Virginia Tech Football: 5 plays that defined the 2023 season

The Virginia Tech football team had a big turnaround once ACC play began. Here are five plays that defined their 2023 season and helped them become bowl-eligible.
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane
Military Bowl presented by - Virginia Tech v Tulane / G Fiume/GettyImages
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After starting 1-3 to begin the 2023 season, the Virginia Tech football team turned things around in ACC play by going 5-3 to become bowl-eligible. In their five wins, the Hokies were dominant in beating Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Boston College, and Virginia. In their losses to Florida State and Louisville, the Hokies did not play well, while they dug themselves a hole against North Carolina State before not being able to complete a second-half comeback.

With each season, there are defining plays that can make or break a game or a season. Here are five plays that defined the 2023 Virginia Tech football season.

5. Grant Wells injury vs. Purdue

First and foremost, you never want to see a player get injured. Wells was poised to have a bounce-back season for the Hokies, but that was dashed in the first half of Week 2 against Purdue. He suffered an ankle injury, but head coach Brent Pry stuck with his senior for most of the second half, before putting in Baylor transfer Kyron Drones for the final drive. He moved the Hokies into Boilermakers territory, however, they turned the ball over on downs in the 24-17 loss. Little did anyone know what was to come with Drones at quarterback over the next three-plus months.

His first two starts on the road at Rutgers and Marshall were more of getting comfortable and getting offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen and Pry used to the sophomore and his skill set. Over the final eight weeks, Drones became a dual-threat under center and his passing game came along and the Hokies’ offense got better and better. Now with a full offseason coming up in Blacksburg and with most of his skilled position players coming back, he has an opportunity to take the next step in 2024.