Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler has to be pinching himself. When the Hokies tee it up against the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide next month, Loeffler will have the privilege of facing the Tide defense two games in a row.
The last time Loeffler led an offensive attack against Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Kirby Smart and company, he was wearing orange and blue in the Tiger’s last game of the 2012 season. The result was a miserable afternoon for the Tigers, filled with domination and no real scoring threat on the day.
When Virginia Tech takes the field against Alabama on 2013’s opening day, Loeffler will be wearing his third different team logo as OC in as many years. The 38-year-old former Michigan Wolverine spent the last two seasons in the same role at Temple and Auburn. The Ohio native also served as quarterbacks coach at Florida 2009-2010, drying the tears of Tim Tebow as the Tide systematically dismantled Urban Meyer’s wrecking ball over the course of four quarters in the 2009 SEC Championship Game… ironically in the same house he’ll face Bama next month.
Loeffler’s Auburn offense finished last season 116th in passing yards (156 a game), and 80th in rushing yards (148 per contest). He takes over a Hokie offense that ranked 61st and 81st in those categories, respectively. A strong running attack is right in Loeffler’s wheelhouse, but last year was the worst in Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer’s 20 year tenure.
If he got to pick, you’d imagine Loeffler would prefer a shot at a team nicknamed the Chippewas for his grand entrance over the Crimson Tide. Especially since Nick Saban has a spotless record in opening games while at Alabama, including marquee matchups with Clemson, Virginia Tech and Michigan.
Though Logan Thomas is a senior, last season was abysmal for the Hokie quarterback, completing just 51 percent of his passes while connecting on 16 INT’s. And the running game will be anchored by the undersized skat-back J.C. Coleman, who despite his small stature has good speed and hands.
Loeffler is still young, and may turn out to be one of the game’s greats. Afterall, Nick Saban was once 38, and as a defensive backs coach at Michigan State at the time, no one had ever heard of him either. But you have to think Loeffler will be glad to see the Crimson helmets leave the Georgia Dome playing surface next month Hopefully for his sake, that part of his coaching gauntlet will be over.