Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer was glad to have a few days off after coach Frank Beamer announced his 29th and current season would be his last with the Hokies.
But amid the sadness, Brewer said, there is also resolve.
''When you think of Virginia Tech, you think Frank Beamer,'' he said. ''I know me personally, growing up in Texas, not knowing a whole lot about the program ... any time you hear about Virginia Tech, you'd immediately think coach Beamer. So it's obviously sad to see his career come to an end here pretty shortly. But at the same time, we want to send him out on a positive note that he deserves.''
The Hokies (4-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) won't win the Coastal Division as they hoped. Injuries to Brewer and cornerback Kendall Fuller, and losses to Miami and Duke, made that certain long ago.
With three games remaining, they need to win at least two to qualify for their 23rd consecutive bowl appearance, and it starts with Thursday night's visit to Georgia Tech (3-6, 1-5). The Yellow Jackets have been to a bowl for 18 consecutive seasons and need to win their last three games to extend that streak to 19.
Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson knows what his team will be up against.
''It's a proud program with a lot of tradition,'' Johnson said Monday. ''They've got to win two of their last three to (become bowl eligible). I'm sure they'll be playing with a lot of passion. But I've never seen Virginia Tech playing when they didn't play with a lot of passion.''
It seems fitting, Hokies assistant coach Shane Beamer said, for the first opportunity to come on a Thursday night.
''I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought of that, as many Thursday night games as we've had around here since I've been back at Virginia Tech,'' said the younger Beamer, who also played for his father at Virginia Tech.
''Each year we play Georgia Tech in Atlanta there's been a Thursday night game. So we've got a good routine for how we handle it and have had a lot of great Thursday night games on the road and here at Lane Stadium. There's going to be a lot of things like that here these next three, hopefully four, games that you think about you'd like to send him out this way: Do this his last time, do that his last time.
And winning his last Thursday night game certainly would be an extra special way for him to finish up the Thursday night run'' at Virginia Tech.
The Hokies also have used Thursday night games - and the national TV audience that comes with them - to raise their profile. They have won 20 of 29 games in the spotlight. Only the Yellow Jackets, who have played 30 times on Thursday night, have been featured more among ACC programs, and Georgia Tech has lost all five prior Thursday night meetings with the Hokies.
The Yellow Jackets present challenges offensively with their triple option attack, which often controls the tempo of a game, and Brewer thinks the key is not letting the pressure placed on a team's defense filter over to the offensive side.
''I think teams press a little bit when they play them, because their offense obviously controls the clock and you don't get a whole lot of opportunities that you normally get in a game,'' said Brewer, a fifth-year senior.
''So it's important to take advantage of the opportunities that you get because you get so few of them. So teams, they get a little bit too aggressive and they press too much. We just have to stay comfortable and make the routine plays and move the ball up and down the field and come away with points when we have the opportunity to.''
AP sports writer Paul Newberry contributed from Atlanta.
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