Marshall Tops Virginia Tech, Sends Hokies Reeling To 1-3 Start

Marshall running back Rasheen Ali ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns against Virginia Tech on Saturday. (Ivan Morozov)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Virginia Tech football’s worst non-conference showing since 1992 is mercifully over.

The Hokies dropped their third straight game, falling 24-17 to Marshall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday. It’s the first time Tech (1-3) has lost more than two non-conference games in a season in 31 years.

Rasheen Ali ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns to lead Marshall (3-0). It was part of a 214-yard rushing effort by the Thundering Herd, who became the third team to top 200 yards on the ground against the Hokies this season. 

Prior to Saturday, Marshall last beat Virginia Tech in 1940, with six straight losses once the series resumed in 2002 following a long hiatus.

Marshall scored 17 straight points after falling behind 10-7. Ali gave the Thundering Herd a 14-10 lead in the second quarter on a 56-yard touchdown run up the middle. It added a field goal to make it 17-10 at halftime after Hokies quarterback Kyron Drones lost a fumble.

Marshall broke the game open during a critical juncture in the third quarter. The Hokies had the Herd backed up in a third-and-six on the six when Fancher lofted an underthrown pass downfield that safety Mansoor Delane dropped. Cornerback Dorian Strong was flagged for interference, however, giving Marshall a first down.

Kyron Drones and Virginia Tech had opportunities to win the game at the end, but Marshall held them off. (Ivan Morozov)

Ali ripped off a 61-yard run up the left side on the next snap. A few plays later, he scored on a 1-yard run to make it 24-10 with 7:22 left in the third quarter.

The Virginia Tech offense, which went quiet after a strong start, finally responded after seven straight empty drives, getting a 16-yard touchdown run from Drones to pull within 24-17 with 7:14 remaining.

The Hokies had one last-ditch drive to tie it, getting a clutch pass by on fourth-and-three from their own 26 when Drones bought time and dumped off a pass under pressure to running back Bhayshul Tuten for a 19-yard gain. 

Two completions to tight end Benji Gosnell later, Tech was threatening in Marshall territory. On fourth-and-one, though, right guard Bob Schick had a false start. Drones’ fourth-and-six pass across the middle was knocked away, securing the Herd’s win.

Drones finished 19-for-35 for 160 yards, with 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Hokies ran it well for a change, with Tuten running for 88 yards and Tech breaking four runs of 20 or more yards.

Box Score: Marshall 24, Virginia Tech 17

52 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I’m over the honeymoon with Pry.Im over the “it’s a talent problem” What it is has everything to do with is administration and coaching.Whitt needs to get Bruce Arians to look over our program & find out WTH is wrong and how do we correct it.Whitt needs to tell Pry change your staff or else.If Whitt isn’t willing to seek outside help when we have a wealth of help from the NFL ranks from operations to recruiting then Tech should fire Whitt,and everyone in the upper echelon and start from ground zero!This revolving door of coaches and multi million dollar buyouts has to stop!!

  2. Too bad you can’t write contracts where if a highly paid HC goes 2 seasons below 500 the buyout is reduced substantially.

  3. A couple of things I noticed that bothered me in yesterday’s game…
    1. Lack of toughness. How many times did you see a Marshall player throw one of our players around or knock them off their feet?
    2. Tackling…Too many missed tackles or ability to get the player on the ground.
    3. Coaching.
    A. Defense. At this point in the season it seems that the run fit problems on defense should be fixed, or at least improving. Are players not being held accountable for their performance?
    B. Offense performed well in the first series running Drones, then abandoned that for two quarters. The announcers and Marshall head coach both said they had problems covering quarterback runs so why did we abandon that portion of our game?
    C. I know the coaches want to show the players a level of trust but going for it on 4th and 3 when your offense has struggled all year and you have a field goal kicker capable of giving you points, why not kick the field goal instead of throwing into triple coverage?
    D. Lack of awareness or out coached? Many times during the game when Drones was unable to complete a pass or had to throw it away the announcers would indicate the Marshall defense ‘tricked’ Drones into thinking blitz and then dropping into coverage. It seems to me if that is the case, then either our play designs don’t allow an outlet for Drones or he hasn’t been prepared on what to do in that situation.
    E. Why does the defensive line, line up a yard off the ball instead of right up on the line of scrimmage? It seems we’re giving up a yard of ‘push’ to the offense and limiting our ability to get penetration.
    4. I think this staff has done a good job of recruiting this year so far but now they need to back it up with the product on the field. Something needs to change quickly or I’m concerned more of the good recruits we have gotten to commit will start looking elsewhere. Selling kids on your ‘vision’ only works if you can show the vision is real.

  4. Each game reveals how empty the tank has become. Not just from a talent standpoint, but all components of this team. There are no indications that things are improving in any aspect of the game. I see undisciplined, unprepared, and uninspired attempts to get to the final whistle with no regard for the outcome or how pathetic the product on the field appears. The locker room speeches are ineffective if you’re preaching to a tuned out crowd. Without being too critical, can anyone tell me what this team does well? Can the coaches or players truly expect to continue in their current roles without providing some proof they know what is required to succeed? Everyone goes through rough patches but how long do we have to endure this baby still not able to walk after so many years of crawling?

  5. Let this sink in folks. The last time a team from Marshall beat VT in football was 83 years ago until today. Simply unbelievable how pathetic we have become in the sport that basically pays the bills for every sport other than men’s basketball. Totally outplayed and outcoached by a G5 team. Pathetic in every aspect of the game.

  6. “Marshall scored 21 straight points after falling behind 10-7.”

    Marshall only scored 24 for the game. Doesn’t add up. Come on……

      1. Seriously. Andy and Co. are cranking out this content and people point to a teeny tiny miscue.
        Go back to your funyons and Mt. Dew in your basement and just move along, please.

  7. The last two years seem like an extension of the Fu regime. Lackluster undisciplined performances, MIA coaching, positive streaks all getting snapped, weak opponents made to look like world-beaters, no visible improvement over tthe course of the season. Where is the toughness and passion for winning that the Hokies were once known for?

  8. We picked a HC with no HC experience, and wasn’t a “can’t miss” coordinator lighting the world on fire, who picked other coordinators with no experience, so what did you guys expect you were going to get? Did you think we was some “magical find” that no one else saw all these years? I said last year we were going to be watching this guy literally learn “on the job” how to be a HC, and that’s exactly what’s happening.

    But don’t forget, Pry’s a GREAT guy (and he may be), and golly he even showed up for the snowball fight. He get’s us!

    We deserve exactly what we are getting.

    1. Everyone moans and whines about ‘why didn’t we get this hot HC or that hot OC….’ Has anyone ever stopped to think those hotshots didn’t exactly step forward for the job? That Pry was maybe the best coach/fit/human for the job at the time that we could get? The issue is waaaaay deeper than just the head man.

        1. Yep. Huff really wanted the Tech job but Pry was a better cultural fit. Believe Huff would have this team at least watchable after 2 seasons!

          1. Huff would have been the better choice because of his successful head-coaching experience and he and his staff were definitely the better coaching staff in the game.

      1. Agree with Phoenix. There are a lot of schools around the country that hired OC/DC with no HC experience and are doing very well. I realize that the well is dry as it pertains to player talent but this team should still be at least 500 right now. One thing’s for sure, giving up 200 yards on the ground every week is a recipe for disaster.

        1. Even tho they lost, Marcus Freeman has ND back in the national picture and he never had the head whistle before.
          My bigger point is – these ‘hotshots’ look to see where you go *from* Tech, like it or not. Scot L. at BGreen, Corny at Sam Houston Tech State Community College or wherever, it’s not like a stop in Blacksburg is a launching pad. That matters. The cultural fit matters at Tech and priorities have to align. The occasional hotshots we do get are scooped up and they’re gone in 1-3 years. Thus, why the ‘fire Pry and his bums’ after 2 years will never work. We’ll become a revolving door of Losertown, USA.

          1. You’re cherry picking to fit a narrative. Shane Beamer is head coach at . Holman Wiggins is at Alabama. Charlie Wiles is at NC St. Justin Hamilton is with the Titans. Loeffler is a HEAD Coach, not a coordinator. Should I go on?

  9. How many PRE-SNAP penalties? How many UNBLOCKED lineman coming into the VT backfield while a VT tackle blocked air? How many Marshall receivers left to RUN FREE?

  10. Bad just bad, right down to the snaps on special teams. I thought we got top LS transfer, why isn’t he playing? People talk about Bowen not being the guy but Stu Holt ain’t the guy either.

  11. It can get worse and very soon.

    Imagine playing UVA Thanksgiving Weekend for the bottom power 5 team in 2023. My $$$ is on the Hoos.

    1. You are correct, UVa is MUCH better than we are now.. I have not seen ANY IMPROVEMENT in our four games this year. We a BAD and I’m not sure this coaching staff can make the needed improvements. GO HOKIES!!!!!!!

  12. This pitiful performance is all on the coaching staff, especially Bowen (could we have a worse OC?).

    Looking at the schedule, I see this team winning (at most) winning 2 more games. So, no improvement over last year. This is absolutely pathetic.

    Pry needs to be forced to make drastic changes in his staff (especially his offensive staff…Bowen has to go…why was he ever hired?).

    There are no good excuses for this disaster of a season.

    1. I agree that Bowen does not appear up to the task. DC is another problem. Hokies can’t stop the run.

  13. could be 4-0, should probably be 3-1, I’d take 2-2, yet somehow we are 1-3 I really think it’s time to look at the coaching

  14. I just can’t believe that Marve, Price and Pry are incompetent to the point where they are consistently putting their players in bad position on run defense. The players aren’t getting it done.

    1. I used to see Bud jumping up down on the sidelines adjusting the defensive calls. The players make all of the calls themselves. Right. The QB never looks to the sideline for a play??????

  15. Pry isn’t showing me anything. Great personality and a good line of bs but a coach he ain’t. He must be one big time snake oil salesman. Thank goodness women’s basketball is coming.

    1. Almost everybody loved the snowball fights and “win the state” stuff. I’m guessing you liked it to until you didn’t. Meanwhile he was making foolish strategic decision after foolish strategic decision – and anyone who questioned it got skewered on VT message boards because of Fuente Derangement Syndrome and he was “the right cultural fit”.

  16. can’t be all just youth…lack of talent. The fact that there is no improvement in run defense or offensive run game is really disturbing. Coaching just sucks. The “big whistle” needs to kick ass &/or replace assistants after this pitiful season.

  17. Hokies were reeling after the ODU win. I didn’t think that win was all that convincing at the time… sadly, three weeks of games after have confirmed my suspicions. Go Hokies!

  18. Sick of the “we have no talent” excuses. If people can’t see it’s coaching at this point I don’t know what to say. We should not be going backwards. Plenty of coaching staffs do more with less.

    1. Bingo. I can’t understand why people still believe its the talent level. Yea, we don’t have FSU talent, but we should be beating these marginal teams we are playing

    2. Maybe its both, lack of talent and coaching. I’m not impressed with either. Our talent level has at best looked on par with our opponents.

  19. I personally like all the coaches. Good people and very likable, but this a poorly coached team, especially the O & D lines, and linebackers. I think VT has finally reached the bottom of the barrel.

    1. I like all the coaches personally too except for the special teams coach. He’s not a good person.

        1. And he’s coaching the only unit which has looked arguably competent over the last 2 seasons. So who cares if he’s liked? Give me a few more like him.

  20. I feel bad for the staff at Tech Sideline. How many different ways can you write “this is just bad”.

    There’s only three struggling teams remaining on the schedule and I can’t see VT winning all of those toss up games to get to 4-8. I’m not sure what the answers are, but based on the contracts we’re riding the shot they gave Pry into Year 4. Maybe he’ll have those “tough conversations” with underperforming staff members.

    Hopefully we’re not living the Geoff Collins experience, but it sure feels that way.

  21. LB core is young. O.Line corp is untalented. You can have all the playmakers you want but if the line play is not good you go nowhere. (D.Line play also not worth a darn but that in large part is due to poor coaching on that front)

    1. DL play has been horrible. DL is the most experienced group on the team. What is the problem? Seems to be a coaching problem

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