Defense solid against Clemson: The Virginia Tech defense played pretty well in the Hokies’ 23-3 loss to Clemson at Lane Stadium on Saturday night. Tech held the Tigers to 119 yards rushing, with 31 of that coming on Mike Bellamy’s game-clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
For the game, Tech gave up 323 yards to the Tigers. Clemson came into the game averaging 502 yards per game.
“Defensively, we were good except for a couple of long plays,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “But overall, I thought we hung in there. We just couldn’t take advantage of some opportunities offensively, and the kicking game couldn’t give us field position the way we like for it to.”
Demler makes no excuses: Tech punter Scott Demler struggled with his punting for most of the night, and after several punts, he received boos from the Tech faithful, particularly after he dropped the ball while attempting a rugby punt and then his punt only went 11 yards.
For the game, he averaged 29.4 yards per punt on eight punts, with a long of 44 yards. He placed one inside the 20.
To his credit, Demler came into the postgame news conference and addressed questions from the media.
“There was a lot of wind out there, but I’m not blaming it on that,” Demler said. “I could have done a lot better. For the situation I was in, I thought I did decently. There were a lot of punts I’d like to have back. I’d like to have the dropped ball back. The ball was a little wet, but I should have held on to it. It was going to be a rugby kick to the side, and I had been doing well on those all week [in practice].
“I’ve got to perform better. I had two good pooch punts, and I had one good punt that took an unlucky bounce. So I’ve just got to keep my head up and keep going.”
Following the game, Beamer didn’t sound like someone getting ready to make a change.
“I think we keep working,” Beamer said. “The last two, he did okay. We continue to evaluate it. We put in a little rugby punt there, and Scott did that in high school and he’s pretty good at it. But we dropped the ball. We just did some things that weren’t very good. We’ve still got some work to do there, too.
“We need to get settled. We’ve got what we’ve got. The good thing about Scott is he gets height on the ball, and if it turns over, we’re in good shape. If it doesn’t turn over, that’s why I like the rugby kick against the wind because it’s hard to get the ball to turn over. We’re going to keep going down the path here, but we can’t keep going back and forth [between punters]. I do know that.”
Hosley moves up chart – again: Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley recorded his third interception of the season when he picked off a Tajh Boyd pass midway through the second quarter, snapping Boyd’s streak of 141 straight passes without an interception. That interception led to Tech’s only score, a 24-yard field goal by Cody Journell.
The interception marked the 12th of Hosley’s career and enabled him to move into a tie for seventh place all time for career interceptions at Tech. He is now tied with former defensive backs Mike Widger (1967-69) and John Granby (1987-91).
Hosley’s next interception will enable him to move into a tie for fifth on the all-time list. Gene Bunn holds the school record with 18 from 1976-78.
The Hokies have intercepted at least one pass in 12 straight games.
Coale moves into second and fourth, respectively: Tech receiver Danny Coale caught five passes for 41 yards in the Hokies’ game against the Tigers.
The receptions gave him 128 for his career, enabling him to move into second place for career receptions at Tech. He passed Ernest Wilford, who caught 126 passes in his career from 2000-03
The yardage gave Coale 2,080 for his career and enabled him to move into fourth place for career receiving yardage at Tech. He also passed Wilford in that category. Wilford caught 2,052 yards worth of passes in his career.
Hill gets the nod: Because of Clemson’s spread attack, the Hokies opened in a nickel defense and defensive back Cris Hill made his first start of the season and the third of his career. Hill also started Tech’s 2009 game against Marshall and the Chick-fil-A Bowl game against Tennessee that same year.
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