Through the first four weeks of the season, to say that it was a struggle for the Virginia Tech football team would be an understatement. Losing three of their four non-conference games was not a promising beginning, but since ACC play began, you can see the Hokies turning a corner.
Virginia Tech opened conference play with a 38-21 drubbing of Pittsburgh and Lane Stadium. That was followed by a 39-17 loss at Florida State, something that was expected, to be honest. In fact, Brent Pry’s team can take away with the fact they were able to cover the point spread by two points, which was surprising after spotting the Seminoles 22 points in the opening quarter.
Saturday afternoon at Lane Stadium, the Hokies dominated Wake Forest to the tune of a 30-13 victory and they dominated both sides of the ball. After the last three weeks, the question must be asked, is the version of the 2023 Hokies we thought we were getting at the beginning of the season?
Virginia Tech football showing signs of life in conference play
There have been a lot of promising signs in the last three weeks for Virginia Tech. Yes, including in the loss to Florida State where despite digging themselves into a 22-0 deficit, they battled back to cut the deficit to 22-17 early in the third quarter when Bhayshul Tuten returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. The Seminoles responded with two long touchdown runs to secure the win, but you have to give the Hokies credit for not waving the flag after the first quarter and making FSU early the win over the final 45 minutes.
Against Wake Forest, similar to Pittsburgh two weeks ago, the Hokies dominated both sides of the ball, got a huge passing game from quarterback Kyron Drones, two touchdown passes to Jaylin Lane, and made good decisions in terms of running the ball.
Defensively, Virginia Tech made life miserable two weeks for Pittsburgh quarterback Phil Jurkovec and they did the same for Wake Forst’s Mitch Griffis and Michael Kern. They were in the backfield the whole game, allowing just 35 yards rushing to the Demon Deacons, created three turnovers and the offense turned two of those turnovers into points.
When the season began, there was expectation that the defense was going to be better in their second year under Pry, but it took until Week 5 for that to look like it was going to come to fruition. Now, they get their much-needed bye week with injuries piling up, but the question must be asked, are we finally seeing what we expected to see from the Hokies at the beginning of the season now? If we are, it’s not too late to save the season and become Bowl-eligible as the schedule over the final five weeks is certainly manageable.