season 2020: 5-6, 5-5 in ACC (8th in ACC)
The Head Coach: Justin Fuente (6th season)
With a disappointing 2020 season that has left a bitter taste in the mouths of Hokie fans, Virginia Tech is looking to improve on its shortcomings from last year and begin a new streak of bowl match appearances. The Hokies’ previous 27-season streak of bowl games ended last year when the team’s players voted to end their season prematurely and not consider a potential offer for a bowl game. .
The Hokies got off to a good start in 2020, with Fuente leaving as a second-year red-shirt Braxton Burmeister, a transfer from Oregon, under center. Burmeister was picked to start because Hendon Hooker, who led Virginia Tech to their 27th straight bowl game in 2019, was ruled out with a medical problem in the first two games. Virginia Tech handily won its first game against NC State 45-24.
After a narrow 38-31 victory over the Blue Devils, the Hokies battled No.8 North Carolina, Hendon Hooker replacing Burmeister as quarterback. The loss to North Carolina marked the start of the disappointing end to Virginia Tech’s season, with the Hokies losing five of their next eight games. That streak included two particularly embarrassing losses to unranked Pittsburgh and to No.3 Clemson.
Things aren’t going very well this year for the Hokies in terms of personnel either. Virginia Tech lost her transfer from All-Star graduate Khalil Herbert in the NFL Draft. Hooker, the Hokies’ double-threat quarterback who threw for 1,339 yards last season, has transferred to Tennessee.
Hooker made the decision to leave in January and left Burmeister as the obvious choice for Fuente to put in the starting lineup. And with many key starts, Burmeister will be under pressure to be the main leader in the 2021 campaign. On the defensive side of football, Virginia Tech has acquired a new asset in transfer Jordan Williams, a highly rated Clemson’s defensive tackle.
Consistency and depth will be the hallmarks of Virginia Tech this season. His roster has been considerably depleted, especially in the defensive lineup. And with three freshmen and two sophomores in the top six of the receiving corps, scoring points reliably can become a problem if injuries occur within the squad.
Virginia Tech, historically, is not the type of team it was last year. The Hokies will enter this season with a chip on their shoulder, determined to do better than last year and return to a bowl game. It remains to be seen whether their relatively young attack and slim defense hurt them.
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