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 2-1, (0-0) in the ACC
In the news
Durkin at tight end? Reports began surfacing at the beginning of the week that redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Durkin will start taking reps at tight end in practice, but according to Bryan Stinespring, a full position change is not imminent.
"Chris is a quarterback and he continues to work with that," the tight ends coach said.
So what gives?
A position move for Durkin makes a lot of sense given his size and place on the roster. Durkin is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 222 pounds and he is only in his freshman year of eligibility.That's big.
Given that he is behind Michael Brewer (when healthy), Brenden Motley and Dwayne Lawson on the quarterback depth chart, switching positions will be the best way to get Durkin on the field.
But this will have to wait.
With Brewer out, the team cannot afford to make the position move just yet, but this seems likely to happen in the future.
Free meals: Darius Redman and Donovan Riley have begun spreading smiles around campus by randomly buying stranger's meals. ESPN's Andrea Adelson wrote a story on these random acts of kindness and you can see the smiles for yourself by following both players on Twitter @TheCalc_52 and @DeuceLRiley
— Darius Redman (@TheCalc_52) September 16, 2015
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Beamer breaks out the moves: Frank Beamer is a coach known for breaking out the dance moves from time to time after a win and he did it again on Saturday.
— Thomas Guerry (@thomasguerry) September 20, 2015
OK, so to call it "dancing" may be giving him too much credit, but it's still fun to watch.
Last week's game: 51-24 win at Purdue
Brenden Motley continues to keep the offense playing well in place of the injured Michael Brewer as Virginia Tech put up 471 total yards against Purdue.
The offense put up great numbers, the stable of running backs continues to shine, special teams came up with a big punt block and the defense held Purdue to less than 300 yards.
Having said all that, this was still a sloppy game for the Hokies. Motley fumbled the ball five times, three times off the snap. The team lost only one of those fumbles, but they may not be so lucky next time. Part of the problem was either a lack of communication between Motley and the offensive line on blocking assignments or a lack or recognition by Motley to recognize where pressure was coming from. He took some big hits from his blind side and looked as if he had no idea it was coming.
The penalties have also become a major factor as Virginia Tech was flagged 11 times for the second week in a row.
Even with a backup quarterback at the helm in Motley, the Hokies were good enough to overcome their 11 penalties, five fumbles one of which was returned for a touchdown, the lack of an established No. 3 wide receiver and they did it all without their two biggest stars on the defensive line - Dadi Nicolas and Luther Maddy - managing a single sack. They won't be so lucky against most of the teams still on the schedule.
Depending on your point of view, you can look at this and say Virginia Tech still has a lot to work to do or you can take comfort in the fact that they were talented enough to overcome all of these problems and still blowout Purdue. Clearly this is not the same team that was held to a 0-0 tie in regulation against Wake Forest last season. The question now is whether they can fix these issues enough to win the Coastal and challenge for the conference.
Next game @ ECU, Sat. 3:30 p.m. ET
ECU came into Blacksburg last season a week after Virginia Tech's big upset over Ohio State and roughly brought the Hokies back down to Earth with a stunning 28-21 upset. Now Virginia Tech heads to Greenville, N.C. on a two-game winning streak and feeling confident despite losing their starting quarterback for several weeks, seemingly poised for another shocking upset at the hands of ECU.
But this is not the same ECU team from last year. Not by a long shot.
Gone is last season's dangerous pass attack that carved up the Hokies' secondary like a Thanksgiving Turkey. Quarterback Shane Carden and wide receiver Justin Hardy, the biggest stars from last year's squad, are both gone. Blake Kemp will be making just his fourth start for ECU.
Clearly the strength of this team is still in the pass attack as the Pirates are averaging only 86.3 rush yards per game. Kemp, meanwhile, is averaging over 46 pass attempts per game, but this is the first time he will face a secondary as good as Virginia Tech's. This is also a great opportunity for the defensive line to pressure the quarterback. ECU is going to struggle to run the ball meaning the line is going to pin their ears back and go after Kemp. Expect Nicolas and Maddy to finally break their sack drought in this game.
Defensively, ECU does not look as if they have the personnel to slow down the surprisingly high-flying Virginia Tech offense. Senior linebacker Zeek Bigger is a real talent and could slow down the rush attack, but the biggest obstacle to the Hokies' offense this week looks like it could be the Hokies more than the Pirates. If they can cut down on the mistakes we have seen, the offense will have little trouble against ECU.
The Pirates and Hokies are two teams that have become very familiar with one another through the years and always play each other tough. Having said that, ECU lacks the personnel to really challenge Virginia Tech this year. A team that was blown out last week by Navy and struggled to beat FCS Towson in their opener is going to have a tough time keeping up with the Hokies.
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