Virginia Tech 6-6, (4-4) in the ACC
In the news
Justin Fuente introduced: The news during Saturday's game that Justin Fuente would be the next head coach at Virginia Tech. He was formally introduced on Monday. Here are all the big moments from Justin Fuente's introductory press conference.
Coaches retained: In addition to Bud Foster who will remain at Virginia Tech as defensive coordinator, Torrian Gray is also expected to remain on as the defensive backs coach. While Fuente has final say for his own staff, you can guess that Foster probably lobbied hard for Gray to remain on.
Weekly honors: Isaiah Ford was named the ACC's Receiver of the Week and Chuck Clark was named the ACC's Defensive Back of the Week for their performances in the win over Virginia. Ford caught six passes for 121 yards and a touchdown while Clark recorded a team-high 12 tackles. He also caught the game-clinching interception, his first of the season.
Yearly honors: Four Virginia Tech players were named to 2015 All-ACC teams as released on Monday. Isaiah Ford and Luther Maddy were named to the first team offense and defense respectively. Bucky Hodges and Travon McMillian were also named to the third team offense. Corey Marshall was an honorable mention.
One more game: Dadi Nicolas has accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl and Luther Maddy has accepted an invite to the East-West Shrine Game. Both games will take place in January.
Bowl destinations? Now that Virginia Tech is bowl eligible, the question is where will they go? I will have more on possible destinations in the coming days.
Last week's game: 23-20 win at Virginia
As Frank Beamer said after the game, it was Virginia Tech's resiliency that really stood out. The Hokies scored six points through three quarters, but scored 17 in the fourth to get the win and earn their 23rd straight bowl berth.
When Albert Reid broke through for 57-yard touchdown in the third quarter to give Virginia a 13-6 lead, you can forgive those fans who may have thought UVa was going to win. Instead, a Virginia Tech offense that had done nothing to that point responded with a 71-yard catch and run by Ryan Malleck followed by a touchdown reception by Sam Rogers. Virginia scored another touchdown and again, Virginia Tech responded with a touchdown pass to Isaiah Ford. McMillian was effectively shutdown all game long, but on the Hokies' final drive he put his head down and drove the offense to setup the game-winning field goal.
It was not the most impressive victory, but you could see how much it meant to Beamer and the team when Clark caught his interception to seal the game.
Offensive MVP: Isaiah Ford
Ford put together an incredible season even with Michael Brewer missing five games with a broken collarbone. His 10 touchdown catches set a new Virginia Tech single-season record and led the ACC. He also led the conference in receiving touchdowns. Ford provided some consistency to an otherwise inconsistent offense.
Defensive MVP: Andrew Motuapuaka
Andrew Motuapuaka showed how valuable he is when he missed two games because of a knee injury. Even so, he still was third on the team in tackles and second in tackles for loss and sacks. He also forced three fumbles and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Best win: 23-20 at Virginia
This was hard to pick as there really wasn't a signature win this season. In fact, their best efforts all came in losses (Ohio State, Duke, North Carolina). In terms of most complete games, Boston College was the Hokies' best game, but I won't pick a game against a three-win team as the Hokies' best. The win over NC State was also a candidate because it essentially saved the season as it was Virginia Tech's only win in a five-game stretch. Because of what it meant, however, and what it took to get there, the win over Virginia has to be their best of the season. Virginia Tech went into the finale against their biggest rival needing a win to extend their bowl streak and to send Beamer out a winner. A loss would have meant an inglorious end to Beamer's remarkable career, but the Hokies were able to fight back time and time again for the victory. No win meant more to the team this season and Beamer danced like it afterwards.
Worst loss: 17-13 loss to Pitt
Everyone knew the Hokies were in trouble when Brewer suffered a broken collarbone against Ohio State. Two encouraging performances against Furman and Purdue convinced us that perhaps the offense would be able to survive without him. Then Pitt happened. On a rainy day in Blacksburg, Virginia Tech managed a whopping 100 yards of total offense. Brenden Motley threw for 91 yards and three interceptions and as a team, Virginia Tech managed only nine rushing yards. Nine. Don't even say that it was raining. It was raining just as hard for the Panthers and they still managed 276 yards.
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