The Virginia Tech football team received some great news yesterday when it was announced that quarterback Michael Brewer has been fully cleared to practice. Once expected to miss eight to ten weeks, Brewer is now a game time decision for Friday's upcoming matchup against North Carolina State.
The question that now must be answered. Should it be Brewer or Motley that starts under center?
Brenden Motley was virtually unknown to the Virginia Tech faithful. After the Ohio State game, majority of fans were calling for true freshman Dwayne Lawson to take the reigns. However it didn't take long to see he was not the answer and still needs time to develop. The keys to the offense were given to Motley. The 6-foot-3 221-pound athlete has performed admirably over the past four games and up until this past Saturday was getting better each week. Is he the best option to lead the Hokies the rest of the year? Let's take a look at some of the pro's and con's of each player, and you tell me what you think.
Michael Brewer: The redshirt senior is the definition of a traditional quarterback. Brewer is known for standing tall in the pocket, absorbing big hits, and making all the necessary throws. He has the arm strength to attempt any pass he wants to and can be very accurate when given enough time in the pocket. The kid has a quiet confidence about him. There is no doubt, if he doesn't get hurt in the Ohio State game, we might have a new number one in college football and this article would of never been written.
Brenden Motley: The highly athletic Motley is not only quick and elusive, but he is also a very big guy who doesn't shy away from contact either. The redshirt junior offers something that Brewer cannot. He has the ability to extend the play with his feet. We have seen on multiple occasions, when Motley is about to get sacked, he avoids a defender, sets his feet, surveys the field, and makes a great throw. He also gives the offense another running threat. Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler might appreciate the likes of a scrambling quarterback as opposed to a sitting duck back there. Especially with this offensive line.
Michael Brewer: If Brewer was never injured are the Hokies undefeated? I say no. Virginia Tech's defense has been down right abysmal against average talent and Brewer isn't at that elite status to lift an entire team on hs shoulders. My assessment of Brewer is that he is inconsistent. He will have games where he passes for over 200 yards in the air with multiple touchdowns, and then he will have the 130 yard passing games and a couple turnovers. He also can hold onto the ball for too long instead of getting rid of it. Brewer has those eye popping, jaw dropping, wow plays, and other times where you wonder what was that? One of his positives was the willingness to take a hit. Does he still have that after this injury? He is only 6-foot-1 and is less than 200 pounds. Brewer is not the slowest guy on team, but he can't outrun a lot of defenders. Quickness is not his strong point.
Brenden Motley: For those of you who didn't know, Motley was a triple option quarterback in high school. He was recruited as an athlete and technically is still learning the position. He is not 100% of the reason for Virginia Tech's three losses, but as a quarterback, the blame sometimes gets thrown on you whether its fair or not. If you watch Motley's eyes during the game, you will see that he doesn't do a great job of going through his progressions. When the first option isn't open he is looking to take off running instead of looking for his second and third options. Defensive minded coaches like Pat Narduzzi feast on players like him. Motley still needs to learn how to survey the field before a snap, call out blitz packages, and be ready to look off a defender and open up another throwing lane. With enough experience, Motley could develop into a really good quarterback, but for right now he is not there.
The 2015 season is unraveling right before our eyes. What once seemed bright looks like just another dark year in Hokie football. After Saturdays debacle fans (including myself) were scrambling to figure out if we would even earn enough wins to get bowl eligible.
Head coach Frank Beamer might think he has an easy decision on his hands coming up, but truth is he doesn't. There are more problems with this team besides who will start under center. However, if he botches this decision, expect request for a change in Blacksburg to get louder and louder.