Virginia Tech hits the road this week to take on East Carolina, and they are doing so without starting right corner back Adonis Alexander. Hokies head coach Justin Fuente announced Alexander is not traveling with the team this weekend. Without spilling the details for why Alexander is not traveling with the team, Fuente strongly suggested Alexander was in violation of team rules.
“We will continue to uphold the exemplary standards of Virgina Tech football,” Fuente said in a brief statement. “Integrity, trust, and teamwork remain the foundation of this program and that will not change. Adonis has not lived up to our expectations at Virginia Tech.”
Alexander has started each of Virginia Tech’s first two games of the season and has accumulated 14 tackles and three pass breakups. With Adonis not making the trip to East Carolina this weekend, Virginia Tech will likely slide his backup, Brandon Facyson into the starting role. The redshirt senior has one tackle in the first two games of the year.
No team ever wants to go into a game without a starting cornerback, but the Hokies should be OK in this road contest. The Pirates have the nation’s 20th-ranked passing offense with 310.0 passing yards per game through the first two weeks, but Thomas Sirk has just one touchdown and four interceptions and Gardner Minshew has also been picked off once with one touchdown. Given the early season struggles for the Pirates, East Carolina has both quarterback options listed as potential starters as they continue to figure out how to move the football with any consistency.
Virginia Tech and East Carolina will meet at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on CBS Sports Network.
Virginia Tech’s promising young cornerback, Brandon Facyson, has seen his spring practice schedule come to an abrupt end. According to the official Twitter account of the Hokies, Facyson suffered a left tibia stress reaction in practice Friday. The injury will sideline him for the remainder of the spring, but he is expected to be back with the team in time for summer workouts.
Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times says Facyson will be placed in a boot as a precaution. A tibial stress fracture can be one of the most serious running injuries, but the degrees of the injuries vary. A stress reaction is considered one of the less severe forms of the injury, so that should be good news for Facyson, but it can lead to a fracture if not treated. Regardless, taking time off now to treat the injury is the best move. As with most shin or tibia injuries, continuing to run or put stress on the tibia can lead to more sever injuries that could require a longer period of time to heal.
Facyson got some playing time last season in Virginia Tech’s secondary and he performed well. The early playing experience also gave him a leg up on the competition going in to the upcoming season. He was expected to be a starter, but as Bitter reports the Hokies will now have to see just what kind of depth the team has in the defensive backfield. In Facyson’s absence, Der’Woun Greene is expected to see time with the first team defense, according to Bitter.
Virginia Tech will once again be without fifth-year senior corner back Antone Exum when they host Pittsburgh in ACC play on Saturday. Exum’s status was to be determined after Thursday’s practice, but the news was not favorable for the Hokies. According to reports, including this one on Twitter by Virginia Tech beat reporter Andy Bitter of The Roanoke Times, Exum is listed as out for Virginia Tech’s game against Pitt in Blacksburg, Virginia.
A torn ACL suffered in the spring while playing a pickup basketball game has held Exum out of action this season, so patience in the rehab process has been stressed to ensure he is ready to play before getting in a game. Given his seniority, it is certainly wise to make sure the knee is on game shape before jumping right in. Brandon Facyson should get the start for the Hokies. Both were listed as potential starters on Virginia Tech’s depth chart this week.
Virginia Tech should be able to survive even without the fifth-year senior in the line-up. So far this season the Hokies are leading the ACC in interceptions with 13 and are ranked third in the conference in yards allowed per game through the air. Adding Exum will help Virginia Tech continue to have one of the ACC’s best secondaries, but the return of Exum will have to wait at least one more game.