For the past 12 years, there's been a sort of split in Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas' home. Thomas grew up a Hokies fan, but his stepfather was always a Miami fan.
As Virginia Tech heads to Miami for Thursday night's game, Thomas said there won't be any trash talking between the two.
"Nah, he ain't got nothing to say to me," Thomas said jokingly.
The mood is light, but the Hokies aren't joking when it comes to the game. Virginia Tech has sputtered to a 4-4 mark this season but can take solace in defeating the Hurricanes the past three seasons, including a 38-35 last year at home.
"You definitely take something from it," Thomas said. "You definitely take the confidence from it, I guess. But it's a completely different Miami team than it was the past few years. They're a lot more disciplined this year and they're a little bit different defensive-wise. It's always nice to have success against a team and have that added confidence going into the game."
But Thomas and the Hokies also take plenty in their woes away from Lane Stadium this season. All four losses have come on the road, including a neutral-site loss to Cincinnati at FedEx Field.
"I still feel like it doesn't matter," Thomas said. "I don't know what it's been on the road this year, it's just one of those things that you really can't control. We've had chances every single game to be good, it's just that we haven't capitalized, that or we've had too many turnovers. It's a little bit of everything, it's not one thing."
Thomas and Virginia Tech coaches and players have all pointed to the Hokies' inability to do 'little things' in each of their losses. After a bye week to recoup and review, there still isn't a definitive answer.
"It's more of a play hard on every snap type of thing," Thomas said. "Sometimes we'll have a play and we'll have a guy blocked, but to the point where we finally make it through the crease and he'll come off the block five yards downfield and prevent us from having a huge play. It'll be like, in the passing game, nothing's open downfield and instead of looking to a checkdown, I'm looking to run the ball instead. It's just stuff like that, just small things."
Virginia Tech might be sweating the small things, but it's still not out of the ACC hunt. Thursday's winner will have a leg up on claiming the coastal division as the Hokies already defeated current division leader Duke 41-20 Oct. 13.
"I don't think anything will make up for it, but it'll definitely something that'll make us feel better about the season," Thomas said. "We've kinda got a sour taste in our mouth and we don't like it, but getting to the ACC championship would be something huge for us. We know we can do it if we just play well. We've gotta go out there and give 100 percent every game and there's reason for us not to give 100 percent. If we do, we can give any team a run for their money."
Thomas would like to give his stepfather's Hurricanes a run for their money. But fortunately for Thomas, he won't be playing in the environment Miami use to have. The Hurricanes have struggled to fill 74,916-seat SunLife Stadium and aren't expecting a huge crowd Thursday.
"I guess the last time I went was two years ago and it's a big stadium for any team," Thomas said. "I guess because 'The U' is the way 'The U' is now and not of the old ages, that it's not as full as it has been and used to be. I don't know how to put it up against another stadium. It still has some sound to it, but it's not what you would expect a team that has a legacy like Miami to have. Communication should be fine."