Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer hasn’t committed to a starting punter for Saturday’s game against Miami, but the season-long struggles of redshirt junior Scott Demler has persuaded the Hokies to re-think their strategy.
In addition to breaking out a rugby-style punt in last Saturday’s loss to Clemson, Beamer said Tuesday, “If you’re not punting the ball well, it makes going for it on fourth down more of an option.”
Demler is now ranked 84th out of 84 eligible punters in punting average, and his average of 33.1 yards per punt is more than three yards shorter than the 83rd-ranked punter, Wake Forest’s Alex Wulfeck. And the Hokies fans let Demler and Beamer know just how they felt about the situation last Saturday night, booing Virginia Tech off the field after several poor punts against Clemson.
“I think everybody knows, including Scott and myself, we want better performance, and Scott, if anything, probably cares too much and I think it’s tough for a kid to get booed in his own stadium,” Beamer said. “I think its tough, but that’s the way it is.”
But what should Beamer do? Is sticking with Demler his best option, or maybe going with inconsistent but talented freshman Michael Branthover would be a breath of fresh air? Though he’s been hesitant to do so, perhaps Beamer could go with wide receiver Danny Coale or call up Virginia Tech men’s soccer coach Michael Brizendine and see if he has any spare legs?
In any case, I’d like to know what the fans think. Vote in the poll below, and voice your opinion in the comments section.