As quarterback Michael Brewer referenced the 24-hour rule the Hokies abided by last week following the Ohio State victory, the quarterback never said the rule strictly applied to coming down to earth after big wins.
It works when dealing with defeat, too – like Tech’s 28-21 loss to East Carolina Saturday.
“The same thing applies,” Brewer said. “We can’t hang our head and feel sorry for ourselves and let it affect this next week, this week of practice. We’re going to come out today. That’s done with. We’ve already watched all the film. We’re starting on Georgia Tech and that’s the main focus now.”
Despite the highs of one of the best wins in program history and the subsequent lows, Virginia Tech’s goals are still in sight. After all, the path to achieving an ACC Championship doesn’t start until Saturday.
“We’ve talked about that,” Frank Beamer said. “We’ve talked about us getting better as a football team. We don’t put blame. We find out what went wrong, figure that out and hopefully play better this week. That’s where we are and certainly our players understand how important the first ACC game is, and since it’s against Georgia Tech I think it’s even more important.”
Since 2005, one of the Techs has represented the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game every year except 2013, when Duke finished 10-2. From 2005 to 2011, the winner of the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech matchup was the champion of the Coastal – the Yellow Jackets played in the 2012 ACCCG despite losing to the Hokies during the season.
The Yellow Jackets (3-0) beat Georgia Southern by four points last weekend and needed strong second halves to distance themselves from Tulane and Wofford in the weeks before that. Still, the rarely utilized triple-option offense that head coach Paul Johnson uses year after year poses a challenge each week for the opposition.
“Georgia Tech is different from anyone else we play,” Beamer said. “It’s tough. It’s not what the coaches know, it’s what you can get your players to react to. Having a lot of new guys on defense, if they’ve played against them a couple times I think it helps. We’ve got some guys there that are new to the deal so we got to coach them up. Coach fast.”
Of Virginia Tech’s eight leading tacklers last year in the battle of the Techs, seven of them are no longer on the roster. The eighth, defensive tackle Luther Maddy, is one of a couple Hokies battling injuries. Fellow defensive tackle Corey Marshall missed the ECU contest with an ankle injury, and although Beamer said he is getting better, his status for Saturday is uncertain. Linebackers Chase Williams and Deon Clarke each had one tackle last year in the contest. Starting defensive end Ken Ekanem only played special teams.
“We definitely have to adjust our minds for Georgia Tech,” senior safety Kyshoen Jarrett said. “They are a run-first type of team and definitely a different kind of formation on offense. We definitely need to be on our P’s and Q’s watching film, and be exact on our reads while we watch film and while we practice and that will transition into the game like it has in the past when we’ve played Georgia Tech.”
Since the Yellow Jackets beat the Hokies 6-3 in 1990, the Hokies have won eight of the 10 meetings. Georgia Tech’s last win in the series dates back to 2009 and they haven’t won in Lane Stadium since 2006.
The Hokies are trying to avoid losing back-to-back home games in Blacksburg since they fell to Pittsburgh and West Virginia in 2002.