After a 49-0 victory over Boston College this past Saturday, the Virginia Tech Hokies have shifted their focus to Saturday’s showdown against the East Carolina Pirates who have beaten the Hokies the past two years.
One thing that the Hokies have had some concerns about is the situation at the center spot with both Eric Gallo and Kyle Chung receiving at least one start in the first three games this season. Today, Eric Gallo was listed as the starting center over Kyle Chung on the latest depth chart but that doesn’t seem to mean that Gallo is guaranteed to start or that Justin Fuente is comfortable with the situation is center.
Fuente: Not comfortable at all with center spot, still working on it #Hokies
— The Tech Lunch Pail (@techlunchpaild) September 19, 2016
Justin Fuente specifically and bluntly responded, “no” to a question today in regards to whether he was comfortable with the situation at the center position. The response was a surprise given how Gallo was listed as the starter over Chung instead of the “or” listing that Chung and Gallo were given last week.
The situation at center has been a major surprise given how Eric Gallo was the starter easily last season and how he seemed quite reliable last year starting all 13 games for the Hokies. Yes, Kyle Chung hasn’t really been healthy enough to play till now but Gallo seemed to have the job pretty much locked down.
Of course, the fact that Gallo is back ahead of Chung on the depth chart is a sign that last year’s starting center may be close to locking down his starting spot once again. Gallo also seemed to take a higher volume of snaps against Boston College than Chung while Chung took most of the snaps against Tennessee and did not look that great.
The biggest issue is the fact that Justin Fuente has been very blunt with the fact that he is not comfortable with the situation at center. Part of that could also be due to what Jerod Evans said last week about working with 2 different centers.
Evans: "Kind of difficult" at first working with multiple centers but gets easier with time #Hokies
— The Tech Lunch Pail (@techlunchpaild) September 12, 2016
Getting reps with more than one center will only increase the time it takes to get the communication down between the QB and center but the fact that Gallo is now listed as the first team center may be a sign that he will get more first team reps in practice, allowing the Hokies to improve that chemistry between the starting QB and first team center whether Gallo holds that down or Chung takes it back.
Going into the season, the center spot seemed to not be an issue at all given the fact that the Hokies were returning a starter in Eric Gallo. However, the turmoil at the center position plus Justin Fuente’s very blunt comments on his centers speaks volumes to how that spot has now become one of the Hokies’ biggest concerns.