In some ways, Virginia Tech football fans must have been shaking their heads following Tennessee’s 52-49 loss to No. 3-ranked Alabama last weekend.
The volunteers were led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, a product of Greensboro, North Carolina, who started his college career as a Hokie.
At Tech, Hooker passed for 1,555 yards in 2019 and 1,339 yards in 2020, starting 15 of 25 games and throwing 22 touchdowns in two seasons.
However, by the end of the 2020 season, Hooker had given way to Braxton Burmeister, whose time as the Hokies’ No. 1 quarterback included two wins over Virginia.
Hooker, now touted as a serious Heisman Trophy contender, announced he was moving to Tennessee on January 7, 2021.
Burmeister was then transferred to San Diego State, where he split his time this season.
A native of La Jolla, Calif., Burmeister has played for three FBS programs, having started his college career at Oregon in 2017. The final word is that he has returned from concussion protocol and could move to wide receiver.
Ironically, the last time Virginia beat Virginia Tech was in 2019, when Hooker was the quarterback for the Hokies and Bryce Perkins was the quarterback for UVa. Perkins had started his career at Arizona State.
Current Cavaliers quarterback Brennan Armstrong is in his fifth year at UVa at a time when the Hokies quarterback collection included Ryan Willis, Josh Jackson and Quincy Patterson.
Willis had come to Tech from Kansas, Jackson later transferred from Tech to Maryland, and Patterson moved from Tech to North Dakota State before arriving at Temple this season.
Temple’s current quarterback, Kade Warner, is the son of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner.
Will Mendenhall return to training?
Former UVa coach Bronco Mendenhall has been the subject of speculation about a possible return to the college coaching ranks, with Arizona State, Nebraska and Colorado being mentioned as schools with possible openings.
“BYU was struggling when I inherited this program and we won for a long time,” said Mendenhall, who recently appeared on a College Game Day podcast with Pete Thamel and Rece Davis.
“UVa, it was a tough program when we started and then we had five bowling eligible seasons in six years. It hadn’t been done in, like, 22 years.
“It will happen again wherever I coach and it will happen for a long time. I’m young, shit, I’m only 56. I think halftime is over…but I left both programs with improved programs and success.
The next generation
Former Virginia star and former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber of Roanoke was at Princeton University last weekend for a game involving his sons, AJ, who ran for a touchdown for the Tigers, and his youngest son, Chason, a freshman. to Brown who tore her ACL a week earlier.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club was treated to a Monday night appearance from Wes Durham, who explained the change on his Packer and Durham Show which has ex-colleague Mark Packer working afternoons on the ACC network.
They had over 1,000 morning shows during a period when Durham was also calling games for the Atlanta Falcons. Earlier in his career, Durham was a radio host for Georgia Tech basketball and will continue to call games for ESPN football and basketball games.
He has ties to Southwest Virginia as a former Radford University broadcaster and was highly praised on Monday for his explanation of changes in college athletics.
In inverted commas
Peyton Manning on College Game Day in reference to Minnesota:
“If you lose to Illinois, your head coach could be fired.”
Virginia lost to Illinois 24-3, but other Illini (6-1) casualties included Big 10 rivals Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. The Fighting Illini are currently 6-1.