It's cliche, but it's officially win or go home time for Virginia Tech. At 4-6, the Hokies must win their final two regular season games to qualify for a bowl game.
It starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Boston College, a team that's has even more struggles than Virginia Tech. The Eagles are 2-8 on the season, but hung with Notre Dame Saturday before falling 21-6.
At yesterday's weekly press conference, coach Frank Beamer, junior quarterback Logan Thomas, junior cornerback Antone Exum and sophomore rover Kyshoen Jarrett each took to the podium. Here's the key points made:
Thomas To Test NFL Draft
It's been a question on plenty of minds, whether or not Thomas will stay at Virginia Tech for his senior year or will he be drafted next spring. Despite his struggles and the Hokies' 4-6 record, Thomas is still appealing because of his size, durability, toughness, ability to run and arm strength.
Thomas will be the first to tell anyone that he hasn't had a good season, but plenty of NFL scouts are constantly watching him play and practice. Six scouts were at yesterday's practice and spent plenty of time watching Thomas.
Yesterday, Thomas said he hasn't spent a lot of time thinking about the NFL, but that he would fill out the paperwork with the NFL Draft Advisory Board to test the draft.
Prognosis positive on Michael Cole
It was a scary sight at Lane Stadium Thursday when Cole lay face down on the field in the third quarter and had to be carted off. Trainer Mike Goforth and team physician Mike Rogers each said Cole was released from the hospital after a cervical neck sprain.
Yesterday, both gave an update on Cole. They said Cole is improving daily and is starting rehabilitation, but that it's premature to rule on his status for the Virginia game Nov. 24. He has been ruled out for Saturday at Boston College.
"We've just have to let it play out and see how he feels," Goforth said. "We're looking at this as a positive thing to this point. There's nothing that sets off an alarm right now."
Goforth and Rogers said a lot of what Cole needs is time, but that they're also cautious because Cole has had stingers previously. They have ruled out any nerve damage and said his overall motion is better.
"He wanted to know his practice status (Monday)," Goforth said. "That's his frame of mind right now. For him, Friday was business as usual. He got up and went to class and came and got his treatment, and so on. So he's thinking in that direction. The better he feels, the more we can do with him."
Who fills in for Cole?
Beamer said that the guy Virginia Tech will turn to more in Cole's absence is freshman Desmond Frye. He's seen his play pick up more in recent weeks, but Beamer believes Frye has "a lot of ability."
Freshman Donovan Riley got more time Thursday at Florida State and came up with an interception. Look for him to see more time as well, especially with the news of Donaldven Manning possibly transferring.
No one is officially saying Manning is out, but after the news surfaced yesterday afternoon, Beamer met with him last night. he said on today's teleconference that they'll meet again today.
The blocking/non-blocking of Marcus Davis
Certainly, there's been plenty of talk of the blocking or lack there of by Davis Thursday. A YouTube video surfaced Monday that pointed out his play against Florida State.
Thomas had no comment and said he didn't see the video. Beamer though, said that wide receiver blocking is critical for a long play and is important to the offense.
He didn't single Davis out, but said, "I think each and every week you evaluate people on their performance, the consistency of their performance. And I can tell you that's the way it's always been in our program. And the people that give us the consistency in their performance, that's who is going to be on the field."
You can draw your own conclusion, especially after Davis has been demoted to second on the depth chart officially this week, behind Demitri Knowles.
'Shocked' At Season Results
Exum and Jarrett both said they've been surprised by how Virginia Tech is struggled, but that the defense and team as a whole are still confident.
"I think we've gotten better," Exum said. "We don't change anything, but we know these are two must-win games."
The shock is in big part because of the Hokies' road woes. They're 0-5 away from Lane Stadium this season.
"I really don't know what it is," Jarrett said. "We go through the same routine whether we're home or away."
Both players said they believe Virginia Tech is the best 4-6 team in the country.
Virginia Tech has now lost seven straight games away from home, dating back to last season.