2017 Season Superlatives: Hokies post another strong season under Fuente

BLACKSBURG – Season two of the Justin Fuente Era at Virginia Tech saw another nine-plus win season, the Lunch Pail Defense’s return to the top of multiple statistical categories and the emergence of QB Josh Jackson. Here are some of the top stats and notes from the 2017 season.

• Justin Fuente is one of only six active FBS head coaches to lead his squad to nine or more victories each of the past four seasons.
• Justin Fuente is 19-8 in two seasons at VT, the most wins by any Tech coach in his first two campaigns.
• The Hokies have lost back-to-back contests only once under Fuente.
• Tech is 17-0 under Fuente when leading at halfitme, including a 9-0 mark in 2017.
• With 19 wins in his first two seasons at Tech, Fuente owns more victories than every Tech coach has accumulated in his first three seasons with the exception of B.C. Cubbage, who guided the program to 21 victories from 1921-23.
• Tech is 10-2 (home), 7-3 (road) and 2-3 (neutral) in two seasons under Fuente.

• Virginia Tech concluded the 2017 season with a 9-4 mark, finishing the year No. 24 in the AP Top 25 and No. 25 in the Amway USA Today Coaches Poll.
• Under head coach Justin Fuente, the Hokies finished back-to-back seasons in the final AP Poll for the first time since 2010-11.
• Tech extended its streak of consecutive bowl appearances to 25 straight seasons, the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA and a mark that ties as the third-longest in NCAA history.
• The Tech’s current bowl streak began with a 45-20 win over Indiana in the 1993 Independence Bowl.
• The Hokies also stretched their Commonwealth Cup victory string over Virginia to 14 consecutive games.

• QB Josh Jackson’s 2,991 passing yards were a VT freshman record and the most of any FBS freshman in 2017.
• Jackson’s 20 TDs and 135.2 rating were second among FBS freshmen behind Georgia QB Jake Fromm (24 TDs, 160.1 ranking).
• Among FBS freshmen with at least 150 completions, only Fromm (62.2) had a higher completion percentage than Jackson (59.6).
• Jackson led all FBS freshman QBs by averaging 255.0 ypg of total offense in 2017. That figure ranked sixth among all ACC players.
• Only Georgia’s Jack Fromm (160.1) had a higher rating among FBS freshman QBs than Jackson (135.2). Fromm (24) was also the only freshman with more TD passes than Jackson (20).
• Jackson’s 3,315 yards of total offense and 520 total plays were by far the highest tallies of any FBS freshman.

• The #LPD finished the season fourth in the FBS in scoring defense (14.8 ppg) and posted an FBS-best three shutouts.
• The nation’s top five teams in scoring defense own a combined 57-11 (.838) record with two of those teams competing in the College Football Playoff.
|• Tech was the nation’s best team in 2017 in terms of opponent completion percentage, allowing an FBS-low 48.60 percentage (174 of 358).
• Only Michigan (26.1%) held foes to a lower third-down conversion rate than The #LPD (25.2).
• Only Georgia Tech (43), Florida (46) and Michigan (47) allowed fewer third-down conversations that VT (49) and Washington State (49) among Power Five squads.
• The #LPD tied for second among FBS squads and first in the Power Five, allowing 21 Red Zone scores (13 TDs/8 FGs).

• Tech’s tradition of special teams was alive and well in 2017 under James Shibest, who was named the 2017 Footballscoop.com Special Teams Coordinator of the Year.
• Tech tied for the FBS lead by blocking five punts, a total only Arizona State and Texas A&M could match.
• Only Texas A&M (8) blocked more total kicks in 2017. VT (6) tied for second in the nation in that department along with Arizona State, Northern Illinois and Florida State.
• VT’s punt and KO coverage units allowed a combined 335 yards, the lowest total of any Power Five squad and the third-lowest tally among FBS squads.

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