For some in Hokie Nation, the sky seemed like it might just fall when Michael Brewer broke his collarbone against Ohio State, and Brenden Motley struggled after. Even after a very good game against Furman, there were still questions about whether Motley could keep it up against higher-level competition.
Motley has proved the people that have doubted him wrong at least for now.
Brenden Motley had a solid game against Purdue, but he was productive for the Hokies on their way to a blowout 51-24 victory. Motley only had one turnover in the game on the fumble that Purdue recovered and returned over 90 yards for a touchdown. Other than his two fumbles, Motley was solid against the Boilermakers, and quieted the calls for Dwayne Lawson.
Motley was effective in the passing game as he was 15-of-24 for 220 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Motley took some risks down the field as well in this game, and let players like Isaiah Ford make the plays that he knew they could make.
In the passing game, Motley showed that the touch on his passes are improving from week to week. Motley’s feel for the blind-side of the pocket is still something that needs to improve but overall, Motley has proven himself as a respectable starting quarterback for a Virginia Tech offense that put up over 300 total yards in the first half against Purdue.
Motley has a stronger arm than Michael Brewer, and was able to take some risks including a long 61-yard completion to Isaiah Ford. Motley also is showing progress in using his good mobility to escape the pocket and make a play in the passing game.
Brenden Motley made a lot of good plays in the passing game against Purdue, but also proved to be productive with his legs as well.
Motley got sacked a few times, but was able to provide some tough running on quarterback draws to get four to six yard gains. Motley also was able to use his legs to get out of the pocket multiple times, which set up a few completions including the impressive 61-yard completion to Ford off of his back foot.
Motley gives the Hokies the ability to run some read option as well, whether it is off of a jet sweep play from Travon McMillian or with one of the Hokies’ running backs already lining up in the backfield with Motley. Michael Brewer was always a tough runner, but Motley is definitely faster than Brewer, and is allowing Scot Loeffler to do some different things on offense.
So far, Brenden Motley has proved his doubters wrong on his way to leading the Hokies to two very strong offensive performances against Furman and Purdue. Motley will face his toughest road environment yet at East Carolina, but will face a defense that is not as good as the one he faced in West Lafayette that struggled against Navy’s offense last week.
Motley has proven so far that he can keep the Hokies in the hunt to win the ACC, and help get the Hokies to a New Year’s Six bowl while Michael Brewer is still out. Hopefully, Motley’s strong play will continue all the way till Brewer makes his return.