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Virginia Tech’s quarterback plans not set in stone

Virginia Tech’s quarterback plans not set in stone

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Virginia Tech Duke Football

Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker, who starred at Dudley High School, was available on Saturday but did not play in the Hokies' 38-31 win over Duke.

DURHAM — Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker remained on the sidelines in a 38-31 win over Duke on Saturday afternoon.

Hooker, who starred at Dudley High School in Greensboro, didn’t play in the season opener against N.C. State a week earlier as he awaited test results for what Coach Justin Fuente described as a “little scare.”

He was given the all-clear the day of the game and was back on the practice field as Tech prepared for Duke. Fuente said Hooker was available on Saturday, but Braxton Burmeister started his second straight game and stayed in the entire night.

Fuente announced plans to rotate the quarterbacks (with Hooker starting and Burmeister coming off the bench) before Virginia Tech’s game on Sept. 19 against Virginia was canceled and Hooker was forced to miss an extended period of practice time.

The rotation never materialized on Saturday even as the offense struggled in the early going. Burmeister was 4-for-10 for 52 yards in the first quarter and the offense went 0-for-3 on third down.

Virginia Tech’s coach left his options open when asked whether he would rotate Hooker and Burmeister in the weeks to come.

“To be honest with you, we are taking it one day at a time,” Fuente said after the game. “We'll evaluate this and see how it goes and make our decisions as we move through there. I know we have three great kids with experience that have played well. We need all of them ready to play each week."

Fuente did take the time to single out Hooker after the game for the way the quarterback conducted himself on the sidelines during the win.

“He was unbelievable on the sidelines,” Fuente said. “I told him right at the end of the game, I was so proud of him. He was great."

Fuente was also complimentary of Burmeister, who made some clutch throws down the stretch including a 36-yard completion to Tre Turner, who played at Northwest Guilford in Greensboro (three catches 47, yards; one rush 5 yards), and a 56-yarder to Tayvion Robinson. Burmeister finished the game 9-for-24 with 163 yards and three touchdowns (two rushing) along with 15 carries for 54 yards.

Burmeister was involved in two turnovers — an interception and a fumbled handoff exchange — but Fuente wasn’t overly concerned about the miscues.

"The interception got away from him,” Fuente said. “The ball looked to me like it slipped out of his hands...He gave our guys an opportunity to make plays.”

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