Home Virginia Tech Football Notebook: Hokies face challenge covering big WVU receivers

Virginia Tech Football Notebook: Hokies face challenge covering big WVU receivers

Chris Graham
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West Virginia averages 46.0 points and 513.0 yards per game, and QB JT Daniels, the Georgia transfer, has a pair of basketball-player-sized targets at wideout – 6’4” sophomore Kaden Prather and 6’3” redshirt junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton.

Both will have a few inches on Virginia Tech corners Dorian Strong (6’1”) and Armani Chatman (5’11”)

“To me, it’s a good challenge for us,” Tech coach Brent Pry said. “I think there are some similarities of the size with a couple of their guys comparing to Kaleb [Smith]. Maybe not just a burner, but has good ball skills, can get open and has great length. But this is certainly a challenge. They got three good ones (receivers). Everybody talks about zero (Bryce Ford-Wheaton) and [Kaden] Prather, but I think the slot, No. 13 (Sam James), is a good player, too. He’s fast.”

Offense: ‘Work in progress’

Offensive coordinator Tyler Bowen didn’t sugarcoat the answer when asked after practice on Tuesday his thought on where the Hokies offense is right now.

“I think we’re a work in progress. We’re evolving. I wouldn’t give it a letter grade right now. We’re not where we need to be. We’re not where we’re going to be. We’re a work in progress. We’re evolving every day,” Bowen said.

Tech is averaging 23.7 points and 364.0 yards per game, which, not good in general, and then you consider the schedule through three games – ODU, Boston College, Wofford, an FCS school, and, yeah.

The ground game needs the most attention. The Hokies are averaging a paltry 137.7 yards per game and 3.3 yards per attempt on the ground through three games.

“I don’t think you’ve seen everything we’re going to do in the run game to this point,” Bowen said. “That group is extremely hard working. They do a great job, if you’re talking about the offensive line, specifically. But it takes a group effort in the run game, whether that’s an RPO (run-pass option) tag, whether that’s something we’re doing at receiver with a blocking structure or whether that’s our motion. So, obviously, we want that to improve, and I think you will see that improvement.”

Hokies QB grew up a WVU fan

Virginia Tech QB Grant Wells, a Marshall transfer, grew up in Charleston, W.Va., and was a WVU football fan from an early age.

“I would say very early. I mean, outside of Huntington, there’s not really many Marshall fans. So, if you’re not a Marshall fan, you’re a West Virginia fan,” Wells said.

Wells started 23 games at Marshall before transferring to Tech, passing for 6,623 yards and 34 TDs.

“To play in this rivalry means a lot. Outside of me, this is a long rivalry within itself. On a personal note, I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while. I’m really excited,” Wells said.

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].