Last Saturday night’s 36-17 win over Old Dominion at Lane Stadium was a win that the Hokies were looking for since dropping last season’s opener on the road to the Monarchs. Despite his team’s win, Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry knows that there are areas that need to be cleaned up going forward.
Both sides of the ball have areas where they can improve, but one out is on the defensive side of the ball.
Pry speaks about the defensive side of the ball on Tuesday
At his weekly media availability on Tuesday, Pry spoke about his cornerbacks not getting challenged by Old Dominion quarterback Grant Wilson.
“I don’t think our corners were challenged much Saturday,” said Pry.
Actually, there is a very good reason for that. It’s not one that Pry is going to like, but it’s a good reason. Why would the Monarchs throw the ball and challenge the Virginia Tech cornerbacks when they had so much success running the ball?
Old Dominion rushed for 201 yards in the game and a lot of that was from Wilson who rushed for 94 yards, causing problems for the Hokies defensive line and linebackers with his scrambling ability. Last season, the Monarchs averaged just 92 yards a game on the ground and they were able to at least double that against Pry’s defense.
Virginia Tech forced the hands of Old Dominion and Wilson in the second half and by getting out to a double-digit lead, it forced the Monarchs to put the ball in the air more. It led to a fourth-quarter interception by Dorian Strong who returned it 32 yards deep into ODU territory.
This coming Saturday against Purdue, the Hokies’ defense is going to need to improve in stopping the running game, allowing their defensive backs to be challenged more and be up for the challenge. They can’t allow teams to run for 200 yards a game all season as it’s not a recipe for success.