s going to be a Michael Brewer-Brenden Motley battle, I think. People are throwing Chris Durkin’s name out there because he’s big, but he never threw for 1,000 yards in high school. If he has to play quarterback this season, then we’re in trouble, IMO.


Similarities and differences … mostly differences

Brewer and Motley are both winning players. Brewer was part of four consecutive state championship teams at Lake Travis High School in Texas, and he only lost one game as a starting quarterback. Motley took Christiansburg High School to the state championship game as a senior, and the semifinals as a junior. Frank Beamer says he likes to recruit winning players, and these guys were winning players in high school.

Both players are also mobile guys. Motley ran for 646 yards and 13 scores as a senior. Brewer ran for