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 3-5, (1-3) in the ACC
In the news
Beamer addresses future: With Virginia Tech struggling once again, there are questions over just how long Frank Beamer will remain head coach. On Monday, he addressed his status.
"The only think I'm really concerned about is Boston College," Beamer said. "That's the only thing on my mind. I can tell you, the second part of that is whatever's good for Virginia Tech, what's best for Virginia Tech is what I'm into."
Just a few years ago it seemed as if Beamer's job status in Blacksburg would never be in doubt and he would essentially get to choose whenever he would leave. Statements like this show that clearly is no longer the case.
Paying Beamer: If, if Virginia Tech makes a coaching move, it is important to take into account what that may cost the school before they even find a new coach. David Teel of the Daily Press broke down just what exactly it would cost to replace Beamer.
This may not be completely relevant as I have a hard time believing Whit Babcock would simply fire Beamer considering what he has meant to the program. If he does decide to make a move, I expect he and Beamer will make some sort of agreement in which Beamer is allowed to retire and still collect some of what the school contractually owes him.
Last week's game: 45-43 4OT loss vs. Duke
The role reversal on Saturday was staggering as a ranked Duke team came into Blacksburg and exploited the Hokies' weak defense for a quadruple overtime victory.
Michael Brewer made his first start since breaking his collarbone and played well, throwing for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Travon McMillian also had a career day with 142 yards and two touchdowns. His numbers were not inflated by a break away run either, as his longest run of the day was for only 16 yards. He earned his yards in grind-it-out fashion.
Virginia Tech kept things close and battled back to tie the game, but the defense's inability to stop Duke in overtime cost them the game. Now the question has to be asked, what is wrong with Bud Foster's squad?
Virginia Tech ranks 11th in the ACC in total defense. The loss of Kendall Fuller hurts, but it does not account for just how poor they have looked this season. With all due respect to Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk, he should not be passing for four touchdowns and rushing for 109 yards against the Hokies.
The defense needs to shore things up and they need to do it fast.
Next game: Virginia Tech at Boston College, Sat. 12:30 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech will have to find away to solve Boston College's defense this week, the top defense in the ACC and the second best in the nation. Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler will have to pull out all the stops to beat the Eagles.
The biggest challenge for Loeffler, however, may be himself. If I have one criticism of the offense this year, it's that they are trying to do too much. Loeffler loves giving defenses a lot to think about, but that has come at a cost.
If you've watched the Hokies this year and wondered why Brenden Motley is getting more carries than any of the team's running backs or why the running backs continue rotating despite McMillian clearly being the top back, this is why.
McMillian only got five carries in the first half against Duke because the offense had packages for J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds. Motley made a brief appearance as well, coming in for Brewer. When asked why, Loeffler said "It gives the defense a whole different perspective and a whole different thing to practice during the week."
This is a mistake because the drop off between McMillian and Coleman/Edmunds and between Brewer and Motley is pretty vast. This would be a good strategy if Coleman and Edmunds were running effectively, but they're not. Thus, all Loeffler is doing is taking his best offensive weapons off the field.
It will be a lot easier for Boston College to stop McMillian and Brewer if they are on the sidelines. Unfortunately, given how good the Eagles are, I expect Loeffler to double down this week, especially with Motley. Don't be surprised if you see the backup quarterback to get a lot of snaps this week.
This is not meant to be a criticism of the running backs behind McMillian who can all contribute or Motley who played admirably in place of Brewer. What's more important than confusing a defense, however, is getting your best players the ball. That should be the focus.
The task of the offense should be made easier, however, because of how woeful Boston College's offense has been this season. They currently rank 126th in total offense out of 128 FBS teams. The eagles have struggled since losing starting quarterback Darius Wade for the season with a broken ankle.
There is absolutely no excuse for Virginia Tech's defense to struggle against Boston College.
After Boston College, Virginia Tech must play at Georgia Tech, North Carolina and at Virginia. In order to keep their bowl streak alive, the Hokies will need to upset either Georgia Tech or North Carolina. Boston College and Virginia are must-wins. If the Hokies can't beat the Eagles, they will be looking at a three or four win season.
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