Andrew Motuapuaka Should Continue to Start


Nov 1, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Tyler Murphy (2) with the ball as Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka (54) and safety Detrick Bonner (8) and cornerback Chuck Clark (19) defend in the third quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies suffered a third straight loss, this one to the Boston College Eagles as they now have four losses at home for the first time since 1992. The Hokies are loaded with talent but Virginia Tech has underperformed and been outcoached and playcalled many times this season.

Despite all the disappointments the last few weeks, there have been bright spots and one of those bright spots has been the play of Andrew Motuapuaka.

The redshirt freshman linebacker has had some struggles filling in for Chase Williams as Motuapuaka did get beat occassionally and the Virginia Tech defense has give up a few big plays on the ground the last two games. However, Motuapuaka has seemed to be wherever the ball is on many plays and had a very strong game despite a couple of bad moments.

In Motuapuaka’s first two games as a starter, the redshirt freshman linebacker has had 25 tackles (11 against Miami, 14 against Boston College) and 0.5 tackles for loss. A lot of the tackles that Motuapuaka has had have been right around the line of scrimmage and have been quality tackles that most players could not get out of.

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Against Boston College, Motuapuaka seemed to be wherever the ball was and was a big reason for the containment of the Boston College rushing attack outside of the two runs of over 50 yards that were inexcusable. Motuapuaka showed he has very good range and mobility to go side-to-slide and then attack the line to take down the ball carrier.

Motuapuaka should continue to be a starter for the Hokies and while Chase Williams will obviously get his starting spot back once he is healthy, the Hokies should slide Motuapuaka to Derek DiNardo’s sport where he likely would be an upgrade. Getting Motuapuaka on the field more should help the run defense along with the return of Williams.

Of course, Andrew Motuapuaka would slide back over to Williams’s spot next season but getting him on the field now would be another improvement for the Virginia Tech defense. Motuapuaka is going to be a great linebacker for the Hokies and his future in the long term is in the NFL.