Willis Over Hooker πŸ€”

I don't know if I will have the time to write about it this week, but it's baffling to me Willis was named starter over Hooker. I'm now agitated by it. Hooker facilitates the run game, protects the rock, and tosses a pretty ball. He won't pick apart a defense, but the attack executes more like a throwback to the efficient Evans single-read and gash 'em. That's a good thing.

It's not one-dimensional anymore.

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Comments

A better practice player? Maybe we beat BC, but I don't see the losses changing. Our defense has been nothing to write home about.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Defense is definitely not vintage, but the goal of every team should be to field the best version of itself. The offense is better with Hooker. (Don't make me get on the defense is better with Tisdale rant.)

What about Griffin over Belmar?

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

No.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Respectfully disagree for several reasons. More athletic, more disruptive, younger, Belmar makes mistakes that you shouldn't be making as an upperclassman.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

Hokies beat BC if Hooker is starting

Change my mind

The contrarian in me REALLY wants to argue, but I simply can't.

I was pretty optimistic about Willis coming into the season, but he has not played winning football.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

Well, from what I've seen in this small sample size, I doubt he throws 43 interceptions against BC so there's a starting point

Correct remove the five turnovers and we win that game starting the waterboy.

"Take care of the little things and the big things will come."

Hokies beat BC if Hooker is starting, and Hooker is able to play at the level that he did against Miami.

FIFY. If Hooker is injured, we don't win that game. If Hooker still hadn't learned enough of the playbook, we don't win that game. There's a lot of 'what-ifs' in VT football history, but this isn't one that will keep me up at night (unlike 'what if Kyle Fuller stayed healthy in 2013?' or 'what if we run the ball on that last third down against Boise instead of passing?' or 'What if Brewer could actually stay healthy ever?' or 'What if that PI was never thrown against USC?' or 'What if Jayron gets that pick-6 off of that Andrew Luck screen pass?' ...okay maybe not so much that last one, but you get the idea).

Twitter me

Wasn't HH's shoulder sliding out of its socket or something bizarre?

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Yeah, but we are ignoring injuries because they negatively impact the hot takes.

@hokie_rd

These injuries were never confirmed. It doesn't make sense to me why Fuente, in the midst of folks calling for Hooker, would keep an injury secret if it was his plan all along to make him the starter.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I don't think it was Fuente's plan all along to make Hooker the starter. My guess is that HH had not yet proven himself in practice, and was not able to due to his injury. The injury started clearing up as RW continued to regress, at which point Fuente made the call. But of course this all speculation.

Twitter me

It's fine to speculate but HokieStone shouldn't be criticizing folks for "ignoring" something that was never confirmed because it was likely never the case. It's funny how people cherry-pick what is okay and not okay to speculate.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Dude has a gigantic brace on his left shoulder...don't need sources to verify that much. Otherwise, who cares. I have a hard time believing the coaches made a bad decision in this particular instance.

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

It's not like this is coming out of nowhere. It's been said by a lot of people that are pretty close to the program and have sources with direct knowledge. The only real speculation is on the degree of severity. This isn't the first time they have never officially announced an injury that was common knowledge among insiders.

It's Time to go to Work

Yes, even our own LAHokie commented in the middle of September that HH had been dealing with a shoulder "for a while"

In that case Hooker wouldn't have been able to throw picks because he wouldn't have been able to throw.

It's his non-throwing shoulder.

It's Time to go to Work

I was bamboozled by that title.

Just think of it as a Grant Noel situation and ease your pain.

In a time of need, Fuente took longer than most of us would have to turn to a Hooker

These Hooker jokes are starting to get old.

Nah, just kidding. They're still hilarious.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

The guy wearing a t-shirt at the game today with "It's Hooker Time" on the front and "Stick It In" x3 on the back won the day. I want one of those.

I found that man and already have one ordered. He and his girlfriend made it.

Gobble Till You Wobble

They could probably make some decent money off this if they wanted.

what's his name? I'm trying to get one.

We've got a hooker on our offense and an angelic devil on our defense

He said give to me Roscoe

Well Hugh Freeze is probably looking for an upgrade ...

Agreed, as much as I hated watching the defense today...watching the offense the last two games has been mostly fun. Hooker is the difference...can't wait until Tre gets back on the field.

That was my thought watching this game. They let him sling it more today and he looked at least as good as Willis but with the upsides of being an underclassman, very athletic, and not turning it over. Agitated is a good word for it.

Yeah. At some point during the game I texted a buddy of mine saying I really like Hooker and how this offense runs with him under center.

Hooker is a champ

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Hooker is a better QB than Willis, right now. There's a chance Willis outplayed him in camp. There's a chance being second string lit a fire under Hooker's ass.

Fuente isn't scared to play young QBs, he rolled with two redshirt freshman in the past (2013- Paxton Lynch, 2017- Josh Jackson).

It's not even an argument haggling over play though. Hooker has a skillset that makes the offense hum, and makes up for its deficiencies (lack of consistent run game), Willis does not, and he's more erratic with the ball.

I don't think it's splitting hairs here.

Oh I definitely agree. Better skillset, does a great job of making consistent, low variance plays (being a coach's son shows in his play). Watching the press conference right now, Dalton Keene keeps harping on Hooker's maturity and calmness.

I don't want to be too critical of the coaching staff though. They're there every day, we aren't (as much as that infuriates you and the rest of the media). I'd like to think they saw a better version of Willis or a worse version of Hooker in camp.

Coach Fuente may not have been all "Coach speak" when he's been talking about how far improved Hendon has been coming in from the summer.

As of the spring game it was clearly Ryan Willis's job. Willis is hurt, but It looks like Hooker May have just progressed past him, or accelerated past him really.

He looks good and I don't think he's played his best yet either.

Yeah I think he's just hitting his stride. He's clearly a more natural fit to Cornelsen's play calling style. Whatever it was that gave the staff pause, it seems so far like he's progressing through those things.

At one point during the game, I wondered if our offense had truly been at the mercy of the QB, because I was seeing a lot of familiar plays being called but actually working this time.

I tend to agree with the speculation that FuCorn was beholden to Willis because he's essentially the reason they lost JJ. Willis can consistently make the throws he's asked to in practice, and that's what FuCorn wants. So there's your justification.

Took me a minute to realize you were referring to the start of the season. Had me scrambling to see if CJF had really packed it in by re-naming Willis the starter after 2 Hooker wins

It was reported repeatedly that Hooker was dealing with injuries. If it was limiting him near the end of camp, coach would have called the starter to get ready for the first game.

Willis has experience, a big arm and played clutch at times last year. It's also reasonable that he was doing enough in practice to claim that spot.

I'm enjoying the offense opening up as much as anyone, but I'm not convinced that the coaches did not know what they were doing with the stater. Blame it on the transparency that folks feel they are owed iI guess, but it's done now, let's hope it continues to grow and win us games.
-editing cellphone typos.

The other thing that it might have been was that Hooker needed some legit in game reps to get up to speed and show his potential and you just don't see those in practice, no matter how hard you practice. The first couple of drives with Hooker under center were very basic and conservative. Willis could very well have been the better player until Hooker got a chance to play legitimately.

Willis may have simply put the ball in the right spot more in practice than Hooker. This staff is all about their predictable outcomes more than anything. The problems though are that Willis tends to take way too many risks during a game that lead to turnovers and is not capable of effectively running the read option. We need a QB who can run to open up this offense. Period. It just doesn't work without that element. The most damning thing to me is trying to force a square peg in a round hole with Willis in this offense.

This offense is also never going to hit on all cylinders without markedly better offensive line play across the board.

Willis hardly equals predictable outcomes unless you mean turnovers.

"Give me a fuΒ’king beer", Anonymous Genius

I agree, but he probably looked good in practice which gave him the edge for the starting job. He just doesn't respond well in a game situation when the pressure is on and starts making poor decisions. Hooker probably didn't practice as sharp or consistently in the passing game but is just a baller and great athlete who makes the scheme work.

Im confused. What happened now? Something in the postgame presser?

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Bad thread title. He was wondering why Hooker wasn't starting from the beginning.

Willis started the season at quarterback. I can see how it was confusing. My bad.

You could probably just throw a question mark in there to clarify the sentiment of the title.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

It's a thing that happened, not a question, why would I punctuate it as such?

I too was very confused.

Adding "at the beginning of the season" to the end of the first sentence would do the trick for the Hooker situation.

If it happened in past tense, why post it in present tense? The emoji made the case for me but I see why it was confusing for some. As for the agitation by the decision to go with Willis, I wouldnt let it keep me up at nights. We just don't have enough information to accurately judge. I also worry we havent seen the worst of Hooker yet as teams start to get tape on his tendencies (like throw to Hazelton whenever a TE isnt open). Also, I just don't need to try to fabricate another reason to attack the coaching.

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

How can a phrase have a tense when there is no verb? Maybe my engineer is showing.
But, I agree. We haven't seen Hooker's worst yet. UNC will be a very interesting game

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

I still love ya joe...

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Whew ! Thought and believably so.....that Willis was starting again! OK I'll change may diaper now.

"Hey Bud, you wont have to hold the opponent to 17 points anymore."

Regardless of how bad he was this year, Willis seemed clearly better than JJ last year, too. Jj > Willis > Hooker to the staff definitely makes you think.

JJ, 2017: 59.6% completion, 7.6 YPA, 20 TD, 9 INT, 135.2 QB rating
Willis 2018: 58.5% completion, 7.5 YPA, 24 TD, 9 INT, 138.0 QB rating

I'm not sure there's much difference there. Willis is a better runner but the next correct read he makes on a zone read play will be his first so that all washes out.

In both situations, the staff went with what they knew from game action. That's defensible.

Willis was just much worse this year than last. He didn't have an interception problem last year (something like 4 of his interceptions last year bounced off Hazeltons hands). Willis kept the ball on reads better last year. This year, Willis just stunk.

I think injury put Willis ahead.

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

Going against our defense in camp must have made it difficult to evaluate the offense period. The offense probably ran the ball well no matter who was the starter and Willis probably made more throws from a comfortable pocket. Willis did throw for the 2nd most tds in a single season last year without playing the first 3 games.

I have been thinking that over the past 2 weeks. I just don' t think Hooker is as good of a passer, and they seem to want to be able to throw with accuracy over having a dual-threat. Willis is a turnover machine though and dug his own grave.

What's
Important
Now

Agree that Hooker is a better fit, but this team is going to have to scratch and claw just to be in every remaining game. It's going to be a slog every week.

I think it speaks to the way Fuente manages, or mismanages, his roster. I'm not convinced Fuente is very good at this part of being a head coach.

Is it basketball season yet?

Look at the failure of play calling and clock management at the end of the half and end of the game. That alone tells you that Fuente has some issues there.

I am definitely falling for a hooker, but I could see having a serious man crush on QP if he gets it together and becomes the starter. He looked like a LB out there for his 3 hand-offs to end the game!

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

Obviously, I agree with the assessment the Hendon is better for the offense based on the games we have seen. My interpretation is simple.

Ryan isn't a gamer and plays better in practice who has lots of physical talent (imagine how good he would look if he makes consistently good decisions under pressure).

Hendon is a gamer who is better in game situations than he shows in practice for 2 reasons. One, his running ability is something that isn't practiced much for fear of injury. Two, he just has a better mental make-up when the lights go on and combine that with some of his relationships and the team just fits better.

Basically, there is no way to simulate this in practice. Bottom-line is it doesn't matter as he has firmly taken the job.

Maybe ryan has looked good in practice because our defense, mainly our secondary isn't very good.

Our secondary would look better if we had a pass rush. No one can cover for an indefinite period of time

What? Our d ends and d line are not good. Farley is pretty good. But to put our bad d on the backend is crazy imo.

"I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising..." - KP

Basically, there is no way to simulate this in practice. Bottom-line is it doesn't matter as he has firmly taken the job.

I've long suspected that this is an issue for evaluating QBs that will never truly be resolved. Practice is fundamentally different from real games in a variety of ways that is easy to imagine how it would have tilted in Willis's favor.

For one thing, in practice, running skills don't always shine through, because of non-contact jerseys and the like. Also some players just perform better under pressure than others. It's entirely possible Willis plays better when he doesn't feel the game time pressure weighing on him.

I suspect the yellow jersey may be an important factor. Willis appears to play a little scared. He rushes his reads, and abandons the pocket too quickly. "Scared money don't make no money" sounds like you are more worried about bad outcomes. Not sure if he is having an issues getting past getting beat up a Kansas when the lights come on, but the worse younger our line got the worse he got at making reads even when he had time.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

I agree with most of what you said here, but I wouldn't go so far as to say Willis is not a "gamer". I think it's easy to forget some of the things he did last year - UNC game 3rd and 15 pass to People's and 4th and 9 scramble, UVA chasing down the pic 6 before half and the pass to Keene, etc. We only played 3 close games all of last season and Willis came through and won 2 of them (bowl game bring the 3rd)

For this year - the results speak for themselves, and HH has proven to be the better option in a limited sample size. But let's just not forget what RW brought to the table in 2018, which had a lot to do with him being named started for this year.

I wouldn't go so far as to say Willis is not a "gamer". I think it's easy to forget some of the things he did last year - UNC game 3rd and 15 pass to People's and 4th and 9 scramble, UVA chasing down the pic 6 before half and the pass to Keene, etc. We only played 3 close games all of last season and Willis came through and won 2 of them (bowl game bring the 3rd)

Maybe he's just an arsonist, the kind of guy that lives in Quadrant 1 of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Ryan isn't a gamer and plays better in practice who has lots of physical talent (imagine how good he would look if he makes consistently good decisions under pressure).

I disagree that Willis isn't a gamer, guy is all piss and vinegar, he may be too much of a gamer and doesn't see the risks. Willis led some pretty good drives last year when the team needed them (UNC, UVa, etc). This season he has just been ahead of his skis too many times and put the ball into risky situations and been bit. Hooker plays with a little more caution because he can rely on his legs when he doesn't see a wide open guy. Willis would see wide open guys when there weren't any.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

In the post game press conference, a bunch of questions were asked about HenBoss' command of the huddle and ability to stay calm and calm others too. There were so many positive responses during the press conference. This stands out so much because it means HenBoss isn't overthinking it and trying to be superman out there.

It reminded me of the many player stories about how we had a former QB who was calm in the huddle and would just pull out chapstick in the huddle. Who is this former QB? None other than MV7 😁

Let's Go

HOKIES

Chapstick at Getty dot org

I just sit on my couch and b*tch. - HokieChemE2016

If MV7 ever wanted to push a product for a cause, a Mike Vick custom flavor chapstick would sell out years of inventory in a month in BBurg. Make it some kind of cherry flavor with a maroon label and BOOM, profit.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Mike Vick custom flavor chapstick

I feel like there should be a comma in there somewhere. I'm not really down with a chapstick that tastes like Mike Vick. Love the guy as a football player, but that's about as far as my love for MV7 goes.

β€œTHE CUP IS GOING NOWHERE MIKEY!!! THEY DID IT SOMEHOW!!”

It's not just about the fit that confuses me. Hooker has had a couple bad plays where he just minimized the outcome and lived to fight another day. Those are very important in this system that values expected outcomes. It's not what can he do, but what he doesnt do that is a huge difference maker.

One take away I have enjoyed is that with Hooker in there, it's like we remembered that Keene is on this team. And also our running backs actually have some space to run because the D can't tee it up every single time, and the game plan with Willis just always felt very one dimensional to me.

Not speaking ill of Willis, he's a tough kid and went out there to do his best. But right now there is literally no reason sans an injury that Hooker is not the starter the remainder of the season. Win or lose, play the kid that has the ability and the eligibility

This - no one respects Willis with regard to the run. Teams have shown they fear hookers legs, as they should. It has led to wide open tight ends and receivers repeatedly, which doesn't even require a great throw.

"I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising..." - KP

Definitely excited about Hooker.

- I think the QB competition through spring and fall camps was genuine. As others have said, I think the coaches started the guy who graded out the best
-The running game is definitely progressing. Hooker is benefiting from that to some extent, but he's probably creating some of that progress too by being a viable RPO threat.
-Through two games his throwing ability has far exceeded expectations, and at first look appears to be at least equal to Willis'. The caveats I think are that against Miami it was a relatively limited number of throws, and against Rhode Island he had all day on the majority of downs. We'll see how it looks through more games.

I'm not doubting Hooker. I think he has a ton of potential and is the clear starter/adds a ton to our offense. I would only suggest that at this point claiming the coaches were incompetent by not declaring him the starter against BC is ignoring a lot of context.

A lot of people will say because hooker is more of a threat running but he has been passing the ball well and the read option is much more efficient . If defense played decent today we would have easily had 50 points today . Our offense flows much better

What if QP4 is the best QB out there?

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) || Kylo Ren (QP4) || Lando (Deablo)

Solid.

We did have a QP4 sighting at the end of the game and man does that guy look jacked. I'd love to see him actually playing football without training wheels.

That was a complaint for me yesterday when they put him in. They needed to actually let him run the offense and not just hand off the ball.

At least the difference this week was that the lack of QP wasn't due to the offense not being able to score enough to build a comfortable lead. Can't really ask much more from that group when they score on all but one possession that didn't end a half.

If recruiting rankings hold, 2020 competition is going to be fierce between Hooker, QP and Burmeister.

This was mentioned in an earlier thread, but have we just collectively forgotten that he's QP2? Quincy Patterson II (the second).

He's not RG3 (though I get it, QP3 rhymes nicely), and he's definitely not QP4...unless it's based on some fun new nickname that I've missed. By the time he actually plays he'll be QP17 if things keep going the way they have been.

QP4 is in reference to his jersey number, #4. Just like Vick is MV7 and Taylor is TT5 and Thomas is LT3, etc, etc

β€œTHE CUP IS GOING NOWHERE MIKEY!!! THEY DID IT SOMEHOW!!”

I saw two linemen try to pick Hooker up after he was tackled on a play. One play doesn't make it true, but I feel like the players around him want to help him more.

Agree with this 100%. One thing I noticed with Willis is it seemed like no one was ever in a hurry to help him off the field or come check on him on the sideline. Might just be my faulty perception, but I do think for one reason or another the team is willing to rally around Hooker more than Willis.

It's no secret that Hooker is extremely popular with at least a vocal portion of the locker room, if not the vast majority.

One other thing I've been thinking about is the fact that Keene and Hazelton are finally healthy and have suddenly emerged as the top receiving threats. I still like Hooker over Willis so far but it's not totally an apples to apples comparison with those guys finally balling again.

Tre is out though, so it kind of evens out

Imagine the deep doo we would be in if Hooker transferred.

I don't know how the NCAA works, but if this did happen, do the chances of Burmeister clearing go up? Maybe we have an argument about depth chart issues.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

With all due respect, I don't think the NCAA gives one taint hair about our depth chart i.e. Brock Hoffman

do the chances of Burmeister clearing go up

Nope. Zero correlation.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

I think Hooker's passing was better than his stats both weeks, really, with dropped balls and passes only inches off several times. I was happy to see him airing it out, and seeing those wide open guys and actually hitting them when he did made me feel a lot more comfortable than I felt with Willis. Like everyone says, UNC will tell us a lot, but the Miami game gives me hope for the rest of the year, something I had lost after game 1, so I'm feeling better about us.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Hooker had a couple dimes that were in the gloves of Hazelton yesterday but not hauled in. Could've had a good chunk of additional yardage. Wishing Hazelton would've laid out a bit more for those catch attempts. I'm looking forward to a Tre getting healthy again.

I yelled at my tv a couple of times about how he could have laid out and caught a few easily. Not saying that it doesn't hurt a bit, but those looked like very catchable.

Didn't even have to lay out for some of them, just had to close his hands.

So kinda off topic but I was walking downtown last night and saw Willis drive by, kinda always thought he had a baby face so couldn't hurt a fly, that dude could have shot daggers out his eyes the way he was looking at people.

He said give to me Roscoe

Please tell me what he drives. I can guess but I bet the truth is better.

What is the point of a comment like this, really? I say we should let people be what they want to be on their own time.

Bad look to comment on someone having a bad day, just because they happen to "be someone".

Maybe he was trying to say the guy looks tougher in person than he does on TV

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

That's the way I took the post. But Willis is what, 6-4, 220+lbs, and notoriously (or allegedly?) busted our punter in the head with a beer bottle, so I would never have thought of him as unable to hurt a fly or anything.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Other way around. Willis was getting carried away/kinda being an ass & Bradburn set him straight

Was that it? Sorry 'bout that. I don't know whether I heard it wrong or remembered it wrong, but I appreciate you setting me straight. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

per the rumor/story/legend, both statements are accurate, just missing the middle part where the punter shrugs off the bottle smash and goes to town..

I have no idea why that got down voted all to shit. He is a football player out in public and part of the discussion.

Couple thoughts from game, in no particular order...

-Hooker looks great. Happy for him. Throws a decent deep ball and appears to look to throw before taking off
-Special teams still looks rough, mainly the return teams, I'd give them a C-
-Hazelton is good. But cant wait to see Robinson and Turner out there together
-Glad to see Tahj Gary get in there, fellow Atlien. Could be a real wrecking ball on short yardage
- Targeting... sux for Floyd

-Special teams still looks rough, mainly the return teams, I'd give them a C-

Our kick return team drives me nuts. It seems like every time it is smart to call a fair catch (and get the ball at the 25), they decided to run it and we start at the 15 yard line or closer.

I'd rather they never return it (especially inside the endzone) and just take it at the 25 every time. Risk vs. reward isn't worth it IMO

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

I really wanted that TD for Gary.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

He would have walked in for a TD (play after that reversed td call) if the snap wasn't bobbled

I mentioned in another thread, Fuente's loyalty to Willis was more concerning to me than his loyalty to Cornelson. It seems like a 180Β° turn from Fuente starting Paxton Lunch over Jacob Karam at Memphis. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I'm hoping Willis said and did all the right things in practice, and appeared to have fixed his issues in the zone read. Sometimes perceived improvement in practice doesn't translate to in-game performance. But the whole thing is just very bizarre.

"I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible." -Justin Fuente

I mentioned in another thread, Fuente's loyalty to Willis was more concerning to me than his loyalty to Cornelson.

I think in general Fuente is massively risk averse - from his hires to recruiting, to game planning and roster management. I'd suspect he knows this season he's coaching for his job, and it feels like "devil you know" type situation, and just was doing anything he could to not introduce an unknown QB variable into the fold?

Β―\_(ツ)_/Β― I don't understand it, either...I'm just searching for some sort of reasoning at this point.

I think there's a handful of reasons why Willis got the start over Hooker:

  • Given that the strength of this team is the WR's, and Willis has more arm strength than Hooker, I think it's reasonable to believe that Willis was, in theory, had a skill set that better suited our offense (or at least what the coaches thought our offense would look like).
  • I think the Brock Hoffman denial fucked us up more than we realize. If our OL is better, maybe we can rely on a traditional run game and a traditional pocket passer more. If we have a traditional run game, and RW can stand up in the pocket for longer, I don't know if we have all of these turnovers.
  • Rumors that HH was injured to start the season also play a factor.

It's really easy to question the coaches' decision in light of how much better the offense looks with Hooker. But look at the flip side - if we started an HH with a nagging injury, and he couldn't throw the ball well, we'd all be here complaining about how the coaches started a player who can't take advantage of the strongest part of our offense (WRs) and how the coaches can't develop QBs, etc.

It's really a lose-lose for the coaches unless RW comes out and plays great.

EDIT: just wanted to add to clarify - I think it's fair to question the coaches; they haven't exactly earned the benefit of doubt recently. But, you have to acknowledge that there's information asymmetry here, and we really have no way of knowing if they were making the right decision based on what they saw in practice. But then again, if Fuente was more open with the program, there wouldn't be information asymmetry and we may not be questioning everything right now... All we can do is focus on the remainder of the season.

Twitter me

I've heard that Willis has more arm strength than Hooker a lot. Is there any proof of that besides repeating what we see other people say on TKP? I'm genuinely curious. What have we seen that tells us that Hendon doesn't have a strong arm?

Hendon doesnt have a weak arm. But he did quote in an interview that he wished he had the arm strength Willis has. We will see how he progresses but right now I would describe Hooker as throwing a very catchable ball.

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

Previous spring game is really the only evidence I have. RW has a great arm, and the physical talent to make any throw on the field (although his decision making has been lacking at best). I haven't yet seen that from HH, but I recognize that I've only seen him play in half a spring game, one game against Miami, and one game against an FCS team.

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I think it will be interesting to see how things go the next several weeks in ACC play. I agree completely that Hooker, at the very least, gives the offense an identity, particularly in the run game.

I am worried that some of our predictabilty will rear its head once teams start more film study. Particularly, the underneath crossing route to Keene that seems to be Corny's new bread and butter.

In any case, I would have a hard time arguing that Hooker, in any scernario, dosen't give this team the best chance of winning. That would generally be the goal when selecting a QB1. It is hard to understand exactly what the coaches were seeing that didn't lead them to make Hooker the starter.

Hooker so far is showing much more leadership, especially in his decision making on the field. He also has brought energy and support from his teammates, which others commented about in this thread.

Willis has the QB passing skills, but, not the decision making and leadership skills needed. Bottom line, he was 1-15 at Kansas and 6-10 at Tech. The record stands on its own. I know he has busted his tail, but, I am happy that CJF made the move. It provides Tech with the best chances going forward. Each week will be a better measure of how they improve, or not. Either way, we'll be there. Go Hokies!

I am worried that some of our predictabilty will rear its head once teams start more film study. Particularly, the underneath crossing route to Keene that seems to be Corny's new bread and butter.

I'm more concerned that Miami is secret trash, sort of like FSU last year. I mean, I know they just beat a decent UVA team, but that UVA team just had a bad night of turnovers (and might also be secretly trash).

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None of these teams are "secretly" trash. The ACC is openly trash this year aside from Clemson. If we can get our act together this division could not be more winnable. It's a shame we haven't up to this point.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) || Kylo Ren (QP4) || Lando (Deablo)

Wasnt Hooker hurt? Shoulder injury of some sort. One of his earlier appearances he was shown coming to the sideline holding his shoulder (which was already in a brace)

Isn't it quite possible the ONLY reason Hooker wasnt the starter vs BC is because he hadn't healed up enough?

The "Hooker was just hurt to start the season" argument would be a lot easier to buy if the same exact thing didn't happen last year, where Willis was clearly better than JJ but didn't get a chance until a season-ending injury forced it.

It's the second straight year the staff failed to identify and take a chance on a clearly-better option at the most important position, something that was specifically called out as one of their greatest strengths when they were hired.

JJ is better than Willis but neither are great. Jackson is physically limited and Willis simply doesn't or can't run the offense the coaches want, but made up for it at times last year off script.

The first rule of Fight Club is we don't talk about turkey leg votes

last year, where Willis was clearly better than JJ

I'd take JJ over Willis. I think an argument could be made that Willis is better, but 'clearly' better? No way.

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Not seeing it all re: Willis being the better passer. Several of the throws HH has made the past two games were next level and better than anything Willis has shown.. If RW is better, its by a really narrow margin.

'Its easy to grin, when your ship comes in, and you've got the stock market beat,
but the man worthwhile, is the man who can smile, when his shorts are too tight in the seat'

Hooker masks a lot of issues. I really see this like a TT vs Glennon deal. Willis May be a good qb somewhere with a perfect o-line. (Although the is a walking turnover machine.. like glennon in '06 CFa bowl)

I think the staff thought the strength would be the passing game so they went with Willis without thinking about what hooker could offer. (The wr's don't seem to be the strength this year for various reasons so I think it didn't matter "who was the best passer anyways")

The whole team seems rise with hooker on the field. Whether is the fear of him running, whether it's ability to actually read an End crashing on a play- he seems to be the tide raising all boats.

I don't like how Willis called teammates "kids" in press conferences. Just seemed condescending.

That last comment bugged the heck out of me too! Made it seem like he had made it, and the "kids" were still learning.

PDXHokie

like glennon in '06 CFa bowl)

Triggered.

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

I really see this like a TT vs Glennon deal.

I understand it's the situation being compared but was just thinking the other day how Glennon was much better than anyone we have on the team right now.

I really see this like a TT vs Glennon deal

It's more Willie Beamon vs. Cap Rooney to me.

I just think this conversation needs to be over. There are so many variables the coaching staff was considering that we do not know enough about. Yes, Hooker adds something to the offense with his running ability, and the coaches knew that. But we don't know how many reps he got in fall camp, if his shoulder was keeping him out some, plus the coaching staff thought they'd have Brock Hoffman and Jalen Holston and they thought they would have Hazelton and Turner on the field together and they thought Willis would have a healthy arm. They probably also believed Willis would progress and maybe he would have with all of those pieces in place.

It took the coaches a couple games longer than we all wanted to make the switch, but they needed to make sure it was 100% the right call. Knowing what we know and not knowing what we don't, there is just no way any of us can say Hooker should have started the season.

I'm glad Hooker is the starter and am looking forward to beating UNC this weekend! Now can we all move on and focus on the rest of the season instead of the beginning of the season?

When is Turner coming back?

I read he is likely to be back this week against UNC, but unsure at this point.

I was hoping this game. I thought I saw him uniformed up before the kickoff.

He was. He was throwing with Hooker pre-game and was up and moving around fully suited up on the sideline all game. He was active and engaged on the sideline with teammates as well. I had a good vantage point with seats just behind the little recruiting section. He looked to be moving around fine without any limps or favoring one side. I imagine it was more precautionary to make sure he was ready to go for UNC without risking tweaking something.

Awesome!

Yep, that isn't some inside info or anything that I am certain he will go next week, but based on what I saw and how he looked I am currently expecting him to play Saturday unless someone with the team comes out and says differently.

Should be ready to go vs UNC

Yeah, thought I saw the same thing through the toob. He looked saddled up and ready, but yeah, Rhode Island.... why risk it.

Looking forward to seeing him on the field with Hazelton and Robinson. Strong trio there, plus Keene... watch out folks.

I think it was the postgame interview, Fuente said Tre could have played vs Rhode island if needed

Urban Meyer, almost indisputably the best offensive coach of the past 15 years, started Cardale Jones over JT Barrett for the first seven games of the 2015 season even though their offense clearly played much better with Barrett under center. Willis didn't work out this year but it's not unheard of for a coach to stick with the QB1 for a while so he won't be looking over his shoulder all the time and can build some confidence.

Also I distinctly recall people were literally upset that Fuente didn't name Willis QB1 earlier on this fall, claiming it was obvious that he deserved to be the starter and could mess with his confidence or team chemistry. It's interesting to see the pendulum swing so far in the other direction (except for the part where the Fuente gets criticized- that part has remained the same in every facet of every situation for months now).

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Blarf edit.

I distinctly recall people were literally upset

It's the ones who were figuratively upset that you really have to worry about though. Who knows what game they are at.

This made me laugh entirely too hard. Leg.

"That's it guys. Let's get out of here. That cold drink's waitin' on us, let's go." - Mike Young after win no. 300.

I know you're joking but I added literally because I wanted to clarify that I wasn't speculating or making things up. I went back and found a thread with those posts (link) and think it's fairly interesting to read at this point.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I've always questioned Cornelson's ability to evaluate anything - and has always went with the comfortable choice.

It's crazy that people assume coaches can't misjudge players just because they see them practice day to day. I'm not saying Fuente & Co can't evaluate talent, but I could easily see a scenario where they overfocused on 1 or 2 issues that ended up being not that big of a deal while not putting enough stock into Willis's issues. Even for experts sometimes it's the simplest things that end up being overlooked and as a result they overthink or mishandle the problem.

The fact is the team clicks when Hooker is behind center more than it does Willis. Yeah maybe Hooker fumbles a bit more in practice, and sometimes he's a bit inconsistent with ball placement. But in a game situation he's a lot more dynamic and it shows.

You're so right. That said, we have a huge challenge this week with UNC. If Hooker can get us up early on them we have a chance IMO. I think points early is crucial to this team given the defensive struggles.

"I play real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising..." - KP

I agree. The Hokies need to use some of their touchdown plays in the first quarter if they get the look they want from the defense. No point in holding on to them until later in the game.

It's Time to go to Work

Thread bump, because now I'm even more confused.....

Hooker had an injury. That's the only explanation. QPs arm wasn't ready yet.

I'm not going to bash Willis as others have. He's a gamer, and gave his all as a Hokie. Which, unfortunately, wasn't enough. This program competes for ACC titles. That's the expectation. Right now, we get that with Hooker, and QP slotted in well. Cautiously optimistic about the rest of the season.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

I agree. I'm not gonna bash Willis he has balled out for VT in the past and won us some games. His efforts against UNC last year and UVA alone. He definitely had fight in him. However his turnovers were killing us. I can't imagine Willis playing QB for us anymore going forward save injuries.

Hopefully Hooker is ok and ready to go for ND. The bye week now is definitely critical and couldn't have come at a better time after a hard fought emotional win.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

Coming out of South Bend without any new injuries is critical. We win, awesome that's gravy, but we gotta be as healthy as possible going into the final 4 stretch. We control our destiny, and need one more Duke loss for Charlotte.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Not gonna bash him either, but it is obvious QPII gives us a better chance to win than Willis, arm ready or not.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Willis doesn't come through last night ....we don't get the chance to win Respect to him.

Overheard as Duke assistant coaches took elevator down from press box: β€œGuys, they stopped the run with a three-man front.” - David Teel Tweet 2018

I just don't get it. The offense runs better with Hooker or Quincaaaaaay running it than Willis. And it's not really that close.

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I think the issue is practice vs real play. Willis is the better QB in my opinion when there is no pressure and no contact. HH and QP are both better under pressure and contact. In practice, you just don't have the contact you have in a real game. No one in practice is going to pancake the QB. So the coaches saw Willis in pansy play. In the real world it is different. Willis is spooked and under pressure gives up in a heartbeat. It took one series in the UNC game, where Willis gave up on a play in moderate pressure, to pull him. I am glad the coaches saw that and glad they pulled him. Willis issues are in his head.

I'm not upset that Willis started the BC game, he was the incumbent with all the measurables. But by halftime of the ODU game I was telling everyone at the bar who would listen that I thought Hooker should go in. It seemed obvious that the offense stagnated with Willis. What I am upset about is that Hooker didn't start the Furman game, which would have warmed him up for the Duke game which may have turned out differently. We could now be talking about a 6-1 team 3-1 ACC that only needs one more win to be bowl eligible. Then again maybe the program needed the Duke drubbing in order to reset. But that Willis was still the starter after ODU with two electric, good decision making, dynamic guys on the bench is frustrating.

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