What will Virginia Tech look like under Justin Fuente?


What will Virginia Tech look like under Justin Fuente?

For the first time since 1986, someone other than Frank Beamer will be coaching Virginia Tech next season. While the retention of Bud Foster provides for some continuity and new head coach Justin Fuente said he hopes to operate in much the same way as Beamer did, every coach wants to put his mark on a program. It would be unreasonable to think Fuente is just here to manage the house that Beamer built.

Make no mistake, changes are coming to Blacksburg. So what will this team look like under the new regime?

Defensively, this team should look very much the same. Foster is back and with him is secondary coach Torrian Gray and defensive line coach Charley Wiles. Fuente played as a quarterback and his coaching background is all on the offensive side of the ball. Foster should largely be left to run the defense which means there won't be many short-term changes.

Foster has not been shy about his desire to be a head coach and now with Beamer gone, he may not be as attached to the program as he was previously. It would not be shocking to see him leave in the next few years for a head coaching job or as a coordinator for a bigger program to garner more attention so he can eventually make the jump. Assuming Fuente is still in charge when Foster leaves, that will be one of the most important hires of Fuente's tenure.

The biggest immediate change to the program will come on offense.

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Fuente has excelled in his career at developing quarterback talent from Andy Dalton while offensive coordinator at TCU to Paxton Lynch at Memphis. Just who Fuente's first quarterback will at Virginia Tech will be remains to be seen, but my money would be on JUCO transfer Jerod Evans, Fuente's first quarterback recruit to Blacksburg.

Brenden Motley performed admirably in place of the injured Michael Brewer this season, but did little to instill confidence in his ability to lead the team for a full season. With Dwayne Lawson considered the future of the program and the current climate of college sports in which so many players transfer, I do not believe Fuente would have pursued Evans and risk a possible transfer from Lawson if he was not confident Evans would be the starter. Now he will have to make sure Lawson is on board with the plan so as not to lose one of the team's top recruits in recent years.

With Fuente comes Brad Cornelsen as the new offensive coordinator. Cornelsen was with Fuente all four years at Memphis as quarterbacks coach and was named the co-offensive coordinator for the past season. The Tigers' offense improved steadily during their tenure together at Memphis going from the 113th ranked offense in 2012 to 19th in 2015. That should be music to the ears of Hokies fans as the offense has been an issue for Virginia Tech in recent years.

While Fuente's biggest challenge off the field will obviously be replacing Frank Beamer in the hearts and minds of the Hokie faithful, his biggest challenge on the field will be developing a dynamic offense that has been largely lethargic since Tyrod Taylor left.

Luckily for Fuenete, he will have plenty of skill to work with in his first season. Wide receivers Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips will return as will tight end Bucky Hodges and running back Travon McMillian. If Fuente can work his quarterback magic, then this could be a strong offense next season.

In order to restore Virginia Tech to national prominence, Fuente will also have to re-establish Virginia Tech in the Tidewater/Virginia Beach region for recruits. Virginia recruits began moving south to the SEC or to other ACC schools like North Carolina and Florida State in recent years. Fuente has proven himself to be a strong recruiter already, not only building a program out of nothing in Memphis, but in what he has done in his short time at Virginia Tech and it's already paying dividends. It seems he understand the challenge and importance of bringing the state's best players to Blacksburg.

So what can we expect from Fuente's Virginia Tech? An improved offense, defensive consistency and re-invigorate recruiting. That sounds like a winning formula for the Hokies.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Haskins to 'see what' Texas A&M is 'all about' after QB transfers

March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

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March Madness 2018: Sweet 16 TV Schedule, Tip times, announcers, how to watch, live stream

The first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament are in  the books.

We witnessed history, with UMBC becoming the first No. 16 seed in men's tournament history to defeat a No. 1 seed, beating Virginia 74-54.

We saw the Ramblers of Loyola Chicago make a Cinderella run, beating Miami and Tennessee on the final possession.

We saw No. 7 Nevada rally from 22 points down to stun No. 2 Cincinnati.

We saw great games, great finishes and great moments.

But now it's time for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

The madness begins again on March 22, with the Sweet 16 taking place Thursday and Friday, with the Elite Eight taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Here is a complete listing of TV channels, tip times and game locations.




Thursday, March 22

7:07 pm — No. 7 Nevada vs. No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
7:37 pm — No. 3 Michigan vs. No. 7 Texas A&M (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson
9:37 pm — No. 5 Kentucky vs. No. 9 Kansas State (South/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
10:07 pm — No. 4 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Florida State (West/Los Angeles, Calif), TBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Friday, March 23

7:07 pm — No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Clemson (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
7:37 pm — No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 5 West Virginia (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce
9:37 pm — No. 2 Duke vs. No. 11 Syracuse (Midwest/Omaha, NE), TBS. Announcers: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
10:07 pm — No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 3 Texas Tech (East/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Announcers: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce



Saturday, March 24

Time TBD — Nevada/Loyola-Chicago winner vs. Kentucky/Kansas State winner (South Regional Final/Atlanta, GA), CBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, Lisa Byington
Time TBD — Michigan/Texas A&M winner vs. Gonzaga vs. Florida State winner (West Regional Final/Los Angeles, Calif.), CBS. Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Dana Jacobson

Sunday, March 25

Time TBD — Kansas/Clemson winner vs. Duke/Syracuse winner  (Midwest Regional Final/Omaha, NE), CBS. Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson
​Time TBD —  Villanova/West Virginia winner vs. Purdue/Texas Tech winner (East Regional Final/Boston, Mass.), CBS. Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce

 WANT MORE COLLEGE HOOPS? Troy Machir is spending all March chatting with some of the biggest names in college basketball. Listen to the March Only Podcast below and be sure to like, rate, share and subscribe on iTunes.

Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

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Not only did UMBC own Virginia on the court, they owned the Twitter world

They said it could not be done, no No. 16 seed would ever beat a No. 1 seed. The odds would be too great and the obstacle too steep.

As we all know, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), just proved that all wrong.


All season the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers dominated their opponents. They dictated pace, held opponents to less than 55 points, and smothered teams by forcing turnovers.

The roles filled on Friday evening and with an up-tempo 74-54 victory, UMBC proved the impossible.

The hardwood is not the only place that UMBC owned last night, they grabbed headlines, attention, and thousands of fans (literally) on Twitter.

Someone grabbed a hold of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account and took the upset by storm.

It all started when Seth Davis poked the bear:

and they were relentless.

Oh yeah, I forgot Seth Davis:

Then they started get snarky and owning everyone:

As someone who graduated from a commuter school, I can relate:

More Seth Davis:

Back to Twitter:

I guess that application wave actually was a thing or people wanted to know what ‘UMBC’ stood for:

Game. Set. History.

Now here come the shots against other schools:

Yeah, don’t jump on this bandwagon Terps fans. Stay in College Park:

I did not take long for other social media icons to start reaching out:

Oh and Seth Davis eventually did apologize:

Started the night at 5,588 and jumped up to 51.7 K. No one cares what you think Steven:

If you liked what you saw thank Zach Seidel, not an intern, not a student athlete who provided those tweets last night.

Zach, you just earned yourself a raise and we’ll see you in the Second Round.