The formula for the Virginia Tech football team is simple in 2023. Brent Pry’s team is successful when they score points in the first quarter. If they don’t, then things get harder for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech lost 35-28 to North Carolina State at Lane Stadium last Saturday and they dropped to 1-5 this season when they didn’t score any points in the first quarter. They now sit at 5-6 and need to win at Virginia this upcoming Saturday to become bowl-eligible and if there’s one thing they need to do, it’s score in the opening 15 minutes.
Virginia Tech is a team that needs to start fast
In four of their five wins, the Hokies have started fast, scoring in the first quarter. The one game that they failed to score in the opening quarter that they won was against Wake Forest at home in October. Other than that, scoreless first quarters have not been too kind to Virginia Tech.
Why is their record that way? There are many factors as two of the losses were on the road at the two ACC teams playing for the conference championship on Dec. 2 in Charlotte, Florida State, and Louisville. Those two teams are going to keep their opponents scoreless in a lot in the opening quarter and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. However, when the Hokies are successful, they are running the ball effectively with Bhayshul Tuten, Malachi Thomas, and quarterback Kyron Drones. The plan is simple, get ahead, stay ahead.
Against NC State, they found themselves down 28-7 in the third quarter before outscoring the Wolfpack 21-7 over the final 24 minutes, but they came up one possession short of completing the comeback. The first half was a costly one on offense where they were only able to muster 95 total yards on offense, with 47 coming on a Xayvion Turner-Bradshaw touchdown run after Tuten returned a kickoff to the NC State 47. Other than that, penalties, a stout Wolfpack defense, and failure to get the run game going hampered them.
Is the result different if they were able to score more points in the first quarter or the first half? We’ll never know, but if they want to go into Charlottesville and come away with a win, making it easy on themselves would be to put up some points in the first 15 minutes. With bowl eligibility on the line, a fast start would make things easier for Pry and his team.