When Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster heard the news Monday night after practice that nobody from his defense earned first team all-conference recognition for the first time since 2002, he leaned back in his chair, put his hands over head and wondered aloud, “Is that right?”
Virginia Tech ranks second in the ACC in every major defensive category behind only Florida State, which also didn’t have any players earn first team all-ACC honors on defense. So it didn’t take long for Foster to chastise the 45 media members who selected this year’s all-ACC football teams.
“That goes to show you what whoever votes on it knows,” said Foster. “I think it’s a slap in the face now that I hear about it because I’d put our defense up against anybody in the league . . . I’m disappointed for our kids if that’s the case, I really am, because we’ve got some kids that have played extremely, extremely well. Our record says enough for us, but obviously that means people don’t give us enough respect, in my opinion, that we deserve.”
These all-ACC snubs are the second metaphorical “slap in the face” these Hokies have been dealt in just the past week. On Saturday following Virginia Tech’s 38-0 defeat of Virginia, quarterback Logan Thomas said the team took all the media hype surrounding the Cavaliers heading into that game as “a slap in the face.”
And don’t forget, it was only nine days ago that ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit called out the Hokies on national television for having a weak schedule and not being worthy of their No. 3 ranking in the coaches’ poll.
On Monday, Foster specifically brought up defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins, who wasn’t even an honorable mention, as a player he felt deserved recognition. He also called cornerback Kyle Fuller, a second team selection, his unit’s “MVP” when discussing how the defense got no first team selections.
The Hokies rank seventh in the country in scoring defense, having given up just 15.5 points per game this year. They also rank ninth in rushing defense and 12th in total defense. Virginia Tech did have four of its defensive players named to the all-ACC second team.
Coach Frank Beamer expressed dismay over the fact that neither of Virginia Tech’s record-setting wide receivers, seniors Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale, were even honorable mentions for this year’s teams. They’re No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the school’s receiving record books and Boykin is just two catches away from breaking Ernest Wilford’s single season reception record of 55.
“You always worry about the guys that don’t make it, though,” Beamer said. “I think we’ve got some pretty good wide receivers.”
How all this relates to Saturday’s ACC championship game against Clemson remains to be seen, although the Hokies are 7.5-point favorites even after losing to the Tigers already this year. So far, Virginia Tech is 1-0 playing the disrespect card and it doesn’t appear the Hokies will take a different approach now that they feel slighted once again.
Beamer also revealed on his weekly radio show Monday night that the team has been given some additional bulletin board material that specifically relates to the Tigers. After Clemson beat Virginia Tech on Oct. 1, the Tigers created a tombstone to commemorate the win – a tradition after every victory. The below video is of Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney as well as Rashard Hall, Jonathon Meeks and DeAndre Hopkins showing off the Hokies “grave.”