Hokies set to debut Brenden Motley at QB vs. Furman
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) A short work week has been a busy one for Virginia Tech.
The Hokies (0-1) not only lost to No. 1 Ohio State on Monday night, but they lost quarterback Michael Brewer with a broken left collarbone. They have spent the week trying to get inexperienced backup Brenden Motley up to speed. His first test comes Saturday when Furman of the Championship Subdivision visits Lane Stadium.
The Paladins (0-1) are coming off a 38-35 loss to Coastal Carolina.
The last time the Hokies played and lost on Labor Day, they also lost five days later, at home against James Madison, also of the FCS. That team went on the win the ACC and play in the Orange Bowl, but had a senior quarterback in Tyrod Taylor running the show.
Motley has thrown all of three passes in his first two seasons with the Hokies and completed 4 of 9 passes for 36 yards after replacing Brewer in the third quarter against Ohio State. He also ran seven times for 17 yards. The Hokies hope a late touchdown pass boosted his confidence.
Coach Frank Beamer will remind his team of the loss to James Madison in 2010.
''I learned a long time ago that you respect every opponent, and our team does, and we as coaches do. On any given Saturday, any guy can beat another guy, and we've been through a few of those, and most guys who've been in this business have,'' Beamer said earlier this week. ''I think in this business, once you start assuming this is going to happen, you better tie your hat on because it's getting ready to go the opposite way.''
Paladins quarterback Reese Hannon threw for a school record 365 yards last week and is eager to get back on the field. Hannon, a redshirt junior and three-year captain, broke his ankle in last year's season opener and missed the rest of the season.
''I've been thinking about this week for a long time and finally it came,'' Hannon said following the loss to Coastal Carolina, the top team in the FCS. ''But now it's over, and it's time to try to go beat Virginia Tech.''
Here are some things to watch when Virginia Tech hosts Furman on Saturday:
CRASH COURSE: Motley and the other quarterbacks are said to be far better versed in offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's offense in their second year in the system, but being thrown into the fray against the loaded Buckeyes probably wasn't an ideal way for Motley to get handed the reins. If all goes well for the Hokies, , look for Virginia Tech to also get big-armed freshman Dwayne Lawson a few series.
BIG STAGE: Furman is 1-24 against FBS competition since 1987, with the lone victory against North Carolina in 1999 by a 24-7 score, but they have has close calls. In 2014, they led Florida 22-7 before losing 55-32.
RUNNING GAME: The Hokies welcome back Shai McKenzie from a one-game suspension for offseason trouble, giving them four available tailbacks, plus fullback Sam Rogers. Beamer said McKenzie will play, and the Hokies would love to build some confidence in the running game as they head into contests with Purdue and East Carolina.
BLANKED BUCKY: TE Bucky Hodges is expected to be one of the Hokies' top offensive weapons, but the 6-foot-6 Hodges was held without a catch by the Buckeyes. Look for Virginia Tech to get him involved in the pass game.
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