The Virginia Tech Hokies plan on playing Saturday against the Pittsburgh Panthers in what are going to be tough, rainy conditions. Virginia Tech Football has talked about how the field at Lane Stadium should hold up well, and how the field can take 16 inches of rain per hour.
However, footing on the field is likely to not be very good for this game and it brings up this question. Should the Hokies play Andrew Motuapuaka against Pittsburgh or should he sit out due to the conditions?
Part of the reason for having Motuapuaka play is the fact that he is Virginia Tech’s leader and organizer on defense. Carson Lydon does not have much experience and Sean Huelskamp will not be able to play in the second half.
Motuapuaka is stronger and more athletic than Huelskamp, and has valuable ACC experience though Huelskamp has gained some solid experience on the road. Motuapuaka’s experience in practice with the first-team defense could be very valuable to help Virginia Tech’s defense get back on track, and provide much-needed leadership especially in the first half with Huelskamp suspended.
However, Andrew Motuapuaka is coming off of a significant knee injury and this can’t be taken lightly.
Huelskamp still isn’t as athletic or strong as Motuapuaka, but he is a tough, gritty player that stepped up with an impressive game against East Carolina despite the struggles of some of his teammates. Huelskamp will also be able to play in the second half of this game so it isn’t like it would be a true freshman for the whole game.
Virginia Tech also has plenty of experienced guys in the linebacking corps with Deon Clarke and in the heart of the secondary with Chuck Clark. Bud Foster is also the best in the business on the defensive side of the ball, and will be able to make sure that Lydon is ready though his lack of experience definitely could be an issue.
The Hokies also can’t afford to suffer a more serious injury to another valuable defensive player after losing Kendall Fuller for the season. Playing Motuapuaka may be an unnecessary risk if the Hokies think that Motuapuaka’s absence won’t have a big impact.
So, should the Hokies bring Motuapuaka back this week in tough, weather conditions? We will leave it up to you to tell us what you think the Hokies should do.