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Hokies Report: One last Thursday

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Hokies Report: One last Thursday

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 4-5, (2-3) in the ACC

In the news

Foster interested in becoming the next head coach: While everyone is talking about Rich Rodriguez, Kirby Smart and Justin Fuente as possible head coach candidates, Bud Foster decided to throw his hat in the ring this week. When asked Monday if he was interested in replacing Frank Beamer, Foster told reporters, "You guys think? Yeah, I've put a lot of time and effort into this thing. I don't think this program needs a culture change."

Foster has spent his entire career working under Beamer. If he were to replace him, it would ensure Virginia Tech does not stray from the culture it has developed over the years in its glory days.

If the Hokies were still enjoying 10-win seasons, this would be an easy sell to athletic director Whit Babcock. Given the team's slip into mediocrity in recent years, however, don't be surprised to see Babcock look outside of the program for the next head coach.

#GameDay4Frank gains momentum: ESPN's College GameDay was in Tuscaloosa on Saturday for the big LSU-Alabama game. You would expect some great signs for such a big matchup, but the most retweeted sign was one for Virginia Tech:

The movement also got a boost with Michigan State's loss to Nebraska. One of the big matchups on Nov. 21 that could also be a candidate for GameDay is the Michigan State-Ohio State game. That is still going to be a huge game, but it has lost some of its luster now that it will not feature two undefeated teams.

The news that kickoff for the Hokies' game against North Carolina was set for noon, however, is a bad sign. The GameDay show runs until 12 p.m. Considering the game is being broadcast somewhere within the ESPN family, you would think the start time would be pushed a little later if Blacksburg was in serious consideration.

Granted, a game featuring a Virginia Tech team that will be 5-5 at best is not going to get a great TV slot, but it doesn't need to be a primetime game. Even a 12:30 kickoff would allow fans a chance to go from the set, wherever it may be, to the stadium. The only way a noon kickoff could possibly make sense is if they went truly old school and tried to recreate the atmosphere of the 1999 appearance in Blacksburg which actually took place in Lane Stadium. The added nostalgia of the atmosphere would seem appropriate.

Prospect decommits: Wide receiver prospect Phillip Patterson decommitted from Virginia Tech on Saturday, reopening his recruitment to all interested schools.

A prospect decommitting from a program is nothing new in this day and age. The process is so long that prospects often commit too early and then do what every 17/18 year old does: change their mind. This situation is noteworthy, however, as Patterson is the first commitment to back out since Beamer announced he was retiring.

Recruits shouldn't go to a school based on who the coach is given the turnover among college coaches, but they still do. With Beamer leaving, recruits who committed for the chance to play for him now have to reconsider. Whoever the next head coach may be will have a lot of work to do convincing recruits and current players alike to stick with the program.

Slye named semifinalist for best kicker: Kicker Joey Slye was named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award on Thursday, presented annually to the top placekicker in the nation.

Slye has hit 15 of 20 field goal attempts this season and has been perfect on 27 extra point attempts. The sophomore tied a career-high in Virginia Tech's win over Boston College with four field goals.

RELATED: Cavaliers Report: One for the road?

Last week's game: Bye week

Next game: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, Thurs. 7:30 p.m. ET

Preview

In the last Thursday night game of Beamer's career (barring a Thursday bowl game, but those don't count) Virginia Tech heads to Atlanta to take on the triple option of Georgia Tech.

Coming off an 11-win season that saw them win the Coastal Division, the Yellow Jackets are not having the type of year they were hoping for. Georgia Tech is only 3-6 on the season with the only highlight being a miraculous homecoming win over Florida State. The emotional high of that win was short-lived, however, as Paul Johnson saw his team lay an egg in Charlottesville in a 27-21 loss to Virginia.

What should make Hokie fans worry about this game is the same thing that makes them worry every week: a mobile quarterback. The defense has been shredded this season by mobile quarterbacks and obviously as a triple option team, Georgia Tech has one in Justin Thomas. Last year, Thomas was able to rush for 165 yards and added another 125 through the air .

Because this game is on a Thursday, both teams were off on Saturday. The benefit of having more time to prepare for the triple option is a huge boost for Virginia Tech and you can be sure Bud Foster will put that time to good use. Foster has always been fairly successful in slowing down Johnson's offense which has helped the Hokies win four of their last five meetings. In four of those games, Georgia Tech has been held to 250 rushing yards or less.

The real key to this game, however, will be on offense and not on defense. Georgia Tech's offense is not setup well to play from behind. Virginia Tech was able to manhandle the best defense in the nation against Boston College, jumping out to what was an insurmountable lead. The offense needs to be aggressive early and take an early lead again. If they do that, they can concentrate on giving Travon McMillian the ball in the second half and working the clock. If you can build a lead and keep the ball out of the offense's hands, the Yellow Jackets won't be able to win.

The biggest issue for the Hokies will be keeping their emotions in check. This will be a growing issue from week to week, but Thursday will be the first game since Beamer announced his retirement. For a team that has had tremendous penalty issues all season long, the Hokies cannot allow their emotions to get the best of them.

Virginia Tech is 5-0 against Georgia Tech on Thursday nights. You know the team will head into Atlanta focused on keeping that slate clean.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Another week, another NFL-caliber QB faces Maryland

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

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USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Difo homers but Phillies top Nats

WASHINGTON -- Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run homer, Vince Velasquez pitched five effective innings and the Philadelphia Phillies snapped Washington's six-game win streak with a 3-1 victory over the Nationals on Saturday.

Velasquez (2-4) allowed one run and one hit in his first win since April 7. He also struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.

Edubray Ramos, Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Hector Neris then combined for four innings of one-hit relief. Neris earned his sixth save.

Trea Turner led off the Washington ninth with a walk and was running when Matt Wieters popped out to short right field. Turner, who slid into second, lost track of the ball and was easily doubled off first.

Wilmer Difo homered for Washington. Third baseman Anthony Rendon went 0 for 2 with two walks after missing 19 games with what the team called a contusion to his toe.

Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark (2-3) tied his season high with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and six hits.

Andrew Stevenson accounted for Washington's other hit, a one-out single in the sixth. Pedro Severino followed with a walk, but Ramos induced a double-play grounder from Rafael Bautista.

Cesar Hernandez opened the game with a single off Roark and Hoskins homered to center on a 3-2 pitch. It was his fifth of the season.

Maikel Franco provided an insurance run when he followed Carlos Santana's one-out triple with a single in the sixth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: RHP Ben Lively (lower back strain) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. Lively was placed on the disabled list April 27. ... Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Pat Neshek (shoulder strain) will throw a bullpen session as the next step in his rehabilitation. Neshek has not appeared in a game this season.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was scratched from the lineup due to stiffness in his side, according to manager Dave Martinez. ... RHP Trevor Gott, who sprained an ankle in the sixth inning Friday night, is day to day.

UP NEXT

The winners of the last three NL Cy Young Awards square off when Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta (3-1, 3.49 ERA) opposes Max Scherzer (6-1, 1.79 ERA). Arrieta won the award in 2015 with the Cubs and Scherzer, the National League Pitcher of the Month for April, has claimed the honor each of the last two seasons.

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

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USA TODAY Sports

Future NBA prospect Omer Yurtseven transfers to Georgetown from NC State

The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.

On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.

From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.

MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).

NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson

Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.

It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.

On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.