SOUTH BEND — Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker is dressed out, but isn’t starting at quarterback against Notre Dame.
The Hokies are going with Quincy Patterson, the former third-string quarterback that led the team to an overtime victory over North Carolina before an off week after Hooker suffered a left leg injury during the first half of that game.
Patterson had 177 yards of total offense and two touchdowns in the win. The redshirt freshman made several key plays with both his arms and legs to secure the win including a 53-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and game-tying 18-yard touchdown pass to Damon Hazelton in the fourth overtime.
“Quincy’s taken more reps, as we prepare for this week and on in the future,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said on Monday.
Tech offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen acknowledged that one of the focuses with Patterson will be in the passing game. Patterson made throws when Tech needed him to against North Carolina, but he only attempted six passes from a scaled-down playbook.
“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.”
The decision to start Patterson comes after Fuente reiterated multiple times during the off week that Hooker’s injury wasn’t “a long-term deal” and that the quarterback looked good at practice.
Tech’s offense has averaged 39.6 points and more than 430 yards per game in Hooker’s three starts. The Hokies have also won all three of those games.