Virginia Tech Football: 3 red flags for the Hokies moving forward

Oct 14, 2023; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back DaShawn Jones (10) breaks up a pass intended for Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Stephen Gosnell (12) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2023; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back DaShawn Jones (10) breaks up a pass intended for Virginia Tech Hokies wide receiver Stephen Gosnell (12) during the second quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 4
Next
Sep 30, 2023; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) is sacked by Virginia Tech Hokies defensive lineman Pheldarius Payne (0) during the fourth quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2023; Blacksburg, Virginia, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) is sacked by Virginia Tech Hokies defensive lineman Pheldarius Payne (0) during the fourth quarter at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports /

Virginia Tech is allowing too many big plays

If there has been one issue that has plagued the Virginia Tech defense this season, it’s been the number of big plays that the Hokies have allowed. In their four non-conference games, most of the time it was plays that allowed their opponents to pull away.

Despite the success that the Hokies have had since ACC play began, they are still allowing big plays. Against Pittsburgh, yes, Virginia Tech frustrated quarterback Phil Jurkovec to the tune of four sacks and had him scrambling most of the night, but they still gave up two big plays. A 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play after Virginia Tech grabbed the lead, then later in the game, a 61-yard touchdown pass to close the gap in the third quarter.

That trend continued against Florida State a week later when two second-half big plays from the Seminoles offense after the Hokies cut the deficit to 22-17 allowed them to pull away. Saturday against Wake Forest, after Tech grabbed a 10-0, lead after a field goal, only to have the Demon Deacons return the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

Going forward, if the Hokies are going to become Bowl-eligible, limiting the big plays is almost a must.