Expectations higher for Hokies' offense

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- There's a reversal of roles in Blacksburg this fall, where the expectations for Virginia Tech's offense are higher than that of the Hokies' traditionally stout, nationally ranked defense, which has to replace six starters.

"The offense can win games for Tech right now," quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. "That's something the offense wants to hear, but it's nothing that our defense can't do. Our defense is just as strong as any other year. It's just that we have more experience and more talent on the offensive side of the ball."

More talent? Yep, he said it. That should motivate some of his defensive teammates if film of Boise State hasn't already.

If history repeats itself, Virginia Tech's defense should have no problem reloading under defensive coordinator Bud Foster, but the more interesting storyline could be the breakout season for this usually stagnant offense. Taylor is surrounded by two 1,000-yard rushers, a talented group of wide receivers and a smaller, more athletic offensive line. He said he has made strides in his passing game, his footwork in the pocket, and reading the defenses faster. With the duo of Darren Evans and Ryan Williams drawing the attention of defenses, Taylor said he is hoping that attention will open more doors in the passing game.

"Guys are going to stack the box expecting us to run, and we have to pass," Taylor said. "It's comfortable to know you've got those guys behind you."

It will take more than just a potent offense to defeat Boise State in the Labor Day season opener. The Hokies have been watching film of the Broncos regularly, and the defense has only the summer to work out the kinks.

"We really need to prepare," said defensive tackle John Graves. "We had a great offseason. Now we're about to really kick it up to another gear. We're looking to prepare the best we can to see what happens."