After a long offseason of watching a roller coaster ride of a quarterback battle, Virginia Tech fans got to see Michael Brewer show fans unfamiliar with him why most experts had him pegged as the starter as he lead the Hokies to a 34-9 victory over fellow Commonwealth foe William & Mary.
The action got off fast as W&M was held to a three and out early and forced to punt. VT would start their first drive at the 16 yard line. From there, Brewer immediately began to pay dividends to the coaches for making him starter, going 6-of-8 for 42 yards, hitting five different receivers while rushing for 16 yards on a scramble. He found the endzone for the first time as a Hokie on a 16-yard TD to true freshman Isaiah Ford who also scored his first Tech TD.
The Tribe however was determined to get an upset. Going with a bit of trickery, they pulled a Wildcat and went with Mikal Abdul-Saboor who got a 40-yard rush to the VT 35. The drive stalled at the 20 and the Tribe settled for a Joey Carpenter 36-yard field goal.
On the next VT possession, Brewer and The Hokies drove down to the W&M 47, the big play being a 24-yard completion to Cam Phillips (another true freshman). A few plays later, a Brewer pass was tipped and intercepted by Tribe defender Airek Green. Following the pick, Tribe QB Steve Cluley would hit a 43-yard deep route to Tre McBride to set W&M up in the VT redzone, but Bud Foster's crew would be up to the challenge as they stalled the Tribe and forced another John Carpenter field goal to make the score 7-6 at the beginning of the second quarter.
After another VT stallout on offense, W&M would have a chance to take the lead. After working the ball to the VT 39, Cluley would turn to pass and get sacked and stripped by Derek DiNardo with Chase Williams running the ball back to the Tribe 2-yard line. Tech would run twice for no gain but then on the third down fade route to Bucky Hodges, W&M would be flagged for pass interference to give VT another three tries. On third down Brewer threw to Hodges again, this time Hodges would catch the partially deflected pass to put Tech in the endzone for the second time. Following a Joey Slye extra point, VT lead 14-6.
After another 3 and out by W&M, Tech would get the ball back at the VT 26 yard line with 3:16 left in the half. After two Shai McKenzie rushes for 11 yards, Brewer would lead the team down to the W&M 5, going 3-of-3 for 62 yards, with a flashy 38-yard pass to Demitri Knowles. Unfortunately VT's redzone woes caught up to them again and VT had to settle for a 20-yard Joey Slye field goal to end the half 17-6.
The second half began with the Hokies getting the ball and seemingly going three and out, but a running into the kicker call on the punt would give VT new life on the drive. From there Tech would march down the field as Brewer hit five completions for 45 yards and true freshman Marshawn Williams added 25 yards rushing with Shai Mckenzie getting 4 yards to get VT to the W&M 10 but Tech again settled for a field goal to take a 20-6 lead.
After a W&M stall out, VT would get the ball and a play later but J.C. Coleman would fumble on the VT 44 to give the Tribe good field position. W&M drove to the VT 28 but the Hokie defense held again to force another John Carpenter field goal. That made it VT 20 W&M 9.
On the next drive, Brewer would hit a 20-yard pass to Isaiah Ford to get the ball to the W&M 45. One play later Shai Mckenzie would break the game wide open with a 39-yard VT touchdown run. Slye's PAT made it 27-9 VT.
Early in the fourth quarter, VT punted but Tre Reed fumbled the ball and Hokie defender Donovan Riley recovered at the W&M 28. Following a 26-yard reception from Willie Byrn, JC Coleman scored a 2-yard TD to put the game out of reach. That made the final score VT 34 W&M 9.
Michael Brewer had a solid debut for the Hokies, going 23-of-30 for 251 yards, two TD's and one INT while also gaining 21 yards on the ground. True Freshman Shai McKenzie lead the team in rushing, gaining 106 yards on nine attempts with fellow true freshman Marshawn Williams adding 41 yards on 12 tries
The Hokies will travel to Columbus next week to take on Ohio State in what will be the biggest crowd to see a Virginia Tech football game.