If there has been one thing consistent in the first year and a half of the Brent Pry era, it’s that there have been a lot of slow starts for Virginia Tech. A lot of them. And the second-year coach is not afraid to acknowledge it.
Yes, he does acknowledge it, however, it’s an excuse that he can only use so many times, and take the blame himself. Last weekend in a 38-17 win over Pittsburgh at Lane Stadium, the Hokies scored on their opening possession for a 7-0 lead. Same thing the week before on Sept. 23 at Marshall, before they fell apart and lost the game. Last night at Florida State they didn’t and paid for it.
The Hokies dug themselves a 22-0 hole in the first quarter and recovered to make it a one-score game in the third quarter before the Seminoles pulled away for the three-score victory, 39-17. After the game, Pry took responsibility for the slow start, but it’s an excuse that’s beginning to grow thin with the fanbase.
Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry takes responsibility after FSU loss…….. again
Following the game in Tallahassee, Pry spoke to the media and took responsibility for his team’s slow start. Again.
Yes, the head coach always takes the fall, but slow starts are becoming all too common for the Hokies under Pry. It’s hard enough to go on the road against the No. 5 team in the country coming off a bye week, but to bury yourself in a 22-point hole before you pick up a first down on offense is going to put anyone behind the eight-ball.
It’s not only that they couldn’t move the ball on offense, they couldn’t stop the Seminoles on defense. FSU racked up 198 first-quarter yards, three touchdowns, and for good measure, added a two-point conversion following their first touchdown. Mike Norvell went for the knockout punch early.
To the credit of the Virginia Tech players who lined up for four quarters, they battled back and made it a five-point game at 22-17 at the beginning of the third quarter when Bhayshul Tuten returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
Virginia Tech is in a rebuild and it’s going to take some time for the program to be back up to the Frank Beamer days. Through the first six games, they sit at 2-4, and in their four losses, slow starts against Purdue, Rutgers, and Florida State have put themselves in holes they could not dig themselves out of. They started slowly against Old Dominion in the season opener, but the Monarchs made more mistakes in the second half that allowed the Hokies to pull away for a win.
Sooner or later, taking responsibility for the slow starts for Virginia Tech is not going to fly anymore. Brent Pry has seven days to get his team ready and more starts like they had against Pittsburgh are needed. A rebuilding Power 5 school can only survive slow starts so many times. Right now the Hokies are not surviving them. That needs to change and change fast.