The day that every Hokie knew was coming but wished wasn’t coming so soon has arrived. Frank Beamer will lead the Virginia Tech Hokies for one final time against the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes at the same bowl game where Beamer’s tremendous bowl streak started, the Independence Bowl.
However, Tulsa will be ready to go and push the Hokies today with a high-powered offense that has averaged almost 36 points per game this season. The Hokies will know that this won’t be a walk in the park even if Virginia Tech is just about two-touchdown favorites against Tulsa.
Tulsa has one of the worst defenses in all of college football, and Virginia Tech must be ready to take advantage of this weakness. Tulsa’s rush defense has allowed over 5 yards per carry this season, and the Hokies will need to focus on the ground attack early and often.
Travon McMillian has been quite impressive this season despite not taking the starting job until the Hokies’ seventh game as he is 39 rushing yards away from becoming the Hokies’ first 1,000 yard rusher since David Wilson. However, McMillian definitely has the potential to have a huge game with 150 to 200 rushing yards on the ground.
Tulsa’s passing defense is just about as bad, and Michael Brewer will be inspired to finish off his career well not only for Beamer, but also for his family. With the game being in Shreveport, Brewer will have many friends and family making the trip from Lake Travis, Texas over to Louisiana to see Brewer play one final today.
Brewer will be ready to have a big game today, and definitely could put up 300+ passing yards and 3 or 4 touchdowns this afternoon. Meanwhile, Isaiah Ford should benefit from the matchup, and will definitely be trying to become Virginia Tech’s first 1,000 yard receiver which many expect to happen.
This may be the last game for Bucky Hodges with the redshirt sophomore tight end considering the NFL, but Hodges is a matchup nightmare, and will be a difference maker.
Dane Evans and the Tulsa passing attack will be ready to be aggressive even if they are going against Virginia Tech’s DBU. Brandon Facyson and Terrell Edmunds have been playing better as the season has gone along as the starting cornerbacks while Greg Stroman and Adonis Alexander have become more reliable in man coverage.
Tulsa’s rushing offense isn’t too bad, but this is a team built on a high-powered passing attack. However, Tulsa will look to get the run game going early to set up their passing game, and it will be up to Andrew Motuapuaka and the linebackers to fill any holes and prevent Tulsa from getting to the second level.
Tulsa will score their fair share of points, but Bud Foster’s defense will be ready with Foster very fired up to send out the man he has coached with for all 29 years at Virginia Tech with a win. With this being Frank Beamer’s final game, you just have the feeling that there will be some Beamer Ball magic on special teams once again in Shreveport.
The end of the Frank Beamer era and while it has been a roller coaster ride over these 29 years, I don’t any Hokie would exchange this for another coach. Without Beamer, there is almost no way that Whit Babcock, Tim Sands, or Buzz Williams are in Blacksburg, and Virginia Tech may be in the AAC with Tulsa instead of the ACC.
Frank Beamer changed Virginia Tech and now will give us one final ride back to the place where Virginia Tech fans made their first bowl game trip for Beamer. This is the end of an era that no one wanted to see happen once we found out it was happening even after some of the frustrations of this season.
This is it, and the Hokies will send off Beamer with a victory plus Coach Beamer getting carried off the field one final time.