- - Monday, September 26, 2011

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer began his Monday media teleconference by saying he wouldn’t discuss injuries — just another sign of how important Saturday’s game against Clemson is. The No. 11 Hokies are 4-0 heading into the ACC opener against the No. 13 Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC).

It was expected late last week that senior wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, Tech’s all-time leader in catches, would return for the Clemson game after missing last Saturday’s win at Marshall with a sore hamstring. Junior receiver Marcus Davis sprained his right foot at Marshall. X-rays were negative, but his status for Saturday remains uncertain.

The Hokies already are without senior receiver Dyrell Roberts (broken left arm) for the rest of the season. Beamer said true freshman Demitri Knowles will get a lot of work this week to “see how far we can bring him.” Knowles hasn’t played this season.

The Hokies still have No. 2 receiver Danny Coale and No. 4 target D.J. Coles. Davis is the No. 3 receiver when healthy.

Clemson’s new spread offense, which averages 502.8 yards and 37.8 points, demands a lot from its receivers, and one of them, sophomore DeAndre Hopkins, hurt his hamstring in Saturday’s win over Florida State. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday that Hopkins is questionable but is hopeful that he will play this Saturday.

Hopkins last season had a team-best 51 catches for 626 yards and four touchdowns. This season, he has 21 catches for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He is Clemson’s No. 2 receiver, behind true freshman Sammy Watkins (28 catches, 433 yards and six touchdowns).

Miami game time announced

Tech’s Oct. 8 home game against Miami will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and air on ABC regionally and on ESPN in the rest of the country.

Miami (1-2, 0-1 ACC) lost its opener 32-24 to Maryland, rebounded with a 24-6 win over No. 17 Ohio State, then was upset 28-24 by Kansas State at home last week. The Hurricanes play a should-win game at home this week against Bethune-Cookman.

Eight Hurricanes were suspended at least one game in the wake of an NCAA investigation into improper benefits. Tight end Dyron Dye and safety Ray-Ray Armstrong (one of college football’s best safeties) will return for the Tech game after being suspended for four games. The Hurricanes will be missing only defensive end Olivier Vernon, who was suspended for six games.

Extra points

Beamer wants to go into the Clemson game having settled on a punter. Last week, he replaced the struggling Scott Demler with receiver Danny Coale in the middle of the game. True freshman Michael Branthover also will compete this week for the job.

• This is the first time since 2001 that Clemson has played three straight ranked teams. The past two weeks, the Tigers beat defending national champion and No. 21 Auburn and No. 11 Florida State, the preseason favorite to win the ACC.

• Read Darryl Slater’s Virginia Tech blog at vteffect.com