Whatever concerns there might have been about Jerod Evans taking the reins of Virginia Tech’s offense out of a Trinity Valley Community College have been squashed in the early part of the season. Evans has proven he’s capable of handling the load under new head coach Justin Fuente.
Through his first two games with Virginia Tech, Evans completed two-thirds of his passes (40-of-60) for 435 yards and five passing touchdowns without a single interception. He also showed off his running ability in the opener against Liberty, breaking off a 37-yard carry in the triumph over the Flames.
Although Tennessee did a better job of corralling Evans in the pocket, holding him to just 18 net rushing yards, the junior managed to sneak in a 16-yard rush against the Volunteers.
By comparison, the Hokies were a mess at quarterback last fall following the injury of Michael Brewer, who went down after completing 11 of 16 passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions in the season-opening loss to Ohio State. Brewer would miss the next five games, opening the door for Brenden Motley to show what he could do at quarterback for the Hokies.
Motley was solid in VT’s two games following Brewer’s injury — victories over Furman and Purdue — as the backup quarterback combined to complete 31 of 48 passes for 453 passing yards, four touchdowns and no picks. But things went downhill from there for the junior as he went on to throw six interceptions over Virginia Tech’s next four games — three of which the Hokies lost.
Brewer returned to the lineup for Tech’s overtime loss against Duke, and Motley wouldn’t complete another pass the rest of the season. Motley then went on to get beat out this summer by Evans for the starting job.
In addition to his respectable numbers, Evans has demonstrated good poise in the pocket, as well as demonstrable leadership of the Hokie offense. He’s been successful so far in both the short and intermediate passing game, completing no passes greater than 30 yards, yet putting together a QB rating of 155.1 and an adjusted QB rating of 76.8 through his first two games at the major college level.
While much has been said about the potential of Josh Jackson, the incoming freshman who impressed a lot of people in his first training camp in Blacksburg, Evans has a stronghold on the starting quarterback job at Virginia Tech as the Hokies prepare for the start of ACC play. With Evans at the helm, good things could be on the horizon for the Hokies.