Hokies Report: Virginia Tech turns to Brenden Motley


Hokies Report: Virginia Tech turns to Brenden Motley

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 0-1, (0-0) in the ACC

In the news

Fuller among top NFL prospects: ESPN's Todd McShay released his top 32 prospects for the 2016 NFL draft on Thursday with Kendall Fuller coming in at No. 18. Heading into the season, Fuller was considered one of the best defensive backs in the country along with Florida State's Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey came in at No. 4 on McShay's list. Somewhat surprisingly, was that Fuller was actually the third-highest defensive back with LSU's Tre'Davious White ranked ahead at No. 13.

No doubt the Ohio State game will not help Fuller's draft profile, but he has a full season to rebound from a rough outing.

Logan Thomas heads to Miami: After trading for Matt Barkley, the Arizona Cardinals cut former Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas. He was quick to land on his feet, however, as he was claimed by the Miami Dolphins.

As long as it was not the Miami Hurricanes, I'm sure Hokie fans will be happy for him. 

RELATED: Cavaliers Report: Here come the Irish

J.C Coleman's watch: In case you missed it, Virginia Tech running back J.C. Coleman caught the attention of the the social media world by wearing a gold watch during the game against Ohio State.

This was nothing new for Coleman who began wearing a watch last season as a reminder that "it's my time."

It sounds like that tradition may be coming to an end as running backs coach Shane Beamer told reporters "that's not Virginia Tech football."

Exit light, enter the Hokies: The game may not have gone the way the Hokies wanted, but the entrance was as good as ever.

Even the ESPN crew got in on the fun.

Last week's game: 42-24 loss to Ohio State

See the 5 big takeaways from this game here.

Virginia Tech led 17-14 at halftime and it looked as if they could potentially pull off the miraculous upset once again. Starting quarterback Michael Brewer, however, suffered a broken collarbone in the third quarter and Ohio State quickly reasserted themselves.

After a shaky start, Brewer began to show how much he and the offense had improved over the offseason. Losing him for at least a month if not longer is a devastating blow to a team that looked as if they at least had the potential to return to national prominence this year.

There's no guarantee that Virginia Tech could have won if Brewer had remained in the game -- the Buckeyes are far and away the best team in the nation -- but whatever chance they had quickly evaporated without him.

Troubling was the fact that the Hokies defense allowed 572 total yards to the Buckeyes. Greg Stroman was victimized by Ohio State's pass attack and even Fuller, one of the best shutdown corners in the nation, was burned by the Buckeyes' receivers.

To be fair, it looked like the team really threw in the towel in the second half after the Brewer injury. Urban Meyer teams simply do not take their foot off the gas, ever, so things were bound to get ugly. The defense's rough day likely had more to do with Brewer's deflating injury and Ohio State's collection of talent so it's definitely not time to panic. The Hokies will not face an offense this good again this season.

Next game vs. Furman, Sat. 3:30 p.m. ET


With Brewer out for at least a month, Virginia Tech cannot afford to overlook any games on their schedule. Furman may be an FCS opponent, but the Hokies lost to JMU in 2010 under similar circumstances.

After a narrow loss to Boise State on Monday night, Virginia Tech returned home and were stunned by JMU just five days later. A five-day turnaround gives teams less time to recover and less time to prepare. With Motley taking over at quarterback, he needs all the time he can get to prepare for this game.

Furman is not a pushover FCS team either. They lost to Coastal Carolina 38-35 in their opener on Saturday, a team currently ranked No. 1 In this week's FCS rankings. The Paladins put up 525 total yards of offense behind quarterback Reese Hannon who threw for 365 yards and two touchdowns. Hannon was able to spread the ball around well with three receivers totaling over 70 receiving yards and another with 69.

The key for this game, however, will be the Hokies' offense.

Motley takes over as starting quarterback with freshmen Chris Durkin and Dwayne Lawson as backups. Lawson is one of the most highly touted quarterback prospects to go to Virginia Tech since Tyrod Taylor. It was believed that he was going to redshirt this year, but Frank Beamer said in this week's press conference that was not necessarily the plan and he could play this year. If the team believes he is ready and Motley continues to struggle passing the ball, he may end up seeing some playing time this season.

Having said that, that can't be the plan. While fans are used to seeing quarterbacks cycle through in FCS matchups, expect to see Motley get a lot of playing time on Saturday even if the Hokies control the game throughout. While it is important they win, Virginia Tech also has to work on getting Motley comfortable to take over the team against more formidable competition.

One thing that would help is finding a way to get tight end Bucky Hodges more involved. He did not have a single reception against Ohio State despite being one of the best receiving tight ends in the nation.

The Hokies will also get a boost in their running game with the return of running back Shai McKenzie. McKenzie's freshman season was shortened by a torn ACL he suffered last season against North Carolina. He served a one game suspension to start the season and will be available to play Saturday. He and Marshawn Williams were co-starters at the beginning of last season before injuries decimated the team's running core. If he is healthy, his return will be a boost for sure.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Why Maryland's OC is still 'proud' of Hills after debut

Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

USA TODAY Sports Images

Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcus Derrickson tied a career-high with 27 points, on 11-of-13 shooting, for his eighth 20-plus point game this season and Georgetown beat Butler 87-83 on Tuesday night.

After Georgetown missed two free throws, Kamar Baldwin made a scoop shot in the lane and Sean McDermott stole the inbounds pass, leading to another Baldwin basket to pull Butler to 84-81 with 1:29 to go.

Butler had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Baldwin's long 3-pointer was short and Jahvon Blair sealed it at the line at 4.5.

Jessie Govan had his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East). Trey Dickerson, a senior averaging 3.5 points per game, set a career-high in the first half with 12 points and finished with 18.

Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds to reach 20 points for the 17th time this season for Butler (17-10, 7-7). Tyler Wideman added 19 points and Baldwin had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982


Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

A loss didn't prevent Virginia from climbing to No. 1 in AP men's basketball poll for the first time in more than 35 years after all.

The Cavaliers rose a slot to sit atop Monday's AP Top 25 despite an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech, part of an upset-filled week that allowed for plenty of uncertainty in the poll. The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned 30 of 65 first-place votes to outdistance No. 2 Michigan State and rise above the turmoil that included last week's top three teams all losing.

Tony Bennett's Cavaliers had been at No. 2 before this season, but this is the first time the program has reached No. 1 since December 1982 — the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson — back when the poll ranked only 20 teams. And that team fell out of that spot after its improbable upset loss to Chaminade in Hawaii, regarded by many as the biggest upset in the history of college sports.

Virginia looked set to reach the No. 1 spot after Villanova's home loss to St. John's before losing to the Hokies. Still, the Cavaliers ended up there a day after the NCAA selection committee had them as the No. 1 overall seed in its reveal of the top 16 seeds to date.

The Cavaliers — whose 12 previous weeks at No. 1 all came during the Sampson era — play with the top ranking for the first time since the Chaminade loss on Tuesday at Miami.

"I do not get too carried away with where we are," Bennett said after the loss to the Hokies. "I always say 'thus far,' and now we have to prove it again. ... Now we are going to get a chance to do it again and we are going to have to fight like crazy every game. Everybody is capable of beating everybody in this league and that is reality. If you are little off it is not enough."



Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) climbed two spots after a weekend win against Purdue in a top-5 matchup. The Spartans, who reached No. 1 for a week in January, earned 21 first-place votes.

Next came Villanova (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who fell to third after a five-week stay at No. 1 and earned nine first-place votes. Xavier (23-3, 11-2 Big East) inched up a spot to fourth and earned five first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati (23-2, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) at No. 5.

This is Xavier's highest ranking in its history, while Cincinnati is in the top 5 for the first time since spending a good chunk of the 2001-02 season there.


Purdue (23-4, 12-2 Big East) fell from third to sixth after losing to Ohio State and Michigan State last week. Those losses snapped the nation's longest winning streak at 19 games, marking Purdue's first losses since falling to Tennessee and Western Kentucky on consecutive November days in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

Texas Tech was next at No. 7, followed by Ohio State, Gonzaga and Auburn to round out the top 10.



Rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina State helped North Carolina climb seven spots to No. 14 for the week's biggest jump. It continued the Tar Heels' wild swings in poll positioning, including a nine-slot drop last month and two other slides of eight slots.

Ohio State rose six spots to No. 8 after the Purdue win, while No. 11 Clemson was up five spots.


Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young had the biggest fall of the week, down six spots to No. 23. The Sooners have lost three straight and six of eight after Saturday's loss at Iowa State .

St. Mary's (15th) and Arizona (17th) both fell four spots.


The newcomers aren't entirely new this week. Both No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arizona State have been ranked multiple weeks this season and appeared in the top 10, with the Sun Devils reaching No. 3 on Christmas Day.


Kentucky fell out of the rankings for the second time this season -- It hadn't happened since March 2014 before this year -- from No. 24 after three straight losses. Miami fell out from No. 25 after losing at Boston College.