** Beamer said Matt Arkema will get some work at center this week behind Michael Via with Andrew Miller out for the year with a fractured ankle and Caleb Farris still on the mend with an ankle injury.
“That’s a tough loss for us,” Beamer said of Miller. “Such a great kid, a tough kid. Really excellent player and an excellent leader in our football program.”
The Hokies have had rotten injury luck on the interior line. Starting left guard David Wang has been hampered by knee/ankle issues all year. Miller, a two-year starter, is done for the season. And Farris, considered a top backup at center and guard, missed last week and will probably miss one or two more games.
“It’s just been a tough situation,” Beamer said.
** Beamer thinks the success of Virginia Tech’s running game against Duke, when J.C. Coleman ran for 183 yards, is simple: “We had some great blocking and he did some great running. It’s no secret to how you get it done.”
Asked if Coleman will consistently get more carries going forward, Beamer didn’t necessarily answer the question, mentioning that Coleman stepped up and Tony Gregory gave the team some speed when he was in.
“I think you’re always looking for a guy that’s hot in the ballgame,” he said.
Beamer said Michael Holmes didn’t do anything wrong to be demoted on the depth chart.
“I still think he’s going to be a terrific player,” he said. “We were just looking for somebody to give us a lift, and J.C. I think did that.”
** Clemson, as everyone well remembers, manhandled the Hokies twice last year, winning 23-3 in Blacksburg and a 38-10 in the ACC championship game in Charlotte. Beamer said this game doesn’t have more meaning because of last year’s losses.
“We don’t think in the past very much around here,” Beamer said. “We understand that this a terrific football team and that we’ve got a tremendous challenge. We’ve got to make a great preparation. … I think what’s here this week is what you look at.”
** The Hokies fell behind Duke 20-0 in the first quarter last Saturday, then pulled off the biggest comeback of the Beamer era. He knows that’s not a recipe for success against Clemson, given its explosive offense.
“You don’t want to get down against these guys, because they can keep going,” Beamer said. “They’re very talented. … Across the board, they’ve got threats. That’s what makes it tough.”
“We’ve got to play what we play and what we know,” Beamer said. “I don’t think you go changing stuff here in the middle of the season.”
** The Hokies had three players earn ACC Player of the Week honors after the Duke game –Marcus Davis (wide receiver of the week), James Gayle (defensive lineman) and Coleman (rookie).
Davis had five catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns against the Blue Devils. Gayle had nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.
Coleman, who supplanted Holmes as the No. 1 tailback, ran 13 times for 183 yards, the most ever by a true freshman under Beamer. He scored on runs of 45 and 86 yards.
** Forgot to mention this before, but the Clemson game will be shown on ABC with a reverse mirror on ESPN2, which means it will be shown locally/regionally on ABC and on ESPN2 outside the coverage area. Kickoff is noon.
** Saturday will be Military Appreciation Day at Clemson. Walk-on Daniel Rodriguez, an Army vet who considered Virginia Tech last season, will carry the American flag down the hill in the pre-game. Hard to think of a better choice.