Home Virginia Tech Football Notebook: Hokies preparing for wet, wild game at UNC

Virginia Tech Football Notebook: Hokies preparing for wet, wild game at UNC

Chris Graham
virginia tech football entrance
Photo courtesy Virginia Tech Athletics.

The forecast for the next two days has Chapel Hill getting in the range of four inches of rain, though at this writing the rain should be tapering off by mid-afternoon, which is good news for college football fans.

Virginia Tech and North Carolina are scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and it will still likely be quite wet and sloppy in Kenan Stadium even if the rain is letting up.

To prepare, Tech coach Brent Pry has had his team working all week with wet footballs to get acclimated to how things are going to play out Saturday afternoon into evening.

“We have been working it all week with the wet ball snaps, just spraying the ball with water to make sure that we are prepared for all weather conditions,” said center Johnny Jordan, who gets the fun job of making upwards of 70 snaps to QB Grant Wells in the muck on Saturday.

It will also be a challenge for long snappers Justin Pollock and Vincenzo Anthony, whose bad snap on a field-goal try was a turning point in the Hokies’ 20-17 loss at ODU in Week 1, and that was in decent weather.

Challenges for the Tech D

The Hokies got gashed a bit in the 33-10 loss to West Virginia in Week 4, giving up 421 total yards – 203 through the air, 218 on the ground.

North Carolina comes in averaging 502.3 yards per game, with QB Drake Maye averaging 307.8 yards, with a gaudy 16/1 TD/INT ratio and a video-game-like 188.5 passer rating.

Maye also plays a big role in the run game, gaining 182 yards as a second option behind tailback Omarion Hampton, who leads the team with 252 yards and five TDs on the ground.

UNC averages 194.5 yards per game on the ground.

Tech coach Brent Pry knows that his defense will face a monstrous challenge trying to even just slow down the Tar Heels.

“We need to trust in our teammates,” said Pry, who was the defensive coordinator at Penn State before taking the job at Virginia Tech in December. “We must tackle better. We had done that for three weeks. We didn’t do a good job tackling. We left too much in the air.

“I think North Carolina has some good backs. They’re athletic, and they have a stable of them. I don’t know if they have been as committed to running the ball as West Virginia has been. But they’re certainly going to want to run the ball. Plus, their quarterback is a factor running the football.”

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].