Home Play-calling, penalties: The two biggest issues facing Virginia Tech going forward

Play-calling, penalties: The two biggest issues facing Virginia Tech going forward

Roger Gonzalez
virginia tech brent pry
Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry. Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics.

The Virginia Tech football team had a nightmarish performance on Thursday night in the 33-10 loss to West Virginia.

It was one of those games where everything went wrong, with numerous glaring issues against a team that had struggled so far this season.

While Tech remains 1-0 in the ACC, the issues are evident for coach Brent Pry in year one. It’s going take time, but with the next six games being against conference opponents, they are going to have to hope for a quick fix if they are going to be competitive in the Coastal Division.

Here are the two biggest issues right now.

The offensive play-calling

It was horrendous. Hokie fans were probably having flashbacks, thinking Brian Stinespring or Brad Cornelsen were up there calling plays. But this falls squarely on Tyler Bowen. Tech could not run the ball all night, especially up the middle, but there he was calling run plays late in the game. Airing it out was the only way to get back into the game, but Bowen was still trying to mix it up. Inexcusable. In the first half, on a fourth and one, he opts for a QB run up the middle against the strength of that West Virginia defense. It sounds like somebody skipped homework. The offense has to be more creative, there needs to be a bit more shifting before plays to keep defenses off balance, and they might just need to spread out and look to have a more favorable matchup to run out of the gun.

This team is averaging 15 points per game. That’s not going to be nearly enough to sniff bowl eligibility.

The mistakes

Penalty after penalty, the Hokies shot themselves in the foot time and time again, extending drives that put the game away. Whether it be Dax Hollified’s roughing the passer on fourth down in a one-score game or any of the other ones, it was a lack of discipline from these players. Some will say that falls squarely on the coaches, but in this instance, it feels like it is on the players to have more composure in those moments. 15 penalties gave WVU 132 yards, and Tech gave the Mountaineers eight first downs just on penalties. Inexcusable.

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez is freelancer for Augusta Free Press. A native of Connecticut that grew up in Charlottesville, he is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He currently is a sportswriter with CBS Sports and has written for The Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times and other newspapers before getting into the digital sports journalism world.