The end of the Frank Beamer era is approaching fast now as the Virginia Tech Hokies prepare for Beamer’s final game coaching in Lane Stadium against the #17 North Carolina Tar Heels who have won nine-straight games. On paper, this seems like a game that North Carolina should win given the way they are playing right now.
However, this is one of those games where emotions will be high for the Hokies, and the potential for something special to happen in Frank Beamer’s final home game also seems very high. With that said, here are our three Hokies to watch against North Carolina.
QB Michael Brewer
The Virginia Tech Hokies face a North Carolina team that is headlined by their impressive offense that is led by senior QB Marquise Williams, but their defense has had a revival this season under new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.
North Carolina’s defense isn’t as good as the ones the Hokies faced against Duke or Boston College, but Michael Brewer will need to be sharp in this matchup with the Tar Heels. If the Hokies’ defense were to struggle some against Williams, the Hokies will likely have to rely more on Brewer and the passing game to give Virginia Tech a chance to pull off the huge upset.
Brewer was solid but not great against Georgia Tech especially in the second half when most of Virginia Tech’s offense came on the ground with Travon McMillian. Scot Loeffler talked after the Georgia Tech game about how Brewer missed a few throws and open receivers that could have made that game not as close at the end.
For Brewer, this will also be his last time playing in Lane Stadium, and he definitely wants to have a game to remember on his Senior Day. This is his chance to have a game that could be talked about for a long time with this being Frank Beamer’s final game on the sidelines in Lane Stadium.
DB Chuck Clark
Virginia Tech faces the most potent passing attack they have faced since Ohio State if not all season in Marquise Williams and the red-hot North Carolina Tar Heels. The Hokies have a lot of youth and inexperience in the secondary, and will veteran defensive back Chuck Clark to step up, and be a major leader at free safety along with providing quality help over the top.
Clark leads the Hokies this season with 78 tackles and has been used in the box a lot, but it wouldn’t surprising for Clark to play more outside of the box in this game. With Bud Foster’s tendency towards man coverage, the former cornerback Clark likely will be put in his fair share of one-on-one matchups.
Clark has had some struggles covering wide receivers out of the slot including Miami’s Stacy Coley just about a month ago in South Beach. However, Clark is the type of player that can step up in big games especially with North Carolina coming to Blacksburg with a nine-game winning streak, and Frank Beamer coaching his final game in Lane Stadium.
The Hokies will need Chuck Clark and the Virginia Tech secondary to make some plays against an impressive North Carolina passing attack. If not, the Hokies will be in for a shootout if they can stay up with North Carolina.
This needs no explanation. Thank you Frank Beamer.