TSL Roundtable: What Would Make This Season Successful?

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What will you consider a successful season, and what has to happen to accomplish it?

Upwind of uva: I’ve been pointing to 2015 for a couple years now, thinking that this is the year that we could reasonably hope to field a competent offensive line, and as a result the offense should take a significant step forward. The 2015 season is a crossroads of sorts for Virginia Tech and I have a nervous optimism about the strides the offense can take. Last season there were signs, a la 1992, that the necessary parts were finally be coming together on offense, which should lead to an improved team.

Then again, there were also the Wake Forest and Miami games last year to showcase offensive incompetence we haven’t seen often in the Beamer Bowl era. Perhaps I’m running to kick the ball, with Stacy Searels or Scot Loeffler playing the role of Lucy. We’ll see, but my point is that I am allowing myself to hold certain expectations this year. For the first time in a while, I think that wins and losses play a little larger role in judging the success of the season.

Looking at the schedule, I think the season’s success hinges on the outcomes of five games. I may be giving the other games short shrift, but these five are the key games that will tip the scales of the season in one direction or another:

Pitt: we have a bad history with our former Big East compatriot, and Pitt has legitimate stars on offense at WR and TB, a QB that found his footing as 2014 progressed, and a strong kicker. Traditionally this isn’t a great combo for VT or Bud Foster defenses, and Pitt has the benefit of a bye the week before our game. The upside for Tech is three fold: 1) there’s a new coaching staff in place for the Panthers, so how quickly will players adjust is a question, 2) it was recently discovered that offensive line is a question mark at some schools not named Virginia Tech and apparently Pitt is one of them, and 3) their defense wasn’t very good last year, so we’ve got that going for us.

NC State: this is a program that’s being rebuilt, jumping from 3-8 in 2013 to 8-5 last year. Sharing some similarities with Pitt, the pack have a veteran QB who came into his own late in the season and is supported by solid-to-good running backs.