The Virginia Tech football team sits at 4-5 through the first 10 weeks of the 2023 season. It has been an up-and-down season to date. In their four wins, they have been a dominant team on both sides of the ball.
In their five losses, well there is one troubling pattern.
Virginia Tech has a common denominator in all five losses
All five losses the Hokies have suffered to Purdue, Rutgers, Marshall, Florida State, and Louisville have all had one thing in common, a lack of execution and slow starts. Against Florida State and Louisville, you can add a big gap in talent between Virginia Tech and the top two teams in the ACC.
Following Virginia Tech’s loss at Florida State on Oct. 7, second-year head coach Brent Pry spoke about him not having his team ready to go suffering a slow start, and digging themselves into deep holes. In fact, in the four road losses at Rutgers, Marshall, FSU, and Louisville, the Hokies have looked not prepared and all out of sorts on both sides of the ball.
In the home games at Lane Stadium, it’s easy to be ready to go in front of your home crowd, however, translating the effort, especially at the beginning of games, on the road has been difficult to do.
Rutgers, Florida State, and Louisville all scored first against the Hokies and honestly, Virginia Tech is not a team that is built to come from behind on the road. Getting down by double digits has been a common theme in those games. Against Marshall, they scored on the game’s opening drive, but the Thundering Hurd wore them down and took control of the game.
Offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen has had his best games at home and once on the road, the play calling goes from aggressive to very basic playing calling. A lot of that has to do with playing behind the sticks a lot whether it’s because of a sack or penalty, but sooner or later, the play-calling needs to become aggressive away from Lane Stadium.
The Hokies final two road games, at Boston College and Virginia are two winnable games, at least on paper. It doesn’t mean that Tech will even win them, but if they want to have a chance, they need to eliminate the common pattern that has happened in their five losses and flip the script.
Everyone has to be ready, the coaches and players, because losing the Eagles and Cavaliers will not be because of talent like it was to Florida State and Louisville. Now is the time to start fast and take control on the road and get a much-needed win to have a chance to become bowl-eligible.