BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente knew all week he was planning on giving backup quarterback Knox Kadum playing time in the first half against Richmond.
He met with each of his quarterbacks earlier in the week to tell them about the plan and to make sure starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister knew his job wasn’t in jeopardy.
“This wasn’t a deal where one guy has to be looking over his shoulder or whatever,” Fuente said after Saturday’s 21-10 win. “The facts were Knox was going to play at some point and also Braxton was going to go back in.”
Kadum’s debut came in a loss to Clemson last fall when Tech suffered multiple injuries at quarterback. He played earlier this season in the first half against Middle Tennessee when Burmeister was being looked at by training staff and came back into the game with Tech up 28 points in the fourth quarter.
He was 3 of 4 for 17 yards and had two carries for 13 yards.
On Saturday, Kadum’s time came with Tech leading 7-0 early in the second quarter after Richmond downed a punt at the Hokies’ 6-yard line. He handed the ball off on his first snap under center for no gain.
The third-year freshman rolled out to his right on the next play and forced a throw to Tayvion Robinson, who was sandwiched between a pair of defenders. Richmond safety Aaron Banks jumped the route for the interception.
Kadum didn’t play another snap the rest of the game.
Fuente was asked after the game if he had any regrets putting Kadum into the game with the offense backed up at its own end zone since Tech’s previous possession started at midfield.
“It’s always hard to put timing on those kind of things because of the flow of the game and all that kind of stuff,” Fuente said. “But on first down we run the ball and don’t help ourselves, we don’t get north and south. And now we’re in second-and-long, and Knox is in a tough situation, backed up on second-and-long, but that’s part of playing quarterback too, is being disciplined enough to go throw the ball away and go live to play the next down.”
“I wish it would have turned out differently for him, but where the ball was should be inconsequential to how he performs.”
Fuente went with Burmeister the rest of the game and he finished 17 of 27 for 212 yards with a touchdown. The touchdown — a 10-yard throw to Tre Turner — came on Tech’s opening drive. He also had 11 carries for 35 yards.