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Virginia Tech Football: Five Burning Questions, William & Mary Edition

We take a look at some of the major concerns heading into game number one.


1. Will Tech struggle in the early going against William & Mary?

Right or wrong, the majority of the Hokie faithful will draw far too much from the quality of play in the first half Saturday, particularly on offense. If Tech doesn't move the ball with ease there will be many questions about year two of the Scot Loeffler project. If Tech takes control early and dominates, people will be just as likely to heap praise and declare the unit "fixed". Cooler heads will recognize that it's the first game, and it features a number of inexperienced players in big roles. There will likely be a number of moments that aren't pretty, but if Tech wins by a couple touchdowns without any major injuries that'll be considered a solid opening weekend.

2. Who will lead the charge at tailback?

With no Trey Edmunds for the opener Tech, will use some kind of combination of  the other five tailbacks. Junior J.C. Coleman and a pair of freshman, Marshawn Williams and Shai McKenzie, figure to get the bulk of the carries. Joel Caleb and freshman Travon McMillian may see action as well in certain formations. It's a toss up for who becomes the primary back while Edmunds continues to heal.

3. What kind of start will Michael Brewer have?

Much of the buzz surrounds Tech's new quarterback Michael Brewer. The receiving corps seems to be improved with the return of Josh Stanford and the emergence of freshman Isaiah Ford. Tight end Ryan Malleck returns from a lost injury year, along with Bucky Hodges, though Kalvin Cline is still recovering from injury. That's an abundance of talented targets for Brewer. He missed spring practice while graduating at Texas Tech, but hopefully summer workouts were enough time to develop good chemistry with his playmakers.

4. Have the Hokies finally found a kicker?

It's been a long and often embarrassing road for Frank Beamer's special teams unit in recent years. Ignoring for a moment the lack of blocked kicks, the place-kicking unit has been wildly inconsistent thanks in large part to mercurial former kicker Cody Journell's forays into the Virginia court system. Tech hopes that true freshman kicker Michael Santamaria is worth giving a scholarship out of high school. The left-footed rookie will get the first cracks at field goals in a live game, though it's unclear if Tech might try someone else on a kick more than 45 yards or so.

5. Is this the beginning of a much needed bounce back season?

Beyond the major hurdle of the Ohio State road test, the schedule is very manageable for Tech on the whole. If the offense can take a step or two forward and the defense once again rounds into form, the Hokies could approach a 10 win season. With that result, they would likely win the ACC Coastal Division as well. Even 8 or 9 wins would continue the upward trend in the win column and allay some fears about this being the end of an era.