Virginia Tech has little time to prepare for West Virginia
Keeping players laser-focused on the game plan while allowing rest and recovery over a short week has meant reducing training time and, in some cases, exercise intensity.
Wells’ 2 TD assists lead Hokies past Wofford 27-7
“It’s the culture you’ve been creating since day one,” Pry said. “It’s us. It’s about when they walk through the doors of this facility, what we expect, where the attention is. It’s the staff who do a great job , our thoughts and our process being anchored in these guys…
“There’s a task to be done in everything we do, and making these guys understand that it’s what we do on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that will take care of Thursday, and I think that they are well placed with that. We had a good preparation, and I attribute that to the maturity of the football team.
The heightened excitement for what should be another raucous atmosphere at Lane Stadium on Thursday night stems in part from a teeming ACC top-rated defense (201 yards per game), more than 80 yards ahead of second-placed Miami after three matches.
The Hokies are also tied at three for the top score on defense (12.3).
“I would say the reason we play so well is how we train and how we go to work every day,” said Virginia Tech linebacker Dax Hollifield, a fifth-year senior. “We try to make practices simulate matches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s where it shows, I think, in how hard we work.
In a 27-7 win over Wofford of the Football Championship Division last weekend, the Hokies didn’t give up a point until 9:34 left in the fourth quarter and had 199 total rushing yards. They allowed the Terriers, who were 3 of 11 on third down, to cross the midfield once.
A 20-0 halftime lead allowed Pry to fill in generously in the fourth quarter, providing valuable playing experience for a reserve crowd with one of the nation’s most potent offenses next on the schedule.
West Virginia (1-2), after a 65-7 win over FCS Towson last weekend at Puskar Stadium in Milan, enters the final leg of the Black Diamond Trophy rivalry third in the Big 12 in total attack (509.7) and fourth in scoring (46.0).
The lopsided margin against Wofford also allowed Pry to give up some defensive calling duties in the later stages to freshman defensive coordinator Chris Marve, who was the defensive play coordinator and linebackers coach at Florida State during of the last two seasons.
“Chris called some of those runs late in the game,” Pry said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to do it. We talked about it beforehand. Looking back, I don’t know if it was really fair. We were rolling a bunch of guys and giving some l opportunity to improve, and that’s where he was called up, so I think it did him a disservice.
Pry offered that assessment with a hint of sarcasm, but having Marve more involved in matchday decisions has been part of the plan since the head coach suggested before the start of the season that there might come a time this year in which he would feel comfortable giving in defensively. game call responsibilities all together.
Regardless of who is in charge of rosters, the defensive coaching staff has relied on seasoned starters such as Hollifield and redshirt senior defensive end TyJuan Garbutt, among others, to lead the charge in the top seven.
Virginia Tech, in early stages of rebuilding, relies on inspired defense
Pressuring the quarterback was a major area of improvement over last year, when Virginia Tech recorded 25 sacks in 13 games. He already has nine this season, tied for second in the conference.
The fullback was also robust behind safeties Chamarri Connor and Nasir Peoples and cornerback Armani Chatman, all redshirt seniors. Dorian Strong, the other corner starter, is a junior.
Last year, the defense got stronger in the second half against the Mountaineers, and Virginia Tech had possession of first base at 3 at the end of the fourth quarter, trailing by six on the road. But the Hokies were unable to hit it four times in a row and returned the ball in tries with 45 seconds remaining.
“There will always be a bad taste because we lost the trophy,” Strong said. “The last staff did a good job of emphasizing the importance of this trophy, and [assistant] Coach JC Price has always stressed the importance of this trophy. He pointed out that it’s been a big rivalry for how long, so shoot, we have to come here, play hard to get our trophy back.