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Game Recap: North Carolina

By Dominic Boltz | October 02
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This Saturday’s game in Chapel Hill was a difficult one for Hokie fans. Virginia Tech (2-3, 1-1 ACC) lost to North Carolina (4-1, 1-0 ACC) in a game that didn’t have much hope from the start. After four quarters of disappointing play, the Hokies lost in a final score of 41-10.

This game could be summed up in two plays that occurred in the second quarter. Down 14-3 and looking for a play to kickstart the drive, Grant Wells dropped back and attempted to lob a pass over the head of Cedick Gray that he intercepted. On the next play, Drake Maye dropped back and threw for a 16 yard Touchdown to Antoine Green to make the score 21-3.

Virginia Tech’s offense could be compared to a sailor stranded at sea. There was no hope or direction for what could solve their woes. The passing game failed to connect on big pass plays, and the run game couldn’t produce against one of the worst run defenses in the country. Grant Wells failed to read the field, made sloppy throws and didn’t manage the game well. He did show some promise in getting out of the backfield and avoiding oncoming tacklers, but the pressure overwhelmed Grant through the entirety of the game. When asked about Wells' play after the game, Coach Pry said, "Grant has to be better and he knows that, but it isn't just on him."

While the offense wasn’t committing a heavy amount of penalties or turnovers, there was not much production against one of the worst run defenses in the country. UNC averages over 190 opponent rushing yards per game and Tech ended with just 99. Bryce Duke saw much work in this game, rushing for a team leading 10 carries for 16 yards. It was the most snaps that Duke has seen in his time as a Hokie. Coach Pry is certainly grooming Duke as a star running back of the future, but his star did not shine very bright in this outing. Tight End Dae’Quan Wright had his first catch for the Hokies and led Tech in receptions with four catches going for 31 yards. The VT offense lacks a spark plug that can break off for big plays. Other than Keyshawn King and Kaleb Smith, there is not much excitement or playmaking coming from the Hokies offense.

The Hokie defense looked like it couldn’t compete with the talent from UNC, allowing 527 yards and 41 points. It was a painful sight for Hokie fans to watch the Tarheel offense march effortlessly down the field drive after drive. Dorian strong was sidelined due to a hand injury which seemed to make things much easier for the UNC passing game. It looked as if Drake Maye had his choice of whether he wanted to scramble for an easy first down or pass to an open receiver.

When addressing his defense’s play against Drake Maye after the game Coach Pry said, “I was disappointed knowing going into the game that we had to keep him caged up and we didn’t do a good job of that.” The VT defense has now allowed 30+ points in two consecutive games and been outscored 74-20 in those two games. This is a severe contrast from the defense that the Hokies fans expect, and there will be much work needed to return to the defense of old.

Look below for the game highlights from the Hokies loss at Chapel Hill.

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