One of the nation’s top defenses could only hide the obvious for so long: Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer’s 27-year tenure at the school is in jeopardy.
That became abundantly clear after his Hokies lost to Duke 13-10 on Saturday—the team’s first loss to the Blue Devils since 1982.
Wow. That. Just. Happened. Duke 13, Virginia Tech 10, in Blacksburg.— TechSideline.com (@TechSideline) October 26, 2013
Virginia Tech’s defense—ranked No. 5 in scoring (15.0 PPG) and No. 2 in total defense (256.0 YPG) entering Week 9—did all it could, holding Duke to just 198 total yards of offense. Furthermore, the unit forced the Blue Devils offense into four turnovers and held them without a third-down conversion (0-of-11) all game.
Surprisingly, even that wasn’t enough to keep the Hokies’ six-game win streak alive.
On offense, the team was atrocious. Quarterback Logan Thomas threw four interceptions and running back Trey Edmunds only managed 44 yards on 12 carries. The team was just 4-of-18 on third-down conversions.
Beamer; "I don't think we made enough plays." #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) October 26, 2013
But no matter the excuse, you just don't lose to Duke in football.
With the win, the Blue Devils beat a ranked opponent for the first time since topping No. 13 Virginia back in 1994. This was also the first win against a ranked opponent on the road since the team beat Stanford in 1971.
Talk about being part of history in the worst way.
Sure, Thomas and the offense haven’t done much this season to help their cause. However, at the end of the day, the responsibility ultimately comes down to the coaching staff.
More specifically, it’s up to Beamer to get his team to show up on game day.
But for the first time in quite a while, it doesn’t seem like the 67-year-old has that capability anymore.
Since his arrival in Blacksburg back in 1987, Beamer has led Virginia Tech to a 264-128-4 record. He’s won seven conference titles, made an appearance in the 1999 BCS championship game and had a stretch of eight straight 10-win seasons from 2004-11.
However, he’s only won eight of 19 bowl appearances with the Hokies. That includes a woeful 1-5 record in BCS bowls.
It doesn’t help that Beamer most recently led the team to a 7-6 record last year—Virginia Tech’s worst record since 1992.
And although, the team may be at a respectable 6-2 through eight games, it hasn’t been without its struggles.
Other than against FCS foe Western Carolina, each of the Hokies six wins have come by 10 points or less. Furthermore, the offense has failed to top 20 points in five of its eight games.
Entering Week 9, Virginia Tech ranked No. 97 in scoring (23.1 PPG), No. 112 in total offense (328.4 YPG), No. 107 in rushing (117.6 YPG) and No. 84 in passing (210.9 YPG).
With three of the team’s remaining four contests on the road—at Boston College, at Miami, versus Maryland and at Virginia—it’s anyone’s guess as to how the Hokies will fare.
But one thing is perfectly clear: Beamer is just not the man for the job anymore.