Home Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry focused on run game, penalties as Hokies prep for UNC

Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry focused on run game, penalties as Hokies prep for UNC

Chris Graham
virginia tech brent pry
Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry. Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics.

Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry is about to get a taste of what life is like on Tobacco Road.

The Hokies are set to travel to Chapel Hill on Saturday for their ACC road opener with North Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET, ACCN).

That’s assuming the game isn’t moved up with the current forecast track of Hurricane Ian bringing the storm into the Carolinas mid-day Saturday.

The Tar Heels (3-1) are a nine-point favorite, but UNC is coming off a 45-32 home loss to Notre Dame in Week 4, in which the D gave up 576 yards to the Fighting Irish.

The Carolina offense, as Pry noted in his weekly presser, is “explosive,” “dynamic” – led by QB Drake Maye, who is passing for 307.8 yards per game, has 16 TDs and just one INT, and a 188.5 passer rating.

“I think you know their quarterback. I am very impressed with him. He can throw it on a dime. He has a strong arm. He can make throws with the flick of the wrist, but he’s also a very talented runner. He’s a big, bodied guy that runs the ball hard. He likes to run the ball, so we got our hands full with their offense,” Pry said.

Pry has also had his hands full trying to tweak the Tech offense, which is gaining just 330.0 yards per game, ranking 12th in the ACC.

The run game, in particular, has been anemic, gaining 112.0 yards per game through four games, 13th in the conference.

“Outside of the penalties, we’re just not getting enough guys executing the run game,” Pry said. “Each opportunity, we’ll have eight or nine guys execute correctly, and then we’ll have one or two not do their job. A lot of times, it just takes one or two to misfire on a run play. That’s what going on more than anything.”

Penalties have been the other glaring issue. The Hokies have been whistled for 40, 10 a game, accounting for 323 yards, 80.8 yards per game, ranking dead-last in the ACC.

“We’re working hard at cleaning it up, owning our mistakes,” Pry said. “We’re making sure we’re teaching the right way, making sure that we’re not doing too much. We’ve got to not let things in that create an execution problem. It’s not about what we know, it’s about what they know. That way they can execute. Execution is the biggest reason at this point.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].