Ranking Stuff: Virginia Tech's Non-Conference Games

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

You know what's awesome? Lists. Here are some things that I ranked during Virginia Tech's non-conference slate this year.

Welcome to "Ranking Stuff," where I'm going to throw together a bunch of lists because lists are awesome. You never know what you'll find, so without further ado it's time to...RANK STUFF.

Top Five Players During The Non-Conference Schedule

1. J.R. Collins - Through the first four games Collins has recorded 22 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, four-and-a-half sacks and one forced fumble. James Gayle gets all of the attention along the defensive line, but Collins has quietly gone about his business in a major way.

2. Kyle Fuller - What can you say about Kyle Fuller? The kid does it all. As Frank Beamer would say, "Kyle Fuller is as solid as the day is long." Fuller has been a lock-down corner for the Hokies this season thus far. Fuller has recorded 12 tackles and one interception through four games. Fuller seldom gets beaten in coverage and has the uncanny ability to make crucial open-field tackles.

3. Brandon Facyson - Is he a bit raw in some areas? Of course. He's a true freshman after all. But what we do know about Facyson already is his ability to make plays on the ball. The term "ball-hawk" comes to mind. As a true freshman, Facyson has already picked off three passes during the non-conference slate. There were concerns about how well the young corners would be able to fill in for Antone Exum, but Facyson has done an admirable job.

4. Trey Edmunds - Edmunds already has 352 rushing yards through four games. For comparison, J.C. Coleman had 492 total rushing yards last season. And this is not to say that Coleman is a bad running back - far from it. But Edmunds has been a nice addition to the run game, showing quickness when bouncing the ball outside, and being solid in pass protection. Edmunds also had the highlight of the Alabama game for Virginia Tech when he took a handoff 77 yards for a touchdown.

5. Tariq Edwards - Edwards is coming off an injury-riddled 21 months, including a stress fracture in his shin and multiple surgeries on his right leg. Finally healthy, Edwards looks back to his old form. Edwards has 23 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, one-and-a-half sacks, and one beautiful interception. Edwards has been extremely valuable for Bud Foster's defense and has made up for some serious deficiencies in Jack Tyler's coverage skill set.

Top Three Moments

1. Trey Edmunds' 77-yard touchdown against Alabama - This run not only shocked the Alabama faithful, but showed that Virginia Tech has a legitimate weapon at tailback this season. From the blocking up front to the vision by Edmunds, this play is just gorgeous.

2. Kyshoen Jarrett's insane 4th quarter interception - If Kyshoen Jarrett doesn't make this ridiculous interception, Marshall catches the game-winning touchdown in regulation. Instead, the Hokies battled through the elements and won in three overtimes.

3. Tariq Edwards' diving interception - East Carolina was threatening late in the game, but Tariq Edwards put a stop to that. This play more than any so far this season has proven that Edwards is back to full health.

Bottom Three Moments

1. Alabama's first touch of the season - Beamerball was going to be back in full force this season - that is - until the Hokies punted the ball to Alabama and they returned it for a touchdown. An ominous start to an already difficult game.

2. Cody Journell's entire game against East Carolina - No video to accompany this one because I don't want to induce wide-spread vomiting. That's not my M.O. So I'll just leave it at that - a missed extra point and two (or three) missed field goals in a game that should not have been particularly close.

3. Logan Thomas' two interception game against Western Carolina - While the score would indicate a rout, this was not a clean game by any means. Logan Thomas threw only one touchdown against the woeful FCS foe, and threw two bad interceptions. Thomas has been highly inconsistent this season throwing the ball, and that might be putting it lightly.

Opponents Not Named "Alabama"

1. Marshall - Rakeem Cato is a legitimate quarterback and they have a very solid core of wide receivers. Not to be overlooked, Essray Taliaferro (hell of a name) is a hell of a running back. Against a stout Virginia Tech defense he rushed for over 100 yards. Marshall lost a close game at Ohio before traveling to Lane Stadium, but I don't think Ohio is a bad team. I expect Marshall to win around eight games this season and go bowling.

2. East Carolina - East Carolina is another team that's better than most people will give them credit for. The Pirates have a statistically strong rushing defense and an offense that can put up points in a hurry. Shane Carden is a menace to deal with, and is exceptionally accurate when throwing the ball. After traveling on the road to play North Carolina, the Pirates should be favorites in most of their remaining games this season.

3. Western Carolina - Not much to say here. The Catamounts have beaten DII school Mars Hill for the third straight year. That marks their third win in the past three seasons, all coming against the same school. That's not necessarily high praise for your program. Western Carolina had some fight in them, but in the end were just overmatched talent-wise. They got a nice paycheck from this game, so everyone wins in the end...except the fans.

Things More Solid Than Demitri Knowles' Hands

1. Water

2. Soft serve ice cream

3. Warm butter

4. Five of the six noble gasses (Because screw you, Radon)

5. The fuzzy material that surrounds a calf’s testicle

Things More Realistic Than Logan Thomas' Five-Interception-Or-Less Goal

1. World Peace

2. UVA's spring game having more attendees than Virginia Tech's

3. The Jacksonville Jaguars winning Super Bowl 48

4. #goacc being used in a non-sarcastic manner

5. Republicans and Democrats not being douchebags to each other

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