Virginia Tech finished a lackluster 2021 season with an overall record of 6-7, after the firing of Justin Fuente on November 16, 2021 and a crushing bowl loss in the 2021 New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium to the University of Maryland by a score of 54-10. The bowl game was coached by interim coach J.C. Price, as Fuente chose to leave immediately upon his dismissal. To say that the 2021 season was a disappointment is an understatement, as the Hokie faithful have been conditioned to expect success more often than not on the football field.
Enter Brent Pry, the successful defensive coordinator from Penn State who was named the 35th head coach at Virginia Tech on November 30, 2021. Coach Pry set about immediately making a concerted effort to appeal to the fanbase and instilling a newfound sense of optimism in Blacksburg. With Coach Pry installing his system and culture, hopes are high for a more successful season in 2022-2023. But what does success look like in this new era of Virginia Tech football?
Read on for the 5 keys to a successful 2022 football season for the first year of the Brent Pry era.
1. BETTER QUARTERBACK PLAY
Tech’s initial starter in 2021, Braxton Burmeister, chose to transfer after the firing of Justin Fuente, leaving Connor Blumrick to start in the Pinstripe Bowl for interim coach J.C. Price. Coach Pry begins his first year at Tech with two standout transfer quarter backs – Grant Wells and Jason Brown. These two QBs will compete for the starting position in 2022 and split most of the snaps in the Spring Game, although the early favorite to start is Grant Wells, a transfer from Marshall where he started at quarterback for the past two seasons. Wells is the former Conference USA Freshman of the Year in 2020, and completed 64% of his passes in 2021. Brown went 2-2 as a starter for South Carolina in 2021, although the two wins were against Florida and Auburn. Virginia Tech has been starved for consistency at the quarterback position since 2017, when Josh Jackson was able to start multiple games for the Hokies. For Pry to have success in 2022, he will need to find that consistent quarterback play that has been nonexistent in Blacksburg in recent years.