If there is one thing that we have learned about the 2023 Virginia Tech football team, it’s that their margin for error is thin, very thin. Head coach Brent Pry knows that.
That was evident in their first four non-conference games where they dropped disappointing games to Purdue, Rutgers, and Marshall. Since ACC play began in late September, the Hokies have won four out of their first six games, and in all four of those wins, they did what they struggled to do the first month, they made plays. Lots of them. In some cases, they excelled in an area that Pry thinks they need to win weekly to be successful.
Brent Pry says Virginia Tech has to win this area of the game
Leading Boston College 10-7 late in the first quarter last Saturday, Pry called on his special teams to make a play. The second-year head coach called for an onside kick, which Jaylen Jones was able to recover after it went the required 10 yards and caught the Eagles off guard.
Virginia Tech’s offense used the trick play and turned it into a touchdown pass early in the second quarter from Kyron Drones to Stephen Gosnell for a 17-7 Hokies lead. That was the early stages of Virginia Tech scoring 35 unanswered points on their way to a 48-22 victory at Alumni Stadium. Special teams are an area that Pry thinks his team needs to excel in.
"“We’re a team that has to win special teams,” said Pry. “To give us the best chance we got to make plays in that phase. In the games that we do, we seem to fare pretty well.”"
Saturday was not the first time that the Hokies made a big play in special teams to key a victory. Earlier this season at home against Wake Forest, Pry called for a fake punt and it was successful and led to a Hokies’ score that helped them pull away from the Demon Deacons.
John Love, Peter Moore, and Tucker Holloway get the headlines in special teams, but it’s the trick plays that work out that are just as important and Virginia Tech is finding that out.