CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In Justin Fuente’s first year at Virginia Tech, the Hokies had a memorable year. They won 10 games for the first time since 2011, beat Arkansas in the Belk Bowl and played for an ACC Championship, where reigning National Champion Clemson beat them, 42-35.
So how do the Hokies top all of that? Simple, they get better.
“We’re not satisfied with the accomplishments we’ve accomplished, and we have a great coach that pushes us hard every single day,” linebacker Motuapuaka said to the media during the ACC Football Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday.
But it is unlikely the Hokies will be picked by the media later this week as the favorites to win the ACC. Though Virginia Tech is returning 14 starters, including eight on defense, many believe the loss of Jerod Evans at quarterback and five other offensive starters from a year ago will affect its chances of competing for an ACC Championship.
“I mean, I think speaking for Virginia Tech, I think we don’t really, and personally, I don’t really feed into all that stuff,” Motuapuaka said. “I’m just here to play ball. That’s what really matters at the end of the day.”
But Motuapuaka said it does fuel the Hokies, especially when all they hear about is how goot Clemson and Florida State are and how great the Atlantic Division is.
“Not being mentioned and stuff like that, little things like that, really just kind of fuel us to go get our respect,” he said.
And that means one of the goals this year is to prove everyone wrong.
“As far as making it back to the ACC Championship, we definitely have a chip on our shoulder, being that we didn’t win last year. Definitely, the goal to make it back to the ACC Championship.
Hot off the Press!!! Have you ordered the 2017 Clemson season preview ‘Best is the Standard’ from the staff that covers Clemson football 365 days a year? Order yours today to make sure you get a copy!