Postgame News and Notes from Virginia Tech's 45-24 Victory Over NC State
The Virginia Tech Hokies, down 23 players and four assistants, trounced on NC State early and never looked back, crushing the visiting Wolfpack 45-24 in Saturday night's season-opener in Blacksburg.
The Hokies, led by an impressive running game and an even-more-impressive offensive line, dominated the point of attack, controlling the line of scrimmage for the entirety of the contest. NC State, after giving up 35 offensive points a week ago against Wake Forest, was quite literally defenseless against the Hokies' offense in the contest, surrendering 495 yards, 8.53 yards per play, and 45 points to the Hokies.
Here's a collection of news, notes, and press conference reaction from Virginia Tech's inaugural victory of the 2020 season.
Press Conference Quotes:
Head Coach Justin Fuente
On the total team effort...
"Just really proud of our group, to say that we've been through a lot before we played our first game would be an understatement. Between guys being out and making it back the day before the game or the day of the game...guys coming back on Wednesday...coaches not making it...to our recruiting team filling assistant coaching roles...to our trainer and doc helping this team through this has been a remarkable team effort. I'm just appreciative to be a part of it."
On Ryan Smith filling in as defensive coordinator...
"He did a great job. We practiced this in our second scrimmage....took sets with backup play callers. Ryan has a bright future in this game. He was sharp and he was prepared....he did a fantastic job. We found out Tracy Claeys wouldn't be with us earlier this week and found out that Justin Hamilton wouldn't be able to coach this morning."
On the rushing game...
"I've been pleased with it for some time, I just didn't know if we'd ever get all of our pieces out there on the field together. I really didn't know until yesterday....I thought we handled the line of scrimmage very well. I felt pretty good about how we ran the ball in the second half of the season last year and continued to improve."
On Hendon Hooker...
"Through various testing that's occurred recently, there was a little cause for alarm with Hendon. He has not practiced for a little while. There was a little scare but we saw the experts and the tests came back really well so it's good that it all worked out....it was unrelated to COVID."
On Braxton Burmeister...
"I've never seen a hand look like Braxton's. I thought he snapped his wrist or something...it was a pretty severe cramp. Braxton and Quincy did a darn good job and I'm extremely proud of both of them."
On Quincy Patterson...
"I told him when we made the decision at quarterback a few weeks ago that I still feel the same way about him that I did the first time I saw him...that if he keeps working he has a chance to be a really productive player. When you see guys like him on a daily basis and continue to work, and take bad news the right way, you have more trust in them when their time calls and it's time to execute."
Defensive End Justus Reed
On finding out that defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton wouldn't coach...
"We were told about it right before our pregame meal. I was as surprised about it as you all."
On becoming one of the first eight-year college football players in history...
"It really is crazy, but I'm only 24 (*laughs*)"
On his two sacks and the defensive success...
"It felt good to get this win. Our coaches had a great game plan and we were able to go out and execute."
Quarterback Braxton Burmeister
On his injured hand...
"I landed on it funny and had no control of my fingers. It had me pretty nervous for a second but I got some fluids and mustard in me and felt better."
On using mustard to stop cramps...
"Yeah it sounds a bit crazy but mustard has a lot of salt and it's something I've always done...electrolytes and mustard. My mom brought me some from the stands to the sideline."
On the success of the running game...
"Dinner for the offensive line is on me this week, but maybe Quincy (Patterson) could help me out. I felt comfortable out there under center. The o-line was great tonight and opened up some big holes for our backs. It was a good team win."
Safety Divine Deablo
On his interception...
"Our film study of NC State and our zone defense in the secondary helped us all night. On the interception I just recognized the route and read it. I knew I had it once he threw it."
On being without multiple players on defense...
"Next man up is our mentality right now. I have a ton of trust in the guys on the defense and in the secondary."
On the performance of true freshman rover Keonta Jenkins...
"He's a dog (*laughs*). He's way better than I was when I started playing here."
Offensive Lineman Brock Hoffman
On playing in his first game with the Hokies...
"It was awesome, really fun to be out there competing with those guys and getting a win."
On the health of his mom...
"She's doing really well and was able to be at the game tonight. I had a good amount of family here so excited to get out of here and celebrate with them."
On running back Khalil Herbert...
"He's really good.....really good. All of our running backs are good, but yeah, Khalil is a great player."
Quarterback Quincy Patterson
On stepping in and playing a big role...
"I was a bit surprised to get in the way that I did. I had a package of plays going into the game but didn't expect to play in this capacity. It's very different from last year...I was ready and comfortable, whereas a year ago against UNC I came in and was a little shaky and nervous to be honest."
On his reaction to Burmeister's cramped hand...
"Just glad he's ok. It looked bad initially...it was just kinda stuck."
On being told he wasn't the starting quarterback...
"Nothing really changed for me because I knew I had to keep my head down and keep working regardless of the circumstances, whether I was the starter or not."
Game Notes (courtesy of the Virginia Tech athletic department):
Head Coach Justin Fuente:
-Moves to 34-20 as the head coach of Virginia Tech, and 60-43 overall.
-He is now 4-1 in season openers as head coach of the Hokies.
Virginia Tech Team Notes:
-The 45 points scored against the Wolfpack marks the 322nd-consecutive game Virginia Tech has scored, the third-longest active streak in the nation among FBS schools. It's also the sixth-longest streak in FBS history.
-Courtesy of Norm Wood, Virginia Tech amassed over 300 rushing yards in an ACC game for just the third time since joining the conference in 2004. Only other times were October 2, 2010 at NC State (317 yards) and November 19, 2005 at UVa (333 yards).
-Virginia Tech ranks second in the nation in yards per play (8.53) sitting only behind the Florida Gators (8.68).
Running Back Khalil Herbert:
-It was a strong debut for Herbert, who carried the ball six times for 104 yards and a touchdown, averaging 17.3 yards per attempt.
Running Back Raheem Blackshear:
-Blackshear carried the ball eight times for 28 yards in the contest, and found the end zone once for his first points as a member of the Hokies
Rover Keonta Jenkins:
-In his first game of his collegiate career, Jenkins started at one of Justin Hamilton's two safety spots, recording a team-high eight tackles while making three solo stops
Defensive End Justus Reed:
-Reed finished the game with five total tackles and two sacks in his debut with the Hokies
Kicker Brian Johnson:
-Made all three of his field goal attempts from 46, 29, and 49 yards.
-Johnson has made his last 15 field goal attempts dating back to October 19, 2019