Check back every Wednesday for the Hokies Report to get all the biggest Virginia Tech headlines for each week, a recap of last week's game and a look ahead at next week's contest.
Virginia Tech 3-3, (1-1) in the ACC
In the news
Quarterback injuries: The update on Michael Brewer this week was essentially that there is no update. Brewer remains day-to-day and will be re-evaluated throughout the week. It seems doubtful that we will know anything concrete until Friday at the very earliest. It may just drag all the way out until Saturday.
The team could certainly use Brewer back as the punishment Brenden Motley is receiving each game seems to be taking its toll. Motley was seen in a walking boot on Sunday, two days after the team's win over NC State.
Isaiah Ford climbs the rankings: After his big day on Friday, wide receiver Isaiah Ford now leads the ACC with six receiving touchdowns and 421 receiving yards. Miami wide receiver Rashawn Scott leads the conference in yards per game. The two will face one another Saturday as Virginia Tech takes on rival Miami.
Williams undergoes surgery: Marshawn Williams underwent a second knee surgery on Tuesday. The sophomore running back tore his ACL last season, but suffered a setback in his recovery which required a second trip under the knife. The surgery was said to be a success and he is expected to make a full recovery.
Last week's game: 28-13 win vs. NC State
Both the game and the season seemed to be slipping away from Virginia Tech as NC State jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but Motley and Ford sparked a comeback win for the Hokies. The quarterback-receiver duo connected for three touchdowns in the second quarter alone to lead the team to its first ACC win of the season.
A week after managing only nine yards rushing against Pitt, the Hokies had a big day on the ground with 200 yards. Travon McMillian continued to push for the top running back with 96 yards and his first career touchdown.
Defensively, the Hokies prevented NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett from torching them on the ground, but you have to ask whether overall the defense was effective against the Wolfpack or if the offense was ineffective. When the Wolfpack found success on the ground in the third quarter, they inexplicably abandoned the run. Brissett completed only 12 passes on the night and none of their receivers caught more than two passes.
NC State jumped out to a 4-0 record thanks to a soft schedule. Now in conference play, the Wolfpack have fallen to 4-2 and have been exposed. This win may be important for the Hokies, but it came against an NC State team that is looking worse and worse as the level of competition increases.
Next game @ Miami, Sat. 3:30 p.m. ET
Miami started the season 3-0, but have lost their last two games. Just how good a team Miami is remains to be seen, but this is a big game for Virginia Tech given how badly Miami stomped the Hokies last year in Blacksburg. In a Thursday night game in Lane Stadium, a game largely seen as a chance for the Hokies to declare to a national audience that they were back, Miami blew through Blacksburg like...well, like a hurricane with a dominating 30-6 win.
If Virginia Tech wants to win this game, they need to clean some things up. They were called for seven penalties last week, which is actually below their average for the season, but still far too many. The running back carousel needs to end. The competition is over, McMillian has won. He is far and away the best back on this team and he needs to get a majority of the carries. Should Motley get the start again at quarterback, the rush attack should not revolve around him as it has in recent weeks. There is zero reason why McMillian should have fewer carries than Motley on Saturday.
Virginia Tech's secondary will get its first true test after losing star cornerback Kendall Fuller as they line up against Brad Kaaya. Kaaya became a star as a freshman and continues to play incredibly well with nearly 1500 yards passing, eight touchdowns and just one interception. Miami leans heavily on its passing game, but interestingly enough, outside of the quarterback position, the Hokies can match Miami in terms of offensive skill. That just shows you how important strong quarterback play can be for a team.
It's hard to rattle a player like Kaaya, but given the questions in the secondary, the Hokies will have to find a way to get pressure against a Miami team that has given up only six sacks in five games. The pass rush will be the key to a Virginia Tech win.
Now would be a great time for Dadi Nicolas to finally get his first sack of the season.
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