BLACKSBURG – No. 15 Virginia Tech’s opponent Saturday, Austin Peay, is significantly less recognizable than its first, Georgia Tech.
In fact, Hokies linebacker Bruce Taylor was completely off base with his first impressions of the small school in Clarksville, Tenn., named after the 32nd governor of Tennessee.
“To be honest, somebody told me that Austin Peay was in Texas. You know how we’re Virginia Tech and Tech stands for Polytechnic University? Uhh, I was thinking that it was Austin, Texas, and the ‘P’ was for something like that,” Taylor said.
“But I found out today that Austin Peay was a guy, and … I’m gonna have to read up on that. That’s all I know.”
The Hokies (1-0), who beat Georgia Tech 20-17 in overtime Monday night, were in the process of familiarizing themselves with the Governors on Wednesday and getting ready for their next game on only five days’ rest.
Austin Peay (0-1) is a Football Bowl Subdivision team from the Ohio Valley Conference. It returned to scholarship football in 2006, but it hasn’t had much luck against upper division opponents.
The Governors managed only 164 total yards (11 yards passing) in their 49-10 season-opening loss at Western Kentucky on Saturday.
In its last two games against BCS conference opponents, Austin Peay lost to Wisconsin 70-3 in 2010 and to Cincinnati 72-10 last season.
Hokies coach Frank Beamer said wide receiver D.J. Coles (knee), Taylor (ankle) and defensive tackles Luther Maddy and Antoine Hopkins were to practice in blue (limited contact) jerseys Wednesday, but all four are expected to play against Austin Peay.
Taylor said his ankle was a cut-block casualty during the Georgia Tech game, and he was limited at the end of the contest, though not limited enough to prevent him from forcing the bad Tevin Washington throw that cornerback Kyle Fuller intercepted in the end zone in overtime.
Beamer said senior wide receiver Marcus Davis (shoulder) would practice full contact Wednesday and be ready to go for Saturday’s game.
Thomas still critical
Hokies junior quarterback Logan Thomas struggled throwing the ball in the first three quarters Monday before leading the team to a comeback victory. He was critical of himself after the win, but was slightly less displeased of his performance after watching the replay.
Thomas said he wasn’t happy with his footwork during the game. He threw off-balance, which messed with his accuracy.
“Looking at it, I don’t think I played as bad as I thought I did at the time, but I still played pretty bad,” said Thomas, who passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns. “It’s something I can build on, learn from my mistakes so I can get better just through practice and going out there and working as hard as I can and paying attention to more detail.”
Offensive line coming together
The Hokies’ inexperienced offensive line showed promise in the season-opening win over the Yellow Jackets.
Three of the linemen made their starting debuts and all five played every snap. Tackles Nick Becton and Vinston Painter also played five special teams snaps, making for a very busy day. Painter said he was up for the hefty workload, and he was pleased with the way he and his line mates played.
“We have definitely made some great strides since the spring, playing together as a unit, picking up blitzes faster, recognizing things that defenses are doing faster as far as fronts and blitz giveaways and whatnot. We’ve definitely made great strides there,” Painter said.
Thomas was pleased with the offensive line’s play. He was sacked twice, but he otherwise had plenty of time to throw.
“I thought they did a great job. I couldn’t ask for more. They gave me time pretty much every play, other than the one busted one in the third quarter, but they gave me time on every play and created big holes,” Thomas said.
Virginia Tech has 15 graduates on its roster, the most in the country. … Beamer said the misplayed snap by punter A.J. Hughes in the first quarter Monday was a combination of a wide snap and Hughes taking his eye off the ball for a split second. … Painter cut off his dreadlocks of three years before Monday’s game. He said they were making his head hot and he wanted to save money on haircuts. He also said he wants to look more like a father. He has a 1-year old daughter in Norfolk.