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 0-0, (0-0) in the ACC
In the news
Virginia Tech considers fining players, then reconsiders: For a brief moment, Virginia Tech caught the ire of the entire college football world with the news that they were considering fining players for disciplinary violations. That would have been a neat trick considering the players aren't paid. The policy was completely tone deaf to the current climate of college sports and athletic director Whit Babcock put an end to that policy as quickly as it came out. Luckily for Virginia Tech, Cincinnati doubled down on their own fining policy. You can read more on this very brief firestorm here.
Virginia Tech to honor WDBJ shooting victims: Virginia Tech will honor the memory of the two WDBJ journalists tragically killed during a live broadcast with special helmet stickers for their season-opener against Ohio State on Labor Day. The WDBJ station is located in Roanoke, approximately 40 miles from the Virginia Tech Campus. You can read more on the Hokies' tribute here.
Jerseys for opener revealed: Virginia Tech revealed their look Wednesday for the opener. The game has been dubbed an "Orange Effect" which evidently refers just to the helmets.
— Beamer Ball (@Beamer_Ball) September 2, 2015
If Frank Beamer is going to return this team to national prominence, it's now or never. Not just because patience is staring to wear thin in Blacksburg, but because this year he has the roster to do it.
Virginia Tech will have one of the best, if not the best defense in the nation this year. Kendall Fuller is perhaps the best shutdown corner in all of college football and with the return of Brandon Facyson, teams will not be able to throw around Fuller the way they were able to last season. With a defensive line of Luther Maddy, Dadi Nicolas, Corey Marshall and Ken Ekanem on the defensive line, this defense is going to be in the face of every quarterback they face this season.
The defense, however, is always great. The problem has been the offense and this year there is reason for optimism on that side of the ball as well. Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips, Bucky Hodges and J.C. Coleman all return to provide lot of weapons at the skilled positions. Quarterback Michael Brewer was largely inconsistent last year, but he only had an abbreviated amount of time to learn the offense as a transfer. With a full year under his belt, he should look much better.
The offensive line remains a question mark, but given how good the defense will be, the Hokies don't need their offense to be great, they just need it to be average.
The defense is what will win games for Virginia Tech this year, it's the offense's job not to lose any.
The Coastal Division should be a two-horse race between Georgia Tech and the Hokies and with no Jameis Winston juggernaut on the other side of the conference, an ACC championship is not out of the question for Virginia Tech this season.
Next game vs. No. 1 Ohio State, Mon. 8:00 p.m. ET
On paper, it's hard to like Virginia Tech's chances. The Buckeyes are the defending national champs and were considered a year ahead of schedule as they marched their way through Alabama and Oregon in the College Football Playoff. They have perhaps the best offensive line in the nation, an absolute monster in Ezekiel Elliott running the ball and not one, but two proven quarterbacks who both will play.
Still, the Hokies have a lot going for them heading into this matchup.
Ohio State will be without several key players for this game. Of all the talented Buckeyes, Joey Bosa may be the best of the bunch. He would likely have feasted on Virginia Tech's suspect offensive line, but he will be serving a one game suspension along with Corey Smith, Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson.
Without Smith, Marshall or Wilson, Ohio State will have only one of their five leading receivers from last season. The position also took another hit with the loss of receiver Noah Brown due to injury. The Buckeyes still have Michael Thomas and add Braxton Miller, the former quarterback, so they are not suddenly devoid of options, but to have Miller potentially go up against Fuller or Facyson in his first game as wideout is a lot to ask. Urban Meyer will likely try to find a way to get him away from the Hokies' top two corners.
As is well documented, Virginia Tech was the only team to beat Ohio State last season. Perhaps that means nothing for this year's matchup, but perhaps it does. Bud Foster managed to find a way to befuddle J.T. Barrett in a way that on one else was able to. Virginia Tech will be better both offensively and defensively this year and will have the crowd on their side.
It would still be a major upset for the Hokies to pull off, but there's reason to believe it is at least possible.
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