This weekend ECU will face an offense at Virginia Tech unlike anything it has seen from the Hokies in recent memory. This stems from Tech’s new starting quarterback, Michael Brewer, whose skillset and ability has brought a new dynamic to the offensive side of the ball.
Brewer, from Lake Travis, Texas, enrolled at Virginia Tech this summer with two years of eligibility remaining after graduating from Texas Tech with a degree in personal financial planning. Because he graduated, he was immediately eligible to play for the Hokies.
In previous contests against the Pirates, Tech has been a multiple offense with good balance between the pass and run. Brewer is a natural in the air-raid spread offense and that has changed the way the offense does things this season.
Defensive coordinator Rick Smith compared Brewer to Taylor Heinicke, the starting quarterback from Old Dominion who battled against the Pirates in last season’s opener.
“Brewer is a little over six foot and a little over 200 pounds,” said Smith. “He’s just a football player, he makes things happen. He throws the ball well and their offense has changed because of him. We expect to see him run the play-action read, but he hasn’t kept it yet. That Texas Tech offense has taught him where to move the ball, I think he’s as good as we’ll face this season.”
Brewer played in 13 games at Texas Tech over two seasons after redshirting in 2011. In 2012, he played in nine games, passing for 375 yards and four touchdowns and he played in four games in 2013, throwing for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Since high school Brewer has been running the spread offense and doing it against tough competition.
“Lake Travis (Brewer’s high school) is a top high school in Texas,” said Head Coach Ruffin McNeill. “Michael throws the ball extremely well and understands the distribution of it. You can tell he’s been training since high school and at Texas Tech. He’s very mobile and tough.”
Last week Brewer and the Hokies shocked the nation with a 35-21 win over then No. 8 ranked Ohio State. The win came in front of a record crowd of 107,517 at Ohio Stadium.
Brewer put the Hokies up 28-21 on the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown pass of the contest. On the next drive Bud Foster’s defense sealed the victory with a 63-yard interception return for a touchdown with 46 seconds to play.
It’s no secret that ECU doesn’t have the talent Ohio State has, but it’s not far off to say the Pirates have similar talent as Virginia Tech. The defense should be prepared to face Brewer since it faces a signal-caller in Shane Carden everyday who plays almost identical to him.
“We know he’s a good quarterback,” said starting junior linebacker Zeek Bigger. “He likes to run and can sprint out and throw passes, so he’s a mobile quarterback. Luckily we’re used to playing this type of quarterback in our conference and the one we came from. I take it as he’s a lot like Marshall’s quarterback or Old Dominion. We have to keep everything contained and get pressure in his face. If we stop the run and make him throw the ball we’ll be fine.”