BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Virginia Tech doesn't typically dress players with no chance of getting in the game.
They made an exception last week for quarterback Michael Brewer. It came after Brewer was allowed to return to practice from a broken left collarbone, but was not medically cleared to play against North Carolina State.
''I think Michael's good regardless of what his role in the game,'' coach Frank Beamer said. ''Just being around kids, his attitude is positive. He just has a good way. I like him. You know, of course he's a senior and a quarterback, and we don't dress injured guys out. We did in this case. And I think he's good to have around.''
The Hokies (3-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) have been without their starter since he was hurt in the season-opener against No. 1 Ohio State. Redshirt junior Brenden Motley has started all five games since, and thrown for 10 touchdowns, second among all quarterback in the conference, and been intercepted only five times.
Brewer's status for Saturday's game at Miami (3-2, 0-1) has not yet been determined.
His return has provided a lift to Motley and the rest of the offense, coach Shane Beamer said.
''The fact that he's your quarterback, he's your leader and to have him back there certainly brings more energy to the practice field.'' Shane Beamer said. ''...At the same time, it helps Motley, too, because Michael's able to see things in practice, see things during the game that maybe (offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler) doesn't see upstairs or we don't see on the sideline. It's an added bonus having him on the sideline during the games.''
The Hokies emerged from an offensive lull against North Carolina State last Saturday, largely on the arm of Motley and the pass-catching of Isaiah Ford. The tandem teamed up for three second-quarter touchdown passes, overcoming an early 10-0 deficit and leading Virginia Tech to a 28-13 victory. It snapped a two-game slide.
Brewer has become something of a coach ever since getting hurt, Loeffler said.
''He's done a great job in his role of helping the other quarterbacks come along, and I think Brenden would say the same thing I'm saying. He significantly has been helping him. He's a team guy,'' Loeffler said.
''I hope someday after he's done with football he becomes a coach, because I think he would be great.''
The Hokies' current coaching staff, meantime, is trying to find the right balance of using a blowout loss to Miami at Lane Stadium last season as a motivational tool while not dwelling on it to excess. The Hurricanes ran for 364 yards, including 249 by Duke Johnson, and Virginia Tech lost three fumbles in the 30-6 defeat.
Even worse, it happened on a Thursday night in a nationally televised game.
Defensive tackle Luther Maddy watched from the sideline, nursing an injury.
''They were busting runs for eight yards a pop. It was a terrible draw by us on the defense,'' he said. ''So this year we're going to have a chip on our shoulder, just bring it to them. They embarrassed us last year.''
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