Virginia Tech Stuck In Between Floors In Loss At Old Dominion

Things did not go as planned for Virginia Tech and Brent Pry on Friday night. (Ivan Morozov)

For the majority of Friday night, S.B. Ballard Stadium felt like a circus. Old Dominion outplayed Virginia Tech in its 20-17 victory, and the Hokies didn’t deserve to win in their second trip to Norfolk in four years.

The game was chaotic from start to finish, full of miscues, poor decision-making and nature running its course. The latter was prevalent when a contingent of Tech assistant coaches got stuck in an elevator heading up to a booth at the end of halftime, delaying the start of the second half.

That incident occurred less than 30 minutes after the Monarchs scored off a botched snap on a field goal. Enzo Anthony sent the ball over the hands of holder Peter Moore, and ODU scooped the kick and scored, a quick 10-point swing in front of a sold out crowd.

*Editor’s note: Enzo Anthony was the long snapper on the play, not Justin Pollock.

Throw in four other turnovers from the Hokies – all interceptions from Grant Wells – and 15 penalties, the most since a program-high 17 against Florida State in 2005, and it was miles from the start Brent Pry had hoped for at Virginia Tech.

*Editor’s note: Old Dominion’s stat crew was dealing with some issues during the game. They have since updated the number of penalties from 14 to 15, which is why the number changed.

“We were sloppy,” Pry told reporters after the loss. “I felt like they pressed. And attention to detail, which showed up in the last scrimmage a little bit. That’s more penalties that we’ve been having. … You don’t have five turnovers and 14 penalties. You want to make people earn it, and we didn’t do that.”

There was another mind-boggling play late in the game that showed the newness of the coaching staff. Trailing 17-13 in VT territory, Monarch quarterback Hayden Wolff found Ali Jennings at the one-yard line with 1:09 to play. Tech cornerback Dorian Strong was called for pass interference, a penalty ODU denied. All Ricky Rahne & Co. had to do was let the clock run and punch it in before it expired.

Caught up in conversation with his staff, Pry didn’t realize the clock was running due to the penalty being declined. That allowed the Monarchs to run off 28 seconds before Pry was eventually alerted and called timeout. ODU punched in the game-winning touchdown two plays later, and the Hokies could’ve used more time than just :33 remaining.

Thus are the ups and downs of a first-time head coach with a staff that hasn’t worked together previously. 

Penalties didn’t help Tech’s cause either. The 15 flags equated to 106 yards, and they came in all different shapes and sizes. From delay of game and false start to offensive pass interference and illegal shift, everything was called.

Pry said those showed up in the last scrimmage before the season so it wasn’t something by which he was completely shocked. Linebacker Dax Hollifield and Wells, two captains, both mentioned the team is more disciplined than what it showed in Norfolk.

“You always expect penalties in week one, guys are antsy to play,” Wells said. “Technique might be able to get away from you in week one, but we had too many of them and there’s not really an excuse for that.”

The Hokies made too many mistakes at ODU. (Ivan Morozov)

Despite the craziness, Virginia Tech was in control for a good chunk of the game. Much of that was a result of an early 18-yard rushing touchdown by Wells, but interceptions on back-to-back possessions followed.

The first came in Tech territory on a ball he completely overthrew. Running back Keshawn King picked up a blitzing linebacker well, Wells practically gave the ODU safety the ball with no Tech receiver in the vicinity. The Monarchs settled for a field goal a few plays later.

On the second drive, the Hokies progressed to the ODU 27-yard line but cornerback Tobias Harris jumped a pass intended for Da’Wain Lofton. Though the Monarchs didn’t convert that possession, it stalled a Tech drive that was rolling.

Then came the aforementioned botched field goal. Will Ross was prepared for his first make at Virginia Tech on a 38-yarder before the ball went sailing backwards. Old Dominion turned that into seven points.

“You can’t give up a touchdown on special teams that way,” Pry said. “We’ve got to fix that. You can’t make that kind of mistake and battle back. … We preached all week: there was going to be adversity in this game. We knew that and we faced it and we took a lead, which was a good sign. And we just couldn’t hang on.

“When it mattered the most, we couldn’t make the plays to keep them off the scoreboard.”

Tech showed some juice in the second half and extended the lead to seven, 17-10. Running back Keshawn King played a huge role in that aspect.

Keshawn King (left) and Da’Wain Lofton (right) celebrated after his touchdown. (Ivan Morozov)

He was dynamite, totaling 111 yards on the ground on 19 carries (5.8 avg.) and catching three passes for 18 yards and a score. With featured backs Malachi Thomas “week-to-week” and Jalen Holston limited due to injury, King took advantage of his opportunity.

“He played fantastic,” Wells said of King. “He showed how hard he is to tackle and when he gets out in any sort of space, he’s hard to beat.”

The Hokies were without veteran wide receiver Kaleb Smith in the second half after he pulled up on a seam route right before halftime. His presence was missed – Smith had three catches for 45 yards to that point – though Pry described his injury as “minor.” Wells frequented tight end Nick Gallo as an option soon after, and he finished with seven receptions for 49 yards.

“He tried to go and couldn’t work through it,” Pry said of Smith. “He’s been our most consistent player. Very valuable to us. But I thought we were still able to move the ball and do things. It wasn’t that.

“We were able to run it. I thought Keshawn did terrific. I thought the offensive line blocked well. We’ve just got to be able to protect the football and we’ve got to eliminate penalties.”

The offense never really picked up, however, often stalling. Meanwhile, Tech’s defense held its own against ODU. The Monarchs were just 3-of-16 on third down conversions; on the flip side, it was 5-for-16.

Hollifield (11 tackles) and safety Nasir Peoples (10) led the unit, and the group did its job as a whole. ODU totaled 245 total yards and just 80 on the ground, and Wolff was rattled: 14-for-35, 165 yards.

It was not a happy night in Norfolk. (Ivan Morozov)

Simple mistakes – things that Pry described as easily fixable –  did the Hokies in, though. 

Wells’ third interception came in the second to last drive when the Hokies were in the driver’s seat, and that set up the ODU game-winning touchdown. He hit Holston in the hands a few yards downfield and the ball fell into the clutches of a Monarch defender. The fourth pick came when Wells was trying to make something happen on the last possession and chucked it downfield.

The loss is an embarrassing one on the national stage, especially considering what the future entails between these two programs. Virginia Tech and Old Dominion are set to meet every year through 2031, and Tech’s next return visit to Norfolk will be in 2024.

As far as where the Hokies go from here, it’s just the first game of the season, albeit an important milestone in the Pry era. He’s likely still adjusting to being the head honcho, and the communication and operations aspect will work itself out with time. But the level of sloppiness in the season-opener was well below average, which Pry understands.

“You can’t win when you do these things,” Pry said. “I think the positive is they’re corrective. And we can fix those as coaches and players. … I think we’ve got a solid football team. We’ve just got to keep investing and clean up our mistakes.”

100 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Please tell me again whose brilliant idea it was to put those billboards up in the Norfolk area about Tech “owning” Virginia again BEFORE the game? How idiotic was that!?!?
    Never start bragging before you deliver the goods!!

    1. Before or after…it’s a stupid marketing message because

      a) It’s confrontational can’t be lived up to and therefore doomed for failure and ridicule.
      What are we trying to accomplish with this message? No clue.

      b) Like the NC2VT ….. too much downsized risk of looking arrogantly incompetent with the
      first recruit you don’t get. Amateurish.

      c) Bragging is low class.

      Who is in charge of this crap?

  2. Reading through each of the comments here, the resounding theme is we are where we are because of a lack of talent, recruiting and because the program was allowed to continually decline. That falls squarely on the shoulders of the athletic director. We will struggle to fill the stadium this year and generate revenue and enthusiasm. We will continue to disappear from the national stage. This will take years to fix, years to repair the house that Frank and Bud built. Football surely wasn’t big at Berkeley, so I ask myself whether the VT administration cares as much today about the football program as they did 20 years ago and whether Sands will hold Babcock’s feet to the fire

  3. Not down on Pry or Wells at this point, just disappointed in the results at ODU. For Pry, I am more interested if he can show improvement as the season goes along, and next season over this season. With Fuentes it seemed we went backwards from season to season, my big test for Pry is can he build and improve each game and each season.

    As for Wells, of his three interceptions two hit receivers in the hand and were tipped, and the last one was a hail Mary where the ODU back went after it and our receiver waited for it. I think we have more to fix at receiver than at QB.

  4. I like the catchy headline to this article, but ODU did not “outplay” Tech. You don’t outplay someone when you lose the statistics 340-168. They played with more emotion and got a huge lucky break and took advantage of opportunities Tech gave them, but Tech shot themselves in the foot and gift wrapped an early Christmas present to ODU. The reason ODU deserved to win was because Tech did NOT deserve to win. It’s just the way it is. You see it all the time; you have to face adversity in a rebuild before it gets rebuilt. Go Hokies; get better.

    1. Agree. ODU definitely didn’t outplay Tech. We may have deserved to lose just a little more than ODU did because of the major choke job on the snap.

      On the positive side, I saw a little, but definite improvement on the defensive side.

  5. Please teach the holder how to jump on the loose ball, not to just slide by the ball and stick an arm out, you will never recover the ball that way.

  6. The sky is falling. Everyone duck! Wait and see how this team improves or doesn’t throught the season. Then judge all you want.

    1. Exactly right. Give it time. I think Pry knew exactly what he was getting in to; that it was a major rebuild. But he has a passion for the school and program and wants to try to get it back to where Beamer and Foater had it. He is a Christian man with class who wants to do it the right way and I’m hoping he is fortunate enough to have success like Dabo and Tony Bennett. Time will tell.

  7. Terrible game Team totally unprepared
    We lost to a bad ODU team with a bad QB
    Perhaps the praises And accolades for the new coaching staff and trashing of the old should have waited until a few games were played

    1. Glad to know per Coach Pry that these mistakes are “ easily fixable”… guess we will find out Saturday Vs BC if that is the case

  8. Embarrassing first game but, I feel any coach needs at least 4 years to get his players into and through his system before you can have an objective review of their abilities. I’m still hopeful that the program will rise back to the relevance that we enjoyed decades ago. We are poor in all areas now. Very hard to watch.

    1. The challenge is our current 2023 class which has about 5 months left of recruiting is mediocre at best at this point. Still, time left in this cycle but probably not trending in the right direction with this game…Going to take time. Probably more like 5 years.

    2. Whitt deserves a lot of the blame. We all thought Fu was a good hire at first and had early success with Beamer’s players. Over time his poor coaching and recruiting abilities became evident. Whitt SHOULD NEVER have extended Fu’s contact which depleted our talent level further and increased his buyout. To bad Baylor didn’t take him.

      1. Yep. I don’t begrudge the initial hire of Fu. Like virtually everyone including all the media and sports professionals, I felt the hire was really good. But Whit screwed up with the extension and the absurd contract terms which prevented us from moving on sooner.

        Whit and the AD dept negotiate contracts without assistance from outside counsel, which is absurd. The average sports agency is full of legal specialists who devote their lives to athletic contract negotiation and negotiate countless contracts per year. Our AD and in house legal negotiate maybe a few contracts every several years. The difference in experience is substantial, and puts ADs that rely on in house negotiation at a substantial disadvantage vs specialized sports agencies. Our in house administrators and counsel like to fancy themselves as expert athletic contract negotiators, but they are not — and dedicated agencies will always have an advantage over us. That’s also on Whit for being stubborn about using in house vs external assistance.

  9. Shades of Tennessee at Bristol…….. You can’t win with 5 turnovers…. This game turned on two plays, one a freak fumble return for a TD, and a penalty that turned a first and goal into a third and 20 something. So instead or 24-10, its 17-20! Luckily the odds are that only happens about once every 8-10 years.

  10. Expected a tough, grind-it-out game with VT squeaking by so the loss was not as surprising as it was disappointing. I put the penalties primarily on the coaching staff not having the team ready. A lot can be cleaned up but lack of talent, not so much. That is a real chicken and egg problem. I am also worried that we crapped on a national stage at the wrong time given eyes are on teams like VT who could land on the wrong side of the conference realignment process. Finally, I did not see much emotion out of Pry on the sideline. Just an observation….

    1. Pry was not as emotional as I thought he would be. But he is just starting to learn about being a head coach. He might be realizing it is going to be an even tougher rebuild than he thought. I think coaches and players are both learning on the job and hopefully we’ll see improvement game by game. That’s how programs get rebuilt; step by step. I still trust Pry and staff will get this program back to relevance; it just takes time.

  11. Well the team is not as bad as it looked, but having read all the TSL articles this past year, the issues were covered—from Wells’ interception issues, WR concerns, unknown special teams play, and lack of experience for coaching staff in their current roles. Thank goodness no o-line injuries on our side. The good was there too, strength of d-line, some depth at RB (King was 3rd string for a while), cornerback experience, Blumrick’s abilities. This was numbingly disappointing but it can be cleaned up. The leftovers from Fuente cannot be cleaned up overnight, but S&C, relationships with fans, and better attitudes are a start. Don’t throw vitriol at teenagers trying their best. And don’t pull support from coaches until we see if they can fix the problems. We knew this was a rebuild project. Show some of the perseverance and grit you ask of the players.

  12. One good thing from yesterday… instead of winning our first game and creating an expectation of future success we know we are doomed from the start…guess I can schedule tee times for Saturday.

    1. One game and you are ready to throw in the towel. Go ahead, we don’t need fair weather fans like you! I have been a HOKIE since the mid 1970’s and I’ll die a HOKIE fan, no matter who we play or lose to. Too bad there are a lot of “jumpers” who are on here when the team wins but jump off when we do not do as well as expectations. A “REAL HOKIE” will be there no matter what. I’ll be in the stands Saturday night against BC and for the rest of the season. So, LET’S GO HOKIEEEESSSS!!!

  13. Stay tuned…next on “Overreaction Saturday”, we’ll have live footage of Hokie football faithful taking headers off the Torgersen Bridge…

    1. Thanks Gem! Seriously, look below as people are calling for a QB change and worried about the portal — AFTER GAME 1. Sweet lord. Bullock at QB?!? Really HokieJam? You want the current 3rd stringer over the former Conference Freshman of the Year in Wells?

  14. It’s time for Farrell or Bullock at QB. We can’t afford to lose them like Hooker & Patterson. No elite QB will commit with our history of transfer QBs. It’s time to play for the future of the program! The last QB we recruited was Logan Thomas, who should’ve been TE

    1. Time for a QB change before it becomes a major problem. Wells throwing to many balls
      to the other team like at Marshall.

    2. Way too early for talk of a QB change in my opinion. Wells has the chance to be an impact player for the next couple of years … risky to risk crushing his confidence after week 1. Especially when one of the INT’s bounced off the receivers hands, and a second was an end of the game Hail Mary.

      Bottom line – if that one FG snap was anything but high, nearly all of Hokie Nation would be in a completely different mood today.

  15. We are going to get our doors blown off at least 5 or 6 times this season. Poor coaching + limited talent is not a great combo.

  16. Disappointing, but we will get better. Patience is a virtue. Can’t help but think about all those years of recruiting misses. I love the Hokies, but when I looked at the team on the sideline, its overall size resembled a typical FCS team. Hopefully, CBP will get and develop some size to compete in the ACC.

  17. First, if you’re not going to beat ODU, don’t play ODU. Don’t sign ten year contracts if you’re not going to beat them every time by 21.

    We just lost to a second rate team from the Sub Belt.

    Looked to me like a Fuente team plus turnovers.

    Sorry, guys, I’m really POed.

    1. Yep … no benefits for a “solid” ACC team to sign up for a series against ODU. When you win, get zero credit and doesn’t really advance the season or the program. Heaven forbid you lose, it’s a program killer. As we’ve seen so many times.

      So tired of being other teams signature win and watching them rush the field. It’s old. And embarrassing.

    2. Another one on Whitt to schedule games with lower tier teams that offer us nothing to gain but all to LOSE.

  18. Embarrassing loss. ODU deserved to win, outplayed the Hokies. As Pry said the Hokies played sloppy. They better clean it up fast before Boston College. Based on last night Liberty could be a challenge. Hopefully we can beat Wofford. I understand that Fu left us with less talent and Pry will get that corrected but I thought we had more talent then ODU.

    1. Tech was not outplayed. The botched snap was a 10-point swing in a 3-point loss, so that was clearly the biggest factor that caused the Hokies to lose. Even with a 10-point gift to ODU, 106 yards in penalties, and a couple of INTs, the Hokies still would have won if Holston had caught the pass that hit him in the hands.

      The defense looked good until the last ODU drive. How do you give up a 9-yard scramble to a slow QB who never has positive rushing yardage? How does a VT corner commit pass interference and STILL lose a jump ball to an ODU receiver, especially on a 40-yard pass where a mediocre QB was drilled as he threw it? Strong put himself in a bad position to make a play on that ball, so if you have to commit pass interference to prevent the catch, then go all in and hold his arms down. Strong gave up a similar big play on Notre Dame’s game-winning drive last year, so that pattern is concerning.

      1. I don’t quite remember the ND gaffe, but Strong was absolutely torched for a TD in the final minutes against ‘Cuse

  19. One aspect of many is we just lack talent. Years of poor recruiting is painfully obvious on the field. 2020 – #76; 2021 – #44; 2022 – #36. Unfortunately, I don’t see much improvement in recruiting with this class ranked at #40. I understand we didn’t recruit at the highest levels but we traditionally would be in the top 30 for recruiting rankings and that we have slipped to the top 40 which is becoming the difference in these games. So we can’t out-talent the ODUs of the world. And we need great coaching, good execution, and few penalties to win games now which didn’t happen.

    It feels like Clark Kent and Virginia Tech football follow the same story line as in Superman 2 where Superman gets rid of his super powers and becomes an ordinary person and gets beat up by some trucker named Rocky. You can see the link to the clip below.

  20. Head coach – No experience as HC
    Offensive Coordinator- Very limited experience as OC
    Defensive Coordinator- No experience as DC. Not even allowed to call the defense

    1. The guy taking the field tonight at Ohio Stadium is:
      36 years old
      Never been a HC
      New HC at one of THE most storied programs in THE history of college football.
      We can all assume you’d take MARCUS FREEMAN as the head man at VT?
      Get a clue.

  21. Putrid.

    I’d like to say something positive. Offer excuses.

    I find myself able to do neither.

    Is it Basketball Season yet? 😐

  22. Cole Beck is a track star in college If he was a football player, he would have played… Goodness knows we NEEDED football players.

  23. Can someone explain why Cole Beck was on the sideline the entire game. I thought he was one of the fastest players on the field. ” WHITE LIGHTING” was bottled up in the jug. He could have at least been used on kick-off returns. He blew past everyone at Blacksburg HS as a returner. Is he not catching the ball or something as WR? I don’t see where there could have been any harm in letting him run for a deep ball or two.
    As a side note I would have tried Bradshaw from Graham on some kick-off returns as well. Go G-Men!
    I dread the WVU game really really bad now.
    I was in the stands when Beamer only won 2 games, I’ll still be in the stands for the Hokies 2 wins this year!
    Go Hokies!

    1. Cole Beck is a track star in college If he was a football player, he would have played… Goodness knows we NEEDED football players.

    2. He looked pretty fair on kickoff cocerage. I dont know if he got credit for it or not but i saw him on at least one tackle.

  24. We scored 17 points against Old Dominion. 17 points. I told myself, Don’t go into this season wearing rose-colored glasses. But I thought we had a difference-making QB. 17 points.

  25. Don’t agree that ODU outplayed Tech. Tech lost due to self-inflicted issues – turnovers and penalties that were not forced.

    1. 100% agreed. Old Dominion did not outplay VT as the Hokies had close to double the yardage and first downs as ODU until ODU narrowed the gap a bit on their last drive. VT shot themselves in the foot with penalties (some debatable), turnovers, a botched FG and lack of making a big play when provided the opportunity.

    2. Agreed ODU and i will add ODU will not do mich in the SBC this year. We lost to a bad team. As someone else said, we did mot deserve to win.

  26. Quick thoughts:
    – need to put some speed at the WR spot; if we run bunch sets often, P-5s will crowd the box. Where was Blue? Moss?
    – As advertised, Wells can throw the deep ball. See first drive to Smith and last drive to Blumrick (helluva catch) and Lofton (Lofton needs to high point that but I’d prefer to see Moss on that route).
    – Outside of Gallo, our TEs are a liability in blocking
    – King really manned up on the blitz pickups
    – O unable to make ODU pay for continual blitzing
    – OTs looked a little slow on pass sets
    – coaches learned a lot about their game day coaching and player capabilities. The sooner Pry gives up calling the D, the better. Need a holistic, team focus by the big whistle
    – Dax and Keller made for a nice duo
    – Stroman showed good promise

  27. “But the level of sloppiness in the season-opener was well below average.” LOL, I wish it was lower than average.

  28. Couldn’t believe the play of the offensive line. I thought we had the best OL coach in the land. No perimeter blocking at all. Pry had that deer in the headlights look.

  29. Guilty of drinking the kool-aid in thinking we were better than we are. Should have become worried when I saw the line on the game but figured, naw, it’s their home game and the coaches know each other. Ugh. Now looking ahead, the only game I’m confident of winning is Wofford. I know first game jitters happen, but oh my did we stink up the place. All I wanted in year one was to win the games were supposed to win. Sigh. Again.

  30. Great article David, though reading those painful words is a crappy way for all of us to start the day. It’s gonna take time folks … probably a lot of it. We got our hopes up like we’ve done SO MANY times in the past, but it didn’t work out. Again. It’s going to take time because we had fallen that far.

    Like everyone I want Coach Pry and the staff to be successful. They will be over time. Last nights game is why Whit has always preferred prior head coaching experience. 14 penalties on day one and Mike London clock mgt = lack of experience.

    Bottom line – this game is easy to sum up …

    > Even though we made a bunch of mistakes, we still win if we our FG snap doesn’t result in an ODU TD (wow typing that sentence is painful)

    > Our offense is desperately low on playmakers. Against ODU, we should have had a good enough cushion where the botched FG didn’t matter

    > Our defense played well enough to win.

    Go Hokies! We’ll get it straight.

  31. From what I observed last night the need for improvement has never been more obvious. Glaring mistakes, poor judgement, lack of focus and just plain bad luck contributed to the debacle that unfolded. Can this be fixed? Yes. Will it be fixed? The sad answer is possibly but there are no indications we are heading in that direction.

    1. 15 steps backwards and 2 forward.
      1) Penalties – OUCH what the F was that over 100 yds in Penalties. One of the worst was the offensive pass interference which changed a 1st & Goal to 3rd and long which ended in FG attempt that turned into a high snap to the scoop and score, potentially a 14 point swing.
      2) Interceptions & Turnovers – 5 and lost by only 3!!! change those TOs and this would have been a victory, pretty probably not, but a win.
      3) Consistency – a few nice runs and passes that stalled. Holston should not have played did not look good and he was a possible, now we know why, he was not ready.
      The only thing that looked almost good was the D until the last 1:35
      Fix this CRAP (keeping it clean) I realize the first game the players are a bit rusty for real time, but cut the penalties by 80%!!! Cut turnovers by 80+% by next week. FIX THIS DISASTER!!!

  32. Just a massive disappointment. That’s all I can muster the energy to say right now. Ugh…gonna be a rough season.

    1. True. And to me the most scary part is …. none of the Hokies my family watched the game with were surprised about it. The fact that people were getting together to watch the game was a big plus …. that has steadily tapered off over the years around here. But then boom last night happened. Nobody was mad. Nobody was really angry. Just the same numb, accept the new normal feeling that’s developed over the last few years.

      Chris phrased it best when he said many Hokies have become “disconnected from football”. Yeah that pretty much sums it up.

  33. Recruiting has been poor. You can have the best coaches but if you don’t have players you lose.

    1. “Better ingredients, better pizza” … here we have the opposite but if our ingredients show effort and reduce mistakes i for one will be happy for them though no matter, we still wont win much until we get better ingredients.

  34. I know the pressure playing in front of 22,000 fans has to be intense (ha,ha) , although several thousand appeared to be wearing maroon. I wonder how this team responds when they have to go to a real football stadium. The ODU QB is terrible and the last pass was just thrown up for grabs. Both VT cornerbacks appeared lost at critical times of the game and their coverage skills are lacking. I thought the secondary was supposed to be a strength of the team.
    Late in the game, why throw the ball to Holston for 3 yards when you need many more yards than that for a 1st down. Just throw it away and punt them in the hole. Just poor decision making;
    What a critical mistake the Offensive PI was; What is #18 thinking; Otherwise, we have the ball 1st and goal at the 3, score a TD, and the game is basically over.
    And the Defensive delay of game when we had a great chance to stop them. Wow!!

    The team looked nervous and our QB play was very disappointing at best.

    I never heard much from the DEs last night and that was supposed to be a strength of the team.

    The way ODU celebrated you would have thought they just won the conference championship. VT will get dominated by many of the teams in the ACC; We have no wide receivers to help in the passing; King had a very solid night at TB.

    I am in the show me phase now; it is time to respond as BC is always physical. If we don’t beat them, it will be a long season.

    Too many high paid coaches at VT to have the team fall apart the way they did against a very average opponent, picked to finish at the bottom in their conference.

    1. Agree with everything here except maybe your last line, 134. Gotta’ pay these guys and contracts are contracts so is what it is. ODU’s QB was terrible. That burns me as much as anything, that that guy got the W. You’re spot on on the offensive PI. Game over. Same if Wells had just ate the ball instead of whizzing it to Holston. Yeah, our corners looked lost just a couple times but guess what .. it was those couple times where they got burned. That’s called playing the game and playing EVERY play. Not saying guys quit or anything. Just saying ODU capitalized when it mattered.

    1. My guess is that ODU’s average star rating might be a 2-2.5. So no excuse for our 3 star players to lose to those guys- ever! Pathetic start for Pry and the team in so many areas.

  35. There were a few decent opportunities for interceptions, but our secondary players do not have good ball skills and were unable to hang on to the ball. Maybe that can be improved somehow. Jugs work, maybe? I recall Nick Saban replying to a question regarding what he looks for in a defensive secondary recruit, and he said “ball skills”.

    1. That is such an overlooked part of the game. The defense played well, but when the DB’s are in position to make an INT, but drop the ball, you’re just giving the other team more chances. Eventually, it catches up to you.

  36. Huge lack of talent is painfully obvious. Vanilla play calling in 4th qtr and should have never play an injured Holston

  37. We don’t have the talent and in this game we didn’t have the best coaching either. All mistakes are correctable but easier said than done. Our mistakes were across the board. Been watching VT football for over 50 years, this game made my 5 worst games ever. Let’s hope Pry can “clean things up” or we go 0-11.

    1. then we win this game walking away.>>>>

      Mistakes are like radiation – a little bit doesn’t hurt – but the accumulation will kill you. The penalties played a huge part. And the delay of game penalties on the D were quite peculiar at the timing. Add in the motion penalties.

      Think about this – The ODU QB had a worse QB rating than Wells!!!

      The botched FG attempt was the story of the game though. Lots of ways it could have gone wrong – but the ball bounced perfectly for ODU.

      I’m surprised that Pry doesn’t have a head set – or an assistant ‘game’ coach in his hip pocket.

    2. this game made my 5 worst games ever.>>>>

      Hmmm – Temple & JMU losses have to be at the top. The recent Duke fiasco. The Rutgers Bowl game. And the loss to ODU 4 years ago. Then there’s the 0-0 WF game. Of course – the Pinstripe bowl vs UMD set some records. The Liberty loss???

      In any case – what’s your other four ‘worse’ games. 🙂

  38. Reminiscent of some games last year. Couldn’t sustain a drive to run the clock out with the lead and then the defense collapsing on a game winning drive for our opponent. Defense played well most of the game but lost it at the end. Fortunately, not an ACC game. But what a downer. It’s very possible that we don’t have the talent and coaching can’t bring us up that much.

    1. I don’t think we have the talent either, especially at QB. I felt that after just the first few plays of the game. We did not look like or play like a power 5 team. I assume we beat Wofford, but I think that might be it. I did not have high expectations going in, but I never expected things to be this bad.

      1. The talent is fine. Watching that game, it was like watching a D1 team play a D2 team, the talent margain was very wide abd very noticeable. If we don’t commit 5 turnovers, 14 penalties, manage the clock like Mike London and give them points, then we win this game walking away. This was simply an ill-prepared team. When we played Maryland, you could tell we just didn’t have the horses with all the opt-outs. Well in this one, we outmatched them by miles..bur we looked like a team that didn’t practice with purpose and like we had no plan at all. For all the talk of competing, and playing tough and all this traveling slick salesman we have been sold, there was never a mention of playing smart, controlling what you can control, protecting the ball…we didn’t value those things and it showed up. We hit hard, we played hard, we competed..but we played w zero discipline abd were coached that way plain abd simple

        1. then we win this game walking away.>>>>

          Mistakes are like radiation – a little bit doesn’t hurt – but the accumulation will kill you. The penalties played a huge part. And the delay of game penalties on the D were quite peculiar at the timing. Add in the motion penalties.

          Think about this – The ODU QB had a worse QB rating than Wells!!!

          The botched FG attempt was the story of the game though. Lots of ways it could have gone wrong – but the ball bounced perfectly for ODU.

          I’m surprised that Pry doesn’t have a head set – or an assistant ‘game’ coach in his hip pocket.

        2. Thank you! Spot on! Some of these folks don’t deserve 1st Amendment rights. Jeez. To wit:
          – 0-11
          – Pry needs a headset
          – Our OL was dominated
          What game were you watching and did you see K. King?
          About 10 plays decided that game and they went ODU’s way thx to Tech’s sloppy play, normal penalties, weird penalties, and yes, Pry’s clock Mgmt didn’t help. (Can someone teach Tech’s kicker how to fall on a tumbling, rumbling football? His second base slide was .. uhm… hilariously maddening.)
          Our D played stellar for 3+ quarters as ODU’s QB seriously looked terrified most of the night. Give those guys credit for battling.
          The TSL message boards were equally stupid last night with ‘terrible hire’, blah, blah, blah. It’s ONE game people and the season opener. None of us … NONE … have no idea what’s in store the rest of the way. Go Hokies.

        3. Our talent is fine? Fine enough to get whooped by a Sun Belt Conference bottom dweller. This team looks like the old days when VMI beat us. I had no idea we were this bad.

          1. U are correct, the talent is NOT fine. Where there is some talent but there is little behind them. We have better talent than ODU but ODU is a bad team they aren’t a yardstick we want to be measured against. Also Stuff your 1st amendment comment too

          2. Uh .. whooped? Hardly. Get some oxygen, a clue and may a gander at the box score.
            VT total yards — 350 // ODU – 245
            First downs – VT – 20 // ODU – 13
            Yards per down – VT 4.6 // ODU 3.5
            There have been plenty of Tech wins where we were outplayed and somehow, some way Bud pulled it out on D and BeamerBall came through. Do you guys remember just how bad our offense was under Stiney? C’mon. I mean, look at these comments — people are saying bench Wells, no talent team, no experience coaching staff, blah, blah. From 1 GAME.

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