When it comes to the running game for the 2023 Virginia Tech football team, it doesn’t matter what side of the ball you’re talking about, it’s just been, well, not good. No other way to describe it.
On the defensive side, the signs were there from Week 1 against Old Dominion when the Monarchs, who averaged just 92 yards a game last season, put up 209 on the Hokies. Purdue, which likes to play with a quick tempo and throw the ball around the field, they rushed for 179 yards. Then there’s Rutgers who used the rushing attack of running back Kyle Monangai and quarterback Gavin Wimsatt to gash the Virginia Tech defense for 256 yards.
As for the Hokies? Well, it’s as bad as it can get and there are no signs of it turning around anytime soon.
Virginia Tech ranks near the bottom of Division 1 football in rushing
This should not come as a surprise to anyone, but there are just eight teams in the country in Division 1 football who have averaged fewer rushing yards per game than the Hokies. Yes, that’s right, just eight.
Through three games, Virginia Tech is averaging 2.4 yards a carry and just 83 yards a game as a team. That’s not going to win many games for a Power 5 school. To say that they have been dominated on both sides of the ball in rushing game would be a major understatement.
Injuries have played a part on both of the ball, however, when your backup quarterback, Kyron Drones, has been your best rusher, that should raise some red flags for coach Brent Pry and the coaching staff. It should. The problem with Drones rushing the ball 22 times like he did last Saturday against Rutgers is that it makes him a bigger target for an injury. Currently, Grant Wells is injured and should be considered an emergency quarterback with freshman Pop Watson currently suspended.
In the overall big picture, the Hokies need to figure out a way to get running backs Bhayshul Tuten and Malachi Thomas going instead putting their quarterbacks at risk 22 times a game. Granted Wells, does run that much, but the point is pretty simple, any more success that Virginia Tech is going to have in 2023 will be determined if they can stop the run and if they can run the ball themselves.