Sep 20, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas (5) rushes the ball against Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Chase Williams (36) during the fourth quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, the Hokies suffered a tough loss at the Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field but the Hokies also saw one quality contributor pick up an injury. Senior linebacker Chase Williams injured his knee against the Pittsburgh Panthers and there was not much confidence from coaches that Williams would be able to play against Miami on Thursday.
Today, a decision has been made.
As you can see, Williams will be out for the Thursday Night showdown between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Miami Hurricanes which means that redshirt freshman linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka will get his first career start next to Deon Clarke.
For the Hokies, Williams is a decent-sized loss as he has been having a breakout senior season with 54 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and 15 QB hurries on the season. Williams has been an effective run defender and blitzer while being a solid leader up the middle of the defense.
Motuapuaka was quite productive immediately when he came in for Williams once the senior picked up his injury with the redshirt freshman getting three tackles very quickly. Overall, Motuapuaka has 6 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 QB hurry, and 1 fumble recovery against Western Michigan which he returned for a touchdown at the start of that game.
Motuapuaka is not as good as Williams but he does seem to be a very aware player and also a solid tackler that should do a good job on run defense against Duke Johnson and Miami. However, Williams was a very good leader and Motuapuaka will be getting his first career start against a Miami team that has the aforementioned Johnson who is the second-best running back the Hokies have faced based on stats.
Andrew Motuapuaka has the talent to be a solid producer against Miami but with Williams out, I expect the Hokies will use Kysheon Jarrett a lot more in the box especially with the speed of Duke Johnson. Motuapuaka is ready for his first career start and it’ll be interesting to see how good the redshirt freshman is.
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