Four takeaways: Virginia Tech’s win over Duke | College Sports

2) Emmanuel Belmar is better than advertised: The scouting report on Belmar pegged the 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior as a sturdy and dependable defensive end. Through two games, he’s been closer to dominant. Belmar, the team’s most experienced player at the position, has three sacks, helping a Tech defense that has dropped opposing quarterbacks 13 times in the first two contests. Belmar and Youngstown State transfer Justus Reed give the Hokies an imposing pair off edge rushers.

3) Justin Fuente is the ACC coach of the year through two weeks: Think the task of moving on from retired defensive coordinator Bud Foster was difficult to begin with? Thanks to COVID testing and contact tracing, Tech has essentially had two different game-day coaching staffs in its two games this season, and neither has included new coordinator Justin Hamilton. The defense has had two different play callers – new cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith in the opener and new linebackers coach Tracy Claeys against Duke.

Still, Fuente and his staff have found a way to muddle through and win two games despite being without nearly two dozen players for each of the contests, a group that has included a number of front-line players.

If this is what Tech can do short-handed, it should be fun to watch the Hokies when they’re full strength. 

4) The offense needs Hendon Hooker: Sure, the offense has put up points the first two weeks. Plenty of them. Tech ranks fourth in the ACC averaging per game. But a closer look shows something is still a bit askew offensively. The Hokies rank 11th in the league on third down, converting just 37.5 percent of the time.

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