The Virginia Tech football program is not where many expected, and a very lopsided 45-29 loss to the Pitt Panthers at Acrisure Stadium on Saturday has cemented the Hokies’ struggles.
Virginia Tech has now fallen to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in ACC play, definitely not where fans thought this team would be six games into the season.
A road win against the Panthers would have had the team back to .500, and provided some optimism after two straight losses to West Virginia and North Carolina. But once again the struggling Hokies’ defense put too much pressure on the young offense to stay in the hunt.
Pitt is now 7-1 against the Hokies in Acrisure Stadium. The Panthers overall home dominance surprisingly changed last week when Georgia Tech came to Pitt and defeated the Panthers 26-21 in the first game for new Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key.
The Hokies weren’t quite so fortunate, and the defending ACC champs took out some frustration on Virginia Tech.
Pitt led the ACC with 16 sacks coming into the game, and put Grant Wells on the turf three times, to raise their conference-leading total to 19. The Hokies’ offensive line also gave up four tackles for a loss in the struggle.
Once again, Virginia Tech lost the turnover battle, fumbling the ball away once and adding a Grant Wells interception.
But the real story of the game was Tech’s inability to stop the Pitt running attack, giving up 326 yards on the ground at a 7.6 yard-per-carry clip. If the Hokies are going to right this ship, then line play on both sides of the ball needs to be the focus.
With four losses already totaled on the season, the goal has to be to finish above .500 and (possibly) qualify for a bowl game. Right now, that’s the only real victory to be had for this year’s team.
The Hokies have a few days to regroup, and then will welcome the Miami Hurricanes to Lane Stadium on October, 15 before their bye week on the 22nd.
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