Not only did Justin Fuente announce his opening game starter, but he acknowledged the demotion of Virginia Tech's top o-lineman and publicized two more players sidelined for games.
Jerod Evans is the Hokies' QB1, for now. Justin Fuente tabbed Jerod Evans as Virginia Tech's starter at quarterback against Liberty, but the Trinity Valley Community College JUCO transfer will have to produce to keep his spot. Fuente didn't rule out playing multiple QBs, and either Josh Jackson or Brenden Motley could serve as Evans' backup.
This move seemed less Fuente going all-in on Evans, and more one of the three has to start. If Evans performs well, don't expect him to relinquish the role. If he struggles early, expect Fuente to go to his bench.
"Well for right now I would say that we've had a few more predicted outcomes in terms of executing," Fuente said regarding the decision to start Evans. "He's a good athlete and that plays into it as well. I will just say for now, there've been a few more of those predicted outcomes."
Predicted. Outcomes. In short order, Fuente's established "predicted outcomes" as his personal "get after ya". At the heart of the phrase is a trust issue. This is what Fuente told Alex Koma about the subject in May.
"Whether the ball is caught or dropped, the result of the play is secondary," Fuente said in May. "What I want to see, and what I instruct them to do on a consistent basis, I want to watch the play and see the ball delivered to the spot it should be delivered. The decision that should be made, I want to see that made."
Do as you're coached, don't improvise. Among the three QBs, Evans has been deterministic more regularly in practice. On September 3, he'll have the opportunity to demonstrate he can produce similarly in a game.
Backup left guard Wyatt Teller. Teller (18 career starts) is currently working with the second team behind Colt Pettit (4 career snaps).
"Colt was playing better," Fuente said. "It can always change."
This is what Pro Football Focus wrote about Teller's spot on its preseason All-ACC team.
Wyatt Teller is more one-dimensional, but he's an ideal tone-setter for an offense intending to exert their will. So much so, he made our All-American first team after posting the top returning run blocking grade amongst Power-5 guards.
Teller is Tech's best offensive lineman, by a longshot too. Reminder, the pancake machine wound up in former OL coach Stacy Searels' doghouse around this time last year.
Take Fuente at his word and consider Teller's talent level, either Wyatt's underperforming during practice or the Hokies have two All-ACC caliber guards on the roster. The former seems much more likely.
Hurdles. Juice Williams is a scratch for the Liberty and Tennessee games. Fuente called it a "hurdle", noted it's not a behavioral issue, Marshawn's done what's been asked of him, and the situation predates Fuente's tenure at Tech. Jahque Alleyne will miss the Hokies' first four games due to a similar situation.