BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente stopped short of calling Quincy Patterson the team’s new backup quarterback, but it’s probably not fair to say he’s still third on the depth chart either.
Patterson led Tech to a 43-41 overtime win over North Carolina subbing for an injured Hendon Hooker before the off week.
The redshirt freshman tied the game with a 53-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and was clutch in overtime (he threw 18-yard touchdown pass to Damon Hazelton and scored the game-winning two-point conversion). He finished the game with 177 yards of total offense and two touchdowns.
“Quincy’s taken more reps, as we prepare for this week and on in the future,” Fuente said on Monday. “We’ll still need Ryan [Willis] as we move forward, whether it be situationally or just in the game. So things can change awfully quickly. All three of those guys have to be ready to play.”
Willis threw a touchdown at the end of the first half right after Hooker’s injury, but the offense looked out of sync when he was in the game for a pair of drives at the start of the third quarter.
North Carolina had an easy time bottling up Tech’s offensive attack without the threat of Hooker’s mobility. The Tar Heels stopped the Hokies behind the line of scrimmage on four of Willis’ 10 snaps (two sacks). They had two tackles for loss the entire first half and one of them was on the play Hooker aggravated his left knee injury.
“Certainly with what Hendon for the couple of weeks and the game-planning and the direction we were headed certainly fit Quincy a little bit better,” Cornelsen said.
Tech leaned heavily on Patterson’s athleticism — he carried the ball 21 times 122 yards — and he executed everything the coaches asked him to from a scaled back playbook, but the focus now is to get Patterson the practice reps he needs to get more comfortable in the passing game.
The limited practice reps as the team’s No. 3 quarterback didn’t leave a lot of room to do that.
“We’re going to have to throw the ball more with him in there and he knows that and I know that, everybody knows that,” Cornelsen said. “And he can and will continue to develop in that area.”
Patterson said last week he’s eager to show the coaching staff more of what he can do in practice.
“It’ll definitely be different considering what I’ve done in past practices, but I think I’m prepared for it,” Patterson said. “I think they’ll get me ready for it as well. I think the game Saturday kind of showed some kind of potential for that to be an actual threat. So it’ll be interesting to see.”