Hokies’ Kendall Fuller the Latest Major Injury

The injury bug has been a major issue so far this season, particularly around the ACC. With news that Virginia Tech’s All-ACC corner Kendall Fuller will miss the rest of the season with knee surgery for an injury that’s been lingering since preseason. “I think any time you lose a player with his ability, it affects your secondary, it affects your team,” Frank Beamer said.

It’s certainly been affecting ACC schools so it’s time to refresh ourselves with how the landscape has changed among the conference rosters since we started.

The Hokies have also been without quarterback Michael Brewer since the second half of the Ohio State opener, but Brenden Motley has performed well in his place. Motley has completed 55 of 92 passes (59.8%) for 770 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. The loss of Fuller may prove to be more costly as Greg Stroman was burned many times in coverage Saturday.

Pittsburgh has handled a major injury to 2014 ACC Conference Player of the Year James Conner quite well. Qadree Ollison has risen as the next surprising Pitt back to run all over opponents. Ollison has 305 yards and two touchdowns while Darrin Hall has 90 yards but has averaged just 3.1 yards per carry so far. The Panthers have been dealing with a quarterback controversy as well, but that’s of their own doing. Pitt and Virginia Tech open conference play this weekend in Blacksburg.

“Motley, I really love him at quarterback,” Pat Narduzzi said of Pitt’s opponent. “I think every game as you watch from the first game to the second game to the third game to East Carolina last week, you see him get better every game.”

Syracuse keeps finding raw but capable kids to run quarterback for the Orange. Zach Mahoney performed admirably against LSU, as he completed 16 of 38 passes for 154 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran six times for 40 yards against the Tigers in a tough loss for the 3-1 Orange.

Wake Forest lost to a tough Indiana team, but freshman Kendall Hinton accounted for three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) and threw for 245 yard. Hinton has thrown for 469 yards while filling in for John Wolford. “When John is healthy and can go, he’ll be our starting quarterback,” Dave Clawson said this week. “But Kendall has played well and certainly has the skill set that we’ve had a lot of staff discussions of ways of keeping him involved. It’s not an issue yet because we don’t have two healthy yet.”

Boston College has yet to find a real passing game with or without starting QB Darius Wade who is out for the year. A myriad of tailbacks and a great defense are keeping the Eagles afloat for now. Quarterback Jeff Smith has provided some running ability with 153 yards and three touchdowns while Troy Flutie has passed for 189 yards and two scores.

“You know, it’s interesting, the name Flutie, he’s very — you can tell, he knows what he’s
doing. He’s what I call nifty,” Duke’s David Cutcliffe said.

The defense remains first in the nation in total D however, so the unit has time to flounder a bit though Duke presents a major early conference test and they may have to do it without starting running back Jon Hilliman.

“What you tell your team is, sudden change, being resilient, picking up for each other, next man up, and that’s what we believe in,” Steve Addazio told the press this week.

The Eagles’ coach continued with what sounded a bit like an excerpt from a political stump speech.

“I mean, everybody has got problems. There’s injuries, there’s things all over the country right now. People just want to know about what your solutions are, and it’s our job, my job, to come up with the necessary solutions to keep us firing at a high enough level to win, and that’s what we’re working on.”

Mike Williams hurt his neck early, but the Clemson offense has remained predictably on target. Charon Peake and Artavis Scott both have two touchdowns and they along with Ray-Ray McCloud all have more than 100 yards receiving. Deshaun Watson has completed 74.4% of his passes for 641 yards and seven touchdowns.

This doesn’t even include Louisville’s quarterback carousel, but clearly lots of guys have been forced to step up early in the ACC and the contenders have been hit heavy so far.

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