The First Bank & Trust Friday Q&A: Looking Forward To The Season Opener

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Kyron Drones and Virginia Tech should be able to hit the ground running this year. (Jon Fleming)

1) What are you most looking forward to with the first game with Vandy? It is the first game, so there will be some rust. Do you think the offense will be ahead of where it ended last year? — HardTimes

Chris Coleman: On paper, yes, the offense should be ahead of where it ended last season. Its only loss is tight end Dae’Quan Wright, but it regains the services of the experienced Nick Gallo, plus Ali Jennings will be 100% healthy (knock on wood). Combined with the fact that Kyron Drones has a year under his belt, the offensive line should be improved (by how much is the main question) and the coaches will have had the offseason to develop their plans/make tweaks, I see no reason why the offense shouldn’t be able to hit the ground running in 2024. Barring any important preseason injuries, of course.

What I’m looking forward to is (hopefully) getting off to a good start. I want to build positive momentum from the very start of the season. That didn’t happen in 2022 with the road loss to Old Dominion, and though the Hokies did beat the Monarchs to begin 2023, they didn’t play well in that game and were generally beaten in the trenches and by a better ODU gameplan and scheme, which didn’t provide positive thoughts for the rest of the season. Lo and behold, Tech lost its next three games, and things didn’t turn around until Pitt.

I don’t just want to beat Vanderbilt; I want to feel good about it after the game. After the ODU win last year, I didn’t feel great. It wasn’t a terrible feeling, and I thought the Hokies had improved, but there was no sense after that first game that things had turned around as much as they eventually did. After the meeting with Vanderbilt, I want to feel like the Hokies have a legit chance to win 9-10 games.

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