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Game Recap: VT vs ODU

By Dominic Boltz | September 03
Screen Shot 2022 09 03 at 1 32 06 PM
Image via Virginia Pilot

With the Brent Pry era kicking off against ODU, Hokie fans were stunned by another devastating loss in Norfolk. The Hokies dropped a ten point lead to the Monarchs, who would eventually win the game 20-17. This game gave Tech fans the same feeling as the last time their team traveled to ODU. In similar fashion, the Hokies gave up a lead in the fourth quarter to give the Monarchs a win. With many turnovers and a stalled offense, the Hokies didn't have much answer to ODU big plays late in the game. This is obviously not the start to a new era that Pry, Tim Sands, and Hokie fans were expecting. After week one, the notions of the VT football will be different from what we were hoping. Hokies expected an easy win to kickstart start this new era of VT football. We were instead left with a heartbreaking loss that makes every Hokie fan uncertain about the future of the program.

Unforced Errors

Virginia Tech could not seem to avoid unforced errors leading to turnovers. Grant Wells threw 4 interceptions to an ODU defense that only had 7 interceptions in the 2021 season. With Kaleb Smith leaving the game early due to injury, the passing game became underwhelming which forced Wells into bad situations. Wells had a tendency to turn the ball over at Marshall and he repeated that in this first game. Wells' turnovers this game gave ODU great field position multiple times, including the interception that setup the game winning drive for the Monarchs. On the arguable biggest play of the game, the Hokies botched a snap on a field goal that was followed by a scoop and score by the Monarchs. This ten point swing put the Hokies down but not out. Tech gained the lead back in the third quarter, going up ten points on a receiving touchdown from Keyshawn King. However after two fourth quarter interceptions and a 59 yard drive from the Monarchs, the Hokies were left with a season opening loss.

Highlights and Takeaways

There were a few positives to take away from the Hokies week one loss. Players on both sides of the ball were making their presence felt.

Keyshawn King

King showed productive output throughout the game. Keyshawn ran for 111 yards on 19 carries. This gave him an average of 5.8 yards which is more than he’s averaged in any of his previous seasons. With his 111 yard performance, King marked his second highest rushing yards a game in his career. King showed great ability to break and elude oncoming tacklers. It often took a gang of defenders to take him down after his initial contact. King also showed promise in getting out of the backfield with quick route running. King gave Tech a ten point lead on a 6 yard receiving touchdown with 5:11 left in the third quarter.

Dax Hollifield

Dax Hollifield is passion personified. When Dax was on the field, every rep taken was at 110%. Dax put his whole body into every hit, and on the sideline I could hear his hits cracking louder than anyone else. Dax led the Hokies in tackles at 11 with 1.5 of those tackles being for loss. To go along with that he also had two pass deflections and two fumble recoveries. Dax was exceptional in the run game blowing up gaps and pressuring ballcarriers all game long. Hollifield's passion is a main reason for him being a captain for the Hokie defense. If Dax's energy was matched by the entire defense then it would one of tougher defenses to move the ball against.

See Dax Hollifield making a big tackle below.

The Future

As a Hokie fan it is difficult to remain optimistic about the rest of the 2022 season. The defense did a satisfactory job against the Monarchs, only allowing 20 points, but the offense seemed to be lost looking for someone to step up. With the Quarterback struggles, we could soon see play from South Carolina transfer Jason Brown. Brown didn't see the field in week one, however he was ready to go on the sideline the whole game. Brown seemed eager to get his chance which he may get in the next few weeks. With Tech's first Home game next week against Boston College, the Hokie players will come out with much left to prove. To begin a successful era you have to first start with a win, and Coach Pry and staff will be just as confident about their chances for a win in week two. Check back next week for another game recap for the Hokies September 10th matchup against Boston College.

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