From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
The Virginia Tech football team easily won this past week’s Military Bowl, and with it comes questions on what we have learned about this team. For the most part, most of it is positive.
The current players support Pry as 19 of 22 starters were still in action for the Military Bowl. Kudos for the coaching staff, keeping everyone together. In addition, the staff also convinced several players from not only opting out but hitting the transfer portal. This is a credit to Pry and his coaching staff.
Kyron Drones is definitely a great player. He has proven himself not only for the last six games of the season but also in the bowl game itself.
Drones ran for 176 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for two TDs as Virginia Tech withstood a second-half downpour to beat No. 23 Tulane 41-20 in the Military Bowl.
His feet is the key for how the Hokie defense moves. For the season, Drones has 818 yards rushing and another 2,085 through the air.
For once, the team will know who their QB1 will be before spring workouts.
Brayshul Tuten finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to help Virginia Tech win its first bowl game since 2016. Thus, he was another good portal pickup from this past year. He is returning and that spells trouble for opposing defenses.
Again, the word “returning” is big in Blacksburg. Over a dozen players have announced plans to return to the team this coming year, another great testimonial to Pry and his staff.
Speaking of the coaching staff, they have also proven to be able to recruit the 757 and the Commonwealth. Something that was lacking from the previous staff. Several of those new recruits were even present for the bowl win.
The Hokies definitely have a weapon in redshirt-Freshman kicker Jordan Love. He consistently hit from downtown including several from beyond 50 yards. He was rated a five-star kicking prospect by Kohl’s kicking prospect coming to Blacksburg out of high school and was ranked as the No. 14 high school kicker in the country by 247Sports Composite.
Dr. Love knows how to kick.
The defense is also a bright spot, and with almost the entire secondary returning, they should be a force for next season. Add the return of a very experienced Front Four and the defense will be solid.
Fans showed up in groves to support the Hokies as the bowl location was a sea of Maroon. One thing for sure is that Hokie fans travel well.
Pry and several of his players should also be commended for giving words of encouragement to the Tulane QB, following a first half injury. Definitely respect here.
This football program is moving the needle and scaling the mountain once again. There still is a long way to go, but the coaching staff has already reached new heights in just two years.
Next year’s schedule now lays in front of the Hokies. The season opens at Vanderbilt, a SEC school. Then returns home for Marshall before a trip to ODU in Norfolk.
Rutgers than slides into Blacksburg for the fourth game of the season.
Conference games for 2024 include UVA, Duke, Miami, at Stanford, Syracuse, Boston College, Clemson and Ga. Tech.
The Hokies could easily be 4-0 heading into conference play and six more wins could await after that.
Fans will should just hold their breath on what the future holds for this squad. The nucleus is returning and barring injuries, should give the team something to look forward to.