Football season is in the air, and it is almost time for kickoff. Saturday's opener against William & Mary marks a new beginning, and an opportunity to leave the last two disappointing years behind. With this in mind, here are my five leaps of faith for this football team.
1. Trey Edmunds Rebounds From Off-Season Tibia Surgery And Puts Up Better Rushing Numbers Than Last Year
It has already been announced that Trey Edmunds is not yet at full speed and will only play on special teams in the opener against William & Mary, but that doesn't mean he won't be healthy all season. As last year's leading rusher, Edmunds ran for 675 yards and 10 touchdowns behind an inexperienced and inconsistent offensive line. If he is able to get healthy, which I believe will happen sooner rather than later, he will eclipse both marks in this year's campaign.
2. Willie Byrn Becomes 1st 1,000-Yard Receiver In School History
Yep, I said it.
Willie Byrn will become Virginia Tech's first ever 1,000-yard receiver. With Michael Brewer commanding the offense, expect the second coming of Danny Coale to be targeted in the slot more than anyone. Byrn's elusiveness after the catch, coupled with the fact that he will be Brewer's safety blanket, will allow him to post big numbers this season.
3. Michael Brewer Stays Healthy All Season
This would be a surprise. A career marred by injuries led to Brewer losing his starting job at Texas Tech and transferring to the Hokies this past summer, and it really would be a surprise to see him on the field the entire season. That being said, the coaching staff has been pleased with his work ethic and conditioning this summer, and Brewer appears to be ready to take on any and all punishment at the Quarterback position this season. If he stays healthy, expect for the offense to surprise some people.
4. Kendall Fuller Will Be Voted A First-Team All-American, Make Run At The Heisman Trophy
There is no question that Kendall Fuller is one of the best defensive talents that Virginia Tech has had in quite some time. After being voted ACC Freshman of the Year last season, he is without a doubt ready to take the next step. Not only has Fuller been voted a pre-season All-American by many media outlets, but he has been touted as a future first round pick in the NFL draft. Not only will Fuller anchor Tech's defensive backfield, but he will make enough plays on the ball to receive legitimate Heisman consideration and fulfill his All-American aspirations.
5. The Hokies Will Go Undefeated At Home
William & Mary, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Western Michigan, Miami, Boston College, and Virginia.
So the home schedule is soft to say the least. However, you and I both know that in recent years the Hokies have made a habit of losing a game at home that they should win.
Need an example? Look no further than the James Madison debacle in 2010, and the embarrassing losses to Duke and Maryland last year. However, the past is the past for a reason, and don't expect the same let-downs in 2014.
While Miami is truly the only tough home opponent for the Hokies this season, the game is on a Thursday night. If you have ever been a student at Virginia Tech, I don't need to explain to you what a game on a Thursday Evening in October means to the student body. The stadium will be rocking, and the game will be nationally televised. That's enough for a convincing W in the toughest home contest of the season. Besides that, there is no reason why this team should not obliterate the rest of their opponents at home, and quite frankly, I will be shocked if they don't.
No matter what your thoughts, hopes, and dreams are for this season, we are all in this together. Get ready to enjoy the ride in 2014, starting in the opener on Saturday. Until then, I leave you all with this...Go Hokies.