Hope and concern: Virginia Tech

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich


Biggest reason for hope -- Talent-laden backfield

The only person who will be missing from this group is Sean Glennon, and the Hokies got used to life without him last fall. It's officially Tyrod Taylor's team now, and he and tailback Darren Evans were enough to get the job done last year. Taylor has a 13-2 record as the starter, and Evans became the first Tech freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. The Hokies should only be better this fall with the addition of Ryan Williams, who had an excellent spring and has the ability to jump over a defender or make him miss. Don't forget they also have Josh Oglesby and Kenny Lewis Jr. The key here will be keeping Taylor, who has battled ankle injuries, healthy, as there's no college experience behind him.

Biggest reason for concern -- Soaring expectations

There's national title talk. There's preseason rankings. There's uber-hype over the Alabama game. There's everything Clemson faced last season before its season unraveled. If Virginia Tech is going to finish the season where it likely will start -- in the preseason top five -- then the players have to breathe deep and take it one quarter at a time. Virginia Tech is the kind of program that tends to be at its best when the chatter is at a minimum. They were under the radar when Michael Vick got there as a freshman, and seem to struggle when ranked high. Last year, though, when the adversity was at a premium, the coaching staff was at its best.