Virginia Tech sophomore cornerback Brandon Facyson might not play anymore this season because of a leg injury.
On Wednesday's ACC coaches' teleconference, Hokies coach Frank Beamer said the staff is contemplating whether Facyson should be shut down for the season and seek a medical redshirt. Facyson, who was one of the best true freshman corners in the nation last season, has played in three games, and 25 percent of a team's regular-season games is the NCAA's cut-off when asking for a medical redshirt.
Facyson (6-foot-2, 191 pounds) missed most of spring practice because of an issue with his left tibia. He had a bone-graft procedure in May and didn't return to full-bore practicing until mid-August; he also was bothered by a hip flexor injury in August. But he has struggled when on the field this season, to the point that he was benched in the first half of games against Ohio State and East Carolina. He looked especially bad against ECU, being beaten for catches of 35, 47 and 15 yards on ECU's first two possessions of the game. He did not play because of the injury in last week's loss to Georgia Tech.
Facyson had five interceptions and eight pass breakups last season; he has five breakups this season.
Facyson's struggles have mirrored Virginia Tech's pass defense as a whole. The Hokies were expected to have one of the nation's top secondaries with Facyson and fellow sophomore Kendall Fuller at corner and seniors Detrick Bonner and Kyshoen Jarrett at safety; Facyson started nine times last season, while each of the other three started at least 12 contests. But while the Hokies have held opposing quarterbacks to just a 41 percent completion percentage, they have allowed five TD passes -- they allowed only 12 in 13 games last season -- and have given up big plays in three of their four games (all but the opener against FCS foe William & Mary).
The secondary surrendered winning TD passes late against both ECU and Georgia Tech. In addition, cfbstats.com shows that Virginia Tech already has allowed 11 completions of at least 30 yards and six completions of at least 40 yards; the Hokies allowed just 15 and 10, respectively, in 13 games last season.
If Facyson indeed is done for the season, junior Donovan Riley -- who started last week against Georgia Tech -- will be the starter opposite Fuller. But that adversely affects both the nickel and dime packages, as depth in the secondary is unproven.